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Smart $aver® Custom Incentive Program

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.

Steps for Completion

Step 1

Application Submission

Custom Incentive Application (required):

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

Download Custom Application

If you would like to speak to someone at Duke Energy about your potential project, please email us at We will contact you to review your proposed project and provide feedback on its viability for the program, as well as requirements for your situation before you assemble an application.

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.

Step 2

Calculation Submission

Custom Incentive Calculation (required):

The appropriate worksheet or calculator must be submitted with the required application (Step 1) in order to receive an incentive payment.

Select the appropriate worksheet or calculator tool for your project type. Projects with over 700,000 annual kWh savings will need to use the Classic Custom worksheet. Projects with less than 700,000 annual kWh savings may use our optional Custom-to-Go calculator.

Classic Custom:

Choose this path if you have already completed your own savings calculations and simply need to input information in the appropriate Excel worksheet. This option may be used for all project sizes. Click the button below to access various technology-specific worksheets.

* 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

Classic Custom Worksheets



Choose this path if you need help determining the energy savings from your project. Click the button below to download our Custom-to-Go calculator tools. If you have any questions while using these tools, please contact us at or 866.380.9580.

Custom-to-Go Calculators

Step 3

Application Evaluation

Duke Energy will assess the application and provide a technical evaluation regardless of the project complexity and size. A preliminary incentive value will be evaluated based upon your project and Duke Energy’s custom published payment rates.

The pre-approval will be granted for your project during this step. Please note: you are not to proceed with a project commitment prior to the Duke Energy pre-approval.

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing time.

More time may be required for complex projects or incomplete applications.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.)

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

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.

Estimate your incentive payment here:

Have a Question?

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

Custom Incentive Application - Part 1

Please note that to receive custom incentives, approval must be granted prior to the initiation of the project.

Custom-to-Go Calculators

Select which calculator you prefer: