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Employee Program Makes Solar More Affordable

‘Solarize Duke’ to help faculty, staff cut costs of residential solar installation

Duke is offering faculty and staff the opportunity to have solar panels installed at their home for a discount. Photo courtesy of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative.
Duke is offering faculty and staff the opportunity to have solar panels installed at their home for a discount. Photo courtesy of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative.

Update 6/16: A fourth informational session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. June 23 in the Von Canon Room on the lowest level of the Bryan Center. Interested Duke employees are asked to RSVP for the program, which will discuss solar panel installation and the discounts offered through Solarize Duke. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact Charles Adair, program manager of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, at

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Update 4/21: Solarize Duke has announced it will host a third informational session from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. April 30 at Duke Regional Hospital. The event will be held in Private Dining Room C on the first floor of the hospital next to the main dining area of the cafeteria.

The session will offer insight into the benefits and installation process of solar panels through the discount program. To date, 81 faculty and staff have signed up for free assessments through Solarize Duke.

Original story as follows:

Duke will host informational sessions April 8 and April 15 to highlight a new initiative to provide discounted solar panel installation for faculty and staff who own their homes. 

The “Solarize Duke” pilot program, which partners Duke’s Carbon Offsets Initiative and Bass Connections in Energy with NextClimate, a North Carolina-based non-profit focused on sustainable actions, compounds state and federal tax credits along with a discount through “Solarize Duke” to dramatically reduce the cost of solar panel installation.

For example, an average retail price of $21,250 for a 5-kilowatt system would be reduced to approximately $8,640, according to Solarize Duke estimates. With good sun exposure, the system is estimated to generate about $730 of energy savings in the first year. 

“This project is a perfect example of how we continue to leverage our academic resources and talent on campus to address real world challenges in order to make Duke and the Triangle region more sustainable,” said Charles Adair, program manager for the Carbon Offsets Initiative. “It’s a way for students, staff and faculty to come together and provide social, environmental and economic benefits to our surrounding communities.”

The informational sessions will be in the Von Canon Room on the lower level of the Bryan Center from noon to 1 p.m. April 8, and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. April 15. At each event, local installers will be available to discuss solar panel discounts and the installation process.

All Duke employees are eligible for this pilot program. To participate, interested faculty and staff must own a home in the Triangle area and receive a free home solar assessment by Southern Energy Management or Yes! Solar Solutions. Assessments will provide custom estimates for each home based on electricity needs.

The window to sign up for the program runs through June 30, and participants who decide to have panels installed must sign a contract by July 31 in order to receive all discounts available.

When considering participating, Duke employees need to factor in historic preservation and building codes, and other guidelines applicable to local municipalities. These may require additional inspections or approvals before work begins.

For more information, including a list of FAQs, visit the Solarize Duke website and print and post this flier to share with others.