Duke Energy PowerPair Program: A Comprehensive Guide

Industry insights · May 16, 2024

More utility companies are adding incentives to promote the adoption of home energy management systems combining solar panels and battery storage. This will promote increased use of solar energy and improve energy resilience.

Duke Energy recently announced the Duke Energy PowerPair Program to incentivize customer solar adoption in North Carolina.

Franklin Home Power

What is the Duke Energy PowerPair Program?

The Duke Energy PowerPair Program offers initiatives to reduce the solar and battery adoption costs for customers.

It promotes the adoption of solar energy by connecting residential solar panel installations with battery storage systems. The program offers qualified customers a one-time incentive of up to $9,000, depending on the specific solar arrays and battery storage capacity.

Participating in the program, customers will generate their own electricity through solar panels and store excess energy in batteries for later use, improving solar panel efficiency while increasing energy independence and resilience.

By doing so, the program is exploring new ways to relieve the grid from high energy demand pressure with a low-carbon method.

Who is Eligible for the Duke Energy PowerPair Program?

The Program is available to customers in Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress service areas in North Carolina (DEC or DEP) who own a home with installed solar production and battery storage. There are no solar-only incentives for residential customers through PowerPair.

Customers with an existing solar panel system operated for longer than 90 days before the program’s application time will not be eligible for the program. Homeowners who recently installed a qualifying solar and battery system should apply within 90 days of that installation. Check Duke Energy, here to see if your system qualifies.

The program uses a random selection process (RSP) for equity, with applications accepted from May 10 to June 7. Incentive reservation or waitlist placement will be communicated by June 20, and enrollment will resume on a first-come, first-served basis starting June 21.

Franklin batteries

Why Should You Consider Joining the Duke Energy PowerPair Program?

The Program encourages a transition to a cleaner energy future which will benefit both customers and the grid. The program's incentives will decrease customer costs for a solar transition. Now is the best time for you to adopt a solar and battery system for higher solar ROI and energy resilience.

Reduction of Energy Costs

Customers who install qualifying solar and battery systems will receive up to $9,000 as a one-time incentive to help lower installation costs. The incentive amount is based on different solar and battery equipment.

Environmental Benefits

By adopting energy management with battery storage, customers can utilize more clean and free solar energy. Homeowners will decrease the use of traditional fossil fuel energy from the grid and benefit the environment as a whole.

How Does the Duke Energy PowerPair Program Work?

You can apply for this program before or after you install a qualifying system. If your transition to solar is solely for participating in this program, it is recommended that you do the installation after you receive a reservation from the program. Once approved, you have 270 days to install. If you have already installed the equipment and decide to participate in the program, the application should be within 90 days of your system becoming operational.

For those who haven’t installed anything, once you decide to enroll in this program, you need to install a new solar and battery system through Duke Energy's Trade Ally, which is Duke Energy's installer network. They will recommend the right system that fits your home's energy needs.

You will have two enrollment options. You can enroll in the PowerPair pilot on a residential solar choice rider (RSC) or through a net metering bridge rider (NMB). That enrollment makes you eligible to receive a one-time incentive of up to $9,000.

FranklinWH batteries

Steps to Participate in the Duke Energy PowerPair Program

Select a Trade Ally: Choose a Duke Energy Trade Ally who can guide you through the process. They’ll help you navigate the program process, design a system to meet your needs and install the system.

Install Solar Panels: Work with your chosen Trade Ally to install solar panels on your property.

Battery Installation: Install a home energy management system with battery storage alongside your solar panels. The battery stores excess solar energy for use during nighttime or cloudy days.

Grid Connection: Your home remains connected to the grid. If your solar panels produce more energy than you need, it flows back to the grid. Conversely, if you need more power, you can draw from the grid.

Net Metering: Duke Energy credits you for any excess energy you feed into the grid. This offsets your electricity bill.

Backup Power: During power outages, the energy management system provides backup electricity, through the solar panels and battery storage, ensuring uninterrupted service.

Get Started with FranklinWH Home Batteries

FranklinWH home energy management and storage system is available for the Duke Energy PowerPair Program.

