Bill Summaries: H681 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 15 2015 - View summary

    Amends GS 62-2(a) to revise the energy policy of the state to consider the entire spectrum of energy generation, including generation from renewable sources. Deletes language in (a)(10) that requires the state to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency through the implementation of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). Replaces it with language requiring the state to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in a manner consistent with the development of the least cost mix of generation. Effective when it becomes law.

    Amends the definition of small power producer in GS 62-3(27a) to include energy from other types of renewable resources. Amends GS 62-156, which governs the contracts between electric utilities and small power producers. Requires that standard contracts with these producers not exceed 100 kilowatts of capacity and not exceed 15 years. Requires that the rates paid by a utility to the producer not exceed the incremental cost to the utility (was limited to the energy cost). Provides that the contract may not include payment for capacity. Effective July 1, 2015, and applies to rates approved on or after that date.

    Makes several changes to the REPS program in GS 62-133.8, including: (1) eliminating the requirements for renewable energy and energy efficiency after 2018, (2) eliminating the authority of utilities to charge account holders a higher annual fee in 2015 and thereafter to recover costs related to REPS implementation (capped at 2012 amounts), and (3) allowing electric public utilities to meet 50% of the requirement for reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency measures (was, 25%).

    Repeals GS 105-275(45), which is the tax exclusion for a solar energy electric system. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2015.

    Directs the Energy Policy Council to conduct an assessment of costs and benefits of distributed generation, including distributed solar generation, to be provided to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and the Utilities Commission  by May 1, 2016. Requires utilities and others to cooperate with the assessment.

    The Utilities Commission may allow an electric power supplier to recover incremental costs it incurred before July 1, 2015, in order to comply with REPS requirements that are repealed.

    Includes severability clause.