Regulators weigh request for evidentiary hearing, cost-benefit study called for by Attorney General Stein and state law
A public backlash to Duke Energy’s proposal to alter rooftop solar rules is more than double the input of any NC Utilities Commission case in recent memory. More than 2,300 North Carolinians have pressed the commission to reject Duke’s climate-wrecking attack on solar, many of them citing the climate and cost benefits to all power users of expanding the clean, cheap energy produced by the sun.
In written comments to the NCUC, the growing numbers join 17 solar companies and 60 pro-solar nonprofits calling on the regulators and Gov. Cooper to protect one of the state’s best tools for combatting the advancing climate crisis and for protecting against the Duke business model that constantly raises rates to expand the use of dirty, expensive power.
Many writers support the legal position by Attorney General Stein and other parties – that state law requires the NCUC to conduct a cost-benefit study before making any changes to net metering rules, which govern how solar homes are credited by Duke for power they feed onto the grid. Duke Energy has long fought against such a study while claiming solar households don’t pay their fair share of power lines, poles, etc.
Many of the 2,300 writers appear to be current solar homeowners concerned about changes that could harm their investments. Others are Duke customers who might wish to add solar panels.
Despite continued greenwashing, Duke Energy’s draft Carbon Plan actually proposes a massive expansion of climate-busting methane gas – up to 11,700 megawatts, or roughly 60 power generation units, while envisioning barely any role for rooftop solar in the state’s energy future. This way, Duke continues to earn profits on building dirty fossil fuel plants, while keeping a lid on clean rooftop solar controlled by its customers.
Thousands of North Carolinians have also urged Gov. Cooper to protect rooftop solar and to help curb the climate devastation to communities, which scientists increasingly link to methane gas. Duke Energy leads the nation in expanding the use of methane gas.
North Carolinians are showing their passion and wisdom in pressing state leaders to help address the devastating climate crisis.