Author: David Tucker (Page 3 of 5)

SOG Environmental Finance Ctr

EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan: Initial Thoughts on Electric Utility Costs and Pricing

Coal-Fired-Power-PlantBy David Tucker and Lexi Kay

In June 2014, the U.S. EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan rule for the regulation of existing electric power plants under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act. A comment period for this proposed rule will soon end on December 1, 2014, which makes this a good time to ask some basic questions: What is this proposed rule for power plants? What might be some of the potential cost and pricing impacts on electric power utilities and their customers? How might North Carolina be impacted by the proposed rule?

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Touching Down with Affordability of Water and Sewer Bills in Alabama


It’s college football season again, and thoughts among many in the South, and elsewhere, turn to tailgating and touchdowns, hot dogs and sodas, field goals and fun. (Here in Chapel Hill, we like to remember alumnus Andy Griffith’s famous 1953 comical monologue about football, “What It Was, Was Football.”) Meanwhile, those of us at the UNC Environmental Finance Center (EFC) have completed our first-ever Alabama Residential Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard, which, in fact, ties in with – you guessed it – football! (As well as tying in with the affordability of water and sewer bills by customers in Alabama, of course.) Continue reading

Watts Up With Cost Recovery for Municipal Residential Electric Utilities in North Carolina?

How financially healthy are the municipal residential electric utilities in North Carolina? That is a broad question, and one of keen interest to many customers of those utilities. This is especially true at a time when Duke Energy Progress and the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) are discussing the possibility of Duke Energy Progress purchasing NCEMPA’s electric generating assets, and where rate payers may be wondering what such a sale could mean for their future electric rates, as discussed in this previous blog post on affordability of residential electricity in N.C. Continue reading

Watering Down Financial Sustainability, Public Health, and Environmental Protection

Water PollutionToday we feature a guest post from The Pollution Finance Center (PFC).

Author’s Note: If you find puns pungent, wade no further into this blog since it dives so deep into pollution finance that you will probably be drowning after the first paragraph.

In order to help finance pollution to the greatest extent possible, the Pollution Finance Center strongly recommends always setting rates for crucial environmental services as low as possible. Thus we can ensure that our water and wastewater systems will collapse with a loud “plop!” maximizing toxic discharges into the water, air, and soil. Then things will go swimmingly for polluters everywhere!
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$napShot: Smart Meters Can Lead to a Flood of Data

During the 2014 North Carolina Water and Wastewater Finance course, the Town of Cary and Sensus Inc. presented to the class on a panel entitled “Smart Technology and Water Finance.” During the panel, Karen Mills, Cary’s Finance Director, and Leila Goodwin, Cary’s Water Resources Manager, stated they have adopted advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), colloquially known as “smart meters,” for their drinking water system. This ambitious technological project has allowed the Town of Cary many benefits for their water system, a few of which include: earlier leak detection and repair, improved backflow prevention, and better monitoring of water usage during rationing / shortages, among many others.
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