What you need to know right now about energy in S.C.
CVSC HAS GONE LIVE
We recently launched a brand new project. It’s called CVSC Live!, and it’s a weekly live stream that airs every Friday at 11 am on our Facebook page. It’s only about 15 minutes long, but we pack it full of content, including all the latest happening in the conservation community. Our second episode aired on Friday.
Last week we delved into two of the most pressing energy issues facing our state:
1. Nuclear energy in the wake of the V.C. Summer abandonment.
2. The future of solar and wind energy in South Carolina.
Find out what we had to say by viewing last week’s episode of CVSC Live! on Facebook (note: you don’t need a Facebook account to watch).
V.C. SUMMER SAGA DRAGS ON
As we discussed in last week’s CVSC Live!, both the House and Senate continued their hearings into the V.C. Summer project over the last two weeks.
In both chambers, the conversation continues to center around revising the Base Load Review Act (BLRA) to ensure that no future projects will be able to use it and to offer relief for ratepayers. There’a also talk of removing the Office of Regulatory Staff’s mission to protect utilities’ financial integrity and creating a consumer advocate somewhere in the state government.
The House outlined potential legislation that would do the following:
- Reform the Public Service Commission (PSC) to be more accountable to voters — including the possibility of ending current commissioners’ terms, enacting more stringent job requirements, and staggering new commissioners’ terms.
- Make Santee Cooper rate revisions subject to PSC approval and thus have the Consumer Advocate as a party to the cases.
Change the name and formation of the Public Utilities Review Committee and expand its mission to allow it more of a role in the utility oversight process.
The House has moved up by a month the opening of the pre-filing window for legislation to be considered next session. Normally that window opens in December, but it will open next week. Supposedly, this is happening is so lawmakers can file legislation to enact some of these suggested changes. We’ll keep you posted of any bills of interest that are pre-filed.
S.C. RANKS LAST IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A recent report by personal finance website WalletHub revealed that South Carolina is the least energy efficient state in the continental U.S.
WalletHub’s analysts compared the lower 48 states across two key dimensions, “Home Energy Efficiency” and “Auto Energy Efficiency.” On a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing optimal energy efficiency, South Carolina received a total score of 21.51. New York State, which ranked first, had a score of 90.22.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adopting energy-efficient measures in the home could reduce a family’s utility costs by as much as 25 percent, proving that it pays to conserve, especially during a time of increasingly warmer temperatures. As for transportation, the agency found that a more fuel-efficient vehicle could save the average driver about $625 per Year.
SOLAR TAX PLAN MOVES FORWARD
Federal trade officials this week recommended measures that could have a major negative impact on the solar industry. The U.S. International Trade Commission is advising President Trump to impose a 100% import tariff on solar panels.
The agency’s recommendation would effectively double the cost of solar equipment prices. The U.S. could lose one-third of all solar jobs and two-thirds of all planned solar installations, and homeowners could lose the ability to take control of their energy future with affordable solar panels.
The Trade Commissions’ proposals have been delivered to the president, who will make a final decision later this Year.