South Carolina Legislature

1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2001 Session

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Title 48 - Environmental Protection and Conservation





SECTION 48-52-10. Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Energy Efficiency Act".



SECTION 48-52-210. Policy and purpose.

(A) It is the policy of this State to have a comprehensive state energy plan that maximizes to the extent practical environmental quality and energy conservation and efficiency, and minimizes the cost of energy throughout the State. To implement this policy there is adopted the Plan for State Energy Policy.

(B) The purpose of the plan is to:

(1) ensure access to energy supplies at the lowest practical environmental and economic cost;

(2) ensure long-term access to adequate, reliable energy supplies;

(3) ensure that demand-side options are pursued wherever economically and environmentally practical;

(4) encourage the development and use of indigenous, renewable energy resources;

(5) ensure that basic energy needs of all citizens, including low income citizens, are met;

(6) ensure that energy vulnerability to international events is minimized;

(7) ensure that energy-related decisions promote the economic and environmental well-being of the State and maximize the ability of South Carolina to attract retirees, tourists, and industrial and service-related jobs;

(8) ensure that short-term energy decisions do not conflict with long-range energy needs;

(9) ensure that internal governmental energy use patterns are consistent with the State's long-range interests;

(10) ensure that state government is organized appropriately to handle energy matters in the best public interest;

(11) ensure that governmental energy-related tax, expenditure, and regulatory policies are appropriate, and, wherever possible, maximize the long-range benefits of competition.



SECTION 48-52-410. State Energy Office established; purpose.

There is established the State Energy Office within the State Budget and Control Board which shall serve as the principal energy planning entity for the State. Its primary purpose is to develop and implement a well-balanced energy strategy and to increase the efficiency of use of all energy sources throughout South Carolina through the implementation of the Plan for State Energy Policy. The State Energy Office must not function as a regulatory body.

SECTION 48-52-420. Duties of State Energy Office.

In carrying out the purposes of the Plan for State Energy Policy, the State Energy Office shall:

(1) provide, in cooperation and conjunction with the Governor's Office, informational and technical assistance programs to assist with residential, commercial, governmental, industrial, and transportation conservation and efficiency and to encourage the use of renewable indigenous energy resources;

(2) promote, in conjunction with the South Carolina Energy Research and Development Center and the Governor's Office, continued and expanded energy research and development programs geared toward the energy needs of the State;

(3) evaluate and certify energy conservation products in cooperation with the South Carolina Energy Research and Development Center;

(4) in cooperation with the Governor's Office and other appropriate entities, examine and consider the desirability and feasibility of mechanisms for tax incentives, low-interest loans, and other financing means for cost-effective energy consideration and efficiency and use of renewable and indigenous energy resources, and advocate their implementation when deemed appropriate;

(5) work with the Public Service Commission and other groups to promote appropriate financial incentives for electric and gas utilities to maximize the use of cost-effective demand-side options in meeting future energy needs;

(6) promote the adoption and use of energy efficient building codes and certification procedures for builders, heating and cooling specialists, and building inspectors;

(7) promote energy efficiency in manufactured housing;

(8) promote the use of less-polluting transportation fuels, public transportation and other transportation alternatives, higher mileage and less-polluting vehicles, and work with state and local entities through policy development, planning, and advocacy to encourage reduction in the need for vehicle travel;

(9) ensure that state government agencies establish comprehensive energy efficiency plans and become models for energy efficiency in South Carolina, and assist the Department of Education in achieving energy efficiency in public schools;

(10) collect currently published and publicly available energy data and provide energy information clearinghouse functions in conjunction with the Governor's Office, and conduct long-range energy planning;

(11) assist the Governor's Office and the General Assembly in assessing the public economic and environmental interest on issues related to energy production, transportation, and use and provide information on the public interest in appropriate forums.

SECTION 48-52-425. Limitation on amount school districts must spend on energy conservation.

No public school district may be required to expend more than one hundred dollars a year to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

SECTION 48-52-430. Annual state energy action plan.

The State Energy Office shall annually submit to the Governor and Joint Legislative Committee on Energy a state energy action plan that includes, but is not limited to:

(a) activities by the State Energy Office to carry out the Plan for State Energy Policy;

(b) recommendations for long-term quantitative and qualitative energy goals for the residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, governmental, and utility sectors, and measures of progress for these goals;

(c) identification of obstacles to efficiency for which legislative, regulatory, or other governmental remedies are appropriate.

SECTION 48-52-435. Prior approval required for studies of alternative energy usage or conservation measures.

In order to avoid duplicative studies, funds shall not be expended by state agencies for studies investigating alternative energy usage or conservation measures without prior approval of the State Energy Office and the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy.

SECTION 48-52-440. Energy Advisory Committee established; membership; terms of office; duties.

