North Carolina Utilities Commission Issues Order Modifying Duke Energy’s Solar Rebate Program 

At the end of September, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) issued an Order modifying the first year of Duke Energy’s Solar Rebate Program (Modification Order). Please visit our blog for a refresher on the events leading up to the latest order issued by the Commission. 

When the Solar Rebate Programs for residential and non-residential customers reached their 2018 capacity after only 17 days, Duke Energy and the Public Staff filed a motion to modify the Commission’s original Order from May 2018 to allow customers who reserved their rebate within the first part of 2018 to receive the rebate in 2019. The Commission reviewed the Motion and posed questions of both the Public Staff and Duke Energy before issuing the Modification Order, which went beyond the requests in the motion. 

Below are NCSEA’s key takeaways from the Order. Please note that the modifications apply to residential and non-residential customers otherwise eligible to participate in the rebate program who installed a solar system between January 1, 2018 and July 26, 2018, and customers who submit a rebate application on or before October 24, 2018. However, the modifications may impact all customers and potential customers: 

  • If a customer installed solar prior to July 9, 2018 and applied for a rebate reservation after the 2018 rebate capacity ran out but before October 6, 2018, that customer is effectively placed on the 2018 capacity waitlist and eligible to displace any customers who successfully reserved 2018 capacity but did not install prior to January 1, 2019. 
    • This class of customer is not eligible to re-apply for a 2019 rebate on the same system. 
  • If a customer installed solar between July 9 and July 26, 2018, then that customer has 90 days from the date of install to apply for a 2018 reservation. If this customer applied within 90 days but after 2018 capacity ran out, then that customer is effectively placed on the 2018 capacity waitlist and eligible to displace any customers who successfully reserved 2018 capacity but did not install prior to January 1, 2019. 
    • This class of customer is not eligible to re-apply for a 2019 rebate on the same system. 
    • This waitlist is first come, first serve.  
  • Any customer who installs solar between October 4, 2018 and January 1, 2019 and applies for 2018 capacity before January 1, 2019 is eligible to join the waiting list for 2018 capacity. However, this customer would fall behind any of the above-listed class of customers. 
    • NCSEA recommends any customer in this position apply for the 2019 rebate capacity 
  • Customers who reserved a rebate in 2018 but will not complete installation until 2019 will receive a rebate from either the leftover 2018 capacity (if there is any) or be eligible for 2019 capacity without re-application. 
    • customer who reserved in 2018 who does not install until 2019 is guaranteed a rebate reservation for up to one year from the date of their application. Customers must install their system within one year or forfeit their reservation. 
  • Systems installed after January 1, 2019 will count toward the 2019 capacity limit until the 2019 capacity amount is reached. 
  • Duke Energy will provide monthly status updates for the remainder of 2018 on a number of points via their Rebate Program webpage. These updates will be weekly beginning in 2019. Please review these webpages for updated numbers regarding rebate capacity.* These updates will include: 
    • Total 2018 capacity installed 
    • Total 2018 capacity reserved 
    • Total 2018 non-residential capacity status 

NCSEA is concerned about the 2019 rebate application open date of January 1, and the potential back-log of rebate applications that will develop due to reserved rebates from 2018 taking some of 2019’s capacity. On the other hand, we are pleased that the amendments outlined in this Order will ensure that customers who installed a system and submitted a rebate application will not have to re-apply in order to receive a rebate in 2019. We are also encouraged that Duke will provide further transparency regarding the capacity allocation. 

NCSEA staff will continue to monitor the implementation of the Solar Rebate Programs and will keep our members informed of updates. In the meantime, please be sure to sign up on Duke’s website for up-to-date information about the programs. 

* Please note that the webpage toggles Duke territory by location of user but can be edited by changing your territory at the top of the webpage.

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