“Energy Freedom Act” big win for solar industry


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Many South Carolina residents have been pushing for the expansion of solar energy in the state. And after the fail of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant that push was even harder.

Last year the state’s solar industry was in jeopardy. The General Assembly failed to pass legislation removing a cap on solar energy. More than 3000 jobs were on the line because of that cap.

“Whenever you’re facing a cap you’re facing a cliff so we didn’t know what was next. South Carolina had a 2 % cap on net metering and what that means is well there was a limited amount of rooftops in south carolina that could have solar panels at any one time,” explained Tyson Grinstead with SunRun.

But in the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session Governor Henry McMaster signed the “Energy Freedom Act.”

The law removes that net metering cap and limits placed on how many solar panels can be leased in the state, allowing homeowners more options for financing.

The goal is to give SC residents the freedom to choose the best energy source for them.

“In our last home this probably would have been pretty helpful. Our electric bills in the last home were abour $300 in the summer peak months and last month here i think it was like $90,” added Mitzi Curtright, who lives in a solar-powered home.

The solar industry adds that some Home Owners Associations present additional problems for the solar industry because often homeowners in those neighborhoods aren’t allowed to install the panels.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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