There is established the Energy Advisory Committee, whose members are appointed by the State Budget and Control Board, except as provided in item (14) of this section. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the State Budget and Control Board except that those appointed pursuant to item (14) shall serve for a term coterminous with that of their appointing authority. The committee is composed as follows:

(1) two representatives of investor-owned electricity companies;

(2) two representatives of electric cooperatives;

(3) one representative of the South Carolina Public Service Authority, who shall serve ex officio;

(4) one representative of municipally-owned electric utilities;

(5) one representative of publicly-owned natural gas companies;

(6) one representative of investor-owned gas companies;

(7) one representative of oil suppliers or dealers;

(8) one representative of propane suppliers or dealers;

(9) one representative of nonprofit public transportation providers;

(10) two representatives of industrial consumers;

(11) two representatives of commercial consumers;

(12) two representatives of individual consumers; one must be the State Consumer Advocate or the Consumer Advocate's designee, who shall serve ex officio;

(13) two representatives of environmental groups; and

(14) one at-large member appointed by the Governor.

The Budget and Control Board shall elect one of the committee members to serve as chairman. The members of the Energy Advisory Committee are not eligible for per diem payments or for reimbursement for lodging or meals. The functions of the Energy Advisory Committee are advisory to the State Energy Office. The committee shall meet at least annually and at the call of the chair or at the request of at least six members to receive information on the activities of the State Energy Office and the formulation and implementation of the state energy action plan. It may comment and advise on the activities and the plan as considered appropriate by members of the committee. The State Energy Office may seek advice and guidance from the committee as considered appropriate by the director of the office.Members shall adopt rules governing meeting attendance and abide by these rules.

SECTION 48-52-450. Consolidation of energy-related offices and programs.

Where possible, the State Energy Office shall encourage consolidating other offices or programs in state government related to energy, energy efficiency, and energy reliability.

SECTION 48-52-460. Effect of government restructuring on placement of State Energy Office.

The establishment of the State Energy Office within the State Budget and Control Board, as provided for in this part, must be evaluated if restructuring or reorganizing of state government takes place so as to identify and provide for the proper placement of the office upon restructuring or reorganizing.

SECTION 48-52-470. Funding for State Energy Office.

Funding for the State Energy Office, as created in this part, must be derived from existing financial resources available to the State and may be derived from oil overcharge funds. Personnel for the State Energy Office must be derived from the consolidation of existing state government personnel slots with no new FTE's.



SECTION 48-52-610. Energy efficiency standards for state buildings.

The State Energy Office shall develop energy efficient code standards for state-owned and leased buildings, including public school buildings. These standards must provide for life-cycle cost-effectiveness.

SECTION 48-52-620. State agencies and school districts to submit energy conservation plans and reports; metering of state buildings; annual compilation of reports.

(A) Each state agency and public school district shall submit for approval to the State Energy Office an energy conservation plan and energy conservation goals, including energy consumption goals.

(B) In order to monitor energy consumption, the State Energy Office must determine those state buildings which require individual metering. Metering must be installed by the agency, the cost of which must be borne by the agency responsible for the utility bill for the building.

(C) Each state agency and public school district shall submit periodic energy conservation reports in the manner and at such times as required by the State Energy Office.

(D) Each public school district and state agency shall submit to the State Energy Office and each state agency shall include in its annual report to the Budget and Control Board:

(1) activities undertaken implementing its energy conservation plan; and

(2) progress made in achieving its energy conservation goals.

(E) The State Energy Office shall compile the reports submitted pursuant to subsection (C) to be submitted annually, no later than December thirty-first, to the General Assembly. The State Energy Office shall provide suggested formats for plans and goals that must be submitted pursuant to subsection (A), reporting forms for reports required by subsection (C), and all technical assistance necessary for state agencies and school districts to satisfy the requirements of these subsections.

SECTION 48-52-630. Energy conservation savings; division; reinvestment.

An agency's budget must not be reduced by the full amount of money saved through energy conservation measures. Appropriate financial incentives to encourage the reinvestment of energy costs savings into additional energy conservation areas must be provided. Energy savings must be divided among the agency, the general fund, and debt retirement of capital expenditures on energy efficiency. Agencies must be encouraged to reinvest their savings into energy conservation areas, where practical.

SECTION 48-52-635. State agency to carry forward and retain savings realized from energy conservation measures.

Pursuant to Section 48-52-630, an agency's savings realized in the prior fiscal year from implementing an energy conservation measure as compared to a baseline energy use as certified by the State Energy Office, may be retained and carried forward into the current fiscal year. This savings, as certified by the State Energy Office, must first be used for debt retirement of capital expenditures, if any, on the energy conservation measure, after which time savings may be used for agency operational purposes and where practical, reinvested into energy conservation areas. The agency must report all actual savings in the energy portion of its annual report to the State Budget and Control Board.

SECTION 48-52-640. Purchase of energy conservation products; certification by State Energy Office required.

(A) A vendor of energy conservation products making an energy conservation claim and attempting to sell to state government shall submit the product to the State Energy Office for evaluation and certification.

