Just two weeks after Duke Energy began taking applications for new solar energy rebates, the program has run out of money for homeowners and businesses for this year.
More than 1,500 customers applied for rebates after an online application became available July 9. Duke accepted about $9 million worth of projects from homeowners and businesses — all the money it set aside for 2018, said spokesman Randy Wheeless.
"So we're tapping out of the funds available for this year. The good news is that the program continues for another four years. So there will be a lot of sustainable solar growth in North Carolina," Wheeless said.
Homeowners can get rebates of up to $6,000, and businesses up to $50,000.
Anyone who missed out this year goes on a waiting list. Duke is asking state regulators for permission to let those people reapply next year, after Jan. 1, 2019, Wheeless said.
"As we've seen in past rebates, a lot of times people apply for the rebates, but don't follow through with the project. And then we'll just take people off the waiting list," Wheeless said.
While home and business rebates are gone, Wheeless said money is still available this year in another category — nonprofits, which qualify for rebates of up to $75,000.
Duke's rebate program is required by a 2017 state law. The company allocated $62 million over five years under an agreement with regulators.
Even if you can't get a rebate now, there's still a federal tax credit for new solar installations.