Bill Summary for H 529 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Apr 12 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 529 (Public) Filed Monday, April 12, 2021
AN ACT TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF HIGH ENERGY COSTS ON THE CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA BY ELIMINATING RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS AND TO PROVIDE FOR COST RECOVERY BY PUBLIC UTILITIES FOR CERTAIN COSTS OF COMPLIANCE WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS.
Intro. by Pittman, Cleveland, Kidwell, Brody.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 62-2 which declares State policy concerning public utility rates, services and operations. Adds the State policy to promote the development of the lowest cost electric power that will promote economic growth by providing public utilities the choice to use any type of energy resource free of State interference or control. Concerning the policy to assure resources necessary to meet future growth through the provision of adequate reliable utility service, removes the qualification that this includes use of the entire spectrum of demand side options, and adds that the availability of resources is at reasonable cost. Eliminates the State policy to seek to adjust the rate of growth of regulated energy supply facilities serving the State to the policy requirements of statewide development. Eliminates the State policy to promote the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency through the implementation of a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). 

Makes conforming changes throughout GS 62-133.8 to eliminate reference to REPS. Further modifies the statute as follows. Eliminates the terms combined heat and power system and renewable energy certificate. Amends the term demand-side management to qualify that the included actions by an electric power supplier in the term must be taken with customer approval. Expands the term new renewable energy facility to include a hydroelectric power facility that delivers electric power to an electric power supplier (was, limited to those with a generation capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) or less). Similarly, expands the term renewable energy facility to include a hydroelectric power facility with a generation capacity of more than 10 MW. Eliminates the exception in renewable energy source to now include peat, nuclear energy and fossil fuel in the term.

Amends the provisions concerning control of emissions to require rather than permit the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to adopt rules to implement the control of emissions provisions of the statute. Eliminates the exemption from the control of emissions provisions for certain new renewable energy facilities. Deems carbon dioxide to not be an air pollutant for the purchases of the provisions governing control of emissions. 

Concerning the provisions for cost recovery and customer charges, directs the Commission to allow recovery under the annual rider only for the reasonable and prudent costs incurred prior to July 1, 2021, including costs under renewable energy purchase contracts entered into prior to July 1, 2021, and the costs of construction of renewable energy facilities for which a certificate of public convenience and necessity has been issued by the Commission prior to July 1, 2021. Makes conforming changes throughout subsection (h) to limit all other recovery to charges prior to July 1, 2021. Additionally, no longer includes in incremental costs costs incurred to fund research that encourages the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, or improved air quality not exceeding $1 million. Eliminates the provisions which provide for an electric power supplier to be conclusively deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of the statute (the former REPS). 

Makes conforming changes to the charge to the Commission concerning rulemaking for the statute's implementation. Eliminates the Commission's reporting requirements on implementation and compliance with the statute. Amends the Commission's annual reporting requirements to now require submission of a report regarding the cost impact on the production and transmission of electricity for electric power suppliers and their retail customers resulting from the use of renewable resources. No longer requires the inclusion of public comments or consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality. 

Makes further conforming and technical changes to the statute.

Prohibits an electric public utility that purchases power from a small power producer pursuant to the identified order of the NC Utilities Commission dated October 11, 2017, from charging its retail customers a rate higher than the rate the electric public utility would have charged based on the lowest cost electric generation available to the electric public utility. 

Effective July 1, 2021. 

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