Net metering policies and regulations differ between individual states or regions and can often change and fluctuate on a utility by utility basis. Some utilities do not even offer net metering! North Carolina has had a great net metering program in place for areas serviced by Duke Energy but that is going to change in 2023.
What is net metering? Net metering and net electricity is a system that connects solar panel owners to a public grid. With net metering, when a PV system generates more electricity than what is needed to power the individual home or facility, the extra solar energy goes back to the public grid and the owner is credited for the energy added. Likewise, if a PV owner’s home or facility needs more energy than what is generated by their solar panels, energy is pulled from the public grid and they are charged for the additional electricity needed. At the end of the month or year, a PV system owner is billed for their net electricity usage: hence net metering.
In North Carolina, Duke Energy net metering recently signed an agreement with North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Sunrun, and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) to change net metering regulations that will ultimately help PV system owners save more each month and year.
We’re here to discuss the new net metering policies, how those changes will affect PV system owners, and what homeowners and business owners can gain by choosing to switch to solar.
New Net Metering, North Carolina
North Carolina is currently trying to adopt new NEM regulations and policies that are similar to policies that were recently adopted in South Carolina. The new agreement signed by Duke Energy, NCSEA, SEIA, and SELC is under review and approval by the NC Utilities Commission. If approved, the new agreement will go into effect on Jan 1, 2023.
Key elements of the new settlement agreement include:
- Dynamic and temporal price signals in place to help PV system owners be aware of high-cost days and cut back on energy use.
- Demand response in the form of a controllable smart thermostat, and easier compatibility with other smart technologies that will allow easier control of home and business energy consumption.
- Time-of-use netting that allows consumers to see their netting on a regular basis.
- Recovery of costs that are made simpler with public programs and Duke’s estimated customer and distribution costs.
The new agreement will also provide net metering regulatory certainty for all rooftop solar adopters and installers in the next decade. Additionally, the agreement offers future solar net metering customers significant up-front savings including a direct rebate, new pricing signals for incorporating EVs and batteries, and a higher capability to incorporate innovative technologies with solar such as smart thermostats, battery storage, and more. Additionally, the new agreement will preserve electricity bill savings for current net metering customers.
The whole idea of the new agreement is to make it easier and more affordable to adopt rooftop solar panel systems. To further make this possible, a low-income solar program was also included in the agreement to encourage everyone in North Carolina to go solar. Many are hopeful that this is a promising step towards 100% clean energy for the Carolinas.
Benefits for Current and Future PV System Owners
For current PV system owners, the new agreement will help to see improvements such as no demand charges, a new rebate through Duke Energy, regulatory and rate certainty, and monthly netting. Current owners will also see improved monthly savings as a result of these changes.
For future system owners, the opportunity to adopt a solar panel system in North Carolina has never been better. Duke energy and the other parties included are playing a huge role in helping Carolinians create clean energy by switching to solar. The many benefits are highlighted above, and outlined by Duke Energy here.
8MSolar Can Help
Curious to see exactly what benefits you will receive as a new solar customer in North Carolina? Contact us today for a specific quote.