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State Energy Efficiency Policy Database

South Carolina

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Summary

Along with other states in the Southeast, South Carolina has made progress on utility-sector energy efficiency efforts over the past few years.  The levels of energy efficiency program spending and associated energy savings, however, are still below the national average. The state's three investor-owned utilities, Duke Energy, Progress Energy Carolinas (which has merged with Duke Energy), and South Carolina Gas and Electric, all administer energy efficiency programs. South Carolina's cooperative utilities also administer some energy efficiency programs. 

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables on the left.

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November 8, 2013


Customer Energy Efficiency Programs

In a settlement agreement brokered between energy efficiency advocates and two merging utilities, Progress Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Carolinas, the merging utilities agreed to new energy efficiency programs and targets for the years 2014-2018. The Settlement Agreement, signed in December 2011, sets an annual energy efficiency savings target of 1% of retail sales starting in 2015 and a 7% cumulative target over the 2014-2018 time period for each utility. Achievement of the target will require successful development, regulatory approval and implementation of energy efficiency programs. 

Funding for demand-side management and energy efficiency programs is included in the utilities’ base rates. In April 2010, Senate Bill 1096 authorized electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities to implement financing systems for energy efficiency improvements.

South Carolina’s electric cooperatives offer customers some programs, including an on-bill financing program that allows members to reduce the upfront cost of energy efficiency investments. Leveraging the cooperatives’ existing relationships with members, the program utilizes funds from USDAs Rural Economic Loans and Grants Program (REDLG) to offer loans to customers, which are paid back on utility bills. The loans are tied to utility bills and the building’s meter, removing split incentives for homeowners who do not wish to stay in their home for the life of the loan. Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina (ECSC) estimates the program will impact 185,000-195,000 homes.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables on the left.

Links:

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November 8, 2013


Energy Efficiency Resource Standards

There is currently no EERS in place.  

For more information on Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, click here.


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August 9, 2013


Alternative Business Models

The Commission approved mechanisms that allow Duke Energy Progress to adjust rates to recover lost revenue. In 2010 South Carolina Electric & Gas Company proposed a lost revenue recovery mechanism which was approved (Docket No. 2009-261-E  and Docket 200-251-E). Lost revenues are estimated prospectively annually and are trued-up annually based on actual penetration rates and energy savings data.The Commission approved mechanisms that allow Duke Energy Progress to adjust rates to recover lost revenue. In 2010 South Carolina Electric & Gas Company proposed a lost revenue recovery mechanism which was approved (Docket No. 2009-261-E  and Docket 200-251-E). Lost revenues are estimated prospectively annually and are trued-up annually based on actual penetration rates and energy savings data.


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September 16, 2013


Reward Structures for Successful Energy Efficiency Programs

Duke Energy Progress and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company have shared savings incentives based on the net present value of each program using the Utility Cost Test (Docket No. 2009-261-E). The PSC approved Duke Energy’s Save-A-Watt program (See Dockets 2007-358-E and 2008-251-E).


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September 16, 2013


Energy Efficiency as a Resource

South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities are required to file integrated resource plans with the Public Service Commission. Some of the utilities operate demand-side management and energy efficiency programs, although such programs are not required in South Carolina. Progress Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy provide energy to both North Carolina and South Carolina and are subject to North Carolina’s combined renewable and energy efficiency portfolio standard. As a result, the standards required for North Carolina will probably have an effect on South Carolina customers.

For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.


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August 8, 2013


Evaluation, Measurement & Verification
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: No data
  • Uses a deemed savings database: no

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in South Carolina relies on both regulatory orders (SC Code Ann. Section 58-37-30) and legislative mandates (SC PSC Docket # 09-226-E (Duke), SC PSC Docket # 09-261-E (SCE&G), SC PSC Docket # 08-251-E/09-191-E/10-161-E (Progress)). Evaluations are mainly administered by the South Carolina Public Service Commission and assisted by The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff. Statewide evaluations are conducted. There are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations in South Carolina. No information is available on the benefit-cost test(s) used for program evaluation.


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August 21, 2013