North Carolina House Bill 245, the Energy Freedom Act, would open up North Carolina electricity markets to third party (“no money down”) sales of electricity, but Duke Energy is lobbying furiously to protect its monopoly control over North Carolina.
A pipe from a Duke Energy coal ash dump in Eden, NC broke on February 2, 2014, spilling tons of toxic ash into the Dan River. Find out what we’re doing to hold Duke Energy accountable.
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Photo by Phil Fonville.
Many scientists warn that we are likely to pass the tipping point for irreversible climate change within this decade. NC WARN, founded in the late 1980s, is working to avert runaway climate and economic chaos by pressing Duke Energy – the largest corporate utility in the world – to join the clean energy revolution, or at least stop impeding it. We need your help.
State elected officials and a diverse Ministers’ Conference today announced their support for state legislation that would expand rooftop solar power to more customers across the economic spectrum while boosting investment and jobs across North Carolina.
Duke Energy officials describe the flaw as a small depression in a welding seam. They say the public was never in danger. Critics aren’t so sure.
“The industry has had this problem for a number of years and they haven’t been able to figure out how to prevent it from occurring,” said Jim Warren, with the nuclear watchdog group NC WARN.
A Republican push to expand solar power in North Carolina may stand the best chance yet of ending a state ban that prevents independent energy developers from selling electricity directly to homeowners and businesses.
For the second time in recent weeks, voters across North Carolina’s political spectrum have signaled overwhelming support for solar power and the right to competition instead of remaining captive to Duke Energy’s monopoly.
The good news: N.C. House Bill 245, dubbed the Energy Freedom Act, which was unveiled last week by a bipartisan cast of co-sponsors. Solar advocates call it “the no-money-down solar bill.” Said an exuberant Caroline Hansley, a field organizer for Greenpeace: “It’s a game-changer!”
N.C. Rep. John Szoka made good Monday on a recent promise to submit a bill allowing renewable-energy developers to sell power directly to customers in North Carolina, bypassing the state’s utilities.
While he was still drafting the “Energy Freedom Act,” Szoka said he expected the legislation would be limited to sales to government offices, not-for profit organizations and military bases. His thinking was that it would save taxpayers and nonprofits money and could be a step toward more general “third-party sales” from renewable-energy project owners to customers.
The utility and fossil-fuel industries continue to spread a crude canard against the growing popularity of rooftop solar across America. The lie goes something like this: Households and business that install photovoltaic panels are doing so at the expense of other electricity ratepayers because they are “subsidized” by those that don’t have solar panels.
If energy activist Jim Warren has anything to say about it, solar panels one day will grace the rooftops of every suitable house, store, office and factory statewide.
But he and his Solarize NC program are taking it a few cities at a time, and the Greensboro area is next on their agenda.
Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.
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