Duke Energy encourages residential customers to buy energy-efficient homes through the utility's Energy Star Homes Program, which awards a rate discount to customers living in Energy Star homes. Customers receive a discount on per kWh usage after the first 350 kWh per month. To earn the Energy Star label, homes are tested by a third-party inspector to ensure they meet the U.S. Department of Energy's criteria. Generally speaking, a home must be at least 30% more efficient than the national Model Energy Code for homes or 15% more efficient than the state energy code, whichever is more rigorous. The home test is the responsibility of the customer and/or the builder, and the cost range is from $300 to $500. The size of the home and the inspector’s travel time may affect the cost. Typical characteristics of an Energy Star home include:
- Effective insulation
- High-performance windows
- Tight construction and tight ducts
- Energy-efficient HVAC equipment
- Independent testing provided by third-party inspectors
Please refer to Schedule ES for more information.