North Carolina Energy Regulatory Process

NERP Overview

From February to December 2020, a group of North Carolina energy stakeholders collaborated through the North Carolina Energy Regulatory Process (NERP) to consider updates to utility regulations and electricity market structures. NERP served as a platform for exploration and advancement of CEP recommendations, specifically fulfilling the “B-1” recommendation to “launch a North Carolina energy process with representatives from key stakeholder groups to design policies that align regulatory incentives and processes with 21st century public policy goals, customer expectations, utility needs, and technology innovation.” Through NERP, additional recommendations of the CEP were considered, including in-depth attention to:

  • Adoption of a performance-based regulatory framework (B-2)
  • Enabling securitization for retirement of fossil assets (B-3)
  • Studying options to increase competition in the electricity system (B-4)
  • Implement competitive procurement of resources by investor-owned utilities (C-3)


NERP worked to produce recommendations for policy and regulatory changes that can be delivered by the participants to the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Governor, NCUC, and other entities as appropriate. These take the form of issue briefs, policy proposals, and draft proposed legislation developed by participants during the process.


NERP applied the following process objectives:
1. Build expertise and trust among North Carolina energy stakeholders through shared principles, foundation setting, education, and identification of priority action areas
2. Examine alternatives to the traditional utility regulatory model and incentives, carbon reduction policies, and as needed, energy market reforms identified by stakeholder group
3. Produce specific policy proposals that participants can work to implement

2020 Final Report and Products

This report is written by RMI and RAP with input from NERP participants to consolidate and record solutions explored in 2020. The work products attached to this report were developed by stakeholders participating in four study groups. The products are intended to aid briefings to decision-makers on the detailed findings for each of the four focus areas of NERP.

Achieving full consensus on reforms was not an objective of NERP, but NERP participants remain dedicated to continuing the conversation and arriving at a reform package that best meets the needs of North Carolina. There was strong support for several reforms discussed in this report, but no one reform enjoys the full support of every NERP participant, and there are nuances to participants’ views. Stakeholders plan to continue to refine details and find areas of alignment in the proposals to advance collectively through the legislative session.

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2020 NERP Summary Report

Performance Based Regulation                 

Wholesale Electricity Markets 

Securitization for Generation Asset Retirement

Competitive Procurement 


Contact Organization Email
NERP Contact
Sushma Masemore NC DEQ
Performance Based Regulation Study Group
Sally Robertson NC WARN
Laura Bateman Duke Energy
Wholesale Market Study Group
Chris Carmody NC CEBA
Securitization for Generation Asset Retirement Study Group
David Rogers Sierra Club
Tobin Freid Durham County
Competitive Procurement Study Group
Steve Levitas NC CEBA Board
Jack Jirak Duke Energy


Tab/Accordion Items

The NERP Development Process proceeded according to three phases: (1) Foundation Setting, (2) Topical Deep Dives, and (3) Policy Development. Phases included nine participant workshops, supplemented by four webinars.

Participants were divided into study groups based on priority topics of the Clean Energy Plan and stakeholder interest:

  • Performance-based regulation (PBR),
  • Accelarated retirement of generation assets - including through securitization,
  • Wholesale market design and competition, and
  • Competitive procurement for resource acquisition.

Each study group consisted of 5-15 participants self-selected to participate in the development of policy recommendations within each topic area. Study groups were responsible for proposal development, presenting to the full stakeholder group on their progress, and for soliciting feedback and incorporating that feedback into proposals. 

Each study group produced proposals  that were presented in December 2020.

Appalachian Voices

Carolina Utility Customer Association

City of Asheville

City of Charlotte

DEQ Environmental Justice & Equity Board

Dominion North Carolina Power

Duke Energy

Duke University Nicholas Institute

Durham County

ElectriCities of North Carolina

Environmental Defense Fund

NC Attorney General's Office

NC Clean Energy Business Association

NC Chamber of Commerce

NC Clean Technology Center

NC Conservation Network

NC Electric Cooperatives

NC Department of Environmental Quality

NC Governor's Office

NC Justice Center

NC Legislature

NC Manufacturers Association

NC Retail Merchants Association


NC Sustainable Energy Association

NC Utilities Commission

NCUC Public Staff

North Carolina Electric Cooperatives

Sierra Club

Smithfield Foods

Southern Environmental Law Center