SCCEBA POLICY PERSPECTIVE:
SC Energy Freedom Act
“Chaos is simply order waiting to be deciphered” – Jose Saramago, The Double
Last May, the General Assembly’s actions on the “solar bill” seemed like sheer chaos. We wondered, with others, if order would come before our state ran off the “cap cliff” for residential solar within the regulated utility system. Indeed, it appears that chaos has been “deciphered,” and the General Assembly is working to adopt order through a sensible, consensus-driven approach away from that cliff.
The South Carolina Energy Freedom Act (H.3659) offers a solid, logical transition for solar beyond the provisions of Act 236 of 2014, and SCCEBA heartily applauds the extensive collaborative work that created the compromise version of this legislation.
While the compromise bill is focused primarily on solar to the exclusion of other forms of distributed generation, SCCEBA understands this is merely reflective of current conditions in the South Carolina market and not an intentional effort to avoid broader clean energy policy development. And, we do not believe this factor should hinder passage of the legislation.
Nevertheless, we caution the Legislature that the clean energy market is changing rapidly - more rapidly than laws can be made – and ask that they realize that their efforts to address energy policy need to continue in earnest and not wait until the next clean energy “cliff” is reached.
To that end, SCCEBA respectfully suggests that the General Assembly include clean energy matters in their annual course of business, much as the budget and education are already. The clean energy market requires as much, and the state’s citizenry deserve as much.
Beyond the solar aspects, the compromise version of H. 3659 includes provisions that are firmly grounded in the principals of transparency and open public discourse, and SCCEBA makes note of these with approval because they are hallmarks of good public policy.
The bill requires that utilities:
offer multiple – rather than just one – future scenarios into their annual Integrated Resource Plan filings, including scenarios with higher integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency,
file a voluntary renewable program for commercial and industrial customers that protects against cost-shifting, and
increases the level of scrutiny used in regulatory proceedings to approve new power generation proposals, including the allowance of a third-party evaluation if determined to be in the best interest of the public.
Each of these provisions acknowledges the increasing role diverse voices and perspectives in the energy marketplace by affirmatively including such during Commission proceedings. Historically, state law has hampered such critical conversation, even if unintentionally.
As the Senate continues its deliberations on H.3659, SCCEBA will be reaching out to lawmakers to offer this SCCEBA POLICY PERSPECTIVE. We encourage our members and supporters to do the same.
SAVE THE DATE!
JOIN US for a FULL DAY of CLEAN ENERGY!
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
1320 Main Street - Columbia, SC - 29201
– Hosted by –
– Lunch Provided by –
10:00 - 11:30am - SCCEBA Member Meeting
Building on the success of SCCEBA Member Meeting held before last year's SC Clean Energy Summit, SCCEBA is again holding a members-only meeting. The agenda will include an update on SCCEBA's continuing efforts to better define & deliver member value. The meeting will also offer members the UNIQUE & UNPRECEDENTED opportunity to help shape the agenda for the 2019 SC Clean Energy Summit, which is being re-branded as the 2019 SC Clean Energy Conference powered by SCCEBA.
If you are already a SCCEBA member, plan to JOIN US for this meeting. If you are not yet a member, join today!
12:00 - 3:00pm - SC Clean Energy Policy Forum
Growing our state’s clean energy economy is the central focus of SCCEBA. Yet, market growth within a regulated environment is not dependent on capabilities and cost alone. Sound, market-based policy is needed. Join us for a review of the 2019 legislative session and discussion among South Carolina legislators and energy policy leaders about what comes next for SC clean energy policy.
4:00 – 6:00pm - Clean Energy Networking
Drop by for informal, Dutch-treat networking to close out the day.
Rocks at Midlands Lounge
Columbia Marriott – Corner of Main & Hampton Streets
REGISTRATION OPENS APRIL 1
SCCEBA Members $25, Non-Members $50
Not yet a member? JOIN TODAY so you can also attend the SCCEBA Member Meeting earlier in the day and help shape the annual conference agenda!