New Bill Being Passed in South Carolina in Favor of Solar Energy
Last week at the South Carolina Statehouse the solar industry had a major victory when the state legislature unanimously voted to pass the energy freedom act. This bill will help to greatly lower electricity costs and create jobs in South Carolina.
The solar energy industries association (or SEIA) played an instrumental role in the passing of this bill. They began with the goals to eliminate the net metering cap for residential solar, ensuring fair and transparent rates for residential and large scale solar, reforming the process behind utility resource planning, ensuring fair and timely contracts for large-scale solar providers, and to make solar more available and accessible for all people in South Carolina.
Their campaigning strategy consisted of organizing site visits, holding lobby days, and creating educational collateral to earn a bipartisan consensus on solar policy among South Carolina lawmakers in Columbia.
Some of the other main players that SEIA worked with in order to have this bill passes were the South Carolina Solar Business Alliance, the Palmetto Conservative Solar Coalition, Conservative Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. In addition to this large group of organizations, 33 solar companies also signed a joint letter to the Senate and many even lobbied their representatives directly. They also worked with the local business community, resulting in 32 corporations submitting a letter of support for the bill.
All of these efforts resulted in a unanimous vote in the House in February, and another unanimous vote in the Senate last week. This win is an example of what happens when the solar industry comes together to speak with one voice to reach a common goal.
Although, even with these major victories, we must still wait for Governor McMaster to sign the legislation into law so that clean energy can start working again for people in South Carolina.