North Carolina Solar Panels
Pricing & Installation Data

Find out if solar panels are right for your home in North Carolina.

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North Carolina

Solar Panels in North Carolina

North Carolina ranks as the 4th largest state for solar energy production in the United States. The state boasts an impressive array of both large-scale solar farms and smaller residential and commercial installations. The 80 MW Connote II Solar LLC, and the 64 MW Warsaw Solar Facility, stand as testaments to the scalability and efficiency of solar power. While promises of reduced electricity costs, tax incentives, and sustainable living drive an increasing number of residential and commercial buildings to install solar systems.

While solar power and other renewable energy options are booming in popularity, there is much to consider. Whether you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint or your utility bills we’ll walk you through the most important factors to help you make the best energy decision.

Cost of Solar in North Carolina

The average price for a home solar panel system in North Carolina is $15,780 for a 6 kW system or about $2.63 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the solar installation company the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.

Average Cost
6 kW System
Average Cost
10 kW System
Estimated
Tax Credit
(10 kW System)
Average
Cost/Watt
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
North Carolina$15,780$26,300$7,890$2.63
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Most Costly State(Michigan)$22,680$37,800$11,340$3.78
Least Costly State(Arizona)$14,640$24,400$7,320$2.44

Costs by Solar System Size in North Carolina

For many, the optimal solar system size strikes a balance between cost and capacity. The objective is to produce sufficient electricity to meet your home's needs while minimizing expenses.

In other words, achieve the maximum value for your investment.

System SizeSystem CostCost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW$13,150$8,785
6 kW$15,780$10,542
7 kW$18,410$12,299
8 kW$21,040$14,056
10 kW$26,300$17,570

Pros and Cons of Solar in North Carolina

Regrettably, nothing is flawless, and that includes solar. Before committing, it's crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages of installing solar equipment on your property. Weighing these factors will help determine if it's the right choice for you. Everyone perceives and evaluates these aspects differently.

Our aim is to outline the prevalent advantages and disadvantages, allowing you to make an informed decision.

North Carolina Solar Pros

  • Reduce or eliminate electric bills
  • Energy independence from the grid
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Increase home value (4.1% on average)
  • North Carolina ranks 4th in the U.S. for solar
  • Net metering is available is a majority of the state
  • There are many solar buy-back plans available

North Carolina Solar Cons

  • Not viable for all roofs or homes
  • Installation costs
  • Financial liability
  • Fewer savings than other states
  • No statewide solar tax credit

EnergyBot's Take

North Carolina has an ideal climate for solar panels. Plenty of sunlight during peak energy usage seasons. But, electricity costs in North Carolina are comparable to the US average, so a solar system delivering savings more heavily depends on other factors, energy use, location, size, cost, etc.

Most homes will realize a slightly more expensive investment over 25 years versus buying electricity traditionally. However, if you prioritize energy independence and renewable energy, a near-breakeven scenario might be perfect for your situation.

If you are on the fence you can use this tool to get an accurate cost breakdown for your home based on your historical energy usage.

Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels in North Carolina

There are several ways you can purchase and/or finance your solar panel installation in North Carolina. Your goals and financial situation will dictate which option is best for you.

Cash Purchase

The most straightforward option. You pay upfront for the entire cost of the rooftop solar system. No interest, and fewer headaches, but many people are hesitant about spending several tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Solar Loan

The most common method for buying solar systems. Like many other types of large purchases, you can finance your solar system through a bank or solar loan provider.

This sounds great, and many other solar loan salespeople will leverage the low payment to justify the costs. You will likely hear something like "You pay $250 a month on your electric bill, with a solar loan you will pay $200 and have free electricity."

Do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. There are many horror stories of variable loan terms, ballooning interest rates, and harsh missed payment penalties.

