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Get ready to read ‘Podcast marathon’ featuring who’s who of Triangle startup scene launches Earfluence’s new studio


Earfluence is one of the Triangle’s fastest-growing podcast production companies, offering a full range of services, from concept to marketing, recording and production. Read more here.

DURHAM — Back in 2017, Jason Gillikin was 12 years into his career as a sales rep for an e-commerce agency. He was comfortable, he admits, but he was also looking for something more.

“I started thinking about my professional legacy and building something from the ground up,” said the 42 year old Raleighite. “I was also falling in love with podcasting.”

Today, Gillikin runs one of the Triangle’s fastest-growing podcast production companies, Earfluence, offering a full range of services, from concept to marketing, recording and production. This Wednesday, March 16, Earfluence is launching its second studio – this time out of the Durham-based startup hub American Underground, a division of Capitol Broadcasting Company (as is WRAL TechWire) — with an eight-hour, “podcast marathon” featuring a “who’s who” in the Triangle’s entrepreneurial scene.

Earfluence’s Jason Gillikin talks about rise of podcasts, impact on Triangle startup community

Starting at 10am and running until 6pm, Earfluence will livestream back-to-back, one-hour podcasts through various social media channels, featuring a slew of guests. Among them: The Diversity Movement’s Donald Thompson (an Earfluence investor); Momentum Learning’s Jessica Mitsch Homes; and Ricky Moore, owner of Saltbox Seafood and recent James Beard award nominee. (For full schedule, go here.)

[’s Kathy Hanrahan, editor of Out & About, will be interviewing some guests from the DPAC at 3 p.m. during the marathon.]

“We wanted to create content that could be all about what’s going on in Durham, introduce Earfluence to the Bull City and, honestly, just have some fun,” he said.

Jason Gillikin and startup founder Justin Laidlaw recording a session in one of Earfluence’s podcast studios.

Podcasts have been around for over two decades, but in the last six years the industry has exploded. Forecasts project podcast listeners will exceed 160 million by 2023. The industry itself is expected to be valued at .88 billion by 2028.

“Podcasting has a long way to go before coming close to a saturation point,” Gillikin said, who started out producing an in-house podcast at his former agency before moving on to record a podcast for his wife’s wedding planning business. Things quickly spiraled from there.

“It was the lightbulb moment for me,” he recalled after witnessing his wife’s career explode in the wake of her podcast’s success. “Podcasting isn’t all about creating viral sensations and selling ads for Squarespace and HelloFresh and MeUndies. Podcasts could truly be an extremely powerful medium for businesses and individuals to showcase what they know.”

Earfluence launched its first studio in Raleigh Founded, another co-working hub, in 2019.

“Co-working spaces are a natural fit for us because of all the connections to startups,” he said. “Podcasts are becoming an essential part of showcasing your expertise, and demand continues to grow.”

The studio is free for American Underground members and available to use after going through a training session. It’s also available for rent to the public. For more information, email at [email protected]

Apple: Some states - not NC - to accept digitial IDs in ...

01-09-2021 · North Carolina, however, is not on the list. “The addition of driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of …


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Apple says travelers in some states soon will be able to get through security using digital IDs on their phones or smartwatches.

The tech giant has partnered with several states that will allow residents to add driver’s licenses or other state IDs to their digital wallets.

North Carolina, however, is not on the list.

“The addition of driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, in the announcement. “We are excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we are already in discussions with many more states as we’re working to offer this nationwide in the future.”

Apple image

The Transportation Security Administration plans to enable airport security checkpoints in the partnering states to accept those digital versions.

“This new and innovative mobile driver’s license and state ID initiative with Apple and states around the country will enable a more seamless airport security screening experience for travelers,” said David Pekoske, TSA Administrator. “This initiative marks a major milestone by TSA to provide an additional level of convenience for the traveler by enabling more opportunities for touchless TSA airport security screening.”

Apple image

That means passengers will be able to present digital IDs on their phones or watches to pass through.

Arizona and Georgia are the first states to sign on.

Apple says Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah are next.

