In South Carolina a diverse coalition of solar and clean energy advocates as well as conservation advocates have come together as a coalition supporting a 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda. Together the organizations aim to support solar power growth in the state by making more than 750,000 contacts in support of legislative action—by April 10.
“Utility monopolies have written South Carolina’s energy policy for too long,” said Senator Tom Davis (R), a stalwart champion of free-market competition in the energy sector. “It is time to break the utility stranglehold and allow energy competition in the residential and corporate sectors while allowing large-scale solar providers to compete to put low-cost energy on the grid. More competition means lower costs, which means lower bills. It just makes sense,” said Davis.
The coalition said its goals will unlock millions of dollars of private investment in the state, while producing jobs growth. The campaign aims for legislative actions that will eliminate net-metering cap for residential solar, allow businesses to contract with independent clean power providers, make solar accessible to all in the state regardless of income. It would also ensure fair and transparent rates for residential and large-scale solar as well as ensure large-scale solar providers get timely contracts.
“South Carolina cannot afford to wait any longer for clear and decisive action on clean energy,” said Representative Peter McCoy (R), one of the House’s strongest clean energy supporters. “Over 3,000 well-paying South Carolina solar jobs and billions in private investment rely on addressing the near-term threats to solar growth,” said McCoy.
The coalition includes the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, the Solar Energy Industries Association, Coastal Conservation League, SC Solar Business Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, Southern Current, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sunrun, Vote Solar, EDP Renewables, Upstate Forever, The Alliance for Solar Choice, Audubon South Carolina and National Audubon Society, Palmetto Clean Tech, the SC Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Cypress Creek Renewables. The coalition also anticipates that other groups will join in the future.
“South Carolina came within inches of passing transformative clean energy legislation last year. For our economy and environment, we need legislators to finish the job when they return to Columbia this month. Adopting this 100 Day Agenda would do just that,” said Coastal Conservation League Energy and Climate Advocacy Director Alan Hancock.
The campaign will make 750,000 contacts through direct mail, digital, and door-to-door efforts to educate South Carolinians about solar. That will include its bill-reducing benefits of solar as well as the number of jobs it has and will create.
The group noted that net-metering programs are set to expire in 2019 as caps are reached. They also said they will educate the state’s public about benefits of competition and how solar can reduce costs.Tweet