Duke Energy says South Carolina solar rebate program a huge success

Duke Energy

Duke Energy is hyped about solar installations in South Carolina. Act 236, an omnibus solar bill passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, opened the door for Duke Energy to offer a variety of solar programs to customers, and offer them they have. The main rebate program provides $1 per watt for qualified residential customers who install systems up to 20 kilowatts on their property; and for business customers who install systems up to 1 megawatt on their property.

Nonprofit and governmental entities may be eligible to receive a rebate of $1.50 per watt for systems up to 20 kilowatts on their property.

What do you know — people like it

As a former college instructor on the topics of economics and finance, Bob Horst knows a good deal when he sees one. Horst had considered installing solar generation at his home, but the upfront cost – while steadily declining – are still a significant out-of-pocket expense. Once he heard about Duke Energy’s Solar Rebate Program, he jumped at the opportunity.

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“The rebate program brought my cost to install down significantly,” Horst said. “Since then, our bill has been nearly zero. Now I’m planning to buy an electric car, and I love the fact that I will be able to power that at home with solar energy.”

Scope of the program

In only one year, more than 1,800 residential customers and 125 business customers have applied to participate in Duke Energy’s Solar Rebate Program. The program will have paid nearly $12 million in rebates to South Carolina customers by the end of 2016. The rebates help with the upfront cost of installing solar panels for customers – making the technology more accessible to the company’s 730,000 customers in the state.

“Our customers have responded very positively to our solar rebate program,” said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “It’s expanded the choices our customers have in meeting their energy needs by helping to lower the upfront costs associated with building solar installations.”

More than 40 MW-ac of solar power is scheduled to come online already, putting Duke Energy more than halfway to the 53-megawatt goal cited by the act.

With the rebate program nearing capacity, a waiting list has been established for some of the offerings associated with this program. All applications for the rebate program must be vetted and approved. Should an application be denied, the waiting list will be used on a first-come, first-served basis.

Shared Solar program details

Though the rebate program is coming to a close, Duke Energy will begin offering in 2017 a Shared Solar Program. Shared solar allows customers who can’t or don’t want to put solar on their property the ability to participate in the economic and environmental benefits of solar.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

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