GSA Business recently reported on South Carolina's commitment to solar energy and the work of legislators and environmental activists that continues to promote solar energy to both local businesses and homeowners. Few states have made as big a commitment to solar energy as South Carolina and, according to those who advocate for it, 2016 is only just the beginning.
According to many, the industry in South Carolina changed in 2014, when state legislators passed the Distributed Energy Resource Program, or Act 236, which allowed for solar leasing. This made solar systems more available to the public and attracted more solar businesses to the state. "It [Act 236]... created one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the United States," says South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance program director, Andrew Epting.
Another contributing factor? South Carolina's solar tax credit. Businesses and homeowners that opt for solar power can write off 25% of the installation cost. Some customers may also qualify for the 30% federal tax credit, as well.
"The Benefit of Everybody"
Late last month, The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new 36-panel system on its chamber's roof in Columbia. Frank Knapp Jr., the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce has long been a proponent of solar energy and believes that it is key to South Carolina's long-term well-being. "If we don’t do something to get a handle on climate change, the end result is going to be much higher levels of sea, and we can’t afford that," Knapp told reporters last month.
Knapp also believes that this is just the beginning for South Carolina and solar energy and that, ultimately, it will benefit everyone in the community. "It will accrue to the benefit of everybody. The utility company will have less stress on their infrastructure, including the grid. The businesses in the long run will save money. It will help all of us to address climate change. It is a win-win-win."
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