NC net-metering changes pushed from July to October

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A coalition of clean energy advocates said the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission blatantly ignored state law in March, approving Duke Energy’s plan to curtail the financial benefits of residential solar customers. will also hurt the rooftop solar industry and electricity users in all states, legal officials said. filing.

On May 18, the coalition began proceedings to block the implementation of solar regulations, pending review of the case by the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Law HB 589 of 2017 expressly mandates public works boards to conduct their own cost-benefit analysis of solar net meters that compensate for the electricity that homes send back to the grid, according to coalition attorneys. .

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein agreed. So did Conservative Republican former state legislator John Zoka, the bill’s author, who said relying on Duke’s own research was like a fox guarding a chicken coop.

But Duke has resisted a commission-led investigation, and regulators have sided with the utilities’ own calculations, which the coalition claims are deeply flawed and one-sided.

Defenders argue that Duke ignored strong evidence that solar net meters benefit even non-solar customers. Stein said Duke’s internal figures omit the potential benefits of solar power.

“Net meters have long been the cornerstone of North Carolina’s residential solar power program, allowing homeowners to generate clean renewable energy on-site and receive fair compensation by selling surplus energy back to the grid. ,” said General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Caroline Leary. Member of the Environmental Working Group.

Delayed implementation

Several solar companies and other parties recently announced that the new rules will come into effect July 1-10 to give Duke time to develop an online rate calculator, as required by a commission order. requested the committee to postpone until the 1st of the month.

They argue that calculators have not worked well in South Carolina since Duke forced a similar rule change in South Carolina in 2022. Duke later joined the call for a new date, and on May 17 the Commission agreed to delay implementation of the new rule.

Coalitions suing the Commission’s Net Weighing Order include EWG, North Carolina Warning, Sunrise Durham, 350 Triangle, 350 Charlotte, North Carolina Climate Solutions Coalition, North Carolina Alliance to Protect People and Where We Live, and a former chemical engineer. including Donald Ullman.

Under the unique rules governing public works commissions, the federation must first require the commission itself to suspend or authorize suspension of its own orders. The Coalition should also inform the Commission that the entities are preparing a comprehensive petition for the State Court of Appeals to overturn the Commission’s order that approved the new rule. achieves this.

“The attack on Duke Energy’s rooftop solar power plant is a direct outgrowth of the Edison Electric Laboratory strategy. We’ve spent years working on it,” said Jiyad Habash, a member of the Sunrise Movement Durhamhub.

In a related move, last week about 68 pro-solar nonprofits and companies — about half of whom are solar companies — told North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Stein to He insisted on a full and open process for changing the net meter. They rejected Duke’s attempts to cover up the proposed changes for thousands of pages in two lawsuits about rate hikes.

News article from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

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