§ 62‑155.  Electric power rates to promote conservation.

(a) It is the policy of the State to conserve energy through efficient utilization of all resources.

(b) If the Utilities Commission after study determines that conservation of electricity and economy of operation for the public utility will be furthered thereby, it shall direct each electric public utility to notify its customers by the most economical means available of the anticipated periods in the near future when its generating capacity is likely to be near peak demand and urge its customers to refrain from using electricity at these peak times of the day. In addition, each public utility shall, insofar as practicable, investigate, develop, and put into service, with approval of the Commission, procedures and devices that will temporarily curtail or cut off certain types of appliances or equipment for short periods of time whenever an unusual peak demand threatens to overload its system.

(c) The Commission itself shall inform the general public as to the necessity for controlling demands for electricity at peak periods and shall require the several electric public utilities to carry out its program of information and education in any reasonable manner.

(d) The Commission shall study the feasibility of and, if found to be practicable, just and reasonable, make plans for the public utilities to bill customers by a system of nondiscriminatory peak pricing, with incentive rates for off‑peak use of electricity charging more for peak periods than for off‑peak periods to reflect the higher cost of providing electric service during periods of peak demand on the utility system. No order regarding such rates shall be issued by the Commission without a prior public hearing, whether in a single electric utility company rate case or in general orders relating to two or more or all electric utilities.

(e) No Class A electric public utility shall apply for any rate change unless it files at the time of the application a report of the probable effect of the proposed rates on peak demand on it and its estimate of the kilowatt hours of electricity that will be used by its customers during the ensuing one year and five years from the time such rates are proposed to become effective.

(f) Each electric public utility serving more than 150,000 North Carolina retail jurisdictional customers as of January 1, 2017, shall file with the Commission an application requesting approval of a program offering reasonable incentives to residential and nonresidential customers for the installation of small customer owned or leased solar energy facilities participating in a public utility's net metering tariff, where the incentive shall be limited to 10 kilowatts alternating current (kW AC) for residential solar installations and 100 kilowatts alternating current (kW AC) for nonresidential solar installations. Each public utility required to offer the incentive program pursuant to this subsection shall be authorized to recover all reasonable and prudent costs of incentives provided to customers and program administrative costs by amortizing the total program incentives distributed during a calendar year and administrative costs over a 20‑year period, including a return component adjusted for income taxes at the utility's overall weighted average cost of capital established in its most recent general rate case, which shall be included in the costs recoverable by the public utility pursuant to G.S. 62‑133.8(h). Nothing in this section shall prevent the reasonable and prudent costs of a utility's programs to incentivize customer investment in or leasing of solar energy facilities, including an approved incentive, from being reflected in a utility's rates to be recovered through the annual rider established pursuant to G.S. 62‑133.8(h). The program incentive established by each public utility subject to this section shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Shall be limited to 10,000 kilowatts (kW) of installed capacity annually starting in January 1, 2018, and continuing until December 31, 2022, and shall provide incentives to participating customers based upon the installed alternating current nameplate capacity of the generators.

(2) Nonresidential installations will also be limited to 5,000 kilowatts (kW) in aggregate for each of the years of the program.

(3) Two thousand five hundred kilowatts (kW) of the capacity for nonresidential installations shall be set aside for use by nonprofit organizations; 50 kilowatts (kW) of the set aside shall be allocated to the NC Greenpower Solar Schools Pilot or a similar program. Any set‑aside rebates that are not used by December 31, 2022, shall be reallocated for use by any customer who otherwise qualifies. For purposes of this section, "nonprofit organization" means an organization or association recognized by the Department of Revenue as tax exempt pursuant to G.S. 105‑130.11(a), or any bona fide branch, chapter, or affiliate of that organization.

(4) If in any year a portion of the incentives goes unsubscribed, the utility may roll excess incentives over into a subsequent year's allocation. (1975, c. 780, s. 2; 2017‑192, s. 8(a).)