How To: Apple’s directions

  • Adding a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet: Similar to how customers add new credit cards and transit passes to Wallet today, they can simply tap the button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone to begin adding their license or ID. If the user has an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, they will be prompted to also add their ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app on their Apple Watch. The customer will then be asked to use their iPhone to scan their physical driver’s license or state ID card and take a selfie, which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification. As an additional security step, users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. Once verified by the issuing state, the customer’s ID or driver’s license will be added to Wallet.
  • Presenting a driver’s license or state ID to TSA: Once added to Wallet, customers can present their driver’s license or state ID to the TSA by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader. Upon tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch, customers will see a prompt on their device displaying the specific information being requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device, which ensures that just the required information is shared and only the person who added the driver’s license or state ID to the device can present it. Users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to present their ID.
New NC law changes hiring, firing processes

12-08-2021 · RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper signed into law changes to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act that change employer hiring and termination processes. The changes are effective immediately. Hiring ...


by Amalie Tuffin, Frances-Ann Criffield and Ashley Pittman — August 12, 2021 .

Editor’s note: Amalie Tuffin, Frances-Ann Criffield and Ashley Pittman are attorneys at Hutchison PLLC.
RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper signed into law changes to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act that change employer hiring and termination processes. The changes are effective immediately.
  • Hiring New Employees: At the time of hiring, employers must notify new employees, in writing, of the promised wages and the day and place for payment.
  • If employers already use written offer letters for all new hires, this new obligation may already be met if the offer letter states:
  • The promised wages (hourly rate or monthly/annual salary)
  • Date of payment (i.e., the second Friday and last day of the month, or such other regular payroll schedule adopted by the employer)
  • Place of the payment (describe how the regular paychecks will be delivered or how ACH transfers can be arranged).
  • If employers do not use written offer letters, they should begin utilizing a written offer process that meets the new statutory requirements.
  • Decrease in Wage Rate: If an employer needs to adjust an employee’s wages downward, then it must provide the employee with written notice at least one pay period prior to the change. There is no notice requirement for any upward adjustments to wages.
  • Termination of Employment: Upon a termination of employment, final wages must be paid on or before the next regular payday either through the regular pay channels or by trackable mail if requested by the employee in writing, regardless of the reason for the termination of employment.
  • If the employee’s wages are regularly paid via mail, then the final paycheck may also be sent by mail without a written request. But we recommend using a trackable form of mail.
  • If an employee’s wages are regularly paid via ACH deposit or hand delivery, the final paycheck must be delivered using the same method, unless the employee agrees in writing to have it sent via trackable mail.
  • If an employee who regularly receives their paycheck through hand delivery has been terminated for cause, or may otherwise present a safety hazard to the workplace, and has not otherwise made a voluntary request to have their final paycheck mailed, we recommend that the employer take appropriate and reasonable precautions to avoid any safety risks. For example, we recommend proactively including an authorization to mail the final paycheck in the employee’s other exit paperwork for them to review and sign.

If you need assistance with your company processes related to these important and immediate changes, please feel free to contact Amalie Tuffin at [email protected], Frances-Ann Criffield at [email protected] or Ashley Pittman at [email protected] and they would be happy to assist you.

This Alert is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does it represent any undertaking to keep recipients advised of all relevant legal developments. This Alert does not create or constitute an invitation to create an attorney-client relationship, nor should it be construed as an advertisement or solicitation for legal services. This material may be considered Attorney Advertising in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

As housing market booms, more NC homeowners now ‘equity rich’

03-02-2022 · Across the state, 44.2% of North Carolina homes are now considered equity rich, up from 38.6% at the end of the third quarter of 2021 and up from 24% at the end of 2020, the data set showed. The ...


RALEIGH – After 2021 saw record growth in home prices, with Raleigh’s real estate adding about billion in total value, nearly half of all homes with a mortgage in Wake County are considered equity rich, a new study from ATTOM Data Solutions reveals.

By ATTOM’s data, 49.4% of Wake County homes were considered equity rich at the end of 2021.  An equity rich home is one where the loan-to-value ratio on the property is 50% or lower.  Put another way, a home is considered equity rich when the owner owes less on the mortgage balance than half of what the typical fair market value of that home is considered.

In Wake County, there are 128,018 of 259,295 properties considered worth at least twice as much as what is owed on the mortgage.  In Durham County, 33,090 of 59,534 homes are considered equity rich, or 55.6%.

“Another quarter, another boost to the balance sheets of homeowners in most of the United States – that was the story from the fourth quarter of last year,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM.  “As home prices kept rising, so did the equity built up in residential properties, to the point where close to half of all mortgage payers around the country found themselves in equity-rich territory.”

