Tag: NC (Page 2 of 2)

Survey Says: Some in NC Using Green Financial Incentives, Elsewhere Regulations

Dayne Batten is a Research Assistant for the EFC and second year MPA student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

NC Local governments surveyed indicated a diversity in policies, ranging from financial incentives for green building projects to regulations affecting alternative energy installations.

Alternative energy facilities, green site design features, and green building techniques (such as those required for LEED certification) are a promising way for citizens, businesses, and governments to minimize the environmental impacts of construction projects. Seizing on these opportunities for environmental responsibility, many local governments have provided incentive programs for green construction in their zoning ordinances. Other governments, seeking to walk a fine line between environmental friendliness and aesthetics, have regulated various features of alternative energy installations. But how many local governments are doing this? And what, specifically, are they doing?

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“One Oar in the Water”

Daniel Kolomeets-Darovsky is an Environmental Finance Analyst with the Environmental Finance Center.

stephen schiller / Free Photos


Defining a resilient business model for water utilities is no easy task in a time of unprecedented economic conditions, scare capital, and increasingly volatile environmental conditions. Everything seems to fly in the face of it, let alone the necessary informational foundation needed to see what’s really going on behind-the-scenes. How do we even know, for instance, that residential water use is declining in a place like North Carolina? What about how well your local utility is running its business, as measured by money it takes in versus money it spends (operating revenues versus operating expenditures)?

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Declining Residential Water Use, Part One: North Carolina

Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina.

Imagine yourself to be the C.E.O. of a company that produces a high quality product. That product doesn’t really face competition from other substitutes in your local market. You meet with your staff and your Board, and scratch your head over this perplexing fact: your customers are buying less of your product. In fact, they’ve been buying a little less of it each year.

In the business world, this is very troubling. In the water industry, it’s actually supposed to be a good thing, except that it hurts your revenues as well. We will be exploring this challenge for water utilities in future blog posts. For now, let’s start by asking the first question: are customers using less water?

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