Efficiency First in South Carolina
Energy efficiency is less expensive, yields larger economic returns, results in greater social benefits, and promises superior environmental performance to all other available energy resources. Because energy efficiency can also meet a large portion of South Carolina’s foreseeable energy needs, it should be the core of state energy policy.
Although South Carolina currently ranks 41st nationally in energy efficiency, recent studies from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy project upwards of 20,000 local jobs and billions of dollars in both ratepayer savings and increased gross state product would accrue from more aggressive energy efficiency policies. These policies include updated building codes and appliance standards, financing mechanisms and improved incentives for building retrofits, workforce development initiatives, and mandatory efficiency targets for electric utilities.
South Carolina’s electricity providers have launched energy efficiency programs that have begun to achieve substantial energy savings throughout our state. The Conservation League will continue to monitor the utilities’ implementation of efficiency programs with an eye towards maximizing savings achievements, cost-effectiveness, and transparency. We will also continue to support adoption of policies aimed at helping more families and businesses save money on rising energy bills, while simultaneously creating local jobs and reducing the environmental impacts of energy use in South Carolina.
In the wake of the failure of new nuclear units at VC Summer and associated high power bills, South Carolina has an opportunity to use energy efficiency to keep electricity demand from growing in South Carolina.