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Climate Justice

Campaign for Energy Justice in North Carolina

We’re working to ensure the state’s transition to a clean energy economy is affordable for all North Carolinians regardless of wealth or background.

Power lines in rural North Carolina

Affordable clean electricity for all

North Carolina is undergoing a transition to clean, renewable electricity. Unfortunately, the plan under review (led by Duke Energy) fails to take equity and justice into full and fair account. If it goes into effect, low-wealth North Carolinians, who are disproportionately people of color, face steep increases in electricity rates, threatening to leave many more without the power they need to fuel their lives. What’s more, the state is failing to meaningfully include these communities in its planning process and isn’t centering electricity customers can generate on their own.

Our Campaign for Energy Justice aims to address these problems by reducing barriers to public participation in the state’s energy plan and ensuring that all North Carolinians have access to affordable electricity — including electricity they generate on their own — as North Carolina moves away from oil, gas, and dirty sources of energy and toward cleaner sources like wind and solar power.

Campaign Goals

  • Ensure low-wealth communities have the information they need to understand and actively engage in decisions that affect energy prices.
  • Meaningfully incorporate input from low-wealth communities into Duke Energy’s Carbon Plan and ensure it sets fair and affordable rates and supports low-wealth ratepayers.
  • Ensure the state makes substantial investments in “community solar” and other programs that help people buy and maintain equipment to generate their own energy (aka “customer-owned generation”). 
  • Ensure the state follows recommendations developed by Synapse Energy Economics, an independent research firm specializing in energy justice. 
  • Build a broad coalition of local and regional allies to advocate for energy justice.

policy brief

Missing the Mark

Our new policy brief, Missing the Mark: How North Carolina’s Decarbonization Efforts Fall Short and How to Fix Them, identifies key shortcomings of the state’s Carbon Plan and explores policy solutions for greater public participation and climate and energy justice.

Group of people sitting around a computer

make your voice heard

How-Tos: Submit Comments on North Carolina’s Carbon Plan and Duke Energy Gas Power Plant Proposal

In the Carbon Plan Duke Energy submitted to North Carolina regulators, the company claims its aim is to achieve the state’s climate goals, curb carbon emissions, and invest in renewable sources of energy. But the plan has dangerous drawbacks, including its failure to take equity and meaningful community engagement into full account. Duke Energy has also proposed new methane gas power plants that will add to climate pollution and harm overburdened communities. You can share your story and make your voice heard for climate and energy justice in North Carolina! Use our how-to for commenting on the Carbon Plan and a guide from Appalachian Voices to comment on the gas power plant proposal.

Key resource

Energy Funds for All

One barrier that often faces North Carolina residents seeking to adopt renewable energy: a lack of accessible information on funding energy upgrades and retrofits. An online toolkit launched in January 2024 seeks to change that, providing access to funding opportunities to all Carolinians regardless of race, gender, social standing, or political affiliation. The website is a collaborative effort of the Center for Progressive Reform, the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Fund, Thrive North Carolina, Sierra Club South Carolina, NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Appalachian Voices, Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle, and Vote Solar.


Power to the People

Our report, Power to the People: Advancing Energy Equity via Customer-Owned Electricity Generation, identifies policy barriers to customer-owned generation and explores policy solutions in North Carolina.

Father and adult son carrying a solar planel

Our latest commentaries on North Carolina

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Legal Information and Resources

Summary of Synapse Report

Experts weigh in on affordable energy in North Carolina.

Interfaith Power & Light Public Comments

The North Carolina Council of Churches submitted public comment on Duke Energy’s proposed decarbonization plan.

Petition to Intervene

North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light submitted a petition to intervene on Duke Energy’s proposed decarbonization plan.