Energy watchdog group NC WARN is asking state utilities commissioners to look at an alternative way for companies to generate electrical power. NC WARN sent a report to commissioners outlining a process called "cogeneration” that allows businesses to use an on-site turbine to generate electricity and capture escaping heat. The group's report says doing that can drop the rate of wasted energy from 55 percent to as low as 20 percent.
"We have really here recently for the first time been able to really put some numbers and really look at the potential and the barriers,” says Jim Warren, executive director of NC WARN. “So it's just really important now that the commission convene a process that will allow open and careful examination of this."
NC WARN wants the state Utilities Commission to schedule a hearing to look at the process and assess its viability. A commission spokesman says commissioners will seek comments before scheduling any formal hearings.