Energy Incentive Programs, South Carolina

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Updated July 2015

The state’s utilities budgeted over $35 million for energy efficiency and load management programs in 2014.

What public purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

South Carolina has no public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs.  

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

Duke Energy’s Smart Saver Incentive program provides rebates for high efficiency lighting, VFDs, pumps, HVAC equipment (including chillers), IT, industrial processes, and food service equipment. The Smart Saver Custom Incentive program is available for measures outside of the prescriptive program’s scope. Incentives are capped at 75% of the incremental cost. On-line, off-site, and on-site energy assessments are also available for large businesses.

Duke Energy Progress (previously Progress Energy) offers incentives and technical assistance for both retrofits and new construction through their Energy Efficiency for Business program. Prescriptive rebates available for efficient equipment include lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, and premium efficiency motors. A custom option provides an incentive of $0.08/kWh for first-year savings (up to 75% of the incremental measure cost) for measures and equipment not on the prescriptive list. For whole-building new construction applications, the rebate is either $0.09/kWh or $0.14/kWh (for projects showing at least 10% and 20% savings relative to code, respectively). In addition, financial incentives are available for energy-efficient design or building simulation modeling in new construction projects. Feasibility studies for existing facilities are subsidized at up to 50% of cost. Pre-approval applications are required for some elements of the program and encouraged for all.

Through its Energy Wise initiative, South Carolina Electric and Gas provides prescriptive rebates to its commercial and industrial customers for a wide array of efficient electric products including lighting, HVAC upgrades, and commercial kitchen equipment. There is also a custom option, which pays up to 50% of the labor and materials costs for energy-efficient retrofit work and up to 75% of the incremental materials costs for new construction projects.

Santee Cooper, a state-owned water and power generation utility, sponsors the Reduce The Use incentives program. The program offers incentives for a variety of electricity-saving products ranging from compressed air systems to building envelope improvements. There is also a custom option through which customers can get incentives of $0.10/kWh of verified first-year savings for electric conservation projects that fall outside of the prescriptive offerings (up to 50% of the project’s incremental cost).

Several small municipals and cooperatives also run their own efficiency programs, which are profiled by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

Duke Energy offers several load management programs:

  • The PowerShare program provides financial incentives for reducing energy consumption levels during peak use periods. Customers may choose from a variety of curtailment options, including voluntary and mandatory load drops. There are also options to participate with self-generation equipment and to tailor the program for the number of events your site is willing to participate in each year.

  • The On-Site Generation Service Program targets customers that do not currently own back-up generation but would like to. Duke will install, own, and operate new generators (300 kW or larger) for participants willing to let the company use them in times of grid stress or high wholesale prices.  There is a monthly service fee for this rate based on the levelized cost to own and operate the equipment.

  • Real time pricing is available to Duke Energy’s large customers through its SC Hourly Pricing for Incremental Load rate schedule. Customers are notified of the hourly energy prices for the following day and are alternatively credited or charged, based on the hourly price, for usage below or above a pre-determined customer baseline load profile. 

Duke Energy Progress’ load management incentives include the following:

  • The optional real-time pricing tariff is available to up to 20 large customers (demand of 1,000 kW or greater).  Participants are notified a day in advance of the hourly energy prices for the following day, and are charged or credited at these rates for any usage above or below a customer baseline load (CBL) that is based on their historical use.

  • Several available curtailable rate options offer favorable terms for general-use electricity in exchange for dedicated load that customers can reduce at the utility’s request.

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. There are currently no programs of interest to federal customers.

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by state government?

The South Carolina Energy Office offers a variety of energy efficiency programs, but none is currently available to federal facilities.

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide supply contracts through GSA (such as Duke Energy and South Carolina Electric & Gas) may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA’s Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.