Legislation proposing balanced and comprehensive reform to North Carolina’s energy policies was approved in a bipartisan state House vote of 108-11 on Wednesday.
House Bill 589 Competitive Energy Solutions for NC installs a market-driven approach to renewable energy production in North Carolina through a competitive bidding process designed to lower costs for ratepayers and ensure the state continues to develop affordable, diverse and reliable sources of energy.
“House Bill 589 benefits North Carolina’s ratepayers with a balanced, free-market approach that expands access to diverse sources of energy while controlling costs through competitive pricing,” said House Speaker Tim Moore.
The bill also allows private parties to access a competitive market for renewable energy installation and encourages the development of rooftop renewable energy projects for consumers through community and third-party leasing solar energy programs.
Bill sponsor Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union) said the bill was necessary to lower costs for residential and commercial energy customers:
“This bill makes a fundamental shift in North Carolina’s energy policy, saving ratepayers by putting renewable projects up for competitive bidding,” Arp said. “It uses the powerful free-market process for renewable energy and provides public utilities input where and how to best locate facilities to maintain grid reliability.”
H.B. 589 encourages innovation of renewable energy technology by requiring providers to compete for lower prices and more favorable siting locations when they connect to North Carolina’s power grid.
Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland) said the comprehensive Competitive Energy Solutions bill keeps North Carolina in control of its own energy future with forward-thinking power policies that ensure affordable rates and diverse sources of increasingly efficient technology:
“I believe the compromises in this process have led to a very good and balanced bill,” Szoka said on the floor. “This bill is a major step for our state.”