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Duke Energy has proposed the creation of a new green payment system that will provide commercial customers in South Carolina who need access to 24/7 clean energy to meet their environmental needs.
If approved by the South Carolina Public Service Commission, the new program and changes to existing programs will allow commercial customers to enter green payments from short-term purchases of environmental features related to renewable energy, to renewable energy production contracts and. battery backup to facilitate 24/7 security.
Although it was introduced in South Carolina as a result of economic development efforts, Lon Huber, senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions for Duke Energy, said the new tax structure could serve as a template for other states.
Duke Energy doesn’t think access to 24/7 renewable energy should be limited to the world’s biggest commercial customers — but they wouldn’t complain if Google applied to their proposed new green fee, either.
The company announced Wednesday that it has filed a proposal with the South Carolina PSC to create a new option for green tariffs that allow commercial customers to build their own 24/7 renewable energy packages. The proposal also seeks to reform existing tariffs to create more flexibility for businesses of all budgets and climate ambitions.
For customers just starting their renewable energy journey, the proposal calls for the creation of a new Clean Energy Impact program that would allow commercial customers to enter into short-term contracts for environmental features related to renewable energy. On the other hand, the proposal calls for some revisions to the existing Green Source Advantage program, which allows companies to secure renewable energy from third parties connected to Duke Energy’s grid. The changes will allow customers to contract up to 100% of their energy use, and expand the number of renewable resources eligible for the program to include third-party energy storage.
A new central option, which Duke Energy is calling Renewable Choice, will allow customers to purchase 100%, 24/7 renewable energy directly from the utility.
While the new proposal creates some new options for residential customers to purchase renewable energy offsets, 100%, 24/7 energy options will not be available to residents, according to Huber. This exclusion of residential customers has drawn criticism from environmental groups.
“As with any clean energy claims made by Duke, this one should be viewed with an appropriate dose of skepticism by South Carolina taxpayers,” said Alex Formuzis, spokesperson for the Environmental Working Group. “It’s short on things and will benefit financially from solar projects, including Duke’s, more than residential customers.”
Huber said the new option, if approved, would be beneficial to South Carolina’s economy, and was born out of economic development efforts in which companies have repeatedly announced that they are looking to locate in areas where they can access 24/7, renewable energy systems. .
“We’ve had a series of stakeholder meetings on topics like this and listened to feedback on our current programs, and we felt that this series of programs was needed to meet where our customers are going to be, especially with the big, new economic development opportunities,” Huber. he said.