North Carolina Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

North Carolina Rebates and Incentives Summary

North CarolinaNorth Carolina is a leader in utility-sized solar farms and corporate sponsors like Apple building renewable energy sources of energy to power their data centers.

The dramatic investment in renewable energy is spurred, in part, by federal and state tax credits for installing renewable energy systems, selling clean energy back to the grid, and an open auction system through the buying and selling of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates known as SRECs.

Solar investment isn't limited to Apple. Other businesses and homeowners are doing it as well.

The main factor that has led to the growing renewable industry in the “Tar Heel State” is that it has adopted a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) in 2008. This set of rules and regulations that dictate renewable standards statewide has paved the way for all investor-owned utilities in the state to supply 12.5 percent of retail electricity sales from eligible renewable energy resources by 2021. Moreover, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives must meet a target of 10 percent renewables by 2018.

To break it down by technology, North Carolina’s goal for solar-supplied energy to the state is 0.2 percent, and 0.2 percent energy recovery from swine waste by 2018, while the state has set forth to collect 900,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity derived from poultry waste by 2014. If all of this is actually achieved, the state of North Carolina will be producing a renewable energy total of at least 12.5 percent by 2021, but hopefully by that time we will be watching NASCAR events at the North Carolina Speedway under the glow of its very own 100 percent green-powered lighting system.

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Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption

Summary

Active solar heating and cooling systems may not be assessed at more than the value of a conventional system for property tax purposes. This law applies only to active solar systems and does not include any land or structural elements of buildings, such as walls and roofs, or other equipment ordinarily contained in a building. Specifically, a "system" includes all controls, tanks, pumps, heat exchangers and other equipment used directly and exclusively for the conversion of solar energy for heating or cooling. Systems placed on residential, commercial and industrial property are eligible for

Blue Ridge EMC - Net Metering

Summary

The Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation offers net metering to its residential customers with solar photovoltaic, wind, or micro-hydro generators up to 25 kilowatts. There is no aggregate capacity limit.

Net excess generation is credited at retail rate. However, net metering customers are not served on the general residential rate tariff; net metering customers have a lower retail energy rate and higher basic facilities charge than general residential customers. Net metering customers also have a higher minimum bill than general residential customers. Excess credit rolls over month-to

Building Energy Code

Summary

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The North Carolina State Building Code Council is responsible for developing all state codes. By statute, the Commissioner of Insurance has general supervision over the administration and enforcement of the North Carolina state building code. Local government units enforce the code through the permit/inspection process

Camden County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance

Summary

In September 2007, Camden County adopted a wind ordinance to regulate the use of wind-energy systems in the county and to describe the conditions by which a permit for installing such a system may be obtained.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind-energy systems are classified as “large” if they consist of one or more turbines with a rated generating capacity of more than 100 kilowatts (kW), “small” if a project consists of a single turbine rated at less than 20 kW, and "medium" if one or more turbines rated between 20 kW and 100 kW. A site permit is required to establish, operate, and

Carteret County - Wind Energy System Ordinance

Summary

Carteret County passed an ordinance to specify the permitting process and establish siting requirements for wind energy systems. There are different rules and a different permitting process depending on the size and location of a system. Small systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) are considered to be an accessory use and do not require the approval of a Wind Energy Permit Application. Small systems attached to a house can have a maximum height of 60 feet and are not subject to minimum setbacks. Small systems not attached to a house can have a maximum height of 75 feet, but must be set back 1

Catawba County - Green Construction Permitting Incentive Program

Summary

Catawba County is providing incentives to encourage the construction of sustainably built homes and commercial buildings. Rebates on permit fees and plan reviews are available for certain qualifying structures and renewable energy projects. Buildings designed and constructed in accordance with the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), NC HealthyBuilt Homes, Energy Star, or the National Association of Home Builders' Model Green Home Building Guidelines can receive a 25% blanket permit fee rebate, not to exceed $500. Catawba County will also rebate

City of Asheville - Building Permit Fee Rebates

Summary

The City of Asheville offers rebates for building permits and plan reviews for certain renewable energy technologies and green building certifications for homes and mixed-use commercial buildings. Rebates for building permit fees may apply to residences with the following designations:

  • Green Built North Carolina / HealthyBuilt Home Certification ($100)
  • Energy Star Rating ($100)
  • Geothermal heat pumps ($50)
  • Solar-energy systems ($50)
  • Wind turbines ($50)
  • Storm water (gray water) collection device for reuse in yard sprinkler or elsewhere ($50)

Regular fees must be paid in full

City of Asheville - Efficiency Standards for City Buildings

Summary

In April 2007, the Asheville City Council adopted carbon emission reduction goals and set LEED standards for new city buildings. The council committed to reducing carbon emissions by 2% per year until the city reaches an 80% reduction from baseline year 2001-02 emissions. To work towards this goal, the council also resolved that all new occupied city-owned buildings greater than 5,000 square feet will adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified "Gold" standard. New city buildings less than 5,000 square feet will achieve the LEED

Currituck County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance

Summary

In January 2008, Currituck County adopted an ordinance to regulate the use of wind-energy systems. The ordinance directs any individual or organization wishing to install a wind-energy system to obtain a zoning permit from the county planning board. Small-scale systems require only administrative approval for the permit, while large systems and utility-scale projects require approval from the board of commissioners.

For the purposes of this ordinance, a wind-energy system is classified as "small" if it has a single turbine with a rated capacity of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less; as "large" if it

Duke Energy (Electric) - Energy Star Homes Rate Discount Program

Summary

Duke Energy encourages residential customers to buy energy-efficient homes through the utility's Energy Star Homes Program, which awards a rate discount to customers living in Energy Star homes. Customers receive a discount on per kWh usage after the first 350 kWh per month. To earn the Energy Star label, homes are tested by a third-party inspector to ensure they meet the U.S. Department of Energy's criteria. Generally speaking, a home must be at least 30% more efficient than the national Model Energy Code for homes or 15% more efficient than the state energy code, whichever is more rigorous.

Duke Energy Progress - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

Progress Energy provides incentives for residential customers to increase home energy efficiency. Rebates are provided for certain heating and cooling products, duct sealing and repairs, air sealing and insulation, and heat pump water heaters. To qualify, the equipment must meet the efficiency requirements outlined on the program website. Customers also must use a contractor approved by Progress Energy to participate in the program. Customers must submit an application form, including equipment cut sheets and original contractor invoice, within 90 days of completion of the work. More details

Duke Energy Progress - Residential New Construction Rebate Program

Summary

Progress Energy's residential new construction program provides cash incentives of up to $4,000 to builders and developers who build new energy-efficient homes and multi-family residences that meet program requirements specified on the program web site. Equipment rebates are available for heat pump water haeters and high efficiency HVAC equipment. Separately, builders can receive rebates for new homes built to meet or exceed the High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) code, which is an optional part  of North Carolina's 2012 Energy Conservation Code. See the web site above for complete

Durham County - High-Performance Building Policy

Summary

Durham County adopted a resolution in October 2008 that requires new non-school public buildings and facilities to meet high-performance standards. New construction of public buildings and facilities greater than 10,000 square feet must achieve a minimum rating of LEED Gold or any comparable performance criteria. Buildings between 4,000 and up to 10,000 square feet must achieve a minimum rating of LEED Silver or any comparable performance criteria.

Additionally, renovations of non-school public buildings in excess of 25% of the building and comprising upgrades or replacements of two of the

Haywood EMC - Residential Heat Pump and Weatherization Loan Program

Summary

Haywood EMC offers a low interest loan to residential customers to finance the purchase of an energy efficient heat pump and certain weatherization measures. The current interest rate is 5% and the loan has a maximum payback time of 60 months. In order to apply for the loan, customers must submit an application, an approved credit check, a copy of the land deed, a quote from a licensed HVAC contractor with a "load calculation" report, and a processing fee of $150. The heat pump must be 15 SEER of higher and Energy Star certified to be eligible for this loan program.

Hyde County - Wind Energy Facility Ordinance

Summary

Hyde County, located in eastern North Carolina, adopted a wind ordinance in 2008 to regulate the use of wind energy facilities throughout the county, including waters within the boundaries of Hyde County. The ordinance is substantially similar to the model wind ordinance drafted by the North Carolina Wind Working Group, and establishes parameters for the permitting process, minimum setbacks, noise and shadow flicker, installation and design, and decommissioning of retired systems.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind energy facilities are classified as "small" if they consist of a single

Interconnection Standards

Summary

Note: HB 589, signed in July 2017, requires the NCUC to adopt an expedited review process for swine and poultry waste energy projects of 2 MW or less. 

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) first adopted comprehensive interconnection standards for distributed generation in 2005. The NCUC later updated the interconnection standards in 2008 and 2015. The current NCUC standards, which are similar to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) interconnection standards for small generators, govern interconnection to the distribution systems of the state's three investor-owned

Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Summary

North Carolina enacted legislation (H.B. 1389) in August 2009 that authorizes cities and counties to establish revolving loan programs to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial or other real property. A revolving loan program generally refers to a loan fund, where the loan repayments and interest are fed back into the fund. In this way, the loan can, in theory, continue indefinitely. HB 1389 allows cities and counties to fund their loan programs through Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants from the federal

Local Option - Green Building Incentives

Summary

To encourage sustainable building practices, North Carolina law allows all counties and cities to provide reductions or partial rebates for building permit fees. To qualify for a fee reduction, buildings must meet guidelines established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the Green Globes program, or another recognized certification program.

