CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy has filed an agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that will align solar adopter compensation to utility system benefits and create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in North Carolina. See filing.
The net metering agreement was crafted by Duke Energy and the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Sunrun Inc. and the Solar Energy Industries Association. It must be approved by the NCUC.
“Duke Energy is committed to finding collaborative paths forward to help with the clean-energy transition and carbon-reduction goals in the Carolinas.” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “This deal ensures fair and reasonable treatment for all customers whether they choose to install solar or not.”
Duke Energy has encouraged private solar ownership over the past three years with its $62 million solar rebate program, which is expected to continue into 2023. Currently, 24,000 North Carolina customers have private solar systems compared to 6,000 at the beginning of 2018.
“The agreement modernizes rooftop solar economics and unlocks benefits for all customers,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s vice president of strategic solutions. “Net metering has been a contentious issue around the nation, but our stakeholder partners worked together to craft a fair solution that brings financial sustainability to rooftop solar in North Carolina.”
The agreement follows a similar net metering agreement in South Carolina from September 2020.
- Allows for new net metering tariffs to go into effect for customers submitting applications on or after Jan. 1, 2023.
- Will create innovative pricing and incentives for residential solar customers.
- Features rate design mechanisms to properly collect costs of the grid infrastructure needed to serve solar customers.
- Will include cutting-edge retail rates that vary based on the time of day and when the utility is experiencing peak demand.
- Peter Ledford, General Counsel and Director of Policy at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association: “This program pushes forward progress in North Carolina’s clean energy economy. Not only does it advance the residential solar sector, it also provides a framework and agreement to work collaboratively on the next generation of nonresidential net metering. This agreement establishes new price signals and opportunities for homeowners to incorporate innovative technologies with solar – smart thermostats, battery storage and more.”
- David Neal, Senior Attorney with SELC: “This agreement recognizes the important role that solar can play in keeping the electric grid strong, resilient and affordable. If the full proposal is approved, customers could receive significant up-front savings when adopting solar paired with Duke Energy’s smart thermostat program. In the case of solar panels that are leased, those savings could translate to lower costs over the lifetime of the lease, providing more affordable ways for customers to go solar.”
- Bryan Jacob, Solar Program Director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy: “We believe that it is important to provide a fair valuation of distributed energy resources. Those customers who provide services to the grid with their private investments should be fairly compensated for those services. At the same time, it is important that rates be designed to align customer behavior with controlling utility costs when possible.”
- Lindsey Hallock, Southeast Senior Regional Director at Vote Solar: “This agreement reflects the critical role that rooftop solar must play in North Carolina’s economy, clean energy transition and workforce development. In particular, the inclusion of a low-income solar program to be designed with input from stakeholders will bring the voices of low-income customers to the table, remove prohibitive cost barriers and unlock the benefits of solar for more North Carolinians. I’m hopeful that this promising step is one of many toward a 100% renewable energy future for the Carolinas, and that Duke Energy continues to invest heavily in clean energy sources and support for low-income households.”
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.