Solar Lease

Leasing solar panels generally involves less money out of pocket upfront. But, it's important to note - you do not own your solar energy system. You essentially renting the solar system. A solar provider will install the equipment and charge you a fixed monthly fee.

Most solar lease contracts last for a couple of decades, during which time the provider will keep an eye on the system's hardware and performance. At the end of your lease, you can choose to:

  • Renew your lease agreement
  • Purchase the system
  • End your lease agreement

Solar leases can be complicated. Not all are bad, but in many cases the lease terms in not in favor of the buyer. Before you decide on a solar lease make sure to read your contract thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask an expert.

Power Purchase Agreements

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a solar company will design and install a solar system on your home or business with little or no cost upfront. Instead of paying a monthly fee like a lease, the agreement includes a fixed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

For example, you agree to pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity generated for the next 20 years. The solar company will install and maintain your system and sell the power back to you that you use. They may also collect payment for any additional energy they put back into the grid.

Just like a lease, you do not own the panels. When the contract is up, they will either be removed or your contract may have other terms for you to buy or renew your power purchase agreement.

Power purchase agreements can be complicated. Before you sign make sure you review the contract and if possible have an expert in power purchase agreements review the details.

North Carolina Solar Incentives

In addition to the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, you may be eligible for solar incentives that could significantly reduce the cost of solar panel installation. Some incentives are statewide and others are more local. Your city, utility, or other local company could offer hundreds or thousands of dollars in incentives to install solar systems.

This table shows the available incentives in North Carolina. But, just because you don't see it here doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Check with your local utility for other potential incentives.

  • North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center: Located at NC State University, NCCETC provides services to the businesses and citizens of North Carolina and beyond relating to the development and adoption of clean energy technologies. 
  • North Carolina Environmental Quality (DEQ): The Department of Environmental Quality for North Carolina is a government website that provides resources and programs aimed at protecting the quality of North Carolina’s air, water and land, its coastal resources and marine fisheries, and the public’s health. 
  • Duke Energy North Carolina Solar Rebate: The North Carolina Solar Rebate program provides a rebate of up to $4,000 for the installation of a solar system. The amount of the rebate is based on the size of the system and the customer's income.
  • Duke Energy Solar Bill Credit & NEM: Duke Energy offers a solar bill credit of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 10 years of operation of a solar system. This credit is applied to the customer's monthly electric bill.
  • North Carolina Property Tax Abatement: The North Carolina Property Tax Abatement program allows homeowners to defer property taxes on the value of their solar system for up to 10 years. This can save homeowners thousands of dollars in property taxes.
  • PACE Financing: PACE financing is a type of loan that can be used to finance the installation of a solar system. PACE loans are repaid through property taxes, which makes them available to homeowners who may not qualify for traditional financing.
  • Community Solar: Community solar is a program that allows homeowners to subscribe to a solar system that is located in a community solar farm. This can be a good option for homeowners who do not have the roof space for a solar system or who do not want to deal with the maintenance of a solar system.

