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State & Federal Policies

North Carolina Energy Efficiency Policies North Carolina relies on several key policies that support home energy efficiency and offer incentives for residents, businesses, and utilities to participate.  Click here for a summary of NC EE policies from ACEEE. Key policies include: Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS): Requires NC’s utilities to generate increasing percentages of electricity from renewable and energy efficiency resources over time (e.g. 3% in 2012 to 12.5% in 2021 for Duke Energy). This policy allows limited market competition and increased customer choice within North Carolina’s highly-regulated, monopoly-controlled electricity market. Learn more about REPS here. Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (REITC): This tax credit provides state incentives to consumers and businesses seeking to purchase renewable and clean energy products and services of 21 different types including geothermal heating and air. Over $2.6B has been directly invested in renewable energy projects between 2007 and 2014 in all 100 counties of North Carolina, leading to an economic impact of over $4.7B. Learn more about REITC here. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: This innovative financing mechanism allows residents and businesses to more easily afford renewable and energy efficiency projects for their homes and buildings by adding the “loan” amount on their property tax bill, which can be transferred to future home or building owners. Learn more about PACE Financing here. Residential and Commercial Building Energy Conservation Codes: NC residents and businesses will save $490M in energy costs by 2030 through energy efficiency measures mandated in the state’s residential and commercial building energy conservation codes. Learn more about NC’s building and energy codes from these resources: What policy...

Building & Energy Codes

Building and energy conservation codes are in place to provide minimum standards and requirements for energy efficiency in new and existing homes across North Carolina.  These codes protect residents from high energy costs and offer other benefits including health, safety, comfort and more. New Homes in NC New homes in North Carolina must be built to the state approved Building Code and Energy Conservation Code.  NC’s Energy Conservation Code is currently set at the 2009 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) plus added amendments chosen by North Carolina. Click here to access information on NC’s Building Code. Click here to access information on NC’s Energy Conservation Code. Existing Homes in NC Both building and energy codes are managed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Office of State Fire Marshal, which includes the North Carolina Building Code Council. Know your rights when it comes to minimum code requirements for energy efficiency:  Click here for a helpful guide that will help you know your rights when building a new home or remodeling an existing home. Click here for a fact sheet from the EPA on the benefits of building and energy codes. Click here to view “A Consumer Guide to Minimum Standards for Energy...

Energy Efficiency

Home energy efficiency is a measurement for the rate at which electric, gas and other forms of energy are used in a home. In homes and buildings, residents and office workers should want to lower their energy usage to save on utility bills and can do so by making their home or building more energy efficient, which means lowering the amount at which the home or building uses energy on a daily, monthly or annual basis. What does home energy efficiency mean to NC residents?  Home energy efficiency not only saves money, but also improves the health, safety and comfort of a home.  Homeowners and renters can complete easy DIY energy saving projects to save energy. Click here to learn how 10 low-cost home energy efficiency improvements costing $1,100 upfront can save $12,000 in energy costs over 10 years. Remember Efficiency First! Fix the small energy wasting items in your home before adding renewable energy sources like solar.  Doing so will save you money on those renewable sources because you won’t need to purchase or install as much, due to the lowered energy usage in your home resulting from the small, inexpensive energy efficiency improvements. What are the benefits of an energy efficient home? Improved comfort for its occupants. Increased value in the market. Reduced health hazards for occupants. Improved safety from better performing systems and safe materials. Lower energy usage. Monetary savings from reduced energy usage that result in lower energy bills. Have Your Home Ready When Peak Seasons Hit Residential energy efficiency strategies vary by season and can be implemented easier than you think. See below for...

