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What Will New Utilities Commission Majority Mean?

How can battery storage technology boost renewable energy development? Do utility “reserve margins” need to be as large as some utilities want? Does Duke Energy really need all those natural gas plants it wants to build?

These are among the questions which the newly revamped membership of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) is likely to address over the next few years. Late last year, the General Assembly confirmed Gov. Roy Cooper’s three new appointees, bringing the commission up to its full seven members again. Almost all of them (including the new chair) are now Cooper appointees. Members of the NCUC, which regulates energy utility planning, construction, and rates, are appointed by the governor and approved by the legislature for six-year terms.

Among the North Carolinians optimistic about the reshaped NCUC are consumers upset with previous decisions allowing Duke to pay for coal ash cleanup by raising rates, and clean energy advocates longing for a stronger push for solar and wind instead of natural gas and coal. For now, Gov. Cooper’s Clean Energy Plan is our best hope to tackle our climate crisis and move to a Clean Energy for All economy. Tell Cooper you have his back!

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