Nationally, 41.9% of homes are considered equity rich, according to ATTOM.

Redfin: Raleigh ranked 7th for growth of real estate market in 2021

North Carolina second in U.S. for growth of equity rich homes

Though both counties outpace North Carolina’s numbers, the state ranked second overall when it came to the growth in the percentage of homes considered equity rich, ATTOM found.  Across the state, 44.2% of North Carolina homes are now considered equity rich, up from 38.6% at the end of the third quarter of 2021 and up from 24% at the end of 2020, the data set showed.

The county with the highest percentage of equity rich homes is Haywood County, with a population of 61,053.  Of the 12,233 mortgages, 7,122 properties are worth at least twice the outstanding balance, and 58.2% of homes in the county are considered equity rich.

The state’s most equity-rich zip code is in Charlotte, as 28217 has 70.1% of its mortgaged properties considered equity rich in the ATTOM data.

“Homeowner equity improved yet again throughout many major regions and economic sectors of the U.S. housing market,” said Teta.  “But the gains came in a mixed scenario that boosted fortunes in different ways across low-, middle-, and higher-priced parts of the nation and largely left in place yawning gaps between them.”

Sales of ‘most affordable’ housing up, ‘luxury’ down, but home sale prices still increasing in NC

Cumberland & Hoke County rank among bottom five counties in U.S.

Sure, Amazon is moving in—twice.  And Fayetteville appeared ranked as one of the top five hottest real estate markets in the United States in April 2021, according to the National Association of REALTORS.

But by one measure, homeowners in Cumberland County are last in the nation, new data from ATTOM shows.  And neighboring Hoke County homeowners aren’t much better off, according to the report, which tracks the percentage of properties considered equity rich.

By ATTOM’s data, just 7.8% of homes in Cumberland County were considered equity rich, which means that the loan-to-value ratio on the property is 50% or lower.  Put another way, a home is considered equity rich when the owner owes less than half of what the typical fair market value of that home is considered.

Of the 15,462 mortgages secured by property in Cumberland County, 1,207 met the mark.  4% of homes, or 612 properties in Cumberland County, were found to be considered “seriously underwater” on the mortgage, which ATTOM describes as when the loan-to-value ratio is 125% or above, or that the property owner owes at least 25% more than the estimated fair market value of the property.

In Hoke County, 1,097 homes are considered equity rich out of 9,968 held mortgages, or 11%, and 3.7% of mortgages are considered seriously underwater.

In Wake County, only 1.2% of homes are considered seriously underwater, according to the data.

Still, the latest market data from the Longleaf Pines REALTORS® shows that in the association’s area, which includes Hoke and Cumberland Counties, there was a one-year change in median price of 13.9% across all properties sold in 2021.

And, Zillow data, which was shared with WRAL TechWire upon request, shows that in the Fayetteville metropolitan statistical area, the typical home value at the end of 2021 was 7,839, up from 1,425 from the prior year, or a change of 18.6%.

Comparatively, in the Triangle, the one-year change in median price was 23.3%, according to the latest Triangle Multiple Listing Service data.

Up 0,000 in one year: Durham County median home sale prices jump 33.3% in 12 months

Feeling the squeeze in NC’s scorching real estate markets

09-04-2021 · Looking at another measure, across all residential property in Wake County, the average sale price of a residence increased from 1,789 in 2019 to 0,235 in 2020, according to December 2020 ...


In local real estate markets all across the United States, the average listing price for homes are soaring, with the supply of homes coming on the market at historic lows, as low mortgage interest rates continue to increase the purchasing power for potential buyers.

Many owners are finding themselves in a predicament about whether to stay put in their homes, or compete in the scorching real estate market to realize the gains from the increasing equity in their homes and purchasing anew before mortgage rates increase from their historic lows.

With property taxes likely to increase due to recent shortfalls in county and municipal governments due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the recent revaluation from the tax authorities in places such as Wake County and Orange County, homeowners are starting to feel the squeeze.

But who’s feeling squeezed the most, by these dramatic changes in the housing markets across the state?

It could be renters, who may not be able to compete with rising home prices and increasing competition from relocating movers while simultaneously facing double-digit increases in monthly rental rates, resulting in few affordable housing options, no matter where they’re seeking to reside in North Carolina, finds a new study.

