Duke Energy program helping N.C. customers and schools expand renewable energy

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  • Renewable Advantage will help customers supplement their electricity mix with renewable energy

  • Program will also help fund NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy’s Renewable Advantage program is the perfect way for customers to supplement their energy use with renewable energy and help local schools go solar at the same time.

For as little as $3 extra a month, residential and small business customers in North Carolina can increase the amount of renewable energy on the Duke Energy power grid. The monthly fee supports the generation of 250 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks of electricity from renewable energy resources. Customers may buy as many blocks as they wish. A typical residential customer uses roughly 1,000 kWh a month.

“More than half of Duke Energy’s generation in the Carolinas is carbon-free. But we know many customers want more,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. “Renewable Advantage gives them an easy option to customize their own energy mix.”

The $3 fee is used to buy renewable energy and is added to customers’ bills. The company projects Renewable Advantage will consist of 95% solar and 5% biomass. It's estimated that 25% of the generation will come from North Carolina renewable energy facilities. Renewable Advantage will use the Green-e® certification program to track all purchases. Get more information about the program.

In addition, Duke Energy will donate 50 cents from every $3 block of energy purchased to NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools program.

NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools is open to all K-12 North Carolina schools and was introduced by the nonprofit in 2015 to support educational renewable energy projects in local communities. Each grant recipient receives a 5-kW array with a weather station, data monitoring equipment and a STEM curriculum package. As of the end of 2019, NC GreenPower has impacted nearly 26,000 students at 32 schools in 27 unique counties. In addition to the education benefits, Solar+ Schools provides approximately $700-$800 in annual electricity savings per school.

“We are now in the sixth year of our Solar+ Schools program, supporting 10 more schools in 2020. It’s been a true honor to see firsthand the positive impact the educational projects are having on the students. Without donor support, our program wouldn’t be able to provide this opportunity to schools in our state. We are so grateful for all of our contributors,” said Vicky McCann, vice president of NC GreenPower.

Duke Energy has a history of supporting the Solar+ Schools effort. In 2015-2016, a $300,000 grant from Duke Energy allowed eight schools in the state to install solar panels on school property. Read more.

Also, a similar Duke Energy program in North Carolina helps large customers accomplish renewable energy goals. UPM Raflatac's manufacturing factory in Henderson County was the first manufacturing facility in North Carolina to match its entire energy usage with renewable energy. Read more.

About NC GreenPower

NC GreenPower’s mission is to expand public knowledge and acceptance of cleaner energy technologies to all North Carolinians through local, community-based initiatives. The nonprofit helps to connect consumers with renewable energy and carbon offset providers to create positive environmental and economic impacts for our state. All projects supported by the program are in North Carolina.

In 2015, NC GreenPower launched Solar+ Schools to support solar PV installations at K-12 schools. Since the program’s inception, NC GreenPower donors have supported more than 1,125 renewable energy and carbon offset projects, producing 1 billion kilowatt-hours of green energy and mitigating nearly 78,000 tons of greenhouse gases. Contributions to NC GreenPower are tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.ncgreenpower.org.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Randy Wheeless