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North Carolina Net Metering Policy: Understanding Solar Incentives and Changes

As the world shifts toward cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, North Carolina has been making strides in promoting solar energy adoption. One significant aspect of this transition is the net metering policy, which allows solar panel owners to contribute excess energy back to the grid and receive credits on their utility bills. 

In this article, we’ll delve into what net metering is, its importance, recent changes in North Carolina’s net metering policy, and how residents can take advantage of these changes to embrace solar energy and save on their electricity bills.

What is net metering?

Conceptual business illustration with the words net metering

Net metering is a solar energy incentive that enables homeowners with solar panels to offset their energy costs by generating surplus electricity and sending it back to the grid. This surplus energy is then credited to their utility bills, effectively “spinning” the meter backward. This mechanism allows homeowners to benefit from reduced electricity bills and even earn credits for excess energy produced.

How does net metering work?

Net metering system for renewable electricity generation outline diagram. Labeled educational technical scheme with solar panels, AD AC converter, home energy usage and power grid vector illustration.

Net metering works through a bidirectional meter that tracks both the energy consumed from the grid and the excess energy fed back into it. When your solar panels produce more energy than you use, the surplus is sent back to the grid, and you receive credits for that energy. These credits can be used to offset energy consumption during times when your solar panels are not generating enough electricity.

Why is solar net metering important?

Solar net metering encourages the adoption of renewable energy sources by making solar power financially viable for homeowners. Solar net metering benefits include potential cost savings, the opportunity to offset energy expenses, and the ability to earn credits for surplus energy contributed to the grid.

Why is solar net metering changing in North Carolina?

In response to evolving energy dynamics and legislative mandates, North Carolina’s net metering policy is undergoing changes. The new regulations aim to ensure that net metering customers cover their share of fixed service costs while still benefiting from solar incentives in North Carolina.

What’s changing with net metering in North Carolina in 2023?

The year 2023 brings significant changes to North Carolina’s net metering landscape. These changes affect both existing solar customers and those planning to adopt solar energy:

Changes for Existing Solar Customers

For residential customers with existing net metered systems, the transition to new net metering riders will be automatic by December 31, 2026. This transition ensures continued benefits while aligning with the updated policy.

Changes for Homes Going Solar by September 30, 2023

Homeowners interested in enrolling under the current policy have until September 30, 2023, to submit a comprehensive interconnection application. Their eligibility will hinge on Duke Energy’s receipt date of the application. Participants in this category can continue under Rider NM until December 31, 2026, following which they will be seamlessly shifted to Rider NMB.

They can benefit from North Carolina’s solar incentives and current net metering rates during a three-year transition period. This offers an opportunity to lock in favorable rates and maximize savings.

Changes for Homes Going Solar after October 01, 2023

For those adopting solar after the aforementioned date, revised net metering riders will apply. These riders introduce new charges, such as minimum monthly bills, storm recovery charges, and grid access fees for larger systems.

How Net Metering Changes Impact the Future of Solar in North Carolina

Residential Solar Panels Installed on a Home Roof

The changes to net metering have several implications for the future of solar energy in North Carolina:

Higher Monthly Bills

The introduction of new charges may lead to higher monthly bills for some customers, impacting the economic feasibility of solar installations.

Decreased Savings

Changes in net metering could potentially reduce the savings that homeowners previously enjoyed from solar energy production.

Increased Payback Period

Longer payback periods for solar investments may result from the revised net metering policies.

Different Electricity Rates

The switch to Time-Of-Use with Critical Peak Pricing rate schedules may lead to changes in electricity consumption patterns.

How to Lock in Current Net Metering Rates

Interested people can still switch to solar under the present policy until September 30, 2023. To take advantage of the current net metering rates and navigate the changes effectively, follow these steps:

1. Decide if You Should Go Solar and Get Quotes

Assess your energy needs, evaluate the benefits of solar, and gather quotes from reputable solar installers.

2. Choose an Installer and Sign Your Contract

Select a reliable installer, such as Construct Sun, that meets your requirements and sign a contract for the installation.

3. Schedule a Site Visit

Arrange for a site visit with the chosen installer to assess your property’s suitability for solar panels.

4. Submit Your Interconnection Application

Complete and submit your interconnection application by the specified deadline to lock in the current net metering rates.

5. Install Your Solar Energy System

Once approved, have your solar energy system installed by professionals.

How Construct Sun Can Help

Construct Sun, a trusted name in residential solar panel installation, offers tailored solutions to help homeowners in Raleigh, North Carolina (North Carolina residential solar program) take advantage of the current net metering policies. Their expertise and commitment ensure a seamless transition to solar energy. 

By going solar with Construct Sun before the September 30, 2023 deadline, residents can secure favorable net metering rates until the end of 2026 and enjoy the benefits of renewable energy. 

Maximize Savings By Switching to Solar Now

As North Carolina’s net metering policy undergoes changes in 2023, homeowners have a unique opportunity to embrace solar energy and benefit from reduced energy costs. The new net metering rules take effect on October 01, 2023, and applying before that date allows homeowners to make the most of the current net metering rates during the transition period.
By understanding the implications of these changes, considering the timeline, and partnering with reputable solar installers like Construct Sun, residents can harness the power of the sun to create a more sustainable and economically advantageous future. Get started today!

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Construct Sun is a team of leaders and experts from different industries who share one goal: to lead the world by advocating a more sustainable energy source by providing solar energy solutions and, most importantly, top-of-the-line solar education.

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