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Image: NC Solar Center

Utility-scale solar may be taking off in North Carolina but, so far, distributed residential installations are nowhere near as commonplace as in other parts of the country due, in part, to less favorable economic incentives. There are, however, several incentive programs available to Duke Energy customers, and choosing which one best fits each household can be a challenge.

The North Carolina Solar Center—a public service center in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University—has now published a report to help North Carolinians understand the costs and savings associated with installing solar panels on private residences. The guide walks readers through the different options opened to Duke Energy Progress customers who have their own solar photovoltaic systems, and explains what user profile best fits each option. It lays out the incentives available from federal, state and private utilities, and offers strategies to help finance personal investment in solar.

Taking all available data from recent installations into account, the report estimates the upfront costs that customers will need to cover themselves, and the time it will take to recoup this investment. The analysis suggests that although the SunSense incentive program that Duke Energy Progress currently reduces the initial upfront cost of installation, it leads to decreased savings over time.

Investing in solar panels can save you money and help move our state towards a more sustainable future. Anyone living in Duke Energy Progress’ service area who is considering installing a photovoltaic system in their home will find the report invaluable. Read the report for yourself here.