U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm visits South Carolina

  • On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, Secretary Granholm will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to showcase how electric vehicle chargers being made in the U.S.A. are helping make electric vehicle charging a reliable and seamless experience for all Americans.  
  • During this visit, Secretary Granholm will meet with Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to discuss how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is providing opportunities to help the South lead the nation in the clean energy transition. 
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Strengthening South Carolina’s Economy

Energy Jobs 

  • In 2021, there were already 136,442 South Carolina workers employed in the energy sector.  
  • In the Columbia area, 36% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind, solar, and hydroelectric, and over 4,500 workers were employed in energy efficiency.  
  • The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $15 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to South Carolina between now and 2030.

Small Businesses 

  • South Carolina is home to 463,000 small businesses, representing 99.4% of all businesses and employing 43% of all workers in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets. 

Clean Energy Investments 

  • Columbia, SC has an ambitious goal to reach 100% clean and renewable energy by 2036.  
  • Currently, South Carolina has over 1.5 GW of solar, wind, and storage capacity.  
  • There is over 1.3 GW of additional planned clean energy capacity in the works, which will nearly double the amount of clean energy available on the state’s grid and power more than 220,000 homes.   
  • IRA tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 25% and 34%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Columbia, South Carolina. 
  • Since the start of the Biden Administration, we have tracked more than $100 billion in new battery supply chain investments, including $10.5 billion in South Carolina, at 15 facilities which will collectively bring over 8,900 jobs to the state.  
  • In the same period, we have tracked more than $5 billion in new solar manufacturing investments, including $100 million in South Carolina, with an expected 650 new jobs.  

Clean Transportation 

  • South Carolina currently has over 1,000 public EV charging ports. The state will also receive almost $15 million in federal funding to help build out more EV charging stations. 
  • In 2022, South Carolina had 18,100 registered electric vehicles, a 50% increase from the 12,100 EVs in 2021. 
  • Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save over $1700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller electric cars could save over $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper for many to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and $4,000 for used EVs, helping many Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.  
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Investing In South Carolina’s Communities

  • Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $65 million in the past year to South Carolina’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. This includes administrative funding to build a robust rebate program to help low-income households access more efficiency appliances, and over $5 million to help strengthen grid resilience.   

Saving South Carolinians Money on Home Energy Bills

  • DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $22 million in South Carolina since 2015, leading to 453 jobs and over 2,000 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.  
  • Upgrading appliances and improving home energy efficiency could save a total of 7,300 GWh of energy in South Carolina, enough to power 404,000 South Carolina homes.  
  • South Carolina will receive over $137 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Columbia, SC, could save an average of 48% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.  
  • IRA also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in South Carolina 25.2% on their utility bills. That amounts to $679 per year.  
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Prioritizing South Carolina’s Underserved Communities

  • The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. DOE has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative. 
  • Solar United National in Mount Pleasant, SC, was selected in the first round of the Community Power Accelerator Prize, which seeks to expand access to community solar. They are now competing for a share of a larger prize that will fund further progress toward their goals of improved access, greater household savings, resilience and grid benefits, community ownership, and equitable workforce development. 
  • Columbia, South Carolina has participated in a Clean Energy to Communities Peer Learning Cohort sponsored by DOE to develop equitable and grid-friendly electric vehicle charging strategies. The peer learning cohort convenes regularly for several months to exchange strategies and best practices. 
  • The City of Columbia is also partnering with DOE’s Communities LEAP program to identify actionable and equitable options for increasing energy efficiency and electrifying residential energy use as part of its clean energy transition, ultimately reducing energy costs. 

For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure