Businesses Urge State Senators to Pass Efficiency Bill

May 26, 2021


Businesses Urge State Senators to Pass Efficiency Bill Before Adjournment

RALEIGH - Major employers and trade groups across North Carolina are urging state legislators to pass a bill that would increase energy savings goals for state-owned buildings, which would help the state-and its taxpayers-avoid an estimated $1.1 billion in utility costs by 2028. Click here to view the letter and more information about the signatories (shown below).

House Bill 245, Efficient Government Buildings and Savings Act, encourages state agencies, universities, community colleges, and other state-owned buildings to cut their energy waste by 40 percent by 2028 in order to save taxpayer dollars. The legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland), Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union), Rep. Saine (R-Lincoln County), and Rep. Zenger (R-Forsyth), overwhelmingly passed the N.C. House of Representatives on April 21, 2021, and is awaiting action by the N.C. Senate. Legislators have entered into the “second half” of the 2021 long session of the N.C. General Assembly, which convened in January and could adjourn in July, so time could be short for this legislation to cross the finish line and reach Governor Cooper’s desk.

“By investing in energy efficiency, we can reduce total energy costs for all ratepayers, mitigate the impact of fuel and electricity price increases, and build a more affordable, reliable electricity system for the businesses and citizens of the state,” says a letter that 30 businesses and trade groups sent to lawmakers on Tuesday. Signers of the letter include:

2G Energy, Inc.                                          Curtis Power Solutions                              Martin Energy

A.O. Smith                                                   DT Energy Consultants                             Nat’l Electrical Mfr. Assoc.

AB Energy USA                                           Eaton                                                            Nat’l Assoc. of Energy Service Cos.

Ameresco, Inc.                                             Envocore                                                     Owens Corning

Blue Delta Energy                                       Flex Energy Solutions                              Polyisocyanurate Insulation Mfr. Assoc.

Capstone Green Energy                             Johnson Controls                                      Schneider Electric

Carrier Corporation                                    Kanin Energy                                             Siemens

Combined Heat and Power Alliance      Kelly Generator and Equipment             Thermax USA

Conservatives for Clean Energy              Kinsley Energy Systems                            Trane Technologies

Cree Lighting                                               Kraft Power Systems                                 Turbine Inlet Cooling Assoc.

The N.C. Energy Policy Council, which is chaired by Lt. Governor Mark Robinson and includes energy experts with diverse experience, passed a resolution during its quarterly meeting on May 19, 2021, to support House Bill 245 and encourage legislators to pass it. The EPC also recommended the 40% energy savings goal for state-owned buildings in its 2016, 2018, and 2020 Biennial Reports to the N.C. General Assembly.

“Over the last 15 years, saving energy and reducing waste in state-owned buildings directly saved taxpayers more than a billion dollars in utility bills – this is a huge ‘win-win’ for North Carolina, and the future potential is even greater,” said Mark Fleming, Conservatives for Clean Energy’s President and CEO. “Conservatives for Clean Energy applauds Lt. Governor Mark Robinson and the Energy Policy Council’s on-going support of solutions that will make our buildings more energy efficient, cut energy waste, and save taxpayers’ money.”

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality estimates that House Bill 245, if passed, would allow the state to avoid $1.1 billion in utility bills, which includes a net savings to taxpayers of $252 million. The energy reduction would be achieved by, for example, installing high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, upgrading lighting, and adding and integrating new building controls and sensors.

North Carolina lawmakers passed an initial energy-savings bill for state-owned buildings in 2003 that set the state’s energy efficiency goal at 20 percent by 2010. Legislators increased the energy savings goal to 30 percent in 2007 (Senate Bill 668), which was met in 2015. The Utility Savings Initiative has reduced energy waste from state-owned buildings by more than 30 percent, which has saved taxpayers $1.4 billion since 2003, according to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.