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State and Federal Energy Policy within a Regulatory Environment

12:55       Welcome and Introductions

1:00         North Carolina Clean Energy Policy and Regulatory Implementation after House Bill 589

Layla Cummings, North Carolina Utilities Commission – Public Staff, Raleigh
Benjamin W. "Ben" Smith, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Raleigh

House Bill 589 was major comprehensive state energy legislation passed in 2017. In this session, we discuss the transition to an RFP process to procure utility scale solar in the State under the Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy Program; options for large customers to procure renewable energy pursuant to the Green Source Advantage Program; community solar; solar leasing for customers; and a rebate program to incentivize solar adoption across the State. Also learn what issues and challenges remain in the implementation of the legislation as renewable energy grows in the State.

2:00         Break

2:10        Federal Energy and Environmental Law Developments

Jeffery S. "Jeff" Dennis, Advanced Energy Economy, Washington, DC

The Biden administration is expected to bring dramatic and sweeping changes to the nation's energy and environmental laws and policies. Biden's campaign platform included major commitments to fully decarbonize the electricity grid by 2035, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, and make major federal investments in advanced energy and transportation technologies. The new administration's efforts to follow through on these commitments will involve not just proposals for new legislation in Congress, but also new regulations and new approaches to implementing existing laws like the Federal Power Act and the Clean Air Act, as well as litigation to defend these regulatory efforts and reverse the Trump administration's environmental rollbacks. This session provides an update on energy and environmental law developments in the first month of the new administration, and looks ahead, with a focus on the regulatory initiatives that key agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to pursue.

3:10         Break

3:20         Making Access to Essential Public Utility Service Truly Universal: A Practical Look at Energy Equity and Justice

David L. Neal, Southern Environmental Law Center, Chapel Hill

Public utilities have the obligation to serve all customers within their exclusive service territory. But what happens when a family cannot afford the power bill? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the imposition of late fees and disconnections for nonpayment were routine. Families living at or near the poverty line face daunting challenges affording utilities along with other essentials like rent, food and transportation. The number of households with unsustainable energy burdens far outstrip available resources for bill-payment assistance or bill-saving energy efficiency upgrades. In this session, we consider options for making electric utility service affordable to all under the existing North Carolina regulatory framework.

4:20         Adjourn


Speakers share information on federal and state energy policy, provide updates on renewable energy programs, and discuss options to make access to essential public utility service universal — all within a regulatory environment.


  • Layla Cummings

    Layla Cummings, North Carolina Utilities Commission – Public Staff, Raleigh

    Click here for more information about Layla.

  • Jeffery S. "Jeff" Dennis

    Jeffery S. "Jeff" Dennis, Advanced Energy Economy, Washington, DC

    Click here for more information about Jeff.

  • David L. Neal

    David L. Neal is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, where he focuses on clean energy and environmental justice. Prior to joining SELC, he had a career in indigent criminal defense work. David is the co-founder and former executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative, a non-profit that worked to improve the quality of representation received by people facing the death penalty. David serves on the boards of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Repairers of the Breach. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and law degree at UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill. Before law school, David worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Benjamin W. "Ben" Smith

    Benjamin W. "Ben" Smith, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Raleigh

    Click here for more information about Ben.

February 22, 2021
Mon 12:55 PM EST

Duration 3H 25M

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