NEW: PowerPair – Duke Energy’s Solar + Battery Rebate 2024

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Exciting update! A new solar rebate has been approved for Duke Energy customers in North Carolina who install a solar plus battery system for the first time. Spoiler alert: this rebate has limited space so don’t miss out once the application opens! Reach out today or keep reading to get the full scoop.

Check out the NCSEA's Squeaky Clean Podcast to hear our very own, Graham Alexander, talk about the details of this new monumental program for NC.

Duke Energy’s New Solar Rebate for North Carolina

Introducing – PowerPair – North Carolina’s newest solar + battery storage incentive for Duke Energy customers. Joining the likes of Batman + Robin, Bert + Ernie, and Thelma + Louise in the ranks of history’s most dynamic duos, PowerPair brings together the forces of solar power + battery storage for home energy security with a side arc of extra savings.

Wayne and Garth sitting in their basement being Wayne and Garth
“Party On, PowerPair!” – Possibly a direct quote from power pair, Wayne and Garth

Background: North Carolina’s Solar Rebate Explained

If you’ve been following the solar industry in North Carolina, you probably remember the Duke Energy Solar Rebate, circa 2018-2023, which was a result of House Bill 589. This was a (highly competitive) one-time rebate available to NC homes, businesses, and nonprofits serviced by Duke Energy. After $62 million in Duke Rebate funding was awarded across North Carolina, the NC Solar Rebate concluded in January 2023 with no plans for a resurrection.

Enter a new solar hero – Duke Energy’s 2024 PowerPair Rebate. This solar incentive was established by a requirement from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) for Duke Energy to test the impact of distributed solar and battery storage on stabilizing North Carolina’s electric grid, while reducing the need for peak power plant capacity. 

Recently approved on January 11, 2024, the PowerPair rebate offers North Carolina customers a powerful incentive to adopt solar + battery storage.

2024 PowerPair Rebate Timeline

  • January: PowerPair is approved by the NCUC
  • February: Duke Energy deadline to files tariffs outlining the application process
  • March: Deadline for NCUC to provide comments
  • May: PowerPair application goes live!

Overview: How Does the PowerPair Solar Rebate Work?

Customers who install a new solar + battery system will be eligible for the PowerPair rebate of up to $9,000 in savings. When paired with the 30% Solar Tax Credit, homeowners can see savings of up to 52% off the total cost of a solar + battery system. Here are the key highlights:

  • Rebate Amount: Homeowners can receive up to $3,600 for solar and $5,400 for batteries when installed together, totaling up to $9,000.
  • Limited Space: The rebate only has capacity for around 6,000-8,000 homes. Based on previous rebate programs in NC, we expect the program to hit capacity very quickly.
  • Applying for Rebate – The application will go live in early May of this year (2024). To apply for the rebate, we need to have your system designed and have submitted a complete interconnection request to Duke Energy. This process can take several weeks, so we recommend getting started early to be ready when the rebate application launches. 

What qualifies as a new system?

New, in the context of this rebate, means customers are eligible if they are installing a solar + battery system for the first time at their current home. Here is the language in the filing: “The customer must be installing a complying solar generation and a battery storage system at the Premises for the first time.”

Can I add a battery to an existing solar system to qualify for the PowerPair Rebate?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Only new solar + battery installs can qualify for the $9,000 PowerPair Rebate. However, existing battery systems and battery additions can elect into the EnergyWise program (Duke Energy Progress) or Power Manager program (Duke Energy Carolinas). Deep dive blog coming soon. In the meantime, email us at shine@southern-energy with any questions!

The Two Pathways (Cohorts) for PowerPair

When you decide to install solar + battery storage and apply for the PowerPair rebate, you’ll have two options (or cohorts) to choose from. From a high-level, the choice will depend on your lifestyle and energy goals. Regardless of which one you choose, you will have the flexibility to switch after two years. Here’s an overview of the two cohorts: 

PowerPair Cohort A

Participants in PowerPair’s Cohort A will be served under the time-of-use (TOU) rates approved last fall by the NCUC as part of the net energy metering (NEM) order.

This option is ideal if you like a more hands-on approach to managing your energy consumption. You’ll have complete independence and control over the use of your battery storage.

PowerPair Cohort B

Participants in PowerPair’s Cohort B will be served under the Bridge Rate, approved in the net energy metering (NEM) order by the NCUC last fall.

