The North Carolina House of Representatives has iced a bill that would have rolled back requirements for utilities to use solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy, a trade group said.
The House’s Public Utilities and Energy Committee voted down the bill 18-13, according to Ivan Urlaub, president of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association. “Legislators just confirmed REPS is good for North Carolina ratepayers, jobs and economic competitiveness,” Urlaub wrote on Twitter.
Introduced by Reps. Mike Hager and other Republican colleagues in mid-March, the bill would have eliminated the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards after 2018. Progress Energy Carolinas, a Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) subsidiary, and most other electrical utilities now have to derive 3 percent of their power from such renewable sources; that quota is set to rise to 6 percent in 2015.
Hager and co-sponsors argued that the state’s economic competitiveness was suffering under the costs of REPS, which utility customers pay each month as a line item on their bills.
NCSEA Communications Director Lowell Sachs said six Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the bill. One was Rep. Nelson Dollar, who represents portions of Apex and Cary, Sachs said.
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