Incentive and quality assurance structure

All new construction projects served by Duke Energy Progress in North and South Carolina are eligible to participate in the Residential New Construction Program. The basic incentive structure and protocols for the RNC Program’s quality assurance are as follows.

Incentive Structure

There are two pathways to participate in the RNC Program:

  1. Equipment incentives – homes that do not qualify for whole-house incentives may still qualify for equipment incentives. Incentives are offered for:

    1. 15+ SEER AC and heat pump systems

    2. 14 SEER AC and heat pump systems with ECM blowers and a complete Quality Installation checklist

    3. Heat pump water heaters

  2. Whole-house incentives

    1. HERO-only: The home complies with HERO code performance standards but does not meet the 4 ACH50 code requirement.

    2. HERO+HERS: The home meets all HERO code requirements and incentives are based on a comparison of the actual home’s energy model to the NCECC code baseline.


It is worth noting that a home can have a blower door higher than 4.00 ACH50 and still be eligible for incentives. If a home fails the blower door, but that house would have passed with 4.0 ACH50 or 0.24 CFM50/SFSA, the home qualifies for the HERO-only incentive. The Ekotrope modeling software automatically considers this hypothetical comparison when infiltration is greater than the reference home’s value.

The 2012 HERO Code required that all homes achieve 4% duct leakage to the outside (LTO) or better. The 2018 HERO code does not enforce a duct leakage target as a mandatory requirement. Rather, the new 3% LTO target is a baseline for compliance that can be exceeded if the whole house performs better than the HERO reference home. If the annual usage of the home is less than the HERO reference home and meets the interior lighting and infiltration requirements, the house is eligible for HERO+HERS incentives. Due to the nature of performance tradeoff options, it may be necessary for field raters to consult with office staff to determine if a home qualifies for the RNC Program while on site.

Overview of Quality Assurance and Control

The Program’s quality assurance staff ensure that all homes submitted in the RNC Program meet HERO code and RESNET standards at a minimum by conducting field inspections and plan reviews. When necessary, the Program will apply a disciplinary protocol to raters that include warnings, probation, and possible suspension or termination from the Program. Violations are specific to the RNC Program and thresholds for accuracy may exceed RESNET standards.

These include:

  • Consistently reporting incorrect data related to home specifications such as shell assembly areas and R-values, windows, and mechanicals.

  • Blower door consistently has a difference of +/- 10% from the QC inspection.

  • Duct blaster consistently has a difference of +/- 10-15 CFM from the QC inspection.

Please note that the thresholds mentioned above are guidelines and that corrections may be required for errors that do not meet the thresholds. This is a result of the complicated nature of home energy modeling and the potential for seemingly small errors to have large savings impacts.