For the second year in a row, North Carolina homeowners quickly snapped up all of Duke Energy's rebates for installing solar panels.
Duke began offering 2019 solar rebates on Jan. 2. Two days later, the company notified state regulators that this year's funds were used up — at least for homeowners. There's still some money left for businesses in eastern North Carolina and nonprofits statewide.
A spokesman said Duke got about 2,000 applications and will give rebates totaling $10 million this year to about 1,300. It's the second year of a five-year, $62 million program required by state law.
When the program began in July, the 2018 money for homes and businesses ran out in a couple of weeks. This year's rebates include some who were on a waiting list from then. Now, there's a new waiting list for money that becomes available next year.
Homeowners can get up to $6,000, businesses up to $50,000 and nonprofits up to $75,000. Of the three groups, only nonprofits have been slow to take up Duke's offer.
Duke says the rebates are helping to boost installations. The company says it now has about 8,700 rooftop solar customers in North Carolina, up from about 5,900 one year ago.