Duke Energy Progress Partners with RETI for Community Solar
Duke Energy Progress (DEP) worked with the nonprofit, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI), to increase access to renewable energy programs for lower-income residents. This program provides an example of how utilities can use equity considerations to inform the deployment of renewable energy programs and resources. RETI works to eliminate high energy costs and make renewable energy solutions more accessible through educational programs, community outreach, research, advocacy, and partnerships. RETI promotes income-based applications and brings awareness to this energy saving program through engaging with communities at local community events and churches. DEP and RETI also launched the Shared Solar program for its residential and non-residential customers to be able to share in the economic benefits from a single solar facility. The cost savings from this community solar program are allocated to low-income customers in the company’s territory. With climate change subjecting southeastern states to extreme heat, elevated droughts, wildfires, flooding, and major storms, nonprofit organizations like RETI have been motivated to find sustainable ways to reduce emissions, and lower energy costs for low-income families in Charlotte, North Carolina, and surrounding areas.
DEP is a subsidiary of Duke Energy, an energy holding company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and serving customers across six states including North & South Carolina. With the use of marketing channels and their partnership RETI, DEP is working to reach moderate and low-income customers by utilizing their community connections. All qualified DEP residential and nonresidential customers, including those who hold tax-exempt status, those who live in multifamily housing or rent homes, and those who may not otherwise have access to solar energy have access to the Shared Solar Program. DEP’s 5 MW community solar program involves 1 MW of shared solar, of which 400 kW are allocated for low-income customers in the company’s South Carolina territory.
In addition to the customer’s regular energy bill costs and initial fees to join the program, participants in the program will pay a monthly subscription fee of $6.25 a kilowatt. DEP has also committed to waiving the application cost and initial fees, a $120 value, for qualified low-income customers. RETI has helped DEP roll out its community shared solar project in South Carolina by helping qualify low-income participants and get program fees waived. Customers will receive a monthly bill credit for the value of the energy produced by their subscription to the program.
- Duke Energy Progress
- Renewable Energy Transition Initiative
- Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit > Resilient Energy & Utility Industry Measures > Enhancing Access to Solar Energy
- Case study
- Education/training materials
- Funding program