• Duke Energy customers get rebate incentive for solar panel installation

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hundreds of local families are getting ready to install solar panels on their homes, taking advantage of new incentive programs designed to increase the use of solar energy across North Carolina.

    [LINK: Demand strong for Duke Energy's North Carolina solar rebates]

    Recent changes in state law have opened a door to put more solar panels on homes.

    Marco and Mary Ceccarelli said they installed solar panels on their home and now they save more than $150 per month.

    [LINK: Duke Energy solar panel rebate incentive]

    They're one of more than 1,500 customers who applied for Duke Energy's solar rebate program when it launched this summer.

    It makes expensive solar systems affordable to homeowners and small businesses by offering rebates up to $6,000.

    [RELATED: Action 9: Some customers regret spending on solar panels]

    The energy the customers don’t use is transferred back to Duke Energy for future credit.

    Customers are also taking advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit on installation.

    Michael Mazzola, director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at UNC Charlotte, said that new legislation is designed to increase solar use in the state and make it more affordable for homeowners.

    “Until last summer when the governor signed into law the much-debated House Bill 589, North Carolina didn’t have a strong incentive program for rooftop solar,” Mazzola said. “Now it does.”

    Homeowners who installed solar systems early this year, but weren't able to participate in Duke's rebate program, may have another chance.

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