Support the Expansion of Duke Energy’s Residential New Construction Incentive Program to the Carolinas Territory!
UPDATE for May 29, 2020
Since the public hearing back on January 29, Duke Energy and the natural gas utilities report that they have come to an agreement for terms and conditions that would allow Duke Energy to submit a new program filing that would be supported by the natural gas utilities, which has been the barrier to the program expanding.
Due to ongoing issues related to the pandemic, the North Carolina Utilities Commission has not yet acted to approve Duke Energy’s most recent motion to withdraw their original program filing. As soon as this step takes place, Duke Energy will be able to submit the new program filing and advocates and stakeholders can act to support the new filing.
NCBPA is not concerned with these steps at this point. We believe the program expansion will go through in the next few months. We will continue to work with stakeholders to support the process and are optimistic that the RNC program will be available in the Duke Energy Carolinas market in late 2020 or early 2021.
UPDATE for February 26, 2020
Today NCBPA submitted an updated Letter of Support to the North Carolina Utilities Commission providing data and market commentary in support of the program. Earlier this week, Duke Energy requested and received a filing extension by the NCUC to allow them more time to work on this initiative.
NCBPA members and industry allies are encouraged to continue to submit letters of support for the program’s expansion.
Read our comments on the NCUC’s website here. You can also download a Word version of our comments here:
Click here to read recent comments from member Southern Energy Management and their builder customers.
Click here to submit comments of your own!
Scroll down for more information on this important initiative!
UPDATE for January 31, 2020
More progress! NCBPA is pleased to report that the North Carolina Utilities Commission held a hearing on January 27th with Duke Energy and the natural gas utilities to discuss expansion of the RNC program! Public comments submitted by NCBPA, our members and partners were specifically referenced in the introduction by Commissioner Bland-Brown as reason for the hearing. NCBPA, our advocacy partners and member professionals from Southern Energy Management attended the hearing.
During the hearing, representatives from Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas (recently acquired by Duke Energy) and PSNC Energy (recently acquired by Dominion Energy) presented their cases for (Duke Energy) and against (the natural gas utilities) expanding the RNC program to the Carolinas territory. Duke Energy presented a strong argument that the program is cost effective for the utility and beneficial for recipients of the builder incentive, while the natural gas utilities argued that they have concerns with builders switching from natural gas to electricity for homes in NC and SC. One major point that was derived from questions from the NCUC Commissioners, in particular Commissioners Duffley and McKissick, both new appointments by Gov. Cooper that were supported by NCBPA and partners, was that the natural gas utilities lacked data to substantiate their concerns, while Duke Energy presented data that included nearly 60% of incentives going to homes with natural gas in some markets.
What’s next? The parties have 30 days to submit additional information to the NCUC for their consideration. NCBPA, our partners and some members will submit comments that provide key data points in support of Duke Energy’s petition for the program. At that point, it may be possible for the NCUC to reject Duke Energy’s mid-2019 proposal to withdrawal the program filing (due to the natural gas utilities’ opposition) and instead act on the comments and filings from NCBPA and our allies requesting for the NCUC to approve of the program’s expansion. If that occurs, the program may be able to expand to the new territory in later 2020. However, additional steps may be needed to update the filing or re-apply. NCBPA is coordinating efforts with our members and partners.
In addition to this hearing, NCBPA’s advocacy partners including Southern Environmental Law Center, NC Sustainable Energy Association and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy submitted filings to the NCUC two weeks ago with Duke Energy and the Public Staff in support of further changes to how the utility’s energy efficiency programs are regulated. Their recommendations include changes to how cost effectiveness testing protocols and non-energy benefits are considered for new and existing programs.
Read the two documents below.
UPDATE for December 2, 2019
Progress! The North Carolina Utilities Commission has ordered a hearing for January 27, 2020 in Raleigh for Duke Energy and the natural gas utilities to discuss expansion of the RNC program! Public comments submitted by NCBPA, our members and partners are specifically referenced in the Order as reason for the hearing!
NCBPA will be attending the hearing and recommends that residential builders, home energy raters and others that support the program continue to encourage their networks to advocate for the program’s expansion by continuing to submit supportive public comments and by talking up the program wherever you can!
Click here to view the Commission’s order for the January 27th hearing:
UPDATE for November 18, 2019
There has been no progress on this important issue in the past several weeks. NCBPA encourages member companies and industry stakeholders to speak out in support of the NC Utilities Commission holding a hearing between Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to discuss expanding this program. Several new commissioners just joined the NC Utilities Commission and we believe it is a perfect time for them to engage on this issue. Follow the steps below to submit your comments in support of this program. Ask the NCUC to hold a hearing between Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas to “work out their differences”.
Bottom line: No matter the source of energy – electric or gas – energy saving incentive programs like this one are important for North Carolina and great for consumers. Speak out in support today!
Click on the file below to view NCBPA’s most recent comments asking for the hearing.
Speak out in support of energy savings and green building!
Duke Energy currently offers a wildly successful Residential New Construction Program in its Progress territory that has resulted in a wealth of energy savings and environmental benefits for several years. The program continues to help builders, contractors and homeowners participate in energy efficient construction by providing a cash rebate to builders that construct to above-code energy standards.
But, the program isn’t available in Duke Energy’s Carolinas territory, which includes Charlotte and many other highly populated areas across central and western North Carolina. Unfortunately, Duke Energy isn’t able to expand the program on their own due to issues with the natural gas utility industry.
This is where you come in!
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Help expand this program by submitting online comments to the NC Utilities Commission encouraging them to take action! This is a quick and simple process. All you need to do is submit your comments on the Commission’s website. After you do, share them with your professional network and encourage others to participate!
Helpful resources including sample comment language, graphics that you can use on social media, hard data on the program’s impact and more are available below.
Have questions? Contact NCBPA’s Ryan Miller at Ryan@BuildingNC.org or 919-521-3385.
RESOURCES TO USE:
- Online Form to Submit Comments
- Docket# E-7 Sub 1155
- Main Commission Docket with Stakeholder Comments
- Public Staff Comments in Support of the Program Expansion
- DEC’s Motion to Withdraw the Program Filing
- RNC Program Website & Resources
Sample Language to Use:
Ratepayer/Industry Professional: As a ratepayer and building industry professional, I cannot stress enough how much Duke Energy Progress’ Residential New Construction Program has done to promote efficiency, save money, and reduce greenhouse gases in that territory. The incentive has produced quantifiable savings and our industry has seen firsthand more savings in the Progress territory, where the incentive has been in place for several years, versus the Carolinas territory where it is not available. Having the incentive available in the Carolinas territory would be good for residents of our state. I am asking the Commission to weigh in on Docket No E-7 Sub 1155 by directing Duke Energy and gas utility industry stakeholders to come up with a solution that will allow this incentive to be available for Duke Energy Carolinas customers. Thank you.
- Click here to view comments filed by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
- Click here to view comments filed by North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.
- Click on the file below to download NCBPA’s Letter of Support containing independent data analysis documenting energy, workforce, economic and environmental benefits of the program’s expansion.
Graphics to Share on Social Media: