Senate panel also on board with capping NC energy mandates

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - There's a contingent in the North Carolina Senate that wants to join House lawmakers and stop expanding requirements for electric companies to generate more power through alternative sources and energy efficiencies.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Tuesday for an energy policy bill capping the percentage of retail sales that utilities must create through solar, wind and animal waste and through efficiencies at the current 6 percent. A 2007 law mandates 10 percent in 2018. The expense utilities can pass on to regular customers to meet the requirements also would be capped at $12 annually.

The House already passed the provisions in its annual "regulatory reform" bill. Supporters say caps will protect ratepayers while lawmakers decide whether solar incentives should continue.

The bill next heads to another Senate committee.

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