An old rock ballad spoke about finding peace and quiet “up on the roof,” but Progress Energy is starting up a program through which customers can also find money there.

The utility’s Carolinas division said this week that it will start Jan 1 with a SunSense program to give customers who install rooftop power-producing panels upfront rebates of $1,000 per kilowatt of capacity and monthly bill credits of $4.50 per kilowatt coming from photovoltaics.

The deal is for residential customers and applies to new installations that can generate between 2 and 10 kilowatts.

“This is another important step in leveraging solar energy as a clean, renewable resource,” said Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas, which has 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas.

“We already have a number of programs that provide incentives for commercial and industrial customers, and we’re pursuing contracts with larger-scale solar energy projects,” Yates said.

The state is pushing utilities to create 3 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2012 and 12.5 percent by 2021.

Progress said the SunSense program provides it with the rights to renewable energy credits generated by the photovoltaic installations.