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Posts in category "Utility Commission"

NCUC Hires Outside Counsel in Post-Merger Investigation

August 1, 2012 4:55 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has hired Anton R. Valukas and the law firm of Jenner & Block as outside counsel to assist in its investigation of the Duke Energy and Progress Energy merger. Valukas is a litigator and the Chairman of Jenner & Block, a national firm which has offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Los Angeles.

The Commission approved the merger on June 29, 2012. But the Commission has been investigating whether it was misled after news broke that Bill Johnson, the former head of Progress Energy, was removed from the top spot and replaced by James E. Rogers, the Duke chief executive.

Johnson, Rogers and two Duke directors — Ann Maynard Gray and Michael Browning — and two former Progress directors, E. Marie McKee and James Hyler Jr. — were asked to testify before the Commission in July. Following the hearings, the Commission said it would continue to look into the matter.

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) intervened in the merger proceedings and requested that Duke Energy and Progress Energy be combined only on the condition that the utilities take certain mitigation measures. One of those measures was for the combined utility to offer on-bill financing as a way to make energy efficiency measures accessible and affordable to residential customers who may not be able secure a loan to pay for efficiency improvements.

Earlier this week, NCSEA entered into an agreement with Duke Energy and Progress Energy to try to design an on-bill financing program by year’s end that will work for the utilities, their customers and renewable energy and energy efficiency developers.


Amended Rules for Electric Generator Filings

August 1, 2012 3:06 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

Renewable energy developers should take note of a new North Carolina Utilities Commission order.

Earlier this week, the Commission amended three of its filing requirements for new electric generators. The changes were issued on Monday, July 30 in order E-100, Sub 134. The order amends Rules R8-61, R8-63 and R8-64 which deal with applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity.


NCSEA and Duke-Progress to Discuss Program for On-Bill Financing

July 31, 2012 6:53 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) has entered into an agreement with Duke Energy and Progress Energy to try to design an on-bill financing program that will work for the utilities, their customers and renewable energy and energy efficiency developers

Energy efficiency improvements and rooftop solar are often too costly for customers, even after taking utility incentives into account. Duke, Progress and NCSEA will explore the feasibility of an on-bill financing program that addresses the up-front cost hurdle. A successfully implemented program would promote a more resilient, secure and affordable energy future for all of North Carolina.

Duke, Progress and NCSEA hope the Public Staff, the South Carolina Regulatory, NC Attorney General, NAACP, AARP, the NC Justice Center, Environmental Defense Fund and the NC Farm Bureau will be direct participants the discussion.


Duke-Progress, NCSEA and Others Reach Agreement in Swine Poultry Set Aside Case

July 31, 2012 6:33 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano & Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director

Duke Energy and Progress Energy have agreed to disclose additional information about their ongoing efforts to comply with the swine/poultry waste-to-energy obligations included in the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law. The utilities filed a settlement agreement on Tuesday, July 31 with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Earlier this summer, North Carolina’s electric suppliers — Duke, Progress, Dominion and the municipal and cooperative power companies — indicated to the Commission that they would not be able to comply with their 2012 and 2013 swine and poultry waste-to-energy REPS requirements.


NCUC Update: Fayetteville Public Works Commission

July 31, 2012 10:05 AM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

In its 2010 REPS Compliance Report, the Fayetteville Public Works Commission (FPWC) included intra-city power transfers (e.g., transfers of power from FPWC to city police departments and fire departments, etc.) among its “retail sales” that give rise to its REPS compliance obligations.

Since filing the report, FPWC seeks to amend the report to exclude the intra-city power transfers. By doing so, FPWC will reduce its retail sales and number of customer accounts and thereby reduce its REPS compliance obligations.

NCSEA conducted discovery and learned that FPWC appears to have treated the intra-city power transfers as retail sales for North Carolina tax purposes.  NCSE filed comments with the NC Utilities Commission on July 30, 2012 asking the Commission to consider FPWC’s treatment of the transfers as retail sales for tax purposes in making any decision. The Commission will now either issue an order in the coming months or conduct additional fact-finding inquiry.


Update: NCSEA Regulatory Filings

July 27, 2012 3:47 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) filed comments and a post-hearing brief in three different regulatory matters this week. The dockets were filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.


2012 North Carolina Legislative Wrap Up Webinar

July 25, 2012 4:01 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

On July 25, more than 70 NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) members, supporters and others tuned into an informative wrap up on energy-related legislation that was discussed during the 2012 North Carolina General Assembly's Short Session. The session ended on July 3.

NCSEA registered lobbyists Julie Robinson and Tom Bean also previewed the 2013 legislative session and spoke about the expected efforts to repeal or roll back the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard and tax credit. In addition, the webinar covered NCSEA's current and upcoming work at the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Other panelists included NCSEA Executive Director Ivan Urlaub and NCSEA's Counsel and Regulatory Advisor Michael Youth.


NCSEA Files in Duke REPS Cost Recovery Case

July 23, 2012 9:03 PM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) has requested that Duke Energy be required to submit annual research spending reports for its compliance with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. NCSEA filed a post-hearing brief on Monday, July 23 with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).

NCSEA is primarily requesting that the Commission:

  • Give the public a better understanding of how the research spending is benefitting them; and
  • Acknowledge that cross-subsidies are fairly common in utilities regulation and should not be viewed as a negative — especially, when they are incorporated into rates to advance policies that serve the public interest.

NCSEA continues work on Duke-Progress Merger

December 1, 2011 8:57 AM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

NCSEA filed a brief Nov. 28 at the NC Utilities Commission underscoring its opposition to the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger in the absence of several important modifications to the final agreement. This is the latest action by NCSEA, which has been involved in the merger docket before the Commission.

 

Specifically, NCSEA requested that if the merger is approved by the Commission, the utilities should:

 

  • Undertake a pilot program to evaluate the benefits of third-party direct sales of renewable power to small-energy consumers and to;
  • Enhance the Public Benefits Fund agreed upon in the initial merger settlement by Duke and Progress by authorizing on-bill financing of energy efficiency measures and providing sufficient funding for existing low-income energy efficiency and bill pay assistance programs.

Longtime NC Utilities Commissioner Steps Down

November 30, 2011 9:48 AM | Posted By: Amneris Solano

Lornizo Joyner, an 11-year veteran of the NC Utilities Commission, is retiring at the end of year, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.

"I decided it was just time," said Joyner, who has worked for the state for 37 years, including a stint with the state’s utility customer advocate, the Public Staff of the Commission, the Business Journal reported.

Her one regret, she told the Journal, is that she will not be a part of the final decision on Duke Energy’s pending $26 billion merger with Progress Energy. "That’s a fascinating case,” she told the newspaper. "But there’s always going to be an interesting case. You just have to pick your time and go."

News of her departure came as the final public hearing for Duke Energy’s now 7.2% rate increase started Monday.

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