Gov. Mark Sanford today signed legislation aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of homes in South Carolina. The bill, S.1096, allows energy companies to contract with homeowners who want to install efficiency upgrades to their homes - upgrades which homeowners can repay over time through their energy bill.
"This legislation represents a free-market opportunity not only for individuals to cut their own energy costs using now affordable efficiency upgrades but also, from a larger perspective, to bend the cost curve when it comes to energy use statewide," Gov. Sanford said. "By allowing ratepayers to work hand-in-hand with energy companies to make upgrades in their homes' heating and cooling systems, appliances and other areas, this bill encourages a more economical use of energy without imposing government mandates or restrictions of any kind. It also helps low-income homeowners, who often can't afford the upfront cost of upgrades, to make their homes more energy efficient and, in time, lower their electric bill. This bill also addresses the larger question of where we go from here as a state. With the rising costs of energy and the consequent claims by some that we need to depend more heavily on coal-fired power, this bill is a commonsense measure to bring down the overall energy use and ultimately lessen the need for environmentally harmful sources of power.
"I'd thank Members of the Senate and representatives from the electric co-ops and environmental community for their teamwork and ongoing advocacy in shepherding this sensible initiative through the General Assembly."