113B-9. Emergency Energy Program; components.

(a) The Energy Policy Council shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, develop contingency and emergency plans to deal with possible shortages of energy to protect public health, safety and welfare, such plans to be compiled into an Emergency Energy Program.

(b) If required for an update of the program provided under subsection (j) of this section:

(1) Each electric utility and natural gas utility in the State shall prepare and submit to the Energy Policy Council a proposed emergency curtailment plan setting forth proposals for identifying priority loads or users in the event of the declaration of an energy crisis pursuant to G.S. 113B-20, and proposals for supply allocation to such priority loads or users. Utilities regulated under Chapter 62 of the General Statutes may satisfy this requirement by submitting the General Load Reduction and System Restoration Plan that is prepared annually for the Utilities Commission.

(2) Each major oil producer doing business in this State as determined by the Energy Policy Council shall prepare and submit to the Energy Policy Council an analysis of how any national supply curtailment pursuant to federal regulations shall affect the supply for North Carolina and how priority users will be determined and available supplies allocated to such users.

(c) The Energy Policy Council shall encourage the preparation of joint emergency curtailment plans and analyses. If such cooperative plans and analyses are developed between two or more utilities, major producers or by an association of such companies, the joint plans or analyses may be submitted to the Energy Policy Council in lieu of information required pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Energy Policy Council shall collect from all relevant governmental agencies any existing contingency plans for dealing with sudden energy shortages or information related thereto.

(e) The Energy Policy Council shall hold one or more public hearings, investigate and review the plans submitted pursuant to this section, and, within nine months after July 1, 1975, the Energy Policy Council shall approve and recommend to the Governor guidelines for emergency curtailment to be known as the Emergency Energy Program and to be implemented upon adoption by the Governor after the declaration of an energy crisis and pursuant to G.S. 113B-20 and 113B-23. Said program shall be based upon the plans presented to the Energy Policy Council, upon independent analysis and study by the Council, and upon information provided at the hearing or hearings, provided, however, that they are consistent with such federal programs and regulations as are already in effect at that time.

(f) The Emergency Energy Program shall provide for the maintenance of essential services, the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, and the maintenance of a sound basic State economy. For utilities regulated under Chapter 62 of the General Statutes, the program shall be consistent with the General Load Reduction and System Restoration Plan that is prepared annually for the Utilities Commission. Provisions also shall be made in said program to differentiate curtailment of energy consumption by users on the basis of ability to accommodate such curtailments, and shall also include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) A variety of strategies and staged conservation measures of increasing intensity and authority to reduce energy use during an energy crisis, as defined in G.S. 113B-20 and guidelines and criteria for allocation of energy sources to priority users. The program shall contain alternative conservation actions and allocation plans to reasonably meet various foreseeable shortage circumstances and to allow a choice of appropriate responses;

(2) Evidence that the program is consistent with requirements of federal emergency energy conservation and allocation laws and regulations;

(3) Proposals to assist such individuals, institutions, agriculture and businesses which have engaged in energy saving measures;

(g) The Energy Policy Council shall carry out such investigations and studies as are necessary to determine if and when potentially serious shortages of energy are likely to affect North Carolina and the Council shall make recommendations to the Governor concerning administrative and legislative actions required to avert such shortages, such recommendations to be included as a section of the Emergency Energy Program.

(h) In addition to the above information and recommendations, the program shall contain proposals for implementation of such recommendations which include procedures, rules and regulations and agency administrative responsibilities for implementation, and shall further contain procedures for fair and equitable review of complaints and requests for special exemptions from emergency conservation measures or emergency allocations. Upon completion of a draft recommended plan, the Council shall arrange for its distribution to interested parties and shall make such plan available to the public and the Council further shall set a date for public hearing on said plan.

(i) Upon completion of the Emergency Energy Allocation Program, the Council and the Governor shall follow the procedures as outlined in G.S. 113B-7(e) and (f).

(j) The Council shall update the Emergency Energy Allocation Program upon finding that an update is justified. The Council shall follow the procedures for adoption pursuant to G.S. 113B-7(e) and (f).

(k) The Governor shall have the authority to accept, administer and enforce federal programs, program measures and permissive delegations of authority delegated to the Governor by the President of the United States, Congress, or the United States Department of Energy, on behalf of the State of North Carolina, which pertain to actions necessary to deal with an actual or impending energy shortage. (1975, c. 877, s. 4; 1979, c. 514, s. 2; 1981; c. 701, s. 3; 2013-365, s. 8(g).)