SB 1597 of 2008 also granted authority to a few select jurisdictions to provide density bonuses, make adjustments to otherwise applicable development requirements, or provide other incentives to a developer or builder who

Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

Summary

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do

Lumbee River EMC - Solar Water Heating Loan Program

Summary

Lumbee River EMC is offering 6% loans to residential customers for the installation of solar water heaters on their homes.  To qualify, the systems must be certified OG-300 by the Solar Ratings and Certification Council (SRCC) and installed by a program-approved contractor or an installer certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Loans of $2,000 or less will be secured as a signature loan. Loans in excess of $2,000 will be secured by a deed of trust against the home and property.  

Madison County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance

Summary

Madison County adopted a new land use ordinance in May 2010, which includes provisions for permitting wind turbines within the county.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind-energy facilities are classified as "small" if they consist of one or more turbines with a rated generating capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less, “medium” if a project has a rated capacity between 10 kW and 50 kW, and large if a project has a rated capacity of more than 50 kW. In general small wind energy facilities are treated as a conditional use in residential zones. As a conditional use, a small wind energy

Model Wind Ordinance

Summary

Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

In July, 2008 the North Carolina Wind Working Group, a coalition of state government, non-profit and wind industry organizations, published a model wind ordinance to provide guidance for communities seeking to promote wind energy. For the purposes of this model, wind-energy systems are classified as "small"

Net Metering

Summary

Note: HB 589, signed in July 2017, included several provisions related to net metering. Among these, each Investor-Owned Utility must file revised net metering rates with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). According to HB 589, the rates must be nondiscriminatory and established only after an investigation of the costs and benefits of customer-sited generation. Further, the new rates must ensure that net metering customers pay their full fixed cost of service, which may include fixed monthly energy and demand charges. Until the new rates are in place, customers may enter into a

Piedmont EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Summary

Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation's (PEMC) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Loan Program is available to eligible consumers to finance the purchase and installation of energy efficient residential upgrades. Approved consumers may borrow up to $10,000 for seven years at a five percent interest rate. Loans are available for central air conditioning, heat pumps, windows, doors and insulation.  In addition to energy efficient measures and equipment, residents may also use this program to finance the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water heaters. Piedmont EMC also

Pitt County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance

Summary

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners adopted amendments to the county zoning ordinance in March 2010 which classify wind energy systems as an accessory use and establish siting and permitting requirements for their installation. The ordinance applies to small to medium systems designed primarily for on-site use in conjunction with a principal dwelling unit or business. The ordinance does not apply to utility scale systems.

Blade Clearance: Wind turbine blades may not be closer than 15 feet from the ground.

Visual Appearance: Wind turbines must be a non-obtrusive color such as white,

Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems

Summary

In August 2008, North Carolina enacted legislation that exempts 80% of the appraised value of a "solar energy electric system" (also known as a photovoltaic, or PV, system) from property tax. For the purposes of this assessment, the term "solar energy electric system" means "all equipment used directly and exclusively for the conversion of solar energy to electricity." This incentive is effective for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2008.

A Memorandum sent to County Commissioners in February 2011 clarified that residential PV systems that are not used to generate income or in

Solar Rights

Summary

Cities and counties in North Carolina generally may not adopt ordinances prohibiting the installation of "a solar collector that gathers solar radiation as a substitute for traditional energy for water heating, active space heating and cooling, passive heating, or generating electricity for residential property."* However, city and county ordinances may prohibit the installation of solar-energy collectors that are visible from the ground and installed (1) on the facade of a structure that faces areas open to common or public access; (2) on a roof surface that slopes downward toward the same

South River EMC - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

South River EMC offers a variety of rebates encouragings its members to invest in energy efficient appliances, equipment, and home upgrades. Incentives are available for a variety of energy efficient products, which must have been purchased within 90 days of the rebate application's submission.

