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Frequently Asked Questions
- The electricity generated from the renewable resources is put into the power-supply grid along with electricity from all of our other resources. Much like water or natural gas, it isn't possible to differentiate the sources at your business. By choosing to enroll, you are supporting the environment and helping to increase the proportion of renewable energy that is available to the entire system.
- Energy usage varies from season to season. Electricity usage is typically highest in the coldest and warmest months (January, February, July, and August) and lowest in the mildest months (April, May, October and November). For example, if your business averages about 3,000 kWh of electricity use each month, you could support the same amount of renewable energy by purchasing twelve blocks of renewable energy each month. Simply look at the average kWh on your monthly bill in your MyAccount Portal and divide by 250 to calculate how many blocks you need to match your business's electric needs.
- No, the program fee is not tax deductible for income tax purposes. The money is used to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on your behalf that match your participation level. Also, 50 cents per block will be donated to the NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools program. Click here to learn more about NC GreenPower and their Solar+ Schools program.
- Renewable Advantage is available in blocks of 250 kWh for $4 per block. There is no limit to the number of blocks a business customer can purchase and the additional cost will be conveniently added to your monthly bill. Taxes will be calculated separately on your bill.
- At Duke Energy, we recognize the importance of sustainability. While our generation mix includes some renewable energy, we want to offer our customers a convenient, accessible, and affordable choice to support as much renewable energy as they would like.
Signing up will not interfere with NC Green Power. Your purchase will simply be added to your monthly billing amount.
50 cents per block will be donated to support the NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools program. Your participation in both programs is a perfect way to supplement your energy use with renewable energy and help local schools go solar at the same time. Click here to learn more about NC GreenPower and their Solar+ Schools program.
- Whether you’re a homeowner, renter, apartment dweller or business owner, anyone in North Carolina who pays a Duke Energy electric bill can participate in the program. You do need to have good financial standing, such as not having a currently past-due bill.
- When you sign up, you are reducing your electricity-based carbon footprint. The generation of the renewable energy you choose has a greenhouse benefit that is similar to removing cars from the road or planting acres of U.S. forest, depending on your monthly purchase size.
- Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are used to track renewable energy from the point of generation to a purchaser of green energy. Each REC represents 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (like solar, wind, biomass or hydro) that displaces electricity on the grid that would otherwise come from traditional sources (like oil and coal). Learn more about how RECs help make green energy possible.
- After the minimum one-block purchase of 250 kWh, you can purchase as many additional 250-kWh blocks of green power as you like.
- Signing your business up shows that you are concerned enough about improving the environment to participate in a voluntary program. It gives you the opportunity to take an active role in preserving the environment for future generations.
- Your company’s participation makes a difference! Every block of Renewable Advantage purchased promotes the use of environmentally friendly green power, thereby reducing the dependence on fossil fuels to generate energy. The environmental benefit of each minimum monthly purchase is about the same as not driving a car 500 miles.
- Participants will receive marketing communications that include semi-annual reports specifying the program sales and amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) offset by the program. In addition, Duke Energy will supply annual program updates to the North Carolina Public Service Commission.
- To remain a Renewable Advantage participant, you must purchase at least the one-block (250 kWh) minimum purchase of $4 a month. You can add or subtract additional blocks of Renewable Advantage at any time by calling 866.233.2290.
- Participation is voluntary. There are no cancellation fees. You may withdraw from the program at any time with 30 days’ notice.
- We recognize that supporting green energy is not for all customers. However, many customers have expressed interest in purchasing energy generated from environmentally friendly sources. Since renewable energy is typically more expensive than fossil fuel generation, Duke Energy has chosen to introduce this voluntary program. Customers interested in supporting the development of clean, alternative energy sources can choose the level of support that’s right for them without impacting the rates of traditional customers.
- Although renewable energy sources are often free, the technology used to capture the energy produced is more expensive than traditional power generation. Renewable energy generation is still being developed nationwide. Prices vary according to availability and the type of renewable power produced. As the new technologies improve, the costs of producing electricity using renewable resources will become more competitive. Increasing demand for green energy will lead to expanded production capabilities, which will ultimately lead to lower costs.
- Regardless of your business' actual monthly electricity usage, your purchase helps ensure that a specified amount of electricity is produced from renewable or environmentally friendly sources. The energy you support is delivered directly onto the electric system, reducing the need for energy from fossil fuel sources like oil and coal. Although your purchase does not mean that green power is being delivered straight from the source to your business, it does mean that more of the electricity being put onto the electric system comes from alternative energy sources rather than traditional generation.
Renewable energy sources are energy sources that can be replaced or grown within a relatively short period of time. Renewable sources capture their energy from existing natural processes such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes and geothermal heat flows. These power-production processes are emission-free or reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (e.g., methane).
Wind – Wind energy is produced by a wind turbine with its rotating blades that harness the wind’s kinetic energy. Wind turbines contain generators that harness the mechanical energy from the spinning blades to generate electricity.
Hydroelectric – A hydroelectric power station utilizes water flow to power a turbine. The turbines are connected to generators that produce energy. Today, hydroelectric power generates 20% of the world’s electricity.
Solar – Solar energy is made by cells that convert sunlight to electricity without any moving parts. The conversion of sunlight into electricity is made possible thanks to the special properties of semi-conducting materials.
Coal mine methane – Coal mine methane is created when coal is formed and is released when coal is mined. It is found in active and abandoned mines, where it is capable of entering the atmosphere through vents (active mines) and improperly sealed vents/entrances (closed mines). Some of the mine methane is tapped from mines and used in generators, which reduces the amount that escapes into the atmosphere (methane is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2).
Landfill gas – More than 50% of the waste we generate ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and produces landfill gas. Landfill gas is approximately 50% methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change, and 45% carbon dioxide. Methane is a renewable energy source that can be collected and used to fuel electric generators. This method of producing renewable energy is regarded as one of the most successful. At large landfills, the gas must be burned anyway in order to reduce the hazards arising from gas buildup.
Biomass – Biomass is produced when organic wastes, such as trees, wood waste and agricultural residues decay. Landfills offer a primary source of biomass. It can be converted to fuel through combustion for the generation of electricity.
- No, Duke Energy does not profit from the program. Monies paid to participate in the program go directly toward the purchase of renewable energy certificates and program administration.
- Duke Energy is taking several measures to do our part in creating a sustainable energy future while working to reduce our carbon footprint. Efforts include reducing our carbon emissions, building more efficient power plants and developing robust energy efficiency programs. We also support state and federal energy policies that encourage market-based controls of greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new, cleaner technologies. Together, these initiatives will allow Duke Energy to continue to help meet our customers’ energy needs in an environmentally sound manner.