Name State Category Type
Renewable Energy Equipment Manufacturer Incentive NC Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption NC Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
NC GreenPower Production Incentive NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Interconnection Standards NC Regulatory Policy Interconnection
Town of Chapel Hill - Energy Conservation Requirements for Town Buildings NC Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Corporate) NC Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Personal) NC Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP) NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
TVA - Green Power Providers NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Town of Chapel Hill - Land-Use Management Ordinances NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Net Metering NC Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Duke Energy Progress - Rate Discount for Energy Star Homes NC Financial Incentive Utility Rate Discount
PSNC Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Dominion North Carolina Power - Energy Saver Home Plus NC Financial Incentive Utility Rate Discount
City of Gastonia Electric Department - Energy Efficient Water Heater Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of New Bern Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Union Power Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficient Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Piedmont EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Lumbee River EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Four County EMC - Comfort Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Brunswick EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency and Solar Water Heating Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Blue Ridge Mountain EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Four County EMC - All Electric Rate Reduction Program NC Financial Incentive Utility Rate Discount
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative - Energy Efficient Water Heater Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Progress Energy Carolinas - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
South River EMC - EC Home Improvement Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy Conservation in Public Facilities NC Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Tideland EMC - Weatherization Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
North Carolina Solar Rights NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard NC Regulatory Policy Renewables Portfolio Standard
Conservation of Energy and Water Use in State Buildings NC Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
City of Asheville - Building Permit Fee Rebates NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Ashe County - Wind Energy System Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Camden County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Currituck County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
City of Asheville - Efficiency Standards for City Buildings NC Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Town of Kill Devil Hills - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
North Carolina Green Business Fund NC Financial Incentive Grant Program
Local Option - Green Building Incentives NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Sales Tax Holiday for Energy-Efficient Appliances NC Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems NC Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Mecklenburg County - Green Permit Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Durham County - High-Performance Building Policy NC Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Progress Energy Carolinas - Home Advantage Builder Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Four-County EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Four-County EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
South River EMC - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Tyrrell County - Wind Energy Facility Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Hyde County - Wind Energy Facility Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Duke Energy Progress - Commercial and Industrial Energy-Efficiency Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Piedmont EMC - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy Carolinas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy Carolinas - Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Lumbee River EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Progress Energy Carolinas - Pilot Solar Water Heating Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Progress Energy Carolinas - SunSense Commercial PV Incentive Program NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Progress Energy Carolinas - SunSense Commercial Solar Water Heating Incentive Program NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
SystemVision Energy Guarantee Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
TVA Partner Utilities - Energy Right Heat Pump Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
TVA Partner Utilities - Energy Right Water Heater Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
TVA Partner Utilities - Energy Right New Homes Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Haywood EMC - Residential Heat Pump and Weatherization Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
City of High Point Electric - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of High Point Electric - Commercial Energy Efficiency Grant Program NC Financial Incentive Grant Program
North Carolina - Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing NC Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Blue Ridge EMC - Residential Solar Water Heating Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
PSNC Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rate Discount Program NC Financial Incentive Utility Rate Discount
Dominion Energy (Gas) - Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Carteret County - Wind Energy Facility Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
South River EMC - Energy Efficient New Homes Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
South River EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Carteret County - Wind Energy System Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Pitt County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
North Carolina - Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Catawba County - Green Construction Permitting Incentive Program NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Piedmont Natural Gas - Residential Equipment Efficiency Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Piedmont Natural Gas - Commercial Equipment Efficiency Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy - Standard Purchase Offer for RECs NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Energy Equipment Manufacturer Tax Credit NC Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Madison County - Wind Energy Systems Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
NC Plus Program for Energy Star Homes NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
TVA - Mid-Sized Renewable Standard Offer Program NC Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Duke Energy Progress - SunSense Residential PV Incentive Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Piedmont EMC - Residential Solar and Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Town of Carrboro - Worthwhile Investments Save Energy (WISE) Homes and Buildings Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Lumbee River EMC - Energy Efficient Homes Program for Builders NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
EnergyUnited - Residential Energy Efficient Heat Pump Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
EnergyUnited - Commercial Energy Efficient Lighting Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Randolph EMC - Commercial and Industrial Efficient Lighting Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Town of Chapel Hill - Worthwhile Investments Save Energy (WISE) Homes and Buildings Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Chatham County - Green Building Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Lumbee River EMC - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Lumbee River EMC - Solar Water Heating Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
TVA - Energy Right Solutions for Business NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of Concord Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Lincoln County - LEED-Certified Building Incentive Program NC Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Jones-Onslow EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of Greensboro - Energy Saver Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
City of Greensboro - Energy Saver Grant Program NC Financial Incentive Grant Program
Wind Energy Permitting Standards NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Duke Energy Progress - Residential New Construction Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Template Solar Energy Development Ordinance NC Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
TVA - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Dominion North Carolina Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Dominion North Carolina Power - Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Programs NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Brunswick EMC - Net Metering NC Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Blue Ridge EMC - Net Metering NC Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Duke Energy - NC Solar Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
TVA - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project NC Financial Incentive Grant Program
Energy United - Residential Heat Pump Rebate NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Randolph EMC - Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative - ChargePoint Electric Vehicle Charger Residential Rebate NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy - EV School Bus Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Randolph EMC - ElecTel Energy Efficiency Loan Program NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
North Carolina Community Solar Rules NC Regulatory Policy Community Solar Rules
Duke Energy - EV Charger Prep Credit Program NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy - PowerPair NC Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Duke Energy - Improve & Save NC Financial Incentive Loan Program
Offshore Wind Energy Goal NC Regulatory Policy Offshore Wind Energy Target
North Carolina - National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Grant Program NC Financial Incentive Grant Program
Tax-Exempt Financing for Green Buildings, Renewable Energy & Brownfield Redevelopment US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Conservation Security Program (CSP) Production Incentive US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Federal Excise Tax Exemption for Gasohol US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) US Financial Incentive Corporate Depreciation
Energy Star Financing and Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA Rural Housing Service Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Small Business Administration Loan Programs US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy-Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding Opportunities US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Appliance Manufacturing Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Federal Appliance Standards US Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Title I Property Improvement Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Previously-Owned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit

North Carolina Solar Companies

There are hundreds of solar companies in North Carolina. From solar installers to solar loan providers, and manufacturers. Each is a piece of the puzzle to help you get outfitted with solar panels.

To make things simple, EnergyBot works directly with 3 of the largest solar companies to give you a comprehensive view of the market.

The solar companies we partner with:

  • Project Solar - A nationwide provider of solar panel systems that has a non-sales-oriented approach to building your system. They build your system from their central office and send a local company to complete the solar panel installation.
  • EnergySage - The largest online solar installation network. They work with thousands of installers to help you find the perfect solar system for your home. With thousands of successful solar installations, they can give you a range of bids and pricing options.
  • Tesla - Brains behind some of the most cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry, Tesla also offers sleek and powerful solar systems and battery systems.

We believe comparing these three names in the solar industry will give you the info you need to decide if solar panels are right for you.

Before You Install Solar Panels

While solar is a trending topic, it doesn't necessarily suit everyone's needs or circumstances. Committing to solar is both significant and costly. While there are undeniable financial and environmental rewards, they can be overshadowed if challenges arise. Beyond a 20-year cost analysis for your residence, consider these additional factors when pondering your choices regarding the installer, system design, and financing:

  • What will be the long-term savings and the break-even point when installing solar panels?
  • How will solar panel installation affect my property's value?
  • What's the projected Return on Investment (ROI) for the system?
  • Are there particular design or visual concerns to consider when installing solar panels?
  • How can I balance the environmental advantages with the installation expenses?
  • What specific terms and conditions does the installer offer?

North Carolina Net Energy Metering (NEM)

On March 23, 2023, the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved new net metering changes that will lower solar savings for Duke Energy customers. These changes are expected to reduce the savings for solar customers as much as 20% and are scheduled to begin October 1, 2023. 

A solar installer or energy engineer can assist you with determining what you expected rate and savings with be for your specific situation. 

For the purposes of this article here are a few main points you should know about this change:

  • In short, if you are considering solar today, submit your NEM application as soon as possible. If it is submitted by October 1, 2023, your higher savings rate will be locked in until September 30, 2027.
  • This change applies to all of Duke Energy service territory.
  • Estimated effects to savings: long-term decrease by $10,000 and payback decrease by 2-3 years.

Why Trust EnergyBot

We have helped thousands of customers find electricity plans for their home or business. And we are pretty darn good at it, with over 1,000 5-Star reviews we know how to help you stay powered up.

Now using the same one-of-kind technology and platform we are helping consumers in North Carolina decide if solar is right for them. You will notice that sometimes our numbers make solar look less attractive. That's not by accident. We believe you should have full transparency during the solar purchasing process.

