Did you know that South Carolina electricity bills are the highest in the entire United States? This has a lot do with the fact that SCANA (SCE&G's parent company) has forced the VC Summer nuclear plant onto the taxpayers of South Carolina without regard to cost. The average household pays $28 today, and that rate may continue to increase for the next twenty years pending further legal wrangling.
These same utilities now want to restrict homeowners from putting solar on their own property. Let me repeat that: The same companies that are forcing South Carolina ratepayers to foot the bill for an $8 billion nuclear plant — which has been shuttered and will never provide a drop of energy — are the same companies that also want to scale back the number of homeowners who choose to install solar systems on their rooftops to take charge of their energy bills.
Why are they doing this? Because the solar industry has coalesced around policy that would extend the current homeowner solar incentives to continue the growth trajectory for South Carolina renewable energy, against the utilities' wishes. Our pro-solar bill was introduced in January, has been through four public hearings, has 15 bi-partisan co-sponsors, and is endorsed by the Post and Courier. The anti-solar bill, ghost-written by utility lobbyists, was introduced in March, had no public hearings, no bi-partisan support, and was forced through the committee process in five days. Now both bills square-off for a vote on April 3rd in the State House.
While the solar industry is planning the biggest rally in state history that day, the utility lobbyists are hoping to keep the issue quiet and that no one shows up. They hope to stop the momentum in South Carolina — our state — the state that improved its renewable energy ranking faster than any other state between 2016-2017. The state that supports 3,000 jobs in renewable energy. The state with solar irradiance levels nearly identical to Florida.
Join us at the statehouse in Columbia on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 11:30AM on the Gervais Street north steps to continue the solar momentum in the Palmetto State!
To learn more about HB-4421, our pro-solar bill, check out this important fact sheet: