Duke Energy is asking North Carolina regulators for permission to take solar rebate applications twice a year, instead of once. That's after a surge of applications on Jan. 2 overwhelmed the company's servers and led to confusion over who should get the first-come, first-served rebates.
Duke also said in a filing this week that solar installers complained that the once-a-year deadline and 90-day window for installations make it difficult to sell the rest of the year.
If the utilities commission approves, Duke would take applications in January 2021 for half the year's rebates, and then again in July for the other half.
Duke is in the third year of a planned five-year, $62 million rebate program required by state law. Duke initially got more than 3,000 applications for a planned 1,600 rebates for 2020, though it now expects to offer more rebates based on appeals.
A spokesman says the company has given out about $24 million in solar rebates in a little over two years
Consumer and business rebates are oversubscribed every year, but a separate pool of money for nonprofits, municipalities and churches has not been used up. In the filing, Duke says it plans to step up marketing to those groups.