One measure of how hot a real estate market is becoming is the entrance of nationally-focused, tech-enabled real estate companies, including iBuyers, as they measure up to 40 different metrics prior to entering markets where the average home sale price is increasing, yet still within the target range where the median household income still supports a purchase price for the average home.

Across North Carolina, real estate markets are heating up

Take for instance, that two of the five hottest real estate markets in the entire country are in North Carolina, and they’re likely not the first ones you’d guess.  Neither is the third North Carolinian city that falls in the top 10 hottest markets in the country.

They’re Jacksonville, N.C., and Fayetteville, N.C., according to data released this week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which uses the ratio of pending sales to active listings as one measure of estimating where demand is highest, and thus local markets where home prices may increase due to demand outpacing the supply, or inventory, of homes.

Jacksonville, N.C., and Fayetteville, N.C., have pending-to-supply ratios of 5:1 and 4.6:1, respectively.

Greenville, N.C., with a ratio of 3.8, ranks in the top 10 as well.

According to the National Association of Realtors, any ratio above 1 means that on any given day in the local market, demand is higher than available supply, which is also the case for the Greensboro-High Point market, with a ratio of 3.8, and Winston-Salem, which measures 2.6.  Other markets like Burlington (2.0), Goldsboro (2.0), and New Bern (1.9) are seeing demand outpace supply.

The ratio in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia market is 1.7, in Raleigh, it is 1.5, in Asheville, 1.3, and in Durham-Chapel Hill, 1.2.

Entering, expanding in blazing Triangle housing market: real estate companies focusing on tech

Other measures to establish whether a real estate market is hot, heating up, or scorching, includes how quickly the average or median listing price is increasing.

“Prices are the best indicator of demand and supply fundamentals,” the study reads.  Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors finds that there is a shortage of 2.4 million homes in order to reach the target of a stable real estate market, where there is six months of supply of inventory available, the lowest point since 1982.

Take the Charlotte market, where the median list price has increased by 18.3 percent year-over-year, while the change in active listings has decreased by 62.6 percent.

In Raleigh, the median listing price is 12 percent higher than the prior year and active listings have decreased by 70.3 percent, and in Durham, median list price has increased by 14.5 percent and active listings are down 60.4 percent.

Homeowners may see increase in property taxes

As home sale prices have risen in recent years, many counties across North Carolina completed their statutory requirement to reassess the taxable value of real property, which must occur at least once every eight years. Statewide, some property owners, particularly in the state’s hottest real estate markets, are seeing dramatic increases in the assessed value of their property, in part because the prior reassessment period came in 2010, 2011, 2012, or 2013, during the slow housing recovery following the Great Recession when home prices crashed, then made modest gains, though they may look minuscule by today’s year-over-year growth metrics.

According to a report released earlier this week by ATTOM Data Solutions, which tracked and analyzed property taxes for almost 87 million U.S.-based single family homes, local counties and municipalities generated 3 billion in ad valorem tax revenue in 2020, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the data from 2019.

On average, American homeowners–the data only tracked the county’s nearly 87 million single family homes–paid ,719 in property taxes in 2020, up 4.4 percent from the average a year prior.  But the effective tax rate actually decreased for single family home owners, from 1.14 percent in 2019 to just 1.1 percent in 2020.

“While reappraisals generally do not lead to an increase in taxes for any one class of properties, like homeowners, a reappraisal does update the property assessments used to set property taxes,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer at ATTOM Data Solutions in an interview with WRAL TechWire.  “The key drivers of tax increases are associated with the rising costs of running governments and schools or declining tax bases, not necessarily reappraisals.”

From an absolute position, homeowners may be seeing the price of real estate taxes increase, the study found, but due to increasing estimated market value of property, the effective tax rate decreased relative to a property’s value in some markets.

In Raleigh, for example, the average property tax bill due on a single family residence within the city limits was ,890, up from an average tax bill of ,633 in the prior year, according to the data from ATTOM Data Solutions.

For Wake County, which conducted its most recent reappraisal with an effective date of January 1, 2020, ATTOM Data Solutions found that property owner’s effective tax rate was just .87%, lower than the national average, despite homeowners, on average, paying 9.7% more in property taxes. The effective tax rate in Wake County was .81%, found ATTOM Data Solutions.

