The cheapest kilowatt hour? The one not used.

September 30th, 2019
By Shelley Robbins

October 2, 2019 is National Energy Efficiency Day!

You may have heard the saying "The cheapest kilowatt hour is the kilowatt hour not used." Saving energy through energy efficiency measures definitely saves money in a way you can see immediately on your bill. But it also saves you in the long-term by delaying and minimizing utility investement in new generating capacity (new power plants).

Energy efficiency also reduces emissions, giving us cleaner air. But it also creates jobs. A new report by E2 shows that energy efficiency employment is double employment in the fossil fuel industry.

So to celebrate #EEDay2019 and the many energy efficiency options we have in South Carolina, we have assembled as many EE resources into one place as we could find! Below, you will find resources for:

  • Duke Energy Carolinas residential, business, and agriculture customers
  • Electric co-operative customers
  • Piedmont Natural Gas customers
  • Tax incentives
  • Energy Star options
  • SC Energy Office Resources

and more!

For Duke Energy Carolinas RESIDENTIAL customers:

Duke's Smart $aver program includes rebates for HVAC installations, heat pump water heater installations, attic insulation and sealing, ductwork sealing, and pool pump replacement. The website includes participating netweok contractors as well.

 This is actually an LED!Duke also has an online store where you can shop for LED lighting, NEST thermostats, and Johnson Controls GLAS Smart Thermostats at a discount.

OR you can shop for lighting products that come with an additional discount for Duke Energy Customers through retail partners.

And HERE is a nifty short video explaining LED features and how to choose them.

You can also sign up for a free Home Energy House Call valued at $180. A Duke Energy technician comes to your house and checks your home for air leaks, checks your insulation levels, checks your appliances, and provides a free Energy Efficiency Starter Kit.

Ready to take energy savings to the next level and help the grid operate during peak power usage? Then you may be interested in Duke's Power Manager program. This program provides a credit on your bill in exchange for allowing Duke to put a device on your air conditioner that temporarily turns your air conditioner off and on during a peak usage event. For more information about Power Manager, click the link below.

For Duke Energy Carolinas BUSINESS Customers

Duke has a large portfolio of energy saving options for business customers, including Smart $aver Business. This program includes rebates for lighting, HVAC, clothes and dish washing, cooking, refridgeration, and so many more. There are an amazing 72 different equipment rebates available. For the list of business equipment rebates, click here:

Duke also has an online store for businesses with products available at a discount - everything from lighting to water saving devices, energy efficient exit signs, pipe insulation, and vacancy-sensing wall switches. Take a look at their business equipment catalogue in the link below.

Duke offers design assistance for both new construction and renovations through their Design Assistance program. This includes energy modeling, design assistance and financial incentives that support architects, engineers, builders and building owners. Learn more below:

Duke also offers business customers PowerShare which offers an incentive for customers to shift their usage off of peak usage times. Learn more below:

For Duke Energy Carolinas FARMERS

Duke Energy has an equipment rebate program for farmers, too. They have fourteen different rebates, for everything from milk vacuum pumps and low energy livestock waterers to dairy heat reclaimers and high efficiency fans.

Federal help for FARMERS

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Renewable energy projects for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. These grants are limited to 25% of a proposed project's cost, and a loan guarantee may not exceed $25 million. The combined amount of a grant and loan guarantee must be at least $5,000 (with the grant portion at least $1,500) and may not exceed 75% of the project’s cost. In general, a minimum of 20% of the funds available for these incentives will be dedicated to grants of $20,000 or less.

Find out more here:

For Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative customers

Blue Ridge offers a $300 rebate for electric water heaters:

And they also offer loans with on-bill financing for both heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps!

For Laurens Electric Cooperative customers

Laurens Electric Co-op offers rebates through their Home Rewards Program 

  • Upgrading the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system;
  • Improving the energy efficiency of ductwork;
  • Improving the energy efficiency of the attic; and
  • Installing a dual-fuel heat pump

They also have an Energy Star rate schedule (for homes that meet an efficiency standard) and several other helpful resources here:

For Broad River Electric Cooperative customers

Broad River Electric Co-op offers a rebate for an Ecobee smart thermostat, and they offer a special lower rate for energy efficient homes (as well as on-bill financing to help you achieve the required level of efficiency).

For Piedmont Natural Gas Customers

Water heating accounts for up to 15% of your home's energy use. PNG has an equipment rebate program for for replacing both old, inefficient gas water heaters as well as has furnaces. Learn more here:

For businesses, there's a commercial tankless water heater rebate here:

PNG also has an energy resource page with other tips and calculators, here:

Appliance Calculator

Here is a nifty online tool that helps you calculate the energy use of specific appliances in your home (or ones you may be interested in buying).

Comprehensive list of tax incentives 

DSIRE database of tax credits and other incentives for South Carolina residents can be found here:

Energy Star Website

This amazing website is loaded with resources! You can find EnergyStar appliances, find out about rebates, learn more about how to save energy at home, and so much more.

SC Energy Office Energy Efficiency Web Page

The South Carolina Energy Office has a dedicated staff working to bring energy efficiency resources to each of us, and they have designated October as Energy Action Month.

Did we miss anything? If so, e-mail me and I will add it! Let's make EVERY day Energy Efficiency Day!

— Shelley Hudson Robbins, Energy and State Policy Director



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