In only one year, more than 1,800 residential customers and 125 business customers in have applied to participate in Duke Energy’s Solar Rebate Program. The program paid nearly $12 million in rebates to South Carolina customers by the end of 2016. That’s more than double what the utility reported just three months ago.
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.”
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. The 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.
More than 40 megawatts-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.
Customers can also combine the rebate with tax credits through state and federal government solar incentives. Customers may also choose to use solar power on site through net metering.
Additionally, 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.