Renewable Power Bill Clears House Final Vote

A bill requiring North Carolina utilities to serve their customers with renewable fuel and energy efficiency is going back to the Senate for final approval.

The House voted 107-to-nine to give final approval to the highly touted energy act. It requires the state's utilities to provide 12 and a half percent of their retail electricity from renewable fuel and efficiency measures by 2017.

As in earlier hearings, debate hit on sections to help finance construction of traditional power plants and to dictate that a certain amount of renewable fuel come from hog and poultry waste.

Lawmakers fought any late-day changes, including an amendment requiring utilities to give first consideration to drawing power from animal waste systems that meet newly set environmental standards.

The House and Senate both plowed into lengthy calendars in afternoon and evening sessions in hopes of clearing a variety of bills before adjournment.