Earlier this month, Duke Energy Carolinas began a new shared-savings cost-recovery method for energy efficiency in North and South Carolina.

Over the next three years, the company will be able to recover the cost of approved energy efficiency and demand-side management programs and make an 11.5 percent profit on the value of the energy saved. Duke can also collect $400,000 more in any year that its energy savings is 1 percent or better than the savings in the previous year.

This new initiative shows how a company can earn money and recover finances from investing in energy efficiency. It replaces the successful Save-A-Watt program, but Duke had difficulties in implementing the initiative and having regulators oversee it.