Solarize Duke

Project Description & Co-Benefits:

Beginning in fall 2014, the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative co-led a Bass Connections in Energy project to research the current solar landscape in North Carolina.  After extensive research, the team identified a closing window of opportunity to take advantage of expiring state and federal tax incentives for residential solar.  Thus, the team designed and implemented the Solarize Duke campaign to help employees install rooftop solar before the expiration of these tax credits. In spring of 2015, the project team partnered with local solar installers and Next Climate to leverage a group discount rate and ultimately incentivize Duke University employees to install solar energy panels on their homes.  The project team hosted four educational events, attended by over 150 employees, and provided 294 home assessments.  Twenty-nine home solar instillations were contracted in 2015, totaling 152 kilowatts of solar capacity.

Solarize Duke provided students an opportunity for interdisciplinary research on solar policy and provided educational resources to the Duke community.  In addition to in-person educational events, a student-written “Jane Q” guide walks through the entire process of purchasing solar for a hypothetical Duke employee. 

Student Involvement:

The project was conceived and implemented in collaboration with five Duke University students through the Bass Connections program.

Information session for the Solarize Duke program.

Information session for the Solarize Duke program.

Project Organizer Contact Info:

Matthew Arsenault, Program Manager, Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, 919-613-7466

Project Status:

Completed (2014-2015) 

Offset Registry or Program:


Protocol Applied:


Cost per Offset ($ per mtCO2e):


# of Total Offsets:

Approximately 2,000 mtCO2e over 25 years; however these reductions are not counted as offsets as they were not implemented or documented following an offset protocol.

Website: Solarize Duke