Issues that utility companies or electric membership cooperatives face are unique to their industries and further complicated by the regulations and restrictions specific to the regions in which they operate.
We maintain productive working relationships with utilities regulators in an effort to minimize adversarial proceedings and obtain positive client outcomes while minimizing litigation expense.
A variety of public, municipal, and private utilities, including electric service providers, water and wastewater companies, and telephone companies have trusted us to represent their interests.
We routinely assist our clients with:
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- Utility Rate Case Proceedings
- We represent public and private utility companies in rate increase applications before the North Carolina Utilities Commission, are experienced in navigating the rate case process, and are experienced and familiar with the Public Staff of and Commission Staff of the Utilities Commission.
- Utility Acquisition and Divestments
- We represent parties in negotiating the purchase, sale, and merger of private utility companies and their assets, and obtaining regulatory approvals for such transactions. We also have experience in petitioning for certificates for public convenience and necessity and obtaining regulatory authorization for new utility companies.
- Permit, Compliance, and Zoning Disputes
- Our team represents various utilities in permitting and zoning proceedings before state regulators and local governments. We also represent utilities in compliance and enforcement proceedings before North Carolina commissions, agencies, and superior court.
- We represent public, private, and municipal electric service suppliers in all matters related to their utility operations, ranging from all facets of regulatory matters to wholesale and retail power sales, purchased power agreements, rate structures and design, service territories, reliability, and environmental compliance. We have extensive experience appearing before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and contract negotiations.
- Renewable Energy and Conservation
- We advise clients with respect to compliance with the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS), water conservation, and related rules promulgated by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. We represent clients in REPS compliance proceedings and rule-making dockets before the NCUC and in negotiations for the purchase and sale of renewable energy credits (RECs). As environmental concerns remain at the forefront of national policy, water allocation, wastewater disposal and reuse, net-metering, alternative energy sources, energy trading, and energy credits will produce significant state and national regulation. We actively monitor developing regulations to allow us to provide current, effective advice for navigating the ever-changing regulatory regime.
- Water and Wastewater
- We regularly advise water and wastewater utilities on rules governing water and sewer service promulgated by the North Carolina Utilities Commission and related environmental rules and ordinances under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local governments. This includes representing wastewater utilities in environmental enforcement proceedings, including citizen suits. We also have represented several local governments who provide water in inter-basin water transfer proceedings. Our team also represents commercial and residential developers in negotiating contracts for the provision of water and sewer services.
- We have advised and represented clients with respect to gas pipeline transmission, gas transportation, gas safety issues, and environmental compliance for natural gas, propane, and other gas products. We have represented clients before the North Carolina Utilities Commission with respect to compliance with rules governing natural gas and other piped gas and obtainment of certificates of public convenience and necessity for various gas projects.
- We have advised telecommunication companies with respect to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the transition from regulated to competitive markets.