H.4379 was introduced as a result of the failed VC Summer nuclear project. In the fall-out of the project, energy reform leaders in the House crafted the bill to create a Consumer Advocate who would argue for ratepayer protections in Public Service Commission rate-making cases. The proposed House bill would have established a consumer advocate in the Attorney General’s office and would have reformed the mission of ORS to no longer include the economic viability of utilities. After thoughtful debate, the bill passed out of the House with a 114-1 vote on January 23, 2018; sending a signal that House members were taking energy reform and ratepayer protection measures seriously.
Eventually, this bill also passed the Senate on the last day of the legislation session. The Senate amended the bill to house the Consumer Advocate in the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and to include language supporting large-scale solar production in South Carolina (similar to the language in S.890).
H.4379 was introduced by Representatives McCoy (R-Charleston), Ott (D-Calhoun), Lucas (R-Darlington), Anderson (D-Georgetown), Ballentine (R-Lexington), and a long list of bipartisan co-sponsors. During debate on the House floor, the bill had several champions including Representatives Ott, Finlay, Clary, McCoy, Toole, Cobb-Hunter, J.E. Smith, and Caskey.
- This is a Pro-Conservation Bill.
- The Pro-Conservation Vote was YES for passage
- The Bill passed the House on 1/23/18 and the Senate on 5/10/18; the House will consider concurrence on the Senate version in late June.