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Solar Energy the South Carolina Way
5/7/2014 3:36:20 PM

Marlon Kimpson
By Senator Marlon Kimpson

The sun shines equally on all South Carolinians, but when it comes to renewable energy policy, specifically solar energy, many African American consumers have been left in the dark. Now a ray of sunshine is moving through the statehouse - known as Senate Bill 1189 or “S. 1189” for short. The bill helps South Carolina develop new sources of clean solar energy and stimulates jobs and economic growth in South Carolina.

Why does South Carolina need a bill like this? While the cost of installing solar has declined and electricity rates have risen, solar has become an increasingly attractive investment option for homeowners. As more and more customers put solar on their rooftop, it is important that the rules governing solar installations are fair to all utility customers. S.1189 addresses any potential inequities by ensuring that customers who generate their own electricity pay their share of the cost of maintaining the electric grid and utilities pay a fair price for solar power generated by their customers.

S.1189 empowers consumers by allowing them to lease solar panels use at their homes. This policy, often called “no money down solar” will reduce barriers – and the cost – of generating solar energy and lead to more solar facilities in the state, creating jobs and economic growth for our communities.

This bill is a win-win for our communities. We will see not only additional sources of clean energy generation brought on line in a state with great sun, but for our low income households, we will protect low-income households who could not only see their energy prices stabilize, but will now have the opportunity to enter the customer-generation market.

S.1189 brings together the solar development community, environmentalists, consumer advocates, civil rights advocates, and utilities in securing a better economy and cleaner environment for South Carolina while ensuring fairness and equity for all South Carolinians.

Senator Kimpson represents District 42 (Charleston & Dorchester Counties) in the South Carolina Senate. He can be reached at

Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Darious Submitted: 5/11/2014
The fact that the environmentalists, consumer advocates, civil rights advocates AND utilities came together on this bill to ensure fairness to all consumers IS a Big win-win for South Carolinians!.

Submitted By: Rylan Submitted: 5/11/2014
I'm glad to see someone looking out for "the little guys," like me, who struggle daily to pay my own bills. Paying for someone else's use of solar doesn't sound fair. Looks like South Carolina is getting it right.

Submitted By: Greg Submitted: 5/11/2014
This type of legislation, (when everyone comes together), should be an example for not only South Carolina, but for all states. A bill that will create jobs, ensure the laws are fair for all of us, and being able to help the environment is something that should have been done a long time ago….better late than never I guess!

Submitted By: Dexter Submitted: 5/11/2014
Happy to say I support this bill and I also support those who support it!!

Submitted By: Tammy Submitted: 5/11/2014
All I can say is, “What took us so long to figure this out?” Great Job South Carolina legislators, for taking a closer look at the old laws and making the changes to make sure they were fair. Thank you!

Submitted By: James Submitted: 5/12/2014
The saying goes that good things come to those who wait and in this case it could not be more true. It has taken years to foster the spirit of cooperation that created this bill, but I could not think of a better outcome for South Carolina. A huge thank you to all involved for putting us, the consumers, first.

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