Energy solutions for our state

Many of you know how involved I’ve been trying to change our state’s energy policy (which we’ve learned is heavily dominated by the monopolistic utilities). Before my birthday dinner last night, I agreed to speak on a panel about a recent ruling of the Public Service Commission. An article from The State is below…

When solar power took a hit from the PSC, people got mad. Now many want changes
Sammy Fretwell – The STate

Four Columbia area legislators pledged this week to fight what they call unfriendly decisions against ratepayers by the state Public Service Commission, a quasi-judicial panel that recently sided with big utilities against the state’s emerging solar energy industry.

At a forum Tuesday night, Reps. Nathan Ballentine, Micah Caskey and Ivory Torrey Thigpen, and Sen. Mia McLeod, said they’re frustrated with PSC decisions and with continuing setbacks the solar industry is dealing with in South Carolina.

Lawmakers called for changes, including the possibility of new Public Service commissioners. The PSC has been criticized for taking the side of utilities in rate cases over the interests of people who pay power bills.

A recent PSC decision favoring big utilities over solar energy companies goes against a recently adopted state law that was supposed to help renewable energy expand in South Carolina, Ballentine told the crowd of about 60 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

“The PSC did exactly the opposite of what every elected official in the state wanted to have done,’’ said Ballentine, a Republican from the Chapin area. “We sure as heck didn’t’ want it to go backwards. ‘’

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  1. Thanks for your concern for the energy issues in our state. I appreciate your involvement in the quest for renewable energy.

  2. You need to be very careful with energy policy. The GA changed basic economic principals in 2006, which resulted in the fiasco that will cost several generations artificially higher prices for electricity. We already have the 5th highest residential rates in the country. Now it appears a knee-jerk reaction by the GA once again is messing with economic principals. If an idea is economically sound it will stand on its own and not require government or non-solar rate payer subsidies to work. The plans you are considering appear to require non-solar rate payers to subsidize those who deploy solar. Not sound economics. You folks taking your directions from IdIOC?