SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Tell the Santee Cooper board to support solar!


On December 7th, the Santee Cooper Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on proposed solar rates that will undermine customer choice and limit access to solar energy. Now is the time to speak up for your right to go solar.

This proposal conflicts with recent South Carolina legislation (Act 236) enacted to encourage solar. The goal of Act 236, which was passed unanimously by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Haley, is “to promote the establishment of a reliable, efficient, and diversified portfolio of distributed energy resources for the State.”

Email the Santee Cooper Board today and ask them to recognize and respect the work that went into developing Act 236 and reject this solar rate proposal.

Here are some of the concerns with the current proposal that you may share with the Santee Cooper board.

  • In contrast to private utilities like SCE&G and Duke Energy, Santee Cooper, a public agency owned by the people of South Carolina, proposes to add new fees that will make solar prohibitively expensive.
  • This proposal would require customers that install solar panels to pay fees that other customers don’t pay. Santee Cooper is proposing to charge customers more money for using less power.
  • This proposal fails to account for the value of rooftop solar and would not fully credit customers for the solar power they produce.
  • Act 236 was also intended to open the way for solar leasing, which allows customers to install solar panels without upfront costs and start saving money on electricity bills from day one. The Santee Cooper proposal would make solar leasing a non-starter for their customers.
  • Like energy efficiency, solar allows customers to reduce the impact of increasing rates on their monthly power bills. That is something to be encouraged, not punished.
  • Santee Cooper should abandon the current solar rate proposal in favor of proven policies adopted by other utilities, which pay solar customers a fair retail rate for the power they produce and take into account the value solar investments bring to the overall electric grid.

Ultimately, this proposal flouts an approach to solar that Gov. Haley and the state Legislature have laid out for South Carolina. The Santee Cooper Board can and should reject this proposal, but they will need to hear from the public about why their customers should have the same access to solar as other utility customers across the state.

A complete analysis of this proposal can be found here.