State Renewable Energy Mandates
Many states are implementing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which mandate that a certain percentage of that specific state’s electric utilities’ retail electricity sales are generated from renewable resources, or in some states, saved through energy efficiency programs.
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Let's use North Carolina as an example to gain more insight about a mandated RPS. That state's electric cooperatives are prepared to meet these state-mandated requirements because electric cooperatives have long supported responsible stewardship of the environment and recognize renewable energy and energy efficiency as important components of a balanced energy supply strategy. But, a closer look at North Carolina's requirements shows that the state's electric cooperatives are mandated to buy renewable energy or reduce demand for electricity by the following standards:
• 2012—3% of 2011 NC retail sales
• 2015—6% of 2014 NC retail sales
• 2018—10% of 2017 NC retail sales
The electric cooperatives in North Carolina understand that these state-enacted mandates will cause consumers' electric bills to increase. In fact, a report prepared by the North Carolina Utilities Commission identifies that this legislative mandate could cost the state $2.7 billion with $270 - $300 million of that falling to cooperative consumers. Cooperative leaders have worked with state officials to create an economic safeguard for cooperative members, ensuring that residential members will not see a cost increase of more than $34/year from 2015 on.
North Carolina's electric cooperatives are meeting energy efficiency and renewable energy goals and requirements in a comprehensive, balanced and collaborative manner through energy efficiency programs and renewable energy projects across the state.