Legislative Updates 2024: April 15 - 19

April 23rd, 2024
By Megan Chase-Muller


  • Senators react to Judiciary Committee’s action on energy bills (H.5118 and S.909)
  • Take action on other bills that would advance clean energy
  • Last call to attend a Duke Energy Carolinas’ rate case hearing in Spartanburg


There are just nine legislative days remaining until the end of the legislative session on May 9th. Remember, this is the second year of a two-year session, so any bill that has not made it across the finish line must be re-filed and go through the committee process all over again next year. We’ll continue to work to make sure our priorities advance as far as they can before time runs out this year. Read below for a list of bills that you can talk about with your legislators in these last weeks.

Need to catch up on news from previous weeks? Remember that you can always access our Legislative Updates here.

News from the Statehouse

Senate Floor Speeches on energy omnibus bills (H.5118 and S.909) call attention to issues with process

After hastening the SC Energy Security Act (H.5118) out of the Senate Judiciary Committee two weeks ago (read the recap of the Committee’s action here, including amendments), the Senate hit pause to try to unpack the 70+ pages of the bill. While they did not take action, several Senators gave impassioned speeches on the Senate floor, drawing attention to a wide range of issues, including those of process, loss of ratepayer protections, and the environmental impacts for the Canadys community and those living along the pipelines that will need to be built. Now is the time to reach out to your Senator about this bill!

Legislative Priorities

While the Senate continues its consideration of the SC Energy Security Act, (H.5118), there are several other pieces of legislation that would advance clean energy, and we could use your help in advocating for these conservation priorities. Consider reaching out to your legislators to voice your support for at least one of these bills:

  • The Alternative Fuel Tax Credit (H.3824), passed the House last year and is waiting on a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. This bill would grant an income tax credit to municipalities, state agencies, individuals, or businesses that install an EV charging station at fuel distribution or dispensing facilities. Please consider reaching out to your Senator, especially if they sit on the Senate Finance Committee, and ask them to support this bill.
  • The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACE) Bill (S.542) advanced out of a House LCI Subcommittee last week and will be taken up by the full Committee on April 30th. This bill would authorize local governments to establish C-PACE programs, providing access to low-cost, long-term financing for commercial, agricultural, industrial, and multifamily residential properties to pursue measures that improve energy efficiency, water efficiency, and resilience, and that help to install solar panels, EV charging infrastructure, and energy storage devices.

    Under a C-PACE program, these upgrades can be financed with no money down and repaid as a benefit assessment on the property tax bill, as determined by the local government. The unique characteristic of a C-PACE assessment is that the assessment is attached to the property rather than an individual, which can address hesitation from property owners who think they may not stay in the property long enough for the resulting savings to cover the upfront costs.

    More than 38 states have passed C-PACE enabling legislation, so now is the time for South Carolina to take action. You can reach out to your legislator here and members of the House LCI Committee here.
  • The Solar Property Tax Exemption (H.3948): passed the House and is waiting on a Senate Finance Committee hearing. This bill would make more solar energy equipment eligible for property tax exemptions by lifting the 20 kilowatt capacity cap for renewable energy resource properties, and adding that energy storage now qualifies for this exemption for “customer generators.” This exemption would not extend to solar farms.

This week, the Senate will focus on passing out their version of the state budget, which means the Senate will likely not take up any other issues. You can find a summary of the Senate’s budget process here. We will remain engaged to ensure our priorities are funded. Want a refresher on how all the land conservation budgets fit together? Click here.

Tuesday (4/23), 6:00 pm in Spartanburg: residents will have the opportunity to attend a hearing on the proposed rate increase from Duke Energy Carolinas. This is the last regional hearing on the rate hike, but the PSC will host two hearings in Columbia as well. Click here to learn more about the rate hike, how to submit comments, or sign up for a hearing.

Be on the lookout for additional opportunities to get involved throughout the Legislative Session and learn more about the issues that affect our daily lives. We’ll continue to keep you informed on their progress and ways to get involved throughout the legislative session! 

Until next week...

Megan Chase-Muller
State Policy Director

Odds and Ends and Actions:

Did you receive this Update as a forward and want to sign up for it yourself? You can do so right here. The Legislative Update will hit your mailbox every week during session (January through May).

Did your senator or representative do something awesome this week? Tell them! Use this link to find out who represents you, and if you love a bill they are supporting, please let them know. You can also just use the link to tell them what is important to you.

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