Homes built to voluntary ENERGY STAR® specifications made up about 26% of all new homes constructed in the United States during 2011. And, North Carolina is one of 15 states leading the nation. Under the latest update of the specifications that went into effect earlier this year, ENERGY STAR homes consume at least 15% less energy than those built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
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.
On November 9, the NC Sustainable Energy Association will release its 2011 North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Industries Census detailing amongst other findings the number of jobs and businesses associated with our state’s clean energy sector. The Census and the annual report, now in its fourth year, is the only undertaking of its kind providing North Carolina businesses and industry stakeholders with the most comprehensive and up-to-date data. In 2010, the Census reported more than 12,500 jobs making it the third consecutive year that the clean energy sector experienced growth.
RALEIGH, NC — North Carolina’s leading clean energy conference is just around the corner – space is limited so attendees are encouraged to register today! The NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) will hold its annual “Making Energy Work” conference on Wednesday, November 9th at the Raleigh Convention Center. The conference is well-known for delivering unparalleled educational content, stimulating discussions and debates, and great networking opportunities for a wide range of attendees including the “novice” to energy industry experts to policymakers – everyone involved with our rapidly-developing clean energy economy. For more information on the agenda and to register, please visit: http://energync.org/annualmeeting2011.
NCSEA continues to be extensively involved with the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy. As part of our opposition to the merged company that will become the nation's largest utility, NCSEA has outlined several recommendations or stipulations that should be incorporated into a settlement, if approved by regulators. Below are the latest updates from proceedings before the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Legislators returned to Raleigh last week for a second special session, which made a handful of fixes to earlier legislation and approved a controversial constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage and civil unions that will appear on the primary ballot in May. Although it appeared each day on the House calendar, no action was taken on Senate Bill 709, the "Energy Jobs Act," which legislators approved earlier this summer, but the Governor vetoed at the end of June. (This bill includes offshore oil drilling, natural gas "fracking," and a major restructuring of our state's Energy Policy Council - i.e. a promotion of fossil fuel development both on and offshore in NC and de-emphasizes clean energy development as a goal of state policy.) The Senate has already voted to override the Governor's veto of SB709, so it's awaiting action by the House, which currently does not have the needed 72 votes to override the veto.
North Carolina is leading the Southeast in the emerging clean energy economy. Below is a small sampling of what's happening in NC. Click below on each link to learn more about these recent innovations, announcements and advancements:
Clean energy is now creating more jobs for the energy produced than coal or natural gas, and solar energy is the fastest growing industry in the United States, according to industry and academic sources. Solar energy alone employed 93,502 American jobs in 2010 and could grow from 25,000-50,000 this year, economy willing. Solar also is producing more jobs than any other energy source, and could generate four million jobs by 2030. Fifty percent of solar firms expect to be adding jobs this year even as our nation's economy continues to struggle.
The NC Weatherization Assistance Program, in the NC Energy Office, is soliciting “Statements of Qualification” to prepare a list of pre-qualified firms to provide construction management services to the Weatherization Multifamily Pilot Program. The Weatherization Multifamily Pilot Program will provide services to increase the energy efficiency of low-income housing developments in North Carolina and improve energy related health and safety for residents. The NC. Energy Office anticipates spending $9 million to $12 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to weatherize as many as 4,500 units at developments throughout the state over the next several months ending in March 2012.
An information session will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 1, 2011. For details, go online to: http://www.nccommerce.com/energy/about-us/announcements.
North Carolina's clean energy economy continues to grow, from the "boots on the roof and ground" to the manufacturing line and everywhere in between in our supply chain. The latest great news: two major solar companies announced plans recently to build new manufacturing facilities in NC, which will employ close to 300 people in Henderson and Charlotte in the coming years.
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