Mounting supply chain issues continue to affect the electric utility sector. These issues threaten reliability and can increase consumer costs. We encourage state and federal governments to identify opportunities to increase U.S. production and distribution of critical infrastructure components.
Broadband and Pole Attachments
We support broadband expansion. Broadband promotes the prosperity and livability of North Carolina’s communities and helps modernize the operation of electric utilities. We support local control and oppose any effort to weaken or eliminate the exemption for public power utilities from federal pole attachment regulations.
Climate Change & Greenhouse Gases
ElectriCities communities have been leaders in the transition to a low-carbon future – without sacrificing affordability or reliability. The N.C. Municipal Power Agency No. 1 uses about 1% fossil fuels, and carbon emissions from the generation portfolio for the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency have dropped by nearly 50% since 2005. In federal policy discussions, we seek the freedom to continue this progress: first, we oppose any effort to mandate wholesale market constructs; second, federal efforts should recognize and reward state-level decarbonization efforts rather than layer on additional requirements and uncertainty
Federal Tax Reform
We are focused on building a modern, reliable electric grid by ensuring public power communities’ ability to access capital and federal programs to invest in the grid. This means we must protect the federal tax exclusion for municipal bond interest from any new restrictions, support efforts to reinstate the advance refunding option, and secure comparable tax incentives for Public Power. Additionally, we must ensure public power communities are eligible for any electric vehicle, renewable energy, energy storage, or other infrastructure incentive programs.
Cyber and Physical Security
Public power utilities, together with the entire electric utility industry, take very seriously their responsibility to maintain grid security and reliability. Federal agencies should harmonize new requirements with existing electric sector reporting rules so that the requirements are not merely duplicative. We support continued funding for grants for small utilities to harden cyber and physical vulnerabilities.
Distributed Energy Resources
All customers should pay their fair share of the costs of keeping the grid operating safely and reliably. Rate structures should be designed to reflect costs and assure that those who benefit from the grid are sharing the costs associated with building and maintaining it. We oppose attempts to federalize rate design and distribution-related matters that have traditionally been governed by state and local laws.
Supporting Nuclear Energy
NC customers and communities benefit greatly from reliable and affordable nuclear energy. Policy should support or enhance existing nuclear power generation as well as provide the financial and regulatory environment necessary to develop new nuclear technologies. We support a federal Nuclear Production Tax Credit to stabilize existing plants and encourage advanced nuclear technologies. Likewise, we must advocate for interim and long-term storage solutions for spent nuclear fuel.
As utilities nationwide rapidly shift away from centralized generation to alternative resources, including renewables and battery storage, we must ensure that changes are strategically timed to not overload the grid. Industry and regulators must keep a close eye on resource adequacy and coordinate on deployment and operations of resources.
Federal Infrastructure Funding
Federal funding can greatly aid our efforts to maintain resilience and accelerate modernization of the electric grid. We support federal funding that provides states and municipalities with the opportunity to expand and update their electric infrastructure. Most recently, Congress passed the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which includes $1.2 trillion in funding for transportation, energy, and water infrastructure.