by Jim Kennerly, Regulatory Specialist
The NC Sustainable Energy Association, Renewable Energy Group Files Comments in Biennial Avoided Cost Proceeding (NCUC Docket No. E-100, Sub 136)
On Thursday, February 7th, the NC Sustainable Energy Association and the Renewable Energy Group filed their comments in the Avoided Cost docket. The NC Sustainable Energy Association’s main concern in the case is that the utilities are undervaluing the true cost of the “next” plant that serves as the basis for the avoided cost calculation through a series of subtle (yet inconsistent) accounting approaches. To make this point, the NC Sustainable Energy Association was able to recover emails through the discovery process that showed that uncertainty existed regarding these subtle accounting approaches.
Moving forward, the NC Sustainable Energy Association welcomes any opportunities to work with the Public Staff, the Renewable Energy Group (REG) and the utilities to arrive at avoided cost rates that are representative of the true cost of the “next” plant.
The NC Sustainable Energy Association Files Comments in the Integrated Resource Planning Docket (NCUC Docket No. E-100, Sub 137)
On Tuesday, February 5th, the NC Sustainable Energy Association filed its comments and a Motion to Disclose in the Integrated Resource Planning docket. NC Sustainable Energy Association comments were in two parts:
- Motion to Disclose The NC Sustainable Energy Association is moving that Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC) should be required to disclose information regarding its REPS compliance that it has disclosed in the recent past, prior to its acquisition by Duke Energy. On February 7th, the Commission issued an Order Requesting Comments on the motion. Comments and reply comments will be due on March 8th and March 29th, respectively.
- Comments Requesting Rulemaking Regarding Customer Data Access In order to facilitate scientific research into customer energy usage and give customers more options to reduce their energy usage, the NC Sustainable Energy Association is requesting that the NCUC allow customers and researchers to get access to certain customer data. Several outside parties, including (but not limited to) Advanced Energy Economy, the Environmental Defense Fund, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, Apartment Association of NC, the NC Solar Center, the U.S. Green Building Council, PlotWatt, Abundant Power Group, Sheercom LLC, the City of Durham, and the City of Asheville have submitted letters of support to the NCUC.
Senate Moves Senate Bill 10, A Bill Designed to Dismiss Existing North Carolina Regulators
On Thursday, February 7th, the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 10, the Government Reorganization and Efficiency Act, which is designed to dismiss all of the existing appointees to several state boards and commissions. One of these boards is the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
The regulation of electric utilities by itself is complex and time-consuming. The Utilities Commission also regulates water utilities, gas utilities, movers, and transportation companies.The NC Sustainable Energy Association believes that the current version of Senate Bill 10 threatens to leave North Carolina without a fully functioning Utilities Commission for a month or more as new commissioners are appointed and learn how to regulate.Staggered vacancies and appointments are good policy because they preserve institutional knowledge and maintain a fully functioning Utilities Commission capable of efficiently advancing the public's interest at all times.
Progress Rate Case Update: League of Municipalities, U.S. Military Intervene
On February 11th, the North Carolina League of Municipalities intervened in the Progress Energy rate case. Earlier last week, the U.S. Department of Defense, who intervened in Progress’ last rate case in 1988, also intervened in the case. NC Sustainable Energy Association is pleased to see that the League of Municipalities, which comprise some of Progress’ largest retail and wholesale customers, have made an effort to engage in the regulatory process about issues that matter to them.