In 2014, South Carolina enacted legislation opening the door for solar growth across the state. Thanks to that landmark law, over the past three years, South Carolina has become home to one the fastest growing solar markets in the country. Solar leasing has made it affordable for the average homeowner to lower their monthly bills through long-term leasing options for solar panel installation. This solar boom in South Carolina has created a thriving industry that employs more than 3,000 state residents.
However, South Carolina policies that once helped rooftop solar flourish also included arbitrary limits on the industry’s growth that are fast approaching. These caps will stop the industry in its tracks. Now the state must find a way to continue supporting this thriving industry before it’s too late.
Relief From Rising Electric Bills
Rooftop solar is shining across South Carolina, allowing homeowners to reduce their electric bills – which are the highest in the country – by harvesting the power of the sun. Currently South Carolina has more than 11,000 residences with rooftop solar, most of which have come onto the grid within the past four years.
Jacqui McLeish is a prime example of how solar is working to benefit everyday families in the state. McLeish, a single mother with a son serving in the United States Air Force, uses solar to offset her high electricity bills. She has cut her power bills by 40 percent with solar – and was able to go solar with no money down. Now the money she’s saving can cover other expenses in her life.
Thriving Job Market
The rapid expansion of solar installations is putting South Carolina residents to work and now provides stable jobs to more than 3,000 workers in the state. These solar industry jobs pay well, provide great benefits along with on-the-job training that helps advance workers’ skills and strengthen the local economy.
The growth of SunRun within the state’s solar market shows the importance of this thriving industry. The company started in South Carolina several years ago with a branch in Columbia. Since then the company has grown to three branches and provides jobs to hundreds of workers across the state – and SunRun represents just one of many companies in South Carolina’s solar industry.
“There’s no doubt about the incredible impact solar is having in South Carolina. Now we need to make sure we don’t lose all the gains we’ve made.”
—Katie Ottenweller, head of SELC’s solar initiative
More solar energy in South Carolina will empower residents across the state to combat high energy bills while providing local jobs and clean energy. All these things work together to develop a stronger economy for the state.