A program awaiting approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission could make installing solar panels more affordable for homeowners, churches, schools and other non-profits. Jared Brumbaugh has more.
The $62 million solar rebate program proposed by Duke Energy aims to help customers in North Carolina with the initial costs of installing solar panels on their property. The savings potential under the proposal could be $4,000 to $5,000 for a typical residential solar array which costs an average of $22,000. Right now, in North Carolina, Duke Energy has about 6,000 customers with private solar systems. But Spokesperson Randy Wheeless says they expect the program will increase the state’s private solar market by 200% over the next five years.
“So right now, we have about 50 megawatts which is pretty good. But we think this will add an additional 100 to the system. So we’ll triple the amount. We think that 5,000 customers will take advantage of this program so that will basically double what we have now.”
Under the proposal, nonresidential customers would be eligible for a maximum rebate of $50,000 while nonprofit organizations could receive as much as a $75,000 rebate for solar system installations.
“Solar can be problematic for nonprofits and churches because they can’t take advantage of a lot of the tax credits that the government gives.”
Wheeless says the $62 million will be doled out over a five year period. The solar rebate program is the first of three programs Duke Energy is implementing since the Competitive Solutions for North Carolina law took effect earlier this month. A decision from the State Utilities Commission is expected this spring.