North Carolina Solar Incentives and Tax Credits (2024)

By Alex Hawkins Updated February 6, 2024

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Going solar offers many benefits, but it requires a hefty initial investment. Solar incentives, tax credits, and rebates help to lower this initial cost so you can start reaping in savings sooner. We’ve researched the best solar installation companies across the country and learned about common industry practices and cost-reducing tips. Read our guide to learn about key solar incentives in North Carolina.

 


 

Overview of North Carolina Solar Incentives

Check out the table below for a quick glance at North Carlina’s solar incentives.

IncentiveIncentive typeSummaryOccurrence

Duke Energy solar rebate program

State

Offers a 40-cent-per-watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW)

One-time

Federal solar tax credit

Federal

Provides a federal tax credit for up to 30% of installation costs

One-time

Local city and utility company rebates

Local

Additional rebates and incentives are available at the city and utility levels

Varies

Net-metering

Local

Allows you to earn energy credits in exchange for excess energy

Ongoing

Piedmont Electric Member Corporation renewable and solar energy loan program

State

Provides solar loans of up to $10,000 with seven-year terms at a 5% interest rate for qualifying customers

Ongoing

State Solar Property Tax Exemption

State

Eliminates property tax for solar system installations

One-time

 


 

North Carolina Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates

There is a range of North Carolina solar rebates and tax credits. We explain some of the state’s key incentives below.

Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program

Duke Energy offers rebates to customers who install a home solar power system. The program offers homeowners a 40-cent-per-watt rebate for systems up to 10 kW. For example, an average 6-kW system would receive a rebate of $2,400. If you own a business or commercial property, the program provides rebates up to 30 cents per watt with a maximum of $30,000. It offers nonprofit customers up to 75 cents per watt or a maximum of $75,000.

Additional resources:

North Carolina Net-Metering

Net-metering is a billing arrangement that credits solar panel owners for the excess energy they produce. Homeowners who get their electricity through solar panels or other renewable methods can sell excess power back to the utility company. When the solar panel system generates more energy than a homeowner uses in a month, they receive credits, which they then use to offset energy costs on future bills.

Dominion Energy is a major energy provider offering customers a quality net-metering program.

Duke Energy provides its customers a true 1:1 credit for solar energy, which is an industry rarity.

Piedmont Electric Corporation Renewable and Solar Energy Loan Program

Piedmont Electric Corporation (PEMC) members are eligible for a renewable energy loan to finance the purchase of a solar panel system. This loan program extends to members upgrading their homes to improve energy efficiency and electric systems in general. The loan program covers the following home improvement projects: 

Based on your project and credit score, you can qualify for a loan of up to $10,000 with a seven-year term at a 5% interest rate. Loan terms vary from customer to customer, so we suggest you contact PEMC for more information.

Additional resources:

State Solar Property Tax Exemption

Our research shows that solar panels increase property value by roughly $15,000. This increase is great for your home’s value, but it usually results in higher property taxes. North Carolina legislation has created laws for all homeowners to be exempt from increased property taxes caused by solar energy system upgrades.

Additional resources:

 


 

Federal Tax Credit

Every North Carolina resident who owns their system qualifies for the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). This is a tax credit residential customers can claim on their owed federal income taxes the year of installation. The credit is equal to or up to 30% of the total solar energy system installation costs. You must own the system to use this incentive; if you are leasing you do not qualify.

 


 

North Carolina Solar Cost

The national average cost of solar panels is around $20,650 for a typical 6-kW system.* This price is before applying any solar incentives. The average price of a 6-kW system in North Carolina is around $18,240.** Based on that price, you’ll save $5,472 with the federal solar tax credit, lowering the system cost to $12,768.

We recommend researching all available credits to make your up-front costs as low as possible. Solar experts we’ve spoken to recommend discussing available incentives with your solar company. Most North Carolina solar installers know about local incentives and will assist with the applications.

*Cost info is based on 2024 data from EnergySage, Consumer Affairs, Home Advisor, and Angi.

**Data from EnergySage.

 


 

Is Going Solar in North Carolina Worth the Investment?

North Carolina offers plenty of incentives and benefits that make going solar worth it, even though the up-front cost is higher than the national average. The state’s largest utilities offer full retail net-metering, which leads to huge energy bill savings. The 30% clean energy federal tax credit helps substantially reduce the cost of installing solar panels.

 


 

Our Recommendation

North Carolina offers many incentives to make going solar a wise financial investment. It also helps your home become a force for renewable energy and eco-friendliness. This guide focuses on the most significant incentive programs, but smaller city- or municipality-specific incentives may be worth exploring. We recommend checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) for more information.

Read our guide on the best solar companies in North Carolina to find a local installer that matches your needs and helps you obtain all available incentives. We recommend Momentum Solar if you’re looking for a company to handle all aspects of your solar installation. Choose SunPower if you want to build a top-performing system with some of the highest-efficiency solar panels on the market.

Homeowners Save $20,000 to $97,000 with Solar Panels on Average Over Typical System Life Span
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North Carolina Solar Incentives FAQ

Do you save money going solar?

Yes, solar panels generate power and help reduce your monthly electricity bill. The higher your monthly energy bill, the more youu0026#8217;ll save from going solar.

What happens after I pay off my solar panels?

Youu0026#8217;ll enjoy solar energy without additional cost after fully repaying your loan or purchasing the system outright. You’ll still have to pay a monthly utility bill, but it will be lower.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Solar panels can work in low light conditions, such as cloudy days, but they’ll generate less power. However, that doesnu0026#8217;t mean you’ll eventually be without power. Your system will still pull from the power grid, or you can purchase a solar battery to provide energy during low sunlight hours and power outages.

 


 

How We Chose the Top Solar Companies

We researched and analyzed dozens of solar panels and solar installation companies. We then formulated a rating system based on each solar installer or manufacturer’s services and products. We weighed several significant factors, including the quality and type of solar panels offered, the customer support network, warranty lengths and limitations, and additional benefits such as mobile apps for monitoring and customer service.

Speaking directly to representatives, we determined how each solar company personalizes its solar panel installation for each home. We also analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure their product and performance guarantees match or exceed industry standards.

We evaluated each provider based on their rating and history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches.

Read more: Our Methodology