Advocates say solar energy would lower rates for all South Carolinians

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the session is coming to an end this week, rooftop solar companies and clean energy advocates are watching the Senate closely.

Senators are expected to vote on the Energy Freedom Act (H.3659) this week.

Rooftop solar companies have been on standby all year waiting to see if this will be signed into law. Net-metering caps have been met and will be met in some parts of the state.

Net-metering is an incentive for solar panel users who send any energy they don’t use back to the grid. That power is used to supply other customers. The solar panel users are sent a credit.

H.3659 would extend these caps until 2021. The SC Public Service Commission would have to come up with a long-term rate. Advocates say this would give more customers the option of going solar.

John Tynan, the Executive Director for the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, said if the Energy Freedom Act were to pass, all ratepayers could see lower rates.

“For those homeowners who do put solar panels on their home are going to see a bill to bill reduction because of the energy they generate on their rooftop. The benefits they put on the grid spread out and lower bills for everyone across the state,” Tynan said.

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