Another important inclusion in the 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code (NCECC) is a voluntary appendix that defines a High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) for those builders and contractors that are seeking to deliver a home that is 30 percent more energy efficient than homes built to North

South River EMC - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program

Summary

South River Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is providing rebates to encourage their customers to install solar water heating systems. To be eligible for the rebate solar collectors must have OG-100 certification by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. (SRCC), and solar water heating systems must have SRCC OG-300 certification. Systems must also incorporate adequate freeze and over heat protection controls that do not require manual operations on the part of the system owner. System owners will have 90 days to apply for a rebate after their system has been installed. South

Template Solar Energy Development Ordinance

Summary
Note: This template ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own regulations for the development of solar energy systems. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the template ordinance itself has no legal or regulatory authority. Questions about this template ordinance can be directed to one of the individuals listed in the template ordinance, which is linked above.    In December, 2013 the North Carolina Solar Center and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association published a template

Tideland EMC - Renewable Programs

Summary
Tideland EMC offers both a Renewable Interconnections and the NC GreenPower Program.  For the Renewable Interconnections Program, while Tideland EMC does not offer net metering, we do allow members to interconnect small renewable generating projects (up to 50 kW) with our distribution delivery system. The rate paid to member generators per kilowatt hour (kWh) is comparable to the rate we pay our wholesale power suppliers. All renewable generating systems must be registered with the NC Utilities Commission. For the NC GreenPower Program, customers can make a monthly contribution of $4 for

Town of Carrboro - Worthwhile Investments Save Energy (WISE) Homes and Buildings Program

Summary

The Town of Carrboro is providing loans to Carrboro businesses and non-profits with fewer than 50 employees to increase their energy efficiency. The current interest rate is 3% and the maximum loan term is 10 years. Loan applicants must give the town their previous 12 utility bills, and must agree to continue submitting their utility bills for 3 years after the work is complete so the town can measure the performance of the retrofits and the success of their program.

A wide variety of efficiency improvements are eligible for financing through this program. Participants are required to have an

Town of Chapel Hill - Energy Conservation Requirements for Town Buildings

Summary

The Town of Chapel Hill’s energy-conservation ordinance requires all new or expanded buildings constructed by and for the town to achieve a Silver level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. This requirement applies to new buildings or new additions to existing buildings of greater than 5,000 sq ft.

In order to be selected to design a town building, an architectural firm must have at least one LEED-accredited professional on the design team. For new construction and building additions required to achieve LEED

Town of Chapel Hill - Land-Use Management Ordinance

Summary

In 2003, the Town of Chapel Hill adopted a land-use management ordinance that includes prohibitions against neighborhood or homeowners association covenants or other conditions of sale that restrict or prohibit the use, installation or maintenance of solar-collection devices. This ordinance was adopted prior to North Carolina's statewide solar access law. Chapel Hill's ordinance provides stronger protection for solar energy systems than the state law.

TVA - Mid-Sized Renewable Standard Offer Program

Summary

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) now compliments the small generation Green Power Providers Program by providing incentives for mid-sized renewable energy generators between 50kW and 20MW to enter into long term price contracts. The goal for total production from all participants is 100MW, with no more than 50MW from any one renewable technology. The Renewable Standard Offer program also includes Solar Solution Initiative program that offers additional financial incentives for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects. 

TVA bases the standard offer for customer generators off of a seasonal time

Tyrrell County - Wind Energy Facility Ordinance

Summary

Tyrrell County, located in northeastern North Carolina, adopted a wind ordinance in 2009 to regulate the use of wind energy facilities in the unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance is substantially similar to the model wind ordinance drafted by the North Carolina Wind Working Group, and establishes parameters for the permitting process, height restrictions, minimum setbacks, noise and shadow flicker, installation and design, and decommissioning of retired systems.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind energy facilities are classified as "small" if they consist of a single wind

Union Power Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficient Heat Pump Loan Program

Summary

Union Power Cooperative offers low interest loans to help its qualifying residential customers finance new, energy-efficient heat pumps. Interest rates, currently at 9%, will be fixed for the term of the loan. Loans can be up to $7,500 over five years. Customers pay back the loan with payments on monthly electric bills. There is a one time loan filing fee of $42.  Contact Union Power Cooperative for more information regarding this program.

Watauga County - Wind Energy System Ordinance

Summary

In 2006, Watauga County adopted a wind ordinance to regulate the use of wind-energy systems in the county and to describe the conditions by which a permit for installing such a system may be obtained. This policy was adopted in the context of an on-going debate over the legal interpretation of the 1983 Ridge Protection Act.

For the purposes of this ordinance, wind-energy systems are classified as “large” if they consist of one or more turbines with a rated generating capacity of more than 20 kilowatts (kW) and “small” if a project consists of a single turbine rated at less than 20 kW.* A

Wilson Energy Department - Key Account Resources

Summary
The Key Account Resources program is a no-cost technical assistance service that provides technical, business, research, and information assistance quickly and easily. The service includes an online library of information with a database of technical business and engineering documents and resources, as well as a free 'Ask an Expert' hotline.