NCSEA and Others Enter into Partial Settlement and Stipulation with Duke Energy for Current Rate Cases

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association today announces that it has entered into an Agreement and Stipulation of Settlement with Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress for their current rate cases. NCSEA is proud of the work put in by all settling parties, including the North Carolina Justice Center, North Carolina Housing Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to ensure greater access to clean energy for all North Carolinians, especially those from low to moderate income households. We look forward to continued collaboration as we work with the settling parties and others to implement the stipulations to which Duke Energy agreed.  

NCSEA’s primary goal is to secure an energy future in which clean energy is affordable, accessible, and reliable to all North Carolinians,” said NCSEA Acting Executive Director Ward Lenz. The stipulations outlined in this partial settlement take an important step toward that future by creating the opportunity for greater utility-scale solar development in the parts of the state that need it most, and by supporting three separate initiatives that offer energy savings to some of the most economically challenged households in North Carolina.  

In the partial settlement, Duke Energy agreed to address obstacles to distributed generation, including grid congestion, as it implements its Grid Investment Plan; contribute $6 million to the Helping Home Fund, which offers energy efficiency assistance to low income households; collaborate with settling parties to craft a Pay As You Save® pilot program; collaborate with settling parties to craft energy efficiency programs targeted for low to moderate income households; and include distribution system hosting capacity analyses as part of its Integrated Systems Operations Planning. 

In exchange, NCSEA and other settling parties agreed to: support Duke Energy’s compromise rate of return proposal; support components of Duke Energy’s Grid Improvement Plan that will enable the greater utilization of distributed energy resources, including non-wires alternatives; and not oppose the deferral of costs for certain components of the Grid Improvement Plan. Importantly, NCSEA does reserve the right to contest Grid Improvement Plan costs in future rate cases. 

This partial settlement must be reviewed and approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, but NCSEA is grateful for the cooperation and collaboration of all of the settling parties including Duke Energy. We look forward to ensuring the terms of this partial settlement are met and developing programs together that unify and benefit all consumers, developers, and distributors of energy in North Carolina.

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