Duke Energy has received the green light to pay its North Carolina customers $30 to haul away old refrigerators.
The N.C. Utilities Commission said today that the incentive will promote energy efficiency by insuring that when customers buy energy-efficient refrigerators, older fridges are junked instead of being harnessed for double-duty in garages and attics.
Charlotte-based Duke expects nearly 51,000 customers to take advantage of the incentive in the first four years it's offered. Duke has about 180,000 customers in Chapel Hill, Durham and other parts of the Triangle, amounting to about 10 percent of the company's customer base in North Carolina.
The utilities commission also said that Duke will be able to recover its program costs through customer bills, as utilities typically do to pay for efficiency incentives and to compensate for losses in power sales that about as a result of efficiency programs. The commission gave Duke discretion to increase the fridge bonus up to $50 if necessary to keep customers interested.