Non-Energy Benefits

Energy efficient homes aren’t just about saving energy, they come with many other benefits for individuals, families and even pets!  Your energy efficient home will cost less to operate and maintain.  It will be more comfortable in all rooms.  And you can feel good knowing that your home has a lower environmental impact than most. Health Benefits Energy efficient homes are more healthy than standard homes offering features like better ventilation that ensures your home’s air flow is clean, safe and moving in the right places.  Poor ventilation can lead to moisture problems and also infestations of dust mites and insects.  Mold and allergens are common problems with poorly ventilated homes as well.  All these issues can lead to respiratory and other health problems for children, adults, seniors and even pets!  Sealing the cracks and gaps in your home will help it ventilate properly and promote fresh air circulation, lower humidity and reduces occurrences of mold and other health hazards. Watch this video from ACEEE on how energy efficient homes help address the negative impacts of childhood asthma. For more information on the health benefits of energy efficient homes, view the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “A Healthy Home for Everyone: The Guide for Families and Individuals“. Improved Safety An energy efficient home helps keep you and other residents safe from health hazards but also safety hazards including combustion appliances (like atmospherically-vented water heaters), backdrafts, faulty wiring and more.  Energy efficient homes are built to be durable, smart and easy to maintain.  Part of this construction process includes verifying that these and other safety hazards are eliminated or reduced...

Industry Careers

In addition to saving residents energy and money, home energy efficiency creates jobs in local communities. In 2010 alone, energy efficiency accounted for more than 830,000 jobs nationwide. North Carolina’s home and building energy efficiency sector includes more than 50,000 full-time employees around the state. The industry is growing rapidly with no slow-down on the horizon.  Want to join it? If so, visit the North Carolina Building Performance Association’s website for information on careers and jobs in the industry. NCBPA is the state’s only trade association for the industry and is responsible for creating jobs in the industry and placing talent in valuable positions with companies around the state. Interested in becoming a Home Energy Rater?  Click here to visit the website for RESNET, the national trade organization for Home Energy Raters. Interested in becoming an Energy Auditor or Home Performance Contractor?  Click here to visit the website for the Building Performance Institute, the national certification organization for building performance. What other jobs are available?  Lots!  Here’s a listing of just some of the many jobs in North Carolina’s home energy efficiency industry. Home Energy Rater Energy Auditor Energy Manager Lighting Systems Efficiency Specialist Mechanical Systems/ Appliance Efficiency Specialist HVAC installation and maintenance Insulation Installer Weatherization Specialist Duct Sealing and Repair Specialist Crawlspace Specialist Energy Modeling Technician Architect/Designer Home Builder Energy Engineer Project Manager Jobs with the trades are in high demand in North Carolina and across the country.  Watch this short video on the value of an education that you won’t receive at a four-year college or university. Degree programs available at North Carolina’s universities and colleges include: AB...

Rebates and Incentives

Financial rebates and other types of incentives are excellent offerings by utilities, product manufacturers, nonprofit programs, local governments and others to lower the costs needed to participate in home energy improvement projects in North Carolina’s homes and buildings. Looking for federal rebate and incentive programs?  ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder: click here to find rebates from the ENERGY STAR program on appliances, homes and more. IRS.gov: did you know that improving your home’s energy efficiency offers tax incentives? Looking for North Carolina rebate and incentive programs? A great place to start is with your utility company!  Most NC utilities have programs that incent homeowners and renters to lower their energy usage to help reduce the utility’s peak energy demand requirements. PSNC Energy: click here to see what rebates and incentives are offered. Duke Energy Progress: click here to see the many energy savings programs offered to customers. Duke Energy: click here to see the many energy efficiency programs offered to Duke Energy customers. Electric Cooperatives: visit www.TogetherWeSave.com for helpful information and then contact your electric cooperative to see what rebates and incentives they offer.  Or, visit the DISRE website below to search for your cooperative. Municipal-Owned Electric Utilities: visit the DSIRE website listed below to find programs with your local utility. More information can be found at the NC State Cooperative Extension’s Energy Conservation Program website for a listing of many programs available across the state. Looking for the latest information on available rebates and incentives?  Click on the website below for a state-by-state database of available rebate and incentive programs for both energy efficiency and renewable energy.  The website, named...