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Smart Saver® Custom Incentive Program

The Duke Energy Smart $aver Custom program is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2014. Duke Energy is currently waiting on approval to continue the program for 2015. In order to guarantee payment of incentives for projects completed in 2014, equipment must be installed by Dec. 31, 2014, and applications must be received by Duke Energy within 90 days of installation.

High-efficiency equipment that falls outside the scope of our standard prescriptive offers may still be eligible for incentives. The Smart $aver Custom Incentive program picks up where the Prescriptive Incentive program leaves off. Whether you’re installing building automation controls, upgrading compressed air systems or implementing other unique energy efficient technologies, Smart $aver custom incentives can help you offset up-front costs and improve your bottom line.

Getting Started:

Custom projects can vary widely and are sometimes complex. Here are some helpful hints to consider before beginning the incentive application process.

  • Only Duke Energy commercial and industrial electric customers are eligible to receive custom incentives.
  • To receive custom incentives, approval must be granted prior to the initiation of the project.
  • For complex projects, calculating the energy savings can often require engineering expertise. Before applying you may want to consider whether you have the resources to provide all the required information.
  • The application and approval process typically takes 1-2 months.

Phases for Completion

Phase 1

Application Submission

The customer or trade ally provides project specifications including energy savings calculations through a two-part application process.

Part 1 of the application process is the custom application form and Part 2 is the applicable worksheet for the technologies being implemented.

Custom Incentive Application - Part 1 (required):

This is the main application form that must be submitted in order to receive an incentive payment.

Download Custom Application

Custom Incentive Application - Part 2 (required):

Select the appropriate worksheet for your project type. (Excel spreadsheet*)

Download Worksheet

Custom Incentive Planning Form (optional):

The Custom Incentive Planning Form is an optional document that can be completed prior to the submission of a full application. The Planning Form allows Duke Energy to review a proposed project and provide feedback on its viability before the customer or trade ally goes to the effort of submitting an application in its entirety. The Planning Form will not result in incentive approval.

Download Planning Form

What amount of Custom Incentive can be expected on an approved application?

Duke Energy calculates an incentive for every individual Custom Incentive application, so an exact incentive cannot be predicted without a completed application. The incentive is ultimately tied to the impact the measures have on the customer’s load profile. Past incentives have ranged from approximately 25%-150% of the projected annual electrical savings from the proposed energy efficient equipment.

How does one apply for a project that involves some energy conservation measures that qualify for Prescriptive Incentives and some that require a Custom Incentive application?

If equipment that is eligible for a prescriptive application is submitted through the custom application, the equipment will still receive the same incentive as it would through a prescriptive application.

If the equipment that requires a custom incentive application is not integrated with the equipment that qualifies for a prescriptive incentive, then we encourage you to only submit the equipment that requires a custom incentive application. This will speed up the review process. If a combination of prescriptive-eligible and custom equipment is submitted, then you may be asked some questions about the equipment in order to determine the most appropriate way to calculate an incentive.

Phase 2

Application Evaluation

Duke Energy assesses the application and provides a technical evaluation. A preliminary incentive value is calculated and pre-approval is granted. (Allow 1–2 months for completion.)

Phase 3

Project Installation

The equipment is installed and Duke Energy processes payment of the incentive. (Allow 10 days after installation for payment.)

When will I receive the custom incentive payment?

Although the application must be submitted and approved prior to the start of your project, the payment itself is like a rebate and is received after a project is completed. Instructions on how to request payment will be included in the incentive pre-approval letter you receive from Duke Energy if your project is approved for an incentive.

Phase 4

Measurement & Verification

An independent third-party performs necessary means to measure and verify equipment. (Performed within a few months after equipment is operable and in use.)

Do I need to wait for an inspection before I install my equipment?

Once you have received an incentive pre-approval letter from Duke, you can install your equipment at any time. You do not need to wait for an inspection. If an inspection is requested, we will contact you to fit into your schedule.

Have a Question?

For more information about the Custom Incentive Program, email us at

* The worksheet that accompanies the application is designed in MS® Excel with formulas in place that avoid the need for manual calculations. However, if you do not have Excel and would prefer to provide calculations in another format, please contact us at

** Measurement & Verification is performed on a portion of all installations; pre-measurement is sometimes requested prior to equipment installation if time allows.