Unlike Cohort A, this option has an added layer of savings. Customers in this option will join a demand response program called Battery Control, which is a new component of the revamped Demand Side Management (DSM) program established in 2009. With a single Powerwall 3, customers can see up to $52 monthly in savings, which equates to roughly $620 annually. This incentives comes from allowing Duke Energy to have control over your battery during certain events. Deep dive blog coming soon. In the meantime, please email us at shine@southern-energy with any questions.

This option is ideal for you if you’re looking to maximize your savings. Duke Energy will have more control over your battery which offers that additional monthly incentive of up to $52.

PowerPair Incentive Summary

How long will the rebate last?

Historically, North Carolina solar rebates have been highly competitive so they’ve hit capacity relatively quickly. 

This rebate will last until capacity is met. The PowerPair rebate allows up to 30,000 kW of installed solar capacity for Duke Energy Carolina and Duke Energy Progress territories (each), totaling 60,000 kW of capacity which could be about 6,000-8,000 homes. Judging by historical data, it’s unlikely that capacity will be met in a month. Our Solar Designer, Graham Alexander talks about this on NCSEA’s Squeaky Clean Podcast with Matt Abele, check it out →

Reach out today to get started on your solar + battery journey so you’ll be ready to apply when May rolls around.


Should you get a battery with solar in North Carolina?

With new policies and incentives in North Carolina aimed to create a more secure grid, battery storage has become more important as ever. Along this transition to energy security and increased solar adoption in NC, Duke Energy’s PowerPair rebate and revised solar net metering options are helping to incentivize customers toward battery storage. New solar + battery customers are looking at the biggest savings we’ve seen in our state thus far. 

Can I get the PowerPair Rebate twice?

No, unless you move to a new home. In that case, there’s potential to get the rebate twice, but there are some provisions we are still waiting for clarity on. 

Are you eligible for PowerPair?

Any Duke Energy customer in North Carolina installing a new solar + battery system. Homes can be either gas or electric, but it must be a new solar + battery system, not an addition. Here are the specifics for solar and battery requirements:

Battery Storage

  • 13.5 kWH max battery capacity*
  • $400 given per kWh of battery capacity installed (up to 13.5kWh)
  • Earn a max rebate value of $5,400 ($400 x 13.5kWh = $5400)

*Additional battery capacity is permitted, but will not qualify toward the rebate

Solar Power

  • 10kW max solar capacity*
  • 36 cents given per watt of solar installed (up to 10kW)
  • Earning a max rebate value of $3,600 ($0.36 x 10kW = $3,600)  

*Additional solar capacity is permitted, but will not qualify toward the rebate


What type of solar systems qualify for the rebate? 

Your solar system can be any size, but only 10kW will be eligible for the rebate. You can leave the rest to your installer. Starting your solar journey and unsure of what factors determine system size? We’ve been installing solar in NC for over 20 years so we’ve learned a few tricks along the way. Check out our quick guide to understanding system sizing for your home →

What type of batteries qualify for the rebate? 

Any battery over 3kWh can qualify for Duke’s PowerPair Rebate. The battery should be tied to a solar system and integrated with a smart inverter. The PowerPair rebate is for new installs only, the battery must be able to be dispatched e.g., provide electricity to the grid on demand. Battery dispatch is a requirement for participants in Cohort B (Bridge Rate), but not Cohort A ( TOU Rates).

Do you need to work with a certain installer to get the rebate? 

You can work with any Duke Energy Trade Ally* installer, but we recommend doing your homework and finding a local installer who aligns with your goals.

Being North Carolina’s first solar installer and the first solar B Corp, we have seen the ups and downs as solar companies enter and leave the market. When you choose to work with a local installer, you’ll be supporting the jobs and livelihood of our team members (the smiling faces pictured above) or those of the other local solar companies in North Carolina. Beyond supporting local jobs–there are serious advantages to going with a local NC solar installer. Here are 6 specific reasons why you should choose a North Carolina-based solar installer (bonus points if they’re a B Corp!).

What’s Next?

If you’re ready to look at securing your home during outages at the best prices we’ve ever seen on solar + battery systems, set a time to chat with one of our solar educators. They’ll help answer your questions and start your solar + battery journey.

Meet the Author

Lindsay Brecheisen

Always enjoying the journey 🙂 Lindsay is the conductor of content at Southern Energy Management. When she isn’t synthesizing information into a newsletter or blog — Lindsay enjoys long walks on the beach with her cat, listening to soul on vinyl, and surfing the earth or sea (depending on the season).

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