There’s no doubt about it. June was HOT. And while extreme temperatures in both summer and winter can make outdoor activities unbearable, they can also send electric utility bills skyrocketing across most of North Carolina and place high demands on the state’s … Read more
Yearly Archives: 2015
As the nation struggles to repair, maintain, and expand its infrastructure, public-private partnerships are gaining traction as a strategy for delivering traditionally “public” services. Public-private partnerships (or P3s) are touted on the idea that public projects can benefit from the … Read more
* This blog was originally posted on the UNC EFC’s previous website on June 24th, 2015, and has been re-posted on our current website for our audience’s viewing. By Glenn Barnes In previous posts, we outlined how to use … Read more
On Monday, June 8, 2015, Hawai’i Governor David Y. Ige signed into law four energy bills, including House Bill 623, which will “strengthen Hawaii’s commitment to clean energy by directing the state’s utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045,” according to the press release by the Governor’s office. This remarkable measure will make Hawai‘i the first state in the country to have a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) for the electricity sector.
The core of our work at the Environmental Finance Center at UNC is helping communities tackle the challenges of paying for environmental services. The environmental finance issues that we address are as complex as they are varied, and as an organization … Read more
It varies and it depends. It may cost as little as a few hundred dollars to connect to a rural water system in some areas of the state or as much $10,000 or more in other areas such as the coast or fast growing urban centers that are facing high infrastructure costs to add capacity. If $10,000 sounds excessive, consider that connection charges in certain communities in the country facing severe water supply and infrastructure challenges can run as much as $35,000 to $50,000 for a new connection. In North Carolina, the median combined connection cost for a single family water and sewer connection came out to be just under $2,400 (using data from 328 utilities who provide both services and were included in a recent connection charge survey).
In honor of Infrastructure Week (May 11-15, 2015), we dug into a report published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in March. Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 2014 reports on trends in federal, state, and local government spending on infrastructure, using data acquired from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This graph illustrates the federal funding trends for water and wastewater utilities between 1956 and 2014, in 2014 dollars. Funding levels have decreased dramatically — nearly fourfold between 1980 and 2014. The consequence for communities nationwide is even more significant when considering that a majority of the federal funds in the 1970s and 1980s were provided as grants, while the majority of the funds provided since the 1990s have primarily been loans.
Last month on a sunny day in Raleigh, North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory extended the state’s 35 percent renewable energy tax credit for one year, pushing its expiration to January 1, 2017 instead of the impending December 31, 2015 deadline. As solar installers across the state breathed a small sigh of relief, many potential solar investors were left wondering, “What does this really mean to the cost of solar PV for me?” A few months ago, I was asking myself this very same question. Today, I have a beautiful residential solar PV installation on my roof. Here is my story.
This week we bring you a post from our colleague Richard Whisnant from his new blog: Environmental Law in Context. This is the way the question often comes to me–who owns it?–as a way of asking either who controls water … Read more
* This blog was originally posted on the UNC EFC’s previous website on April 23rd, 2015, and has been re-posted on our current website for our audience’s viewing. By Glenn Barnes In a previous post, we outlined how to … Read more