North Carolina Energy Efficiency Roadmap
On October 17, 2017, NCBPA released a first-ever energy efficiency policy report entitled “The Business Case for Energy Efficiency: How Investing in Less Creates More for North Carolina” offering local and state government officials, utilities, regulators and industry stakeholders clear recommendations for improving the state’s support for energy efficient construction. Implementing the report’s recommendations will yield statewide economic development, job creation and building infrastructure resiliency through new and increased investment in energy efficiency. Click here to download a PDF copy of the report.
The seven recommendations are:
Utility and Regulatory Environment: Expand and modernize utility energy efficiency programs and the regulatory environment that regulates them to achieve at least 1% net utility energy efficiency savings by 2023.
Building and Energy Codes: Adopt and provide education on improved building and energy codes, add an energy seat to the NC Building Code Council and promote above-code utility energy efficiency incentive programs.
Reduce Market and Regulatory Barriers to Entry: Support increased consumer education, decreased regulatory hurdles and offer public/private consumer financing programs to enable increased participation in energy efficient construction.
Energy, Water and Performance Benchmarking: Create and implement a statewide plan that establishes voluntary and mandatory energy, water and performance benchmarking in homes and buildings.
Multifamily and Low-Income Financial Barriers: Reduce the financial barriers that prevent builders, owners, occupants and federally-funded programs from participating in energy efficient construction in multifamily and low-income homes and buildings.
Strategic State Support and Resources: Reinforce and increase the current low-level of state support for public entities involved with energy efficiency and establish an energy roadmap that prioritizes using less before creating new
Workforce Development: Expand state and local support for workforce development programs that train students and displaced workers to fill the vital need for more skilled workers in the state’s energy efficiency trades
North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan
NCBPA staff, members and partners were active participants in the development of the state’s new Clean Energy Plan that was initiated in the fall of 2018 with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order #80. After a year of meetings, discussions, surveys, presentations and reports, the completed plan was released on October 1, 2019.
Priority areas for NCBPA’s involvement in developing the plan included:
Here is a summary of NCBPA’s priority areas for industry comments as found in our version of the report:
- Utility Incentives & Comprehensive System Planning: Legislation signed into law by the Governor in June – HB675 – requires a new cost-benefit analysis methodology to be developed and implemented for all future (and past, going back to January 1 of 2018) energy code changes. This methodology should incorporate energy and non-energy benefits (NEBs) such as improved health, safety, durability, value and occupant productivity. Doing so will allow regulated utilities to also incorporate NEBs into their energy efficiency programs, making the measures delivered more valuable.
- Customer Access to Clean Energy & Economic Development: Commercial PACE is currently disallowed because of opposition from the Treasurer’s office. The Governor’s office and NCDEQ should work with the Treasurer’s office to resolve these issues. NCBPA has led advocacy efforts on this since 2017 and a draft bill still waits to be heard in Senate rules. A summary of the status of C-PACE in North Carolina is available here: http://buildingnc.org/get-involved/policy/cpace/.
- Equitable Access & Just Transition: Legislation signed into law by the Governor in June – HB675 – requires a new cost-benefit analysis methodology to be developed and implemented for all future (and past, going back to January 1 of 2018) energy code changes. This methodology should incorporate energy and non-energy benefits (NEBs) such as improved health, safety, durability, value and occupant productivity. Doing so will allow regulated utilities to also incorporate NEBs into their energy efficiency programs, making the measures delivered more valuable.
- Equitable Access & Just Transition: A formal Energy Efficiency Apprenticeship program would be very helpful for training and educating our future workforce.
- Carbon Reduction & Grid Resilience: Energy efficiency should be the first priority for our state to address its current and future carbon reduction goals. Energy efficiency is oftentimes the least cost option but continues to be overlooked in favor of more generation, even from clean sources, which would not be needed if energy efficiency were properly prioritized in the state.
- Energy Efficiency & Beneficial Electrification: All of these recommendations should be prioritized as energy efficiency is the least-cost resource for achieving our state’s clean energy goals and contributes a wealth of additional environmental, economic and workforce benefits to the state.
Click here to view the Clean Energy Plan.
Click here for more information from NCBPA on the Clean Energy Plan.