Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation d/b/a Blue Ridge Energy will receive written comments and subsequently hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 26, 2023, to consider the written comments received as part of its overall consideration and determination process with respect to adoption of the new standards set forth in the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) 111(d) included in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The IIJA requires cooperatives, municipal utilities, and state regulators to consider adopting standards on promoting greater transportation electrification (Sec. 40431) and utility demand response (Sec. 40104).

Written comments will be received on this page. The portal will open for comments on June 1, 2023, at 8:00am (EDT) and will close on July 17, 2023, at 5:00pm (EDT).

The hearing will be held at 1:00pm (EDT) at Blue Ridge Energy’s corporate office at 1216 Blowing Rock Blvd., Lenoir.  Anyone desiring to attend the hearing, will need to pre-register to attend by filling out the form on this page. 

A decision whether to implement each standard will be made on or before November 15, 2023, after considering the written comments received as well as  Blue Ridge Energy’s studies regarding these two issues. The decisions will be communicated in writing on Blue Ridge Energy’s website no later than November 15, 2023.

PURPA 111(d):

Each State regulatory authority (with respect to each electric utility for which it has ratemaking authority) and each nonregulated electric utility shall consider each standard established by subsection (d) and make a determination concerning whether or not it is appropriate to implement such standard to carry out the purposes of this chapter. For purposes of such consideration and determination in accordance with subsections (b) and (c), and for purposes of any review of such consideration and determination in any court in accordance with section 2633 of this title, the purposes of this chapter supplement otherwise applicable State law. Nothing in this subsection prohibits any State regulatory authority or nonregulated electric utility from making any determination that it is not appropriate to implement any such standard, pursuant to its authority under otherwise applicable State law.


Demand-Response Practices

(A) Each electric utility shall promote the use of demand-response and demand flexibility practices by commercial, residential, and industrial consumers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand.

(ii) A nonregulated electric utility (Like Blue Ridge Electric) may establish rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting demand-response and demand flexibility practices in accordance with subparagraph (A).

Electric vehicle charging programs

A non-regulated utility (like Blue Ridge Electric) shall consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that —

(A) promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for residential, commercial, and public electric vehicle charging infrastructure;

(B) improve the customer experience associated with electric vehicle charging, including by reducing charging times for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles;

(C) accelerate third-party investment in electric vehicle charging for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles; and

(D) appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles