(Raleigh, NC – Oct. 29, 2013) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) commended the North Carolina Utilities Commission today for giving final approval to Duke Energy to implement a plan that will increase investments in energy efficiency and reduce energy use.
Duke's new shared savings plan allows the company to make money on energy efficiency investments, but only if customers save money. The commission's decision strengthens the potential that Duke will meet its merger goal of 7% in energy savings over the next five years.
The decision also requires Duke Energy to explore new programs that increase investments in energy efficiency, such as on-bill repayment and combined heat and power technology for commercial customers. The plan replaces Save-a-Watt, which expires at the end of this year.
"Duke's plan is another milestone in an evolving utility business model that will lead North Carolina to a robust, clean energy economy as it grapples with an aging electric generating infrastructure," said Greg Andeck, EDF manager of utility initiatives. "The plan aligns the utility’s return on energy efficiency investments with program performance and customer savings. The company will be motivated to invest in cost-effective programs to increase energy efficiency."
"While not perfect, the Save-a-Watt program clearly established that consumers and utilities benefit from energy efficiency investments,” said Lowell Sachs, NCSEA communications director. “Duke Energy's support for the new and improved plan not only signals the company’s long-term commitment to energy efficiency in North Carolina moving forward, it also provides increased certainty to clean energy businesses as they plan whether and where to create new manufacturing, sales, and installation jobs in the state.”
The commission's decision incorporates the major elements of an agreement reached in August by Duke Energy, Commission Public Staff, EDF, NCSEA and environmental groups.
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About Environmental Defense Fund
EDF is a leading national nonprofit organization that creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See edf.org; twitter.com/EDFEnergyEX; facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund; and http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/.
About NC Sustainable Energy Association
Founded in 1978, the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, government and non-profits working to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development. NCSEA has been the “go-to” leader in shaping North Carolina's commitment to renewable energy, energy efficiency, high performance building, smart grid and electric vehicle jobs and economic opportunities in communities all across our state. Learn more at www.energync.org