Your electric bill is higher than it would have been, thanks to the renewable energy mandate foisted on North Carolina utilities — and thus, we consumers — by Senate Bill 3. Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports on the sky-high electric bills North Carolinians have been paying because of the mandates.

North Carolina consumers would have saved $4.2 billion since 2007 if mandates on electric power utilities to purchase expensive renewable energy had not driven costs well above the U.S. average, said a nationally recognized energy and environmental policy analyst.

James Taylor, senior fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of the monthly publication Environment & Climate News, added that the limited potential for a North Carolina commercial wind and solar industry does not justify the exorbitant costs of renewable subsidies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that electricity prices have risen 10.8 percent nationally since 2007, but 17.8 percent in North Carolina over the same time period, or 65 percent faster, Taylor said. Taylor made his presentation March 29 presentation in Raleigh at the Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference.

“North Carolinians are paying the price. We can measure this in our pocketbooks,” Taylor said.

Even with the higher costs, there seems to be little appetite in the General Assembly to roll back the 2007 law, known commonly as Senate Bill 3, which set the mandates in place.