AN ACT PROVIDING THAT A PERSON WHO CONSTRUCTS OR OPERATES AN ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITY ON A CUSTOMER'S PROPERTY FOR THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF PRODUCING ELECTRICITY, HEAT, OR STEAM FOR SALE TO OR FOR THE USE BY THE CUSTOMER IS NOT A PUBLIC UTILITY AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REGULATION BY THE UTILITIES COMMISSION SO LONG AS THE FACILITY IS SIZED TO SUPPLY NO MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE AVERAGE ANNUAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF THE CUSTOMER AT THAT SITE.
Designates this as as "The Energy Freedom Act of 2015." Provides a sequence of "whereas clauses" setting forth the policy reasons for this act.
Under current law, the term "public utility" does not include persons who construct or operate an electric generating facility for the primary purpose of that person's own use. Amends the definition for "public utility" as provided in GS 62-3(23) to provide that "public utility" also does not mean a person who constructs or operates a renewable energy facility on the site of a customer's property and sells the electricity produced by that facility to the customer who owns the property, as provided by and subject to the limitations of GS 62-119 as enacted in this act.
Enacts new GS 62-119, Third-party sales of electricity from on-site renewable energy facilities, to Article 6 of GS Chapter 62. Provides that third-party sales of electricity from renewable energy facilities on the customer's property where the electricity will be used does not subject the third party owner or operator of the on-site renewable energy equipment to any sales restrictions under GS 62-110.2 or to regulation as a public utility under GS Chapter 62 provided that (1) the facility supplies no more than 125% of the average annual consumption of electricity by the consumer at that site, and (2) the third-party owner reports the proposed construction of the facility to the Utilities Commission (Commission) before beginning construction on the facility. Defines the property that constitutes the customer's site for purposes of this statute. Provides that renewable energy facilities owned or operated by third parties under this statute are eligible to participate in net metering arrangements with applicable public utilities. Authorizes the Commission to approve a new schedule of fees or credits for customers who elect to use distributed energy resources.
Amends GS 62-300(a) to add a new subdivision authorizing the Commission to to collect a $25 fee for each proposed construction report filed by a person who constructs or operates a renewable energy facility on the site of the customer's property and sells the electricity produced by the facility to the customer under the limitations of GS 62-119 as created in this act.
Effective July 1, 2015.