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Clean Energy is a Net Positive on NC Utility Rates, Says Report

February 19, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

A study found clean energy policies are costing electricity ratepayers in North Caroline less than they would have paid without these policies.

The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) commissioned two research groups to conduct an independent analysis. The two groups – RTI International and La Capra Associates – released the study “The Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina.”

The chart (pictured) from the report shows the clean energy rate impact is lower when compared with the conventional energy portfolio.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The key policy drivers of clean energy development in North Carolina include the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), the renewable energy investment tax credit, and the Utility Savings Initiative.
  • By 2026, the switch to clean energy will lead to $173 million in cost savings for electricity customers.
  • While the broader North Carolina economy lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2007-2012, the state experienced a net gain in employment of 21,162 job years from 2007-2012 resulting from clean energy development.
  • Tax credits taken by renewable energy projects developed between 2007 and 2012 generated $1.87 in state or local revenue for every $1.00 of incentive.
  • Since 2007, the state’s clean energy policies have been a net revenue generator for the state of $113 million.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, clean energy investment in the state increased 13-fold and generated or saved an estimated 8.2 million MWh of energy through a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by all the households in the cities of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Fayetteville for one year. In addition, state government energy efficiency programs saved the government an estimated $427 million of taxpayer money.
  • From 2007-2012, the total economic benefit of clean energy development in North Carolina was $1.7 billion and generated $2.56 billion in associated spending in the state economy. Rural counties have benefited greatly, including more than $100 million of new clean energy investment in each of three counties – Davidson, Robeson and Person Counties.


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