A bill titled in short “Promote Electricity Demand Reduction (SB567)” sponsored by Senator Hartsell (R-Cabarrus) would promote allowing public utilities “real-time control” over your energy usage in order to achieve a measurable reduction in electricity demands for the purpose of assisting public utilities in achieving mandates set forth by the General Assembly in August 2007.
The August 2007 legislation, “Promote Renewable Energy/Baseload Generation (SB3),” requires that, by 2021, 12.5% of retail public utility energy sales in North Carolina be from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, etc), up to a quarter of which can be achieved through encouraging energy consumption reduction by consumers — hence the introduction of SB 567.
SB567 allows public utilities to achieve the required energy portfolio diversification through demand-side control of how much energy you may consume. And while energy usage reductions may keep prices down overall, it will not control per unit energy prices and will result in less comfortable lifestyles. For example, your public utility may want you to run your AC fewer hours on a hot day to conserve energy.
Senator Hartsell apparently sees fit that some other entity should decide how much energy you consume for the purpose of achieving the goals of SB3’s excessive regulation. The broader problem here is the state’s encroachment on the free market in the name of “sustainability” and the “green economy.” We must be aware of the government edging its way into our lives.