The difference in effective tax rates is just .06 percentage points, in part because the average estimated home value for single family homes in Wake County is 5,499, up from the firm’s estimated average in 2019 of 3,323.  Looking at another measure, across all residential property in Wake County, the average sale price of a residence increased from 1,789 in 2019 to 0,235 in 2020, according to December 2020 data from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, or an increase of 10.6 percent year-over-year.

Report: Triangle homes grow more unaffordable even without Apple, HQ2 projects

“Reappraisals are important because they help ensure that all properties are valued and taxed equitably,” reads the Wake County Department of Tax Administration website regarding real estate reappraisal.  “The process also provides a basis for determining an owner’s share of services funded by property taxes including: education, law enforcement and emergency medical services, health and human services, environmental services and community services.”

The amount of taxes that a homeowner pays depends on the property’s assessed value, which in North Carolina, according to NCGS 105-286, must be completed by the county taxing authority at least once every eight years (Wake County conducts reassessments every four years) using a rigorous approach that includes a schedule of values (Wake County’s is here), and the tax rate set each year by elected officials in the county and in the municipality in which the property resides.

“When assessments are reset, they are typically increased to reflect current market values,” said Teta.  “But tax rates can also decrease to reflect the increased assessments.”

When it comes to property taxation, in North Carolina, owners of real estate are taxed according to the fair market value as measured in the octennial reassessment.  Wake County will next reassess in 2023, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2024.

Orange County, on the other hand, just completed the 2021 revaluation, and home owners in the region, which includes Chapel Hill, will be receiving their property value notice soon, as they were mailed on March 31, 2021.

Some may see an increase in reappraised value, said Teta, but others may end up seeing little or no change.

“What usually happens after a reappraisal is that some property owners’ taxes increase, while others decrease, and some remain the same,” said Teta. “That happens because reappraisals attempt to smooth out inequities in assessments that can build up over time between different neighborhoods, which temporarily results in some property owners overpaying and some underpaying.”

Renters are feeling the squeeze, and it may continue

Rising home valuations, particularly in Orange County, given that 2021 is the year of the revaluation, might further exacerbate housing affordability in Chapel Hill and across the county, particularly for renters, who’ve already seen a year-over-year increase in rental rates of 21%, according to a new study from Zumper.

Residents may not have much luck seeking housing in neighboring counties, either, said Neil Gerstein, the Zumper analyst who authored the report and a corresponding blog post, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.

That’s because Durham County ranked second in the data set with a year-over-year rent increase of 29 percent.  In Durham, the median household income is ,317, and the average monthly rental price is


“North Carolina has experienced quite robust rent growth from a year ago prior to the pandemic,” said Gerstein.  “The Triangle region of the state contains some of the higher growth rates we’ve seen at the county level, particularly in Durham and Orange Counties.”

The Zumper data has similar findings to an October study from Apartment Guide, which found that during the first six months of the pandemic, Durham saw the highest percentage increase, of 34 percent.

In other words, the average renter making the median household income in Durham County would spend nearly 24 percent of their gross income on housing, before income taxes or any other payroll deductions are taken out of their paycheck.

In the first seven months after the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, between March and October 2020, Durham County had a net migration gain of about 900 people when directly compared with Wake County, according to Nadia Evangelou, an economist with the National Association of Realtors.  That migration data mirrors a trend observed from home buyers and from renters during the pandemic, which Gerstein calls the “neighboring cities effect,” where people often chose to move away from urban centers and into suburban counties.

“Rent growth tended to be larger in higher income counties within North Carolina, but the significant growth has undoubtedly made renting less affordable for many North Carolinians,” said Gerstein, especially as average wages and income is lower in North Carolina compared to other states and regions.  “Growth doesn’t appear to be waning at this point, like it is in other parts of the country, so this unaffordability could last for a while,” he said.

Affordable housing – matching landlords, tenants through per-room leases – is goal of Durham startup Living Lab

Nationwide, renters who are also in low-income households are feeling the squeeze, as housing has become yet another facet in which the coronavirus has disproportionately harmed lower-income Americans, said Gerstein.  The latest Household Pulse Survey found that 20% of households earning less than ,000 were behind on rent payments, while only 12% of households earning more than ,000 were feeling the same squeeze.  In total, an estimated billion is owed in back rent by about 6 million households as of March 2021, found Moody’s Analytics, an average of about ,300 per household.

That could mean the country is approaching an eviction crisis, despite the recently passed American Rescue Plan that contains .6 billion to help cover back rent and utilities, though approximately billion–and growing–in back rent would persist, said Gerstein, even after federal assistance to renters.

