Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

ElectriCities and its members have a great story to tell on the environment. In the west, the resource mix for the N.C. Municipal Power Agency Number 1 is 99% nuclear and hydroelectric, meaning the public power providers that make up NCMPA1 use about 1% fossil fuels. In the east, carbon emissions from the generation portfolio for the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency have dropped by nearly 50% since 2005.

At the same time, ElectriCities has an equally exceptional story to tell on reliability and affordability. Adjusted for inflation, both Power Agencies are providing electricity at the lowest wholesale cost since the agencies’ inceptions. Public power systems provide service with 99.98% uptime—reliability far superior to North Carolina’s investor-owned and cooperative electric providers.[1]

ElectriCities actively engages in stakeholder discussions in North Carolina addressing climate change, greenhouse gas rules, promotion of nuclear power, and other new energy-related legislative proposals. In those discussions, we have sought to ensure that state policy achieves positive environmental outcomes while preserving the reliability and affordability of electric service for all North Carolina electric customers.

In 2021, the N.C. General Assembly passed landmark bipartisan legislation, the Energy Solutions for North Carolina Act, mandating that Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the state 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050.

In federal policy discussions, we seek the freedom to continue this progress in North Carolina:

  • Joining a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) or other wholesale market construct must be voluntary. Some wholesale market constructs may benefit public power communities and Power Agencies, but we oppose RTO mandates because they cannot take into account the local needs of our communities.
  • Federal policy must recognize and reward state-level decarbonization efforts. Congressional and EPA actions should give North Carolina utilities credit for our continuing efforts and not treat them as a baseline from which to layer on additional and possibly conflicting requirements.
  • NCEMPA meets its members’ power needs through an all-requirements contract with Duke Energy Progress. Any federal climate policy must recognize the nature of such arrangements by imposing carbon obligations only on those with the ability to comply.
[1] Based on the latest data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the 5-year rolling average of annual outage time per retail customer (System Average Interruption Duration Index) is 55.70 minutes for N.C. public power providers and an average of 156.20 minutes for North Carolina’s investor-owned and cooperative electric providers (lower is better).

Legislative Update

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