Re: What about SB3?
Posted by Daren Bakst at 2:06 PM
on SB 3 is pretty amusing given that it is "identifying" problems that
JLF pointed out months ago. Note: In this post, I have added
words in brackets when necessary for clarification (this is in addition
to any words in brackets that already may have existed in a
quote). From the article:
"The law also allows the power
companies to raise customers’ electric rates in order to pay for the
cost of these programs [energy efficiency programs]. The amount of
money that the companies can recoup depends on how much energy is saved
as a direct result of the companies’ efforts.
But measuring what is essentially the “non-use” of energy is difficult,
and so is determining the source of that energy savings."
From a July Spotlight:
is dubious to assume that a 5 percent reduction in energy use would be
a result of paying higher taxes for incentive programs. In fact, La
Capra [the Utilities Commission's own consultant] recognizes that there
is 'a problem in attributing the correct amount of energy savings from
EE [energy efficiency] measures that are part of an RPS [renewable
portfolio standard] versus what would have otherwise resulted without
The public, including the poor, will have to pay for ads and whatever else it takes to run these energy efficiency programs.
article doesn't give the full picture of what the utility companies
will get reimbursed for--they won't just get reimbursed for the costs
of some ads or providing incentives. They also will get
reimbursed for any lost demand for electricity. As I discussed in
this past post:
"Due to SB 3, utilities now can recover for lost demand as a result of energy efficiency measures.
The likely means of recovery will be through a % of what are called
avoided costs (basically what the costs of plants would be if utilities
had to build them). Duke Power, for their Save-A-Watt program, is
seeking 90% of avoided costs. This means that on top of the
incentives and administration costs for energy efficiency programs,
customers would have to pay 90% of what plants would have cost.
SB 3 is critical for Duke's Save-A-Watt program because there was
concern whether existing law allowed utilities to recover in this type
NC WARN, an environmental group opposed to SB 3, wrote in a letter to
Speaker Hackney, 'Adding the actual costs and avoided costs authorized
by Senate Bill 3, customers could pay MORE for not using electricity
than for using it.'"
if that isn't bad enough, as discussed in this Spotlight,
SB 3 will require North Carolinians to pay the electricity bill for
people outside the state--most likely Texans and Californians.
SB 3 was a big government, anti-consumer, anti-poor,
pro-tax bill--that's why organizations from across the ideological
spectrum opposed it. However, it was good for some powerful
special interests--that's why legislators from both parties supported it.
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