WHAT IS NC SAVE$ ENERGY?

NC SAVE$ ENERGY is an initiative by a growing number of organizations to create a statewide, independent (non-utility) energy efficiency program. It will keep savings on energy bills in the hands of residential customers, while serving those who can least afford rising energy costs.                                                         NC SAVE$ ENERGY would create a publicly-managed, independent fund to pay for energy efficiency projects for homes, local government buildings, hospitals, and schools. This program will create good North Carolina jobs, save people money, protect the environment, and ensure healthy, safe homes and buildings across the state.                                                                                        NC SAVE$ ENERGY is based on the experiences of six other states’ cost-effective independent energy efficiency programs.

Energy Efficiency Creates FAR More Jobs Than the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Could

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a proposed 42 inch high pressure natural gas line planned to run through 8 eastern NC Counties (Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson), presents serious economic, environmental justice and safety concerns—and all to supposedly meet energy needs for which there are far better solutions. The lead pipeline builders, Dominion Resources and Duke Energy, contend that the ACP is needed in order to supply Eastern NC with its growing energy demand, but there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. While Duke Energy has projected 1.4% growth annually in electricity demand, actual growth has been less than 0.5% and with far more cost effective and job creating energy efficiency spending, that growth could be flattened or gradually reversed.

Natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale is already declining. It’s very likely that natural gas in this shale basin will run out long before the contract with the pipeline company ACP LLC (owned by Duke Energy and Dominion Resources) is completed, meaning that NC and VA electric customers would be stuck paying for a stranded asset on their Duke and Dominion electric bills. The existing Transco Pipeline, which runs past Charlotte and Greensboro, carries more than enough natural gas for NC in the years to come. We need to be working to reduce our fossil fuel consumption to stabilize energy costs and slow climate change.

The ACP would only create 18 permanent jobs in NC!  Energy efficiency has the ability to create thousands of locally based jobs in NC that pay better than a living wage. Even with limited funds available to help drive the market toward energy efficiency, moderate efficiency initiatives would still create between 1,600 – 12,800 jobs statewide, paying between $22,500-45,000. Notablly, energy efficiency also offers good paying jobs in low income rural areas, where jobs are scarce.

Many businesses and homes in NC desperately need energy efficiency upgrades, not just to save energy, but to save money. Each household that participated in the Weatherization Assistance Program in NC saved an average of $173/month on their electric bills. This program aims to add more installations in homes, from insulation to  incorporating energy efficient lightbulbs and windows.

The natural gas needed to fuel proposed gas-fired power plants in NC is already flowing through the existing Transco Pipeline, but even gas powered plants release high levels of methane, a far stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. We should be phasing out ALL uses of fossil fuels, for our health, for our economy and to slow climate change. Energy efficiency will create far more permanent jobs than the ACP, and those jobs will be more evenly spread to rural, low income areas. Instead of building another pipeline, NC must focus on energy efficiency initiatives and renewable power generation to replace fossil fuel plants, a far better plan for our future.

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