North Carolina Utilities Hijack Energy Choice and Independence Legislation

slrNorth Carolina utility monopolies such as Duke Energy Carolinas and Dominion North Carolina Power have planted a poison pill in a piece of legislation designed to provide more energy choice and energy independence in North Carolina.

Publicly, the utilities are opposing the bill to prevent the innovative third-party-owned solar business model from taking off in the state.  At the same time, behind the scenes they have slipped in language that would pave the way for stifling the solar market if the bill passes.

This centers on net metering, which guarantees solar customers full, fair credit for their excess solar energy. It introduces competition to the electricity market. That’s not something monopolies like to deal with.

If passed, the “Energy Freedom Act” HB 245 would give the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) the authority to approve a separate, discriminatory tariff for net metering customers.  A separate tariff paves the way for stripping Tar Heels of the credit they deserve for investing in solar for their own roofs.  The bill would also allow utilities to create a separate rate class for rooftop solar customers, a vehicle for solar taxes.

Barry Goldwater Jr., the Chairman of TUSK, which stands for Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed had this to say, “This bill has a hidden poison pill that would undermine the solar industry. “The state Legislature should recognize this utility deception and strike the anti-solar language.”

Let’s hope North Carolina lawmakers wise up to utility monopoly tactics and remove the poison pill from this legislation.

Solar choice and competition are the conservative way, and should remain the North Carolina way. Utilities have launched attacks across the country to stomp out competition from rooftop solar, and North Carolina is just the latest example. 

Comments are closed.