As a leading home energy solution, the FranklinWH energy system integrates solar, grid, battery, and generator to manage multiple energy sources so that your solar ROI is maximized and your home is protected with uninterrupted power.

The FranklinWH energy system contains two primary components: aGate and aPower.

The aGate provides intelligent energy management for different power sources and controls the system. The aPower is a robust 13.6 kWh battery using extremely safe LFP battery chemistry and can scale up to 15 units per aGate.

Want to learn more about FranklinWH? Book a free consultation with our energy experts!

FranklinWH energy management

FAQs about the Duke Energy PowerPair Program

How does participation in the Duke Energy PowerPair Program impact my electricity bill?

Energy Savings: By generating your own solar energy, you’ll reduce your reliance on grid power. During sunny days, excess energy from your solar panels can be stored in the battery system for use at night or other times when the solar system isn’t producing sufficient electricity. This means you’ll draw less electricity from the grid, leading to additional savings.

Net Metering: Duke Energy credits you for any surplus energy you feed back into the grid. This credit offsets your electricity bill. You’re compensated for the excess energy you contribute.

Backup Power Costs & Savings: While the battery system provides backup power during outages, it’s essential to consider the cost of the battery itself. The upfront investment may impact your overall expenses. In addition, the potential loss of damaged electronics, perishable goods, and other property due to an outage should also be considered, as battery backup can alleviate the risk.

Incentives and Rebates: The program offers incentives (up to $9,000) to help lower installation costs. These incentives can positively affect your financial outlay.

Can I join the PowerPair Program if I already have solar panels installed?

Yes, you can. If it is installed within 90 days of your application to the program, you are eligible to apply for an incentive.

What happens with battery storage during a power outage?

During a power outage, your battery storage system serves as a backup. When the grid goes down, the battery system immediately disconnects from the grid to prevent electrical backfeed. This ensures safety for utility workers and prevents damage to the grid.

After that, the battery provides electricity to essential home loads. These might include lights, refrigerators, and other critical appliances. The duration of backup power depends on your battery’s capacity and the energy demand.

Normally, the system automatically switches to battery power within milliseconds of detecting an outage. You won’t experience any interruption during this transition.

Keep in mind that the battery’s capacity determines how long it can sustain your essential loads. Regular maintenance and monitoring are essential to ensure optimal performance.

Are there any maintenance requirements for participating in the PowerPair Program?

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your Duke Energy PowerPair Program components, consider the following maintenance requirements.

Solar Panels

  • Cleaning: Regularly clean the solar panels to remove dust, dirt, and debris. This helps maintain efficiency.
  • Inspections: Periodically inspect for any damage or wear. Address issues promptly.

Battery System

  • Software Updates: Keep the battery system’s software up to date. Manufacturers often release updates for improved performance and safety.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain the battery within its recommended temperature range (usually between 32°F and 104°F, 0°C and 40°C).
  • Visual Inspections: Check for physical damage or signs of corrosion.

Grid Connection

  • Monitoring: Regularly monitor your grid connection and net metering. Ensure proper functioning.

Backup Power Testing

  • Testing: Periodically test the backup power functionality to verify it works during outages.

Remember that specific maintenance requirements may vary based on the equipment you choose. Consult with your Duke Energy Trade Ally or the manufacturer for detailed guidelines.

How long does the enrollment process take, and when can I start seeing benefits?

The enrollment process for the Duke Energy PowerPair Program typically involves several steps, and the timeline can vary.

  • Application and Selection: The first step is applying to the program. The selection process occurs during specific windows (such as May 10 to June 7). If chosen, you’ll receive confirmation.
  • Trade Ally Consultation: Connect with a Duke Energy Trade Ally. They’ll assess your property, discuss system requirements, and guide you through the installation process.
  • Installation: The time it takes to install solar panels and battery storage depends on your property and system size. It could range from a few weeks to a couple of months.
  • Grid Connection and Testing: Once installed, your system will be connected to the grid. Testing ensures everything functions correctly.

Get FranklinWH