New Report Shows Clean Energy’s Positive Impact on North Carolina’s Economy and Utility Rates
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2013
Contact: Betsy McCorkle
New Report Shows Clean Energy’s Positive Impact on
North Carolina’s Economy and Utility Rates
Since 2007, clean energy investments have created thousands of jobs.
Raleigh– Today, two leading national research institutes, RTI International and La Capra Associates, Inc., released a new study, The Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina, which is an economic analysis focused on the impacts of clean energy policy in the state.
The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) commissioned the two research groups to conduct an independent and objective analysis focused on key policy drivers and the economic and fiscal impacts of clean energy development, and the ratepayer impacts associated with this development. The study found that the key policy drivers of clean energy development in North Carolina include the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), renewable energy investment tax credit, and Utility Savings Initiative.
The study’s key findings include:
· Clean energy policies are costing electricity ratepayers less than they would have paid without these policies. By 2026, this switch to clean energy will lead to $173 million in cost savings for electricity customers.
· While the broader North Carolina economy lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2007-2012, the state experienced a net gain in employment of 21,162 job years from 2007-2012 resulting from clean energy development.
· Tax credits taken by renewable energy projects developed between 2007 and 2012 generated $1.87 in state or local revenue for every $1.00 of incentive. Since 2007, the state’s clean energy policies have been a net revenue generator for the state of $113 million.
· Between 2007 and 2012, clean energy investment in the State increased 13-fold and generated or saved an estimated 8.2 million MWh of energy through a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by all the households in the cities of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Fayetteville for one year. In addition, state government energy efficiency programs saved the government an estimated $427 million of taxpayer money.
· From 2007-2012, the total economic benefit of clean energy development in North Carolina was $1.7 billion and generated $2.56 billion in associated spending in the state economy. Rural counties have benefited greatly, including more than $100 million of new clean energy investment in each of three counties - Davidson, Robeson and Person Counties.
Figure 4-5 (shown here) from the study report shows the clean energy rate impact is lower when compared with the conventional energy portfolio.
“This report is a clear indicator of the direct and indirect positive impact clean energy is having on North Carolina’s economy and workforce, as well as generating additional state and local tax revenues,” said Betsy McCorkle, Director of Government Affairs for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA). “For example, every $1 North Carolina invests in tax credits for renewable energy state and local governments are seeing at least $1.87 flow back into their coffers to support core functions of government like transportation, education, and public safety. That’s a great return on investment that is benefiting all North Carolinians, especially in some of our rural communities.”
“Some electricity customers in our state may think their electric bills are higher because of our state’s clean energy policies. Plain as day on their electric bills they see ‘REPS rider’ and ‘energy efficiency rider’ and assume their bills would be lower if those charges were not there,” explained Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director for NCSEA. “In fact, this study finds that if those policies and charges did not exist, all customers’ electric bills would be higher, not lower, than they are today. Our state’s clean energy policies are not only positioning North Carolina’s clean energy industry as a top national and global competitor, these policies are making all North Carolina industries more cost competitive and keeping more money in our state economy by avoiding about $173 million in electricity costs over 20 years.”
According to the 2012 NC Clean Energy Industries Census released last October, the clean energy industry includes over 1,100 companies found in all regions of our state. (Clean energy includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, high performance building, smart grid, energy storage and electric vehicles.) These companies generated at least $3.7 billion in annual revenues from in-state and out-of-state activity. Based on filings with the NC Utilities Commission, there are nearly 2,300 installed or planned renewable energy systems, which is a dramatic increase since 2007.
“Clean energy is creating thousands of jobs, fostering innovation, and attracting billions in private investment to North Carolina,” McCorkle said. “As our elected officials consider an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy for our state, this study should encourage them to applaud the success of the clean energy industry and preserve the policies that are enabling more competition and choice for energy consumers.”
To download a copy of the full clean energy study, go to http://energync.org/assets/files/RTI%20Study%202013.pdf
Click here for a document summarizing the results of the study.
Note to media: NCSEA can also provide information regarding local clean energy companies in your area, which you can highlight or interview for your story. Please contact Betsy McCorkle for more information.