Lower-income customers of Duke Energy in North Carolina can now apply for energy-saving upgrades to their homes. A $20 million program funded by Duke Energy opened this week, the result of a deal Duke agreed to when it last raised rates.
In 2013, state regulators agreed Duke Energy could raise its North Carolina utility rates, to increase annual revenue by about $400 million combined. In return, the two utilities each put $10 million, from profits, into a fund to help low-income customers who could struggle with the increase. It’s now active, and run by the non-profit North Carolina Community Action Association.
“We want to reduce the energy burden and give low-income families more disposable income. That’s what it’s about,” says NCCAA executive director Sharon Goodson.
Households earning less than double the federal poverty level—about $48,000 for a family of four—can have their home inspected for free energy efficiency upgrades ... Insulation around water heaters and weather stripping homes. About 70 percent of the $20 million fund is set aside to replace inefficient or broken heating and cooling units.
Contacting the program
While the NCCAA will oversee the program, local organizations are carrying out the work.
Duke Energy customers interested in the program who live in Mecklenburg, Stanly, Union, Gaston, and Catawba counties should contact Blue Ridge Community Action at (828) 438-6255.
Customers in Cabarrus should contact the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency at (704) 633-6633.
Those in Iredell should contact I-Care at (704) 872-8141.
The NCCAA has the full list of counties and organizations serving them at http://www.nccaa.net/Helping-Home-Fund.aspx.