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Duke Energy Attempt to Foot Home Solar With The Bill, Fails

A recent settlement brought an end to an attempt by Duke Energy Carolinas to shoulder North Carolina residents switching to solar with hefty fixed rate increases.

To help fund a proposed $13 billion grid modernization program for the state, Duke Energy sought to foot North Carolinians switching to solar with the bill by increasing their utility costs up to 50% according to Vote Solar’s Regulatory Director Caroline Golin.

Opponents against Duke’s fixed utility rate increases argued the charges would undermine customer’s ability to utilize net metering payments, where people make money for selling the excess power their home generates back to the grid.

Duke’s $13 billion Power/Forward Carolinas grid proposal, which was introduced last February, set out to modernize the state’s power grid and “support renewable energy initiatives.” Upon closer inspection of the bill, however, solar supporters in North Carolina discovered it did the very opposite by targeting people who used net-metering with higher out of pocket costs to pay for the utility company’s upgrades.

“…Duke’s plan puts solar out of reach for customers, makes it much harder for clean energy companies to survive, and makes it more expensive to do business in North Carolina,” Golin writes in her blog.

The recent settlement with Duke has lowered the time period of the modernization initiative from 10 to four ears, and cuts spending down to $2.5 billion, reducing the potential rate increases that will be seen by customers.

The decision comes as an added win for the state’s clean energy advocates as the energy company recently rolled out a $62 million solar rebate program in January, paying residents back up to $0.60 per installed watt.

To learn more how to qualify for a solar rebate, contact GoGreenSolar.com or call (888) 338-0183.

Author: Harold Tan

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