What is REPS on your electric bill?
States can create legislative requirements that utilities generate electricity from a kind of source, like renewable energy. Those requirements are called Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). In some place, just RPS.
ECC will look at REPS and carve-outs over two blogs.
The recently released NC Clean Energy Plan suggests the use of REPS. North Carolina has used them already. On August 20, 2007, Senate Bill 3 adopted REPS requiring investor-owned utilities to meet up to 12.5% of their energy needs through renewable energy resources or energy efficiency measures. Rural electric cooperatives and municipal electric suppliers had a 10% REPS requirement. (Source) You can read the 2018 report from the NC Utilities Commission about progress on existing REPS here. (Source)
South Carolina has a REPS that focuses on renewables and net metering. (Source)
Utilities can usually pass along to customers the cost of complying with REPS created by the legislature. Charges are called Riders. Here’s how Union Power in NC explains it: “The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) Rider is listed on your bill and is adjusted annually to reflect the anticipated costs for compliance with the REPS mandate for that year for each customer class. The money collected through the REPS Rider covers the cost of new programs to reduce energy use. It also covers costs of participation in renewable energy projects both here in our service area, as well as joint projects with other North Carolina cooperatives.” (Source)
Twenty-nine states, Washington, D.C., and three territories have adopted a REPS of some kind.
Think of the REPS as way to address a large topic, like renewable energy. A carve out gets specific within the power industry, and that is our next blog.
(BTW: The tag “REPS” can be confusing, since companies have company reps or sales reps. In deregulated areas of the country Reps may be Retail Energy salespeople.)