South Carolina legislature looks at two renewable energy bills early in 122nd session

South Carolina State Capitol

South Carolina State Capitol

Update: 

The C-PACE legislation was approved by Senate subcommittee on Feb. 15! The legislation was changed to remove an option to allow county governments to issue bonds to finance C-PACE improvements. S.261 went to the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, which “carried over the bill to do additional work,” according to the South Carolina Association of Counties.

The Renewable Energy Property Tax Act was approved by the Senate! It is now being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.
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South Carolina legislators this week took a look at two bills covering renewable energy property tax incentives and financing.

–The Renewable Energy Property Tax Act, introduced by Sen. Chauncey ‘Greg’ Gregory, R-Lancaster, was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Jan. 17. The bill would give an 80 percent property tax abatement to commercial renewable energy projects. Residential projects would receive a full exemption. It heads to the full Senate next week.

–Bills addressing the popular Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, referred to as C-PACE or simply PACE, financing method for renewable energy projects have been introduced in the House and Senate.  The SC Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy Act, by Reps. Dwight Loftis, R-Greenville and Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, would allow commercial property owners to finance clean energy improvements using their property taxes — where local governments allowed it. From the bill:

‘Clean energy improvement’ means a water efficiency measure, energy efficiency measure, or a fixture, product, device, or interacting group of fixtures, products, or devices on the customer’s side of the meter that use one or more clean energy resources or renewable energy resources to generate electricity or create heat or cooling. Clean energy improvements must be permanently fixed to the property and cannot be removed from the property in the event of a change of ownership.

Read more at the South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance, which is keeping us up-to-date on both efforts!