Nationwide, Gerstein found that the more expensive a city’s pre-pandemic rent was, the more likely it was to decrease, but the cheaper a region was pre-pandemic, the more likely it was to increase.  As more Americans receive vaccinations, and companies weigh if and how to return workers to office locations, Gerstein expects stabilization in rent increases.

There might even be some reversal of the trends Gerstein measured and analyzed, particularly the fluctuations in rental rates from urban, dense city centers, like Charlotte, into suburban cities and counties, like Gaston County, during the onset of and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, where the neighboring cities effect was a likely contributor to the year-over-year rent growth of 23.5%.  In Gaston County, the the average monthly rental rate for a one-bedroom is now

,105, and the 23.5% increase ranked seventh for all counties with more than 100,000 people.

“North Carolina markets saw a lot of growth likely due to an influx of renters leaving more expensive areas, so it has a lot of tailwind growth,” he said.  “Additionally, we see markets in this part of the country healing up in recent months, so those tailwinds could propel prices to grow even more in North Carolina in the coming months.”

That could mean that renters interested in leasing a new rental in Charlotte, particularly near the city center, may be able to find a deal, relative to prior years.  And, for Charlotte residents, there’s another silver lining in data from ATTOM Data Solutions, as wages are rising faster than rents in Mecklenburg County.

But maybe not for long, said Gerstein.  “North Carolina markets could go the way of other markets that grew a lot in the pandemic and wane in the future,” he said.  “We don’t expect prices to snap back to where they were pre-pandemic right away, so the effect these price changes had on housing affordability will likely be felt into the medium and perhaps distant future.

Duke Energy reaches agreement with solar power ...

30-11-2021 · CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy has filed an agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that the company says will “align solar adopter compensation to utility system benefits and ...


CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy has filed an agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that the company says will “align solar adopter compensation to utility system benefits and create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in North Carolina,” in a statement.

The next steps for the agreement, which was crafted by Duke Energy and the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association with participation from the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Vote Solar and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy as well as Sunrun Inc. and the Solar Energy Industries Association, is that it must be approved by the NCUC in order to go into effect.

“Duke Energy is committed to finding collaborative paths forward to help with the clean-energy transition and carbon-reduction goals in the Carolinas.”  said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, in the statement.  “This deal ensures fair and reasonable treatment for all customers whether they choose to install solar or not.”

According to the utility, some 24,000 customers in North Carolina have installed private solar systems.  In 2018, there were 6,000, the company shared.

Report: North Carolina ranks No. 3 in solar, emerging as renewable energy leader

North Carolina recently ranked third in the nation for the growth of solar energy.

“This program pushes forward progress in North Carolina’s clean energy economy,” said Peter Ledford, general counsel and director of policy at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.  “Not only does it advance the residential solar sector, it also provides a framework and agreement to work collaboratively on the next generation of nonresidential net metering.”

According to Ledford, the proposed agreement will establish new price signals, and it will provide additional opportunities for homeowners to invest in technologies like smart thermostats and battery storage using solar energy.

M grant to NC State may help make rooftop solar cheaper and easier

According to Duke Energy, the filing will enable new net metering tariffs to go into effect for customers who submit applications on or after Jan. 1, 2023.  The agreement also includes varied retail rates based on peak demand and time of day, according to Duke Energy.

“We believe that it is important to provide a fair valuation of distributed energy resources,” said Bryan Jacob, solar program director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.  “Those customers who provide services to the grid with their private investments should be fairly compensated for those services.  At the same time, it is important that rates be designed to align customer behavior with controlling utility costs when possible.”

Solar power must play a role in North Carolina’s economy, said Lindsey Hallock, southeast senior regional director at Vote Solar.

“The inclusion of a low-income solar program to be designed with input from stakeholders will bring the voices of low-income customers to the table, remove prohibitive cost barriers and unlock the benefits of solar for more North Carolinians,” said Hallock.  “I’m hopeful that this promising step is one of many toward a 100% renewable energy future for the Carolinas, and that Duke Energy continues to invest heavily in clean energy sources and support for low-income households.”

Duke Energy inks deal to build solar project in Catawba County

GARNER — Amazon has more than 2,800 available positions in North Carolina, and over half are in the Triangle. Experts say more people are turning to online shopping during the pandemic, and the ...

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