Spencer Nelson, a senior at UNC Chapel Hill and Chair of the Renewable Energy Committee in Student Government, recently authored the following essay highlighting some hopeful news on the renewable energy front:
Both business interests and environmental advocates are enthusiastic about two bills currently making their way through the North Carolina General Assembly that would help to sustain the growth of the state’s clean energy industry and provide more energy options to North Carolinians.
House Bill 245, “The Energy Freedom Act,” would allow the purchase of electricity from sources other than the local public utility, beginning the process of electricity deregulation in North Carolina. Currently, North Carolina is one of only five states that still have a complete ban on “third party sales” and it’s holding back the growth of renewables.
Third party sales simplify and reduce the price of renewable energy, especially solar. Residents or companies that want to buy solar energy enter a purchase agreement with a solar company like SolarCity. The solar company owns the panels and takes care of financing, while the consumer pays a monthly fee for energy from the solar panels. This bill allows cheap renewable energy without consumers worrying about taking out loans to buy panels or performing maintenance on their system, leaving the tricky aspects of solar energy to professionals.
In addition to helping North Carolina solar consumers, the Energy Freedom Act would have many positive effects on the economy. Read More