Lawmakers, utility and solar companies working together on energy bill

Lawmakers, utility and solar companies working together on energy bill

COLUMBIA, SC (WTOC) - Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investments are on the line according to solar companies in South Carolina.

Lawmakers and utility and solar companies say they are all working together to make changes to the South Carolina Energy Freedom Act, filed this session.

There is a sense of urgency, according to solar advocates. Companies are nearing their net-metering cap. They say if the cap is met and there isn’t any indication of any changes to legislation, then thousands of jobs could leave the state. Tyson Grinstead with Sunrun said, “The goal is to know what the future is going to be once we hit those caps, so the industry has predictability, stability and customers have options to go solar if they’d want to.”

Thursday, the House Public Utilities Subcommittee discussed tweaks and changes to the bill.

Staff and stakeholders say they have been working around the clock on amendments to the bill.

Solar companies say they are focused on the rate payers.

“We want to make sure the customers who have solar are protected. We want to make sure customers who are looking to go solar have a viable option and it makes sense,” Grinstead said.

The utility companies say that non-solar customers are forced to subsidize the solar customers. They want to make sure everything is fair if things move forward.

They are willing to work with lawmakers and the solar companies on this bill.

There wasn’t a vote on the bill Thursday, but lawmakers expect that to happen some time next week.

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