Duke Energy pilots incentive program for home solar and storage


Duke Energy received approval for the North Carolina Utility Commission to pilot a new incentive program, PowerPair. The program aims to incentivize residential customers to install solar with a battery storage system.

The PowerPair program offers up to $9,000, depending on the brand and model of solar and battery installation.

“PowerPair gives Duke Energy an added tool to provide more reliability to solar energy which in turn benefits all customers as North Carolina grows in population,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy senior vice president, Pricing and Customer Solutions. “And by participating, customers are helping to support the state’s clean energy goals.”

North Carolina has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation by 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 and attain carbon neutrality by 2050.

Some PowerPair customers and customers with existing battery storage may also participate in Duke’s EnergyWise virtual power plant (VPP) program, which adds a new battery control option to the home solar-plus-battery system. Through the VPP program, residents allow Duke Energy to adjust the system’s operation a minimum of 30 times per year up to a maximum of 36 times per year, to provide stored electricity back to the grid when needed.

Participants will receive a bill credit each month for enrolling a qualifying battery storage system and meeting program requirements, including internet connectivity. Customers may opt out of four events per year and still be eligible to receive bill credits.

Duke Energy says customers may qualify for the following one-time incentives PowerPair installations:

  • $0.36/watt-AC for solar panel installation up to 10 kW-AC
  • $400/kWh for battery storage installation up to 13.5 kWh

“As we continue to strengthen our grid and bring clean energy resources online, our customers are important partners in our clean energy future – and can receive upfront and potential ongoing financial incentives for coupling solar power and battery storage on their residential systems,” said Huber. “These programs enable Duke Energy to maximize the use of popular consumer technologies to support the overall energy grid.”

Participants in the pilot will have two enrollment options. They can enroll in the PowerPair pilot on a residential solar choice rider (RSC) or through a net metering bridge rider (NMB) and receive a one-time incentive of up to $9,000. NMB customers will be required must enroll in both the new Power Manager and EnergyWise Home Battery Control option. They may be eligible to receive the following additional monthly bill credits for their participation:

  • One-time $0.36/watt-AC incentive for solar panel installation up to 10 kW-AC
  • One-time $400/kWh incentive for storage installation up to 13.5 kWh
  • Monthly bill credit following installation based on your battery capacity

Duke Energy reports that participants will be randomly selected through a process that begins on May 10 and runs for four weeks. Customers can sign up here to receive program updates, view the approved battery vendor list and view information on what equipment is eligible.

In addition, Duke customers selected for the PowerPair program must employ a Duke Energy Trade Ally, a solar and battery installer approved by Duke Energy. Customers can use the Company’s Find It Duke program to locate approved companies knowledgeable about the program. Installers may apply to become a Duke Energy Trade Ally here.

North Carolina is ranked fourth in the nation for overall solar power, according to Solar Energy Industries Association, and 1.1 million homes have solar.

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