Net Metering (North Carolina)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place North Carolina

Name Net Metering
Incentive Type Net Metering
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Institutional, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government, Tribal Government
Eligible Technologies Anaerobic Digestion, Biomass, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Landfill Gas, Photovoltaics, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Wind
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Aggregate Capacity Limit No limit specified
Applicable Utilities Investor-owned utilities

Meter Aggregation Not addressed
Net Excess Generation Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; granted to utility at beginning of summer billing season

REC Ownership Utility owns RECs (unless customer chooses to net meter under an unfavorable demand tariff)

System Capacity Limit 1 MW

Date added to DSIRE 2005-10-26
Last DSIRE Review 2013-03-05

References DSIRE[1]


The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) requires the state’s three investor-owned utilities -- Duke Energy, Progress Energy and Dominion North Carolina Power -- to make net metering available to customers that own and operate systems that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, ocean or wave energy, biomass resources, combined heat and power (CHP) which uses waste heat derived from eligible renewable resources, or hydrogen derived from eligible renewable resources.* The individual system capacity limit is one megawatt (MW). There is no aggregate capacity limit on net-metered systems.

Customers may net meter under any available rate schedule. However, customers that choose to take service under any tariff other than a time-of-use (TOU) demand tariff must surrender to the utility all renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the customer’s generation – with no compensation for the customer.

For residential systems up to 20 kilowatts (kW) and non-residential systems up to 100 kW in capacity, utilities may not charge any standby charges or any additional metering charges other than those charged to customers who do not net meter under the applicable rate schedule. For larger systems, utilities are allowed to impose standby charges consistent with approved standby rates applicable to other customer-owned generation.

In general, any customer net excess generation (NEG) during a billing period is carried forward to the following billing period at the utility’s full retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility – with no compensation for the customer – at the beginning of each summer billing season. However, the treatment of generation and NEG for customers on TOU-demand tariffs is more complicated. For these customers, on-peak generation is used to offset on-peak consumption, and off-peak generation is used to offset off-peak consumption. Any remaining on-peak generation is then used to offset off-peak consumption. Off-peak generation may only be used to offset off-peak consumption.

Utilities must file with the NCUC annual reports indicating the number of net-metering applicants and customer-generators, the aggregate capacity of net-metered generation, the size and types of renewable-energy systems, the amounts of on-peak and off-peak generation credited and ultimately granted to the utility, and the reasons for any rejections or removals of customer-generators from a net-metering arrangement.

* In July 2006, the NCUC extended net metering to eligible systems with battery storage. "Gaming” a net-metering arrangement by using battery storage to manipulate a TOU tariff is not allowed.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Kennie Ellis
Department North Carolina Utilities Commission
Division Public Staff
Address 430 N. Salisbury Street

Place Raleigh, North Carolina
Zip/Postal Code 27611
Phone (919) 733-2267

Contact Name Dan Conrad
Department North Carolina Utilities Commission

Address 430 N. Salisbury Street

Place Raleigh, North Carolina
Zip/Postal Code 27611
Phone 919-733-0835


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: NCUC Order, Docket No. E-100, Sub 83

Date Enacted 2005-10-20

Authority 2: NCUC Order, Docket No. E-100, Sub 83

Date Enacted 2005-12-27

Authority 3: NCUC Order, Docket No. E-100, Sub 83

Date Enacted 2006-07-06

Authority 4: NCUC Order, Docket No. E-100, Sub 83
Date Effective 2009-06-01
Date Enacted 2009-03-31

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"