Final Working Group meeting clears the path for production of a template solar ordinance
North Carolina’s economy continues to recover from the recession with our unemployment rate above the national rate. However, the good news is that several sectors, including clean energy, are hiring employees, expanding their businesses, and pumping millions into local economies in every region of our state. These and other important economic findings are detailed in the newly released 2012 North Carolina Clean Energy Industries Census. Retaining and creating jobs and fostering new economic development opportunities must continue to be a top priority for all North Carolinians, especially businesses and policymakers – and the clean energy sector holds great promise and opportunities if we maintain a balance of pro-business policies and regulations.
Click here to download the 2012 NC Clean Energy Industries Census.
Self-Help Credit Union is offering $15 million in low-interest loans for energy-efficiency projects in Charlotte and other cities. Over 50 economic developers, energy professionals and others attended the Feb. 16 launch of the program in Charlotte.
The event was as part of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association's Clean Energy Connections education series. NCSEA's Communications & Government Affairs Specialist, Amneris Solano, spoke with Melissa Malkin-Weber, Green Initiatives Manager at Self-Help Credit Union, about the program.
More businesses are seeing the benefits of adopting energy efficient practices. Has that lead to the need for this kind of loan program?
The Self-Help Energy Loan Fund is exciting because it opens the door to energy efficiency to those borrowers who might have not been considering it at all. For instance, where a small-business is borrowing for working capital, we can help them improve their efficiency by upgrading their old T12 lights or inefficient HVAC.
Why should building owners take advantage of this program?
There are still a lot of disincentives that prevent even very savvy property managers from making energy investments in their buildings. For instance, they may have scoped out great projects with very strong return on investment over time, but it’s hard to make that investment when there’s economic uncertainty. Small businesses face the additional disincentive that they may not have staff with enough bandwidth and resources to identify the best energy investments. We hope that the reduced-cost financing will encourage building owners to take a second look at their energy investment opportunities.
How does this loan program allow businesses to meet their energy savings goals?
One of our key goals is to reduce the cost barrier to implementation. Because of Bank of America’s funding and leadership, we will be able to offer a 1.5 percent interest rate discount through the Self-Help Energy Loan Fund.
Charlotte, NC — Abundant Power Solutions announced further momentum in their commercial energy efficiency financing programs with the closing of a $1.4 million loan for The Westervelt Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to save energy and increase sustainability while providing work for contractors installing the energy-efficiency improvements.
The loan is the latest financing approved through AlabamaSAVES, a program designed and administered by Abundant Power through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to help businesses install energy-saving upgrades, reduce operating expenses and boost employment. Abundant Power worked with ADECA to establish AlabamaSAVES with funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, and then structured credit enhancements to attract outside capital and increase the reach the program. Wells Fargo provided funding for the loan through the Birmingham, Alabama office.
This year has been an extremely busy, challenging and successful one for NCSEA's policy staff at the NC General Assembly - join us as we take a look back. The NC General Assembly concluded the bulk of its 2011 legislative session last Saturday afternoon, adjourning until July 13 when legislators will come back to Raleigh for a special session focused primarily on redistricting (approving new voting districts).
On June 29th, NCSEA’s legislative team (Ivan Urlaub, Julie Robinson, Tom Bean) held our "2011 Legislative Wrap-Up" webinar. Click here to download the webinar presentation. The hour-long webinar included great discussions and Q&A regarding the 2011 session, including the outcome of legislative proposals to strengthen our state’s energy efficient building code and commitment to growing our solar industry, positioning our state to benefit from offshore wind power, growing our smart grid industry, and securing funding for our innovative clean energy economic development institutions like the NC Solar Center, among other critical matters.
A sold out auditorium of mostly Georgia and Southeast business leaders, legislators, regulators, utilities, researchers and investors packed the Georgia Tech Research Institute last Friday, June 24 for the 2011 Southern Solar Summit. The event focused on how the solar market and industry can scale up in Georgia and across the Southeast. The number one take-away from this conference: there is no “free market” when it comes to electricity and solar power, so the solar industry cannot have a viable market growth opportunity without policy and regulatory change – no matter how much further the cost of solar falls over the coming months and years.
As part of a panel on economic development, NCSEA’s Executive Director, Ivan Urlaub presented North Carolina’s progress in...
Last week, the NC Utilities Commission conducted hearings on Duke Energy's progress toward complying with our state's Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law - and specifically the solar set aside. Attendees, including NCSEA's staff, were stunned by their testimony. And, in a second blow to NC's clean energy industry and consumers this week, our utilities finally convinced legislative leadership to not take up the Solar Jobs Bill (HB495/SB473) and the Energy Independence & Job Creation Bill (SB694). These much-needed bills would have retained jobs, created up to 8,300 new jobs across North Carolina by 2015, and allowed a reasonable amount of market competition.
NC GreenPower has issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) produced in North Carolina. The types of renewable generation accepted into their program remain the same, but NC GreenPower is now open to offering a contract guarantee depending on the resource type and premium requested.
Proposals should be received no later than 5pm on Friday, October 22, 2010 either via email to: email@example.com or via mail.
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