Energy Efficiency First Strategy

On March 23rd of 2018, NCBPA submitted letters to the state’s Energy Policy Council and the Governor’s office with a variety of recommendations for increasing North Carolina’s strategic use of energy efficiency.  The “Energy Efficiency First Strategy” recommends for the state to formally adopt energy efficiency as North Carolina’s priority method for addressing current and future energy needs.  Read more about it below.

Governor Roy Cooper to issue resolution recognizing “National Energy Efficiency Day” for North Carolina as part of the state’s strategy to prioritize energy efficiency.

NCBPA recommends that the Governor issue a Resolution recognizing “National Energy Efficiency Day” in North Carolina as part of the state’s strategy to prioritize energy efficiency in addressing current and future energy needs.  The resolution can be announced on “National Energy Efficiency Day” taking place on October 5th, 2018.

Precedent for prioritizing energy efficiency exists in Virginia, where “in the spring of 2015, Virginia Governor McAuliffe formed the Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency and charged it with developing strategies and recommendations to achieve the goal of a 10% reduction in retail electricity consumption in the Commonwealth by 2020.”  Since 2015, the Committee has worked towards:

  1. Developing strategies to achieve goal of 10% reduction in retail electricity consumption by 2020.
  2. Promoting a “New Virginia Economy” that emphasizes energy efficiency and clean energy generation.
  3. Creating the VirginiaSAVES loan program that provides $20 million to improve energy efficiency opportunities in the state.

Establish Energy Efficiency as the Priority Strategy in New State Energy Plan Development

NCBPA recommends the creation of a new State Energy Plan that prioritizes energy efficiency through the incorporation of these activities:

  1. Establishing a goal of at least 2% net utility energy efficiency savings by 2023.
  2. Following through on the Energy Policy Council’s 2016 recommendation to increase SB668’s previous 30% energy and water reduction goal for public buildings to 40% by 2025.
  3. Increasing state funding requirements and detailed roles for the State Energy Office and State Energy Centers.
  4. Increasing state funding for performance contracting programs including the Utility Services Initiative (USI) and Department of Energy Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS).
  5. Implementing new programs and mandates for state buildings that promote a top-down “lead by example” case for investing in energy efficiency.
  6. Moving back to a one-year annual energy reporting period for public buildings and institutions.
  7. Creating a plan for adopting energy, water and performance benchmarking mandates and voluntary programs in residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings.
  8. Increasing state funding and resources for education and training programs focusing on energy efficiency workforce development for high schools, community colleges and technical schools.

Expand Energy Efficiency Participation in the Energy Policy Council

NCBPA recommends that the Energy Policy Council and Energy Efficiency Committee are expanded to include leaders from North Carolina’s energy efficiency construction, manufacturing, education, retail, real estate, utility and transportation industries.  Doing so will support the state’s transition to implementing energy efficiency as North Carolina’s priority method for addressing current and future needs.  This effort can be completed as part of larger state energy planning efforts that are needed, similar to what Virginia and South Carolina did in 2016 and 2017, respectively. NCBPA and partner organizations will assist in recommending committee members.

Recommendations for the council and committee to consider include:

  1. Researching new programs and incentives for improving the energy efficiency of manufactured housing.
  2. Expanding incentives for Combined Heat and Power deployment.
  3. Increasing state-level support for consumer financing programs such as on-bill financing and C-PACE Financing.
  4. Engaging industrial firms to design energy efficiency programs that work for them and utilities, reducing or eliminating the large number that currently opt-out of these programs.
  5. Leading key stakeholder education on energy efficiency in state government and the legislature.