We aren't here to sell you something. We are here to help you make the best energy decision for your home or business.

North Carolina Solar FAQs

The cost of solar panel installation in North Carolina can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the size and type of the system, the complexity of the installation, your solar installer, and the specific location. However, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. was about $3.13 per watt, before any incentives or tax credits.

A typical residential solar system is usually around 8 kilowatts (8,000 watts), but varies based on energy use and the size of the house. The US average cost for a 6 kW system is $18,771 and the US average cost for a 10 kW system is $31,285, before incentives. North Carolina’s average solar cost is $18,240 for a 6 kW system which is $3.04, slightly less than the nations average.

The number of solar panels you would need depends on a variety of factors such as:

  1. Your home's energy consumption: The first step is to calculate your household's energy use. You can do this by looking at your electricity bills to see how much electricity you use in a year, usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average U.S. home uses around 10,400 kWh per year, but this can vary widely based on the size of your home, the efficiency of your appliances, and your personal habits.
  2. The amount of sunlight your location receives: This can vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place that has many sunny days like Arizona, you might require fewer solar panels compared to someone living in a place with less sunlight like Seattle.
  3. The efficiency of the solar panels: Not all solar panels are created equal. Some panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. On average, residential solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15-20%. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you would likely need to meet your energy needs.
  4. The size of the solar panels: Solar panels also come in different sizes. A common size for residential use is roughly 65 inches by 39 inches. Each panel typically produces around 250 to 400 watts of power, but this can vary.

To give you a rough estimate, let's say you live in a location that receives about 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your solar panels have an efficiency of 20%, and each panel has a power rating of 300 watts. If your home uses about 10,400 kWh per year, you would divide this by 365 to get your daily energy use (about 28.5 kWh). You would then divide this by the hours of peak sunlight (5 hours), to get your required power output per hour (about 5.7 kW). If each solar panel produces 300 watts (or 0.3 kW), you would divide 5.7 kW by 0.3 to get the number of solar panels you need, which would be about 19 panels.

  • Lower Electricity Bills:
    Once your solar panels are installed, you can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid, which can lower your monthly bills.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable, so using it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.
  • Increased Home Value:
    Installing solar panels can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Long-Term Savings:
    While the upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be high, they can pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills and other savings.
  • Location:
    Homes in areas with lots of sunlight are generally better candidates for solar panels. If your home is shaded or doesn't receive much sunlight, it may not be the best choice.
  • Roof Orientation:
    Ideally, your roof should be facing south to get the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • Roof Condition:
    Your roof should be in good condition and able to support the weight of the solar panels. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it's best to take care of that before your solar installation.

The installation process for solar panels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Your installer should be able to give you an estimated timeline based on your specific project.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly and to clean off any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

Some skilled DIYers may be able to save some solar installation costs by installing solar equipment themselves. But, any solar installation will require a foundational knowledge of wiring and electricity. There's is a lot that can go wrong, posing a potentially deadly hazard.

Before you try to DIY your system we would recommend getting a quote from a solar installer. You may find that the labor costs of your install is relatively small compared to the cost of the solar equipment itself.

Also, many states require certain permits in order to install the panels to ensure safety. Including a construction permit and an electrical permit. Check out the permit websites for your city before taking on this endeavor.

There are two main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. There are pros and cons to both. Either type can produce enough solar power for your home. We recommend getting a recommendation from a solar installer for your home. Depending on your budget, location, and other factors they can recommend the most efficient solar panels for your home. 

Charlotte

City of Charlotte Permit Site

Raleigh

Solar Permit Process Residential

Solar Permit Process Commercial

Greensboro

Solar Panel Installation Info

Permit Portal

Durham

Durham Renewable Energy Info

Permit Portal

Winston-Salem

Solar Installation Info