Phone: 704-347-8942

Toll Free: 800-554-4373

Charlotte Regional Partnership
NASCAR Plaza
550 South Caldwell Street, Suite 760
Charlotte, NC 28202

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Incentive Programs
| Tax Credit Programs | Sales Tax Exemptions | State Grant and Loan ProgramsNet Metering Policies | Interconnection | Local Initiatives

Targeted Legislation

  • North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) requires utilities in the state to generate 12.5 percent of electricity they sell using renewable energy or energy efficiency measures by 2021
  • Creates first Renewable Energy Certificates market in the southeastern U.S.
  • North Carolina is the 25th state – and the first state in the South – to enact such mandatory energy standards
  • North Carolina is the sixth state to mandate both renewable energy AND energy-efficiency
  • One of few states to include solar thermal hot water and combined heat-and-power systems
  • Compliance schedule for investor-owned utilities is as follows:
  • 2010 – 0.02 percent from solar
  • 2012-14 – 3 percent each year (including 0.07 percent from solar)
  • 2015 – 6 percent (including 0.14 percent from solar)
  • 2018 – 10 percent (including 0.20 percent from solar)
  • 2021 – 12.5 percent (including 0.20 percent from solar)

Incentive Programs

  • Green Building Incentives
  • North Carolina law allows all counties and cities to provide reductions or partial rebates for building permit fees. To qualify for a fee reduction, buildings must meet guidelines established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design* (LEED) program, the Green Globes program, or another nationally recognized certification program.
  • Alternative Energy Generation Programs
  • NC GreenPower, a statewide green power program designed to encourage the use of renewable energy in North Carolina, offers production payments for grid-tied electricity generated by solar, wind, small hydro (10 megawatts or less) and biomass resources.  Incentives, which include payments from utility power-purchase agreements, are made on a per-kWh basis and vary by technology.  Payments contingent on program success.
  • In South Carolina, the Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE), a green-power program designed to encourage the use of renewable energy in South Carolina, currently offers premium payments for electricity generated by customer-owned, grid-tied solar and wind-energy systems.  PaCE premium payments contingent on sufficient funding and vary depending on technology.

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Tax Credit Programs

  • North Carolina offers a corporate tax credit equal to 35 percent of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed, purchased or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year. The credit is subject to various ceilings depending on sector and the type of renewable-energy system. Expenditures eligible for the tax credit include the cost of the equipment and associated design; construction costs; and installation costs less any discounts, rebates, advertising, installation-assistance credits, name-referral allowances or other similar reductions.
  • In South Carolina, taxpayers may claim a credit of 25 percent of the costs of purchasing and installing a solar-energy system for heating water, space heating, air cooling or generating electricity in a building owned by the taxpayer. The maximum credit in any year is $3,500 for each facility or 50 percent of the taxpayer's tax liability for that taxable year, whichever is less.  

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Property Tax Exemptions

  • In North Carolina, applicable sectors include residential, nonprofit, schools, local government, state government and institutional.  North Carolina enacted legislation establishing a "sales tax holiday" for certain Energy Star-certified products. Energy Star appliances sold between 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday of November and 11:59 p.m. on the following Sunday qualifies for the sales tax exemption.  
  • South Carolina offers a month-long sales tax exemption on energy efficient products of $2,500 or less per product, purchased for non-commercial home or personal use. This exemption -- a 100 percent exemption from the state sales tax -- applies to sales occurring during the month of October and every subsequent October until 2019.
  • South Carolina caps sales taxes for manufactured homes at $300 if they meet or exceed energy efficiency standards specified by state law.

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Sales Tax Exemptions

  • In North Carolina, applicable sectors include residential, nonprofit, schools, local government, state government and institutional.  North Carolina enacted legislation establishing a "sales tax holiday" for certain Energy Star-certified products. Energy Star appliances sold between 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday of November and 11:59 p.m. on the following Sunday qualifies for the sales tax exemption.  
  • South Carolina offers a month-long sales tax exemption on energy efficient products of $2,500 or less per product, purchased for non-commercial home or personal use. This exemption -- a 100 percent exemption from the state sales tax -- applies to sales occurring during the month of October and every subsequent October until 2019.
  • South Carolina caps sales taxes for manufactured homes at $300 if they meet or exceed energy efficiency standards specified by state law.

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State Grant and Loan Programs

  • North Carolina's Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP) is available to businesses, local governments, public schools, community colleges, and nonprofit organizations for projects that include energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Loans with an interest rate of 1 percent are available for certain renewable-energy and energy-recycling projects. Eligible renewable-energy projects generally include solar, wind, small hydropower (less than 20 megawatts) and biomass.  There is a maximum 10-year term and $500,000 cap.
  • North Carolina’s Green Business Fund is a $5 million program to encourage growth of businesses developing green technology. Grants of up to $100,000 are available for the development of commercial innovations and applications in the biofuels industry, sustainable building practices and private sector investment in renewable energy technologies.
  • The South Carolina Energy Office offers the ConserFund Loan Program to fund energy efficiency improvements in state agencies, local governments, public colleges and universities, school districts and non-profit organizations.  Organizations may finance one or multiple projects, covering up to 100 percent of eligible project costs, from $25,000 to $500,000 per fiscal year.
  • The South Carolina State Energy Office began the Residential Solar Initiative to demonstrate and encourage the building of homes with solar hot water heating systems. Home builders can receive a rebate of $1,000 for every home built with a solar hot water heating system.  A maximum of $20,000 in total rebates has been allocated for this initiative.

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Net Metering Policies

  • North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) adopted an order requiring the state's three investor-owned utilities -- Progress Energy, Duke Energy and Dominion North Carolina Power -- to make net metering available to customers that own and operate systems that generate electricity using photovoltaics (solar-electric energy), wind or biomass resources.  Systems under 20kW for residential and under 100kW for non-residential are eligible. 
  • South Carolina Public Service Commission’s directive is similar to North Carolina however the office does not provide guidance on program parameters, therefore the directive itself does not constitute a net metering standard or policy. Same limits on system size as North Carolina.

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Interconnection

  • N.C. Utilities Commission (NCUC) adopted comprehensive interconnection standards for distributed generation in June 2008.  No limit on system size or overall enrollment.  No additional insurance requirements.  Applicable sectors include commercial, industrial, residential, nonprofit, schools, local government, state government, federal government, agricultural and institutional. 
  • South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted a simplified interconnection standard for small distributed generation (DG) in December 2006. The standard addresses renewable-energy systems and other forms of DG up to 20 kilowatts (kW) in capacity for residential systems, and up to 100 kW in capacity for non-residential systems.  There is a $100 application fee for residential systems and a $250 application fee for non-residential systems. Utilities may not require residential customers to carry liability insurance beyond the amount required by a standard homeowner's policy ($100,000 minimum coverage), but non-residential generators are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance ($300,000 minimum coverage).

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Local Initiatives

  • Duke Energy’s miniature “smart grid” to start test run in Charlotte, N.C. Program will establish smart grid involving 200 customers, combining 50 kilowatts of solar capacity, smart meters and storage batteries to determine how to use new technology to save energy and improve service reliability. Program implementation started fall 2009.
  • Catawba County’s EcoComplex is a Renewable Energy Industrial Park combining energy production, business and waste management systems. Capturing the gases generated from the natural process of bacterial decomposition, the county sells the electricity to Duke Energy with annual sales averaging $550,000.  
  • Catawba County’s Building Services Division has implemented the Green Building Incentives fee structure for home and commercial buildings. This provides the New Structure Owner/Builder a limited 25 percent reimbursement (not to exceed $500) on their permit(s) ensuing a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) issuance and with approved Green Building certification.  It also provides Existing Structure Owner a 50 percent permit(s) reimbursement with an approved Green Building certification.  The Green Building Incentives fee structure will also provide the New Structure Builder/Owner a 50 percent reimbursement of all fees related to plan review or express plan review for commercial buildings ensuing an approved Green Building certification by a third party inspection agency.
  • Mecklenburg County, N.C. offers an incentive for new homes and businesses to be constructed in a sustainable manner. For new projects completed after January 1, 2008, which are certified under LEED* or Green Globes**, the county will issue a rebate of up to 25 percent (up to $100,000) for the cost of a permit. LEED is a certification program for sustainably designed homes and commercial buildings, and Green Globes certifies commercial buildings.

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