Alert from the Office of Senator Bryant
If you no longer wish to receive information from our office, please click here
SENATOR ANGELA BRYANT, PRIMARY SPONSOR, OF
SB305 – NCEMPA ASSET SALE.
“For the last ten years, since my time as a Rocky Mount Councilwoman and NCEMPA Commissioner, I have been working to bring relief to eastern NC from the higher utility rates we are experiencing. This legislation and sale of assets will position our families and businesses to have comparable electric rates to surrounding communities and to experience the growth and prosperity that we need so much. In addition, this sale will provide fuel savings to all Duke Progress customers and economic growth and development across the state. This is truly a bi-partisan and win-win effort,” said Sen. Angela Bryant.
See Press Release Below From
Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore
Tim Moore, Speaker Of The House Of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Shelly Carver, 919-301-1744
March 17, 2015 Mollie Young, 919-733-5917
Senate, House Announce Bipartisan Plan to Spur Economic Growth, Lower Energy Costs in Eastern N.C.
Raleigh, N.C. – A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate members on Tuesday unveiled legislation that would allow dozens of eastern North Carolina communities to proceed with a critical sales agreement that will reduce electricity rates and spur job growth and economic development across eastern North Carolina.
The agreement would allow Duke Energy Progress to purchase stakes in power generation facilities currently owned in part by North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA). The agency is presently comprised of 32 cities and towns in eastern North Carolina.
The sales agreement has already been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but state legislative action is required to proceed.
“This initiative is a win-win – it will bring affordable energy to eastern North Carolina, make the region far more competitive for new jobs and ensure all customers of both entities ultimately pay less on their utility bills,” said Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson, Johnston, Nash), a primary sponsor of the Senate bill.
The proposed legislation enables NCEMPA to issue new bonds to facilitate the sale of the generation assets, and allows Duke Energy Progress to receive the cost of its asset purchase. It also requires Duke Energy Progress to spread out cost recovery over 20 to 30 years, which ensures a benefit for all customers – regardless of location – in the long-term.
“Sen. Newton and I have been working on the Electricities rate problem since we first ran for office in 2010. I am thrilled that Duke and NCEMPA have been able to hammer out a solution that benefits all North Carolina citizens,” Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Franklin, Nash) stated on Tuesday. Collins is a primary bill sponsor of the House bill.
Currently, NCEMPA customers are paying as much as 35 percent more than customers in other parts of the state for electricity, a consequence of NCEMPA carrying close to two billion dollars in decades-old debt.
Under the agreement, NCEMPA will reduce its debt by more than 70 percent – leading to lower rates for their customers and removing one of the largest obstacles to economic development in eastern North Carolina. Duke Energy Progress will take ownership of a lower-cost electricity supply, which is anticipated to generate approximately $70 million in fuel savings per year.
According to NCEMPA, the following member municipalities should see relief:
· Elizabeth City
· La Grange
· New Bern
· Red Springs
· Rocky Mount
· Scotland Neck
· Wake Forest
This agreement will alleviate the problem of sky-high electricity rates, which have not only placed a heavy burden on working families, but have also deterred new businesses from locating in the eastern part of the state – where utility bills have historically made the cost of doing business much higher.
See SB-305 Below