(B) Only energy conservation products certified by the State Energy Office may be purchased by a state agency subject to the state procurement code.

(C) All state agencies shall submit a disclaimer statement to the energy office with their annual report stating that they did not purchase any energy conservation products that had not been certified by the State Energy Office.

SECTION 48-52-650. Revolving loan fund for energy conservation measures.

The State Energy Office shall establish a mechanism for a revolving loan fund for state agencies and political subdivisions of the State to use for energy conservation measures. Repayment may be from the savings in the entity's utility budget.

SECTION 48-52-660. Lease purchase agreements with energy efficiency products vendors and utility companies; procurements for energy-using goods and facilities.

(A) A state agency or political subdivision of the State may enter into lease purchase agreements for a duration of more than one year with vendors of energy efficiency products and utility companies. No funds disclaimer clause as provided for in Section 11-35-2030 is required in these contracts. Repayment is allowed from savings on the entity's budget.

(B) Procurements under the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code for energy-using goods and facilities must be procured through competitive sealed proposals pursuant to Section 11-35-1530 with life cycle cost criteria stated as an evaluation factor that must be addressed in a proposal.

SECTION 48-52-670. Guaranteed energy savings contracts.

(A) A governmental unit may enter into guaranteed energy savings contracts for a duration of more than one year with vendors of guaranteed energy savings programs. No funds disclaimer clause as provided for in Section 11-35-2030 is required in these contracts. Repayment may be made from savings on the agency utility budget.

(B) A guaranteed energy savings contract may be awarded pursuant to Section 11-35-1530 if it includes a written guarantee that savings will meet or exceed the cost of energy conservation measures.

(C) For purposes of this section, "governmental unit" means a state government agency, department, institution, college, university, technical school, legislative body, or other establishment or official of the executive, judicial, or legislative branches of this State authorized by law to enter into contracts, including all local political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, counties, municipalities, public school districts, or public service or special purpose districts.

(D) For purposes of this section, "guaranteed energy savings contract" means a contract for the evaluation and recommendation of energy conservation measures and for implementation of one or more of these measures. The contract must provide that all payments, except obligations on termination of the contract before its expiration, must be made over time and the energy cost savings resulting from implementation of the energy conservation measures may be used to make payments for the energy conservation systems installed pursuant to guaranteed energy savings contracts.

(E) For purposes of this section "energy conservation measure" means a training program or facility alteration designed to reduce energy consumption or operating costs, including, but not limited to:

(1) insulation of the building structure or systems within the building;

(2) storm windows or doors, caulking or weatherstripping, multiglazed windows or doors, heat absorbing or heat reflective glazed and coated window or door systems, additional glazing, reductions in glass area, or other window and door system modifications that reduce energy consumption;

(3) automated or computerized energy control systems;

(4) heating, ventilating, or air conditioning system modifications or replacements;

(5) replacement or modification of lighting fixtures to increase the energy efficiency of the lighting system without increasing the overall illumination of a facility, unless an increase in illumination is necessary to conform to the applicable state or local building code for the lighting system after the proposed modifications are made;

(6) energy recovery systems;

(7) cogeneration systems that produce steam or forms of energy such as heat, as well as electricity, for use primarily within a building or complex of buildings;

(8) energy conservation measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions.

SECTION 48-52-680. Identification of "energy efficient" goods; energy conservation standards; building specifications.

(A) The State Energy Office shall assist the Materials Management Office as established in Section 11-35-810 and all governmental bodies defined in and subject to the Consolidated Procurement Code, by identifying goods which are "energy efficient" or for which the State can achieve long-term savings through consideration of life cycle costs. The State Energy Office must compile a list of these goods. Before issuing any solicitation for these goods, the procuring agency shall notify the State Energy Office which shall assist in drafting or reviewing specifications for the goods being procured and which shall approve the specifications before issuing the solicitation. Upon request of a governmental body the State Energy Office shall provide assistance in evaluating bids or offers received in response to the solicitation to ensure that procurements are made in accordance with the purposes and policies of this article.

(B) The State Energy Office shall assist the Office of the State Engineer and all governmental bodies defined in and subject to the Consolidated Procurement Code by drafting energy conservation standards to be applied in the design and construction of buildings that are owned or lease/purchased by these governmental bodies. Before any construction contracts are bid under Section 11-35-3020, the State Engineer's Office or the governmental body soliciting the bids shall review the plans and specifications to ensure that they are in compliance with the standards drafted by the State Energy Office. The State Energy Office shall provide assistance in reviewing these plans and specifications upon the request of the State Engineer's Office or the affected governmental body.

(C) The State Energy Office shall provide the Office of Property Management of the Budget and Control Board, Division of General Services, information to be used in evaluating energy costs for buildings or portions of buildings proposed to be leased by governmental bodies that are defined in and subject to the Consolidated Procurement Code. The information provided must be considered with the other criteria provided by law by a governmental body before entering into a real property lease.

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