AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH TIERED ELECTRICITY RATES FOR RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, PUBLIC, AND INDUSTRIAL CUSTOMERS TO ENCOURAGE ENERGY CONSERVATION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY, TO CREATE AN ENERGY EFFICIENCY BANK TO BE USED FOR LOANS TO CUSTOMERS FOR THE COSTS OF CERTAIN ENERGY EFFICIENCY OR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS, AND TO CREATE AN INCENTIVE FOR CONSUMERS TO PURCHASE ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS.
Enacts new GS 62-115.1 requiring the Utilities Commission (Commission) to develop rate structures for residential, commercial, public, and industrial customers of electric public utilities. Sets out six characteristics that the rate structure must have.
Enacts new GS 62-155.2 to create the Energy Efficiency Bank (Bank) to issue loans to customers for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Projects are eligible if they result in a lower utility bill for that customer when the bill includes the loan payment due. The Bank funds come from: (1) the proceeds from the avoidable pollution tax levied on the sale of energy inefficient household products, (2) the difference in revenues collected from the highest tiered block of the tiered rate structure and the revenues that would have been due based upon the next lower tiered rate block of the tiered rate structure, (3) the difference in the rate of return on capital expenditures for an electric public utility prior to the closure of a peak demand electric power facility or other peak demand electric power generating source for that utility and the rate of return on capital expenditures for the utility after the closure, and (4) any loan interest paid.
The above sections are effective January 1, 2020.
Effective January 1, 2020, and applicable to tax years beginning on or after that date, enacts new Article 5J, Avoidable Pollution Tax for Certain Energy Inefficient Products, in GS Chapter 105. Imposes a privilege tax on an energy inefficient product retailer for each new energy inefficient product the retailer sells. Imposes an excise tax on a new energy inefficient product sold outside the state for storage or use in the state. Sets the rate for the taxes at 5% of the sales price. Provides for the administration of the tax, exemptions from the tax, and refunds. Requires the taxes, minus the allowance for administrative expenses, to be credited to the Bank.