Solar SME, Inc.

North Carolina

Taking Opportunity of the Sun and Solar Energy Incentives

North Carolina, from its peaceful seashore to the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, has quickly become a leader in renewable energy. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recognized it as the 4th largest state for installed solar with more than 9.3 gigawatts of solar installed by the end of 2023. With a strong solar industry and good incentives, the state continues to lead the way in the southeast to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Solar Energy Trends in North Carolina

Solar energy is growing rapidly in the Palmetto state thanks to declining costs in solar technology and several strong incentives from the state and utilities that help reduce the cost of solar for homeowners and businesses. With its southeasterly location and temperate weather, the state has an ideal climate for producing solar energy. So it’s no wonder solar is booming in the state as smart individuals and companies look to save on energy costs and reduce their carbon emissions.

North Carolina Solar Incentives and Rebates for Homeowners

To encourage homeowners to install solar panels North Carolina provides several rebates and incentives. These solar incentives help offset the upfront solar installation expenses, which helps more people afford solar power in the state. The top incentives for homeowners include:

State Property Tax Exemption

Residential solar installations themselves are completely exempt from property taxes in North Carolina. As such, even though the value of your property rises because of your solar installation, your yearly property tax won’t rise because of the solar installation. However, only operational solar installations are eligible for the property tax exemption. Sunrooms and greenhouses that use passive solar energy are not exempt. For installations that are not residential, there is an 80% property tax exemption.

Tax exempt
Duke Energy

Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program

Duke Energy serves several states, but only North Carolina is eligible for their solar rebate program. Duke’s customers in the state, whether they’re nonprofit, commercial, or residential can benefit from this rebate. Under this program, a residential homeowner will receive a rebate of 40 cents per watt. For a 5kW solar system, that equates to savings of $2,000 on average. Commercial customers are eligible for a rebate of 30 cents per watt.

Additionally, you have to be the account holder for the present commercial electric rate of Duke. Funds for the program are limited annually and offered on a first-come first-served basis, which makes enrollment challenging. Go to the Duke Energy website to begin the application process to find your eligibility.

Piedmont Electric Member Cooperative Renewable and Solar Energy Loan Program

Piedmont Electric Cooperative provides incentive programs to assist business and residential owners in making the switch to green energy. The company offers its members a solar energy financing program to help with the cost of buying and installing solar panels and water heaters. Authorized customers can borrow up to $15,000 at a fixed 5% interest rate for 7 years.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

To encourage homeowners across the country to convert to solar energy, the federal government offers the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Citizens can receive a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the entire cost of their solar systems.

This credit is only redeemable once per installation. It applies to labor, sales tax, batteries, extra equipment, and solar panels. One of the key benefits of this incentive is that the taxpayer owes less in taxes than the credit amount for the installed solar system, the remaining credit rolls over for a maximum of five years until the full 30% credit on the system is realized.

Federal Solar
Net Metering

North Carolina Net Metering

Under net metering in the Palmetto State, any excess energy your solar system produces is sent to the electric grid and you’re credited for the power the utility takes from you at the avoided cost rate—as of October 2023. In North Carolina, the scheme is called net energy generation. To measure the two-way flow of electricity, the utility will install a bi-directional meter on your home. After that, you will receive a monthly bill that details how much electricity you consumed and how much was sent to the electrical grid and you are being credited for. The program helps speed the return on investment of purchasing a solar system by further lowering your electricity bills compared to what they were before going solar.

Incentives and Rebates for Businesses in North Carolina

North Carolina provides a variety of incentives and rebates to businesses interested in investing in solar energy, some of which also apply to homeowners as mentioned above. These incentives aim to promote environmental sustainability, job growth, and economic development. Among the major benefits that North Carolina businesses can take advantage of are:

Low-Interest Loans for Rural Solar Panel Installation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides support and guaranteed loan financing to small rural businesses and agricultural producers. The installation or upgrade of renewable energy installations is covered under the loan. Small companies and farmers in North Carolina are eligible to apply for these loans.

As you can see, North Carolina continues to lead the solar revolution in the southeast and offers several solar incentives and rebates to help both businesses and homeowners switch to solar power as the demand for clean, renewable energy sources grows.

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Whether you are a business looking to cut your operational costs or a homeowner looking to lower your energy bills, SolarSME offers affordable Residential & Commercial solar solutions to meet your energy goals.