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Energy Office COVID-19 Update

During this unprecedented time, the Energy Office in the SC Office of Regulatory Staff is here to help you navigate our programs and initiatives. As described in our previous updates, our team is adjusting as needed to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff continues to work from home, but programs and initiatives are moving forward with some adjustments. Below are highlights and updates:

Energy Planning Activities

  • Energy Efficiency Roadmap Initiative (EE Roadmap): We are continuing to work on our EE Roadmap, a broad stakeholder process that has involved reviewing the recommendations from the Energy Plan, reassessing according to current priorities, identifying new opportunities, and developing implementable actions to advance energy efficiency in the state. Six working groups have been meeting regularly (and virtually) over the past several months and have collectively developed 20 recommendations. These recommendations span the topics of education and workforce development, efficient buildings, energy equity/burden, financing mechanisms, non-profits and public entities, and utility programs. We held our second stakeholder workshop on June 4th (also virtually) to review and discuss these recommendations. Subsequently, a survey was distributed to obtain feedback from and assess the priorities of our stakeholders. The final EE Roadmap report is currently being drafted and is expected to be complete by September.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Stakeholder Initiative: Our team has launched a statewide EV Stakeholder Initiative to facilitate a broad, collaborative discussion among stakeholders to explore the opportunities to advance EV deployment in the state. As first steps in this process, our team sent out a survey in late May to a broad spectrum of stakeholders and has also conducted an electric vehicle market assessment. A virtual workshop is currently being planned for the next month to review the survey results and market assessment and to determine steps forward.

Education and Technical Assistance

  • While all in-person walk-throughs and energy assessments are still on hold due to the pandemic, our staff is still available to perform fleet analyses and utility bill analyses upon request.
  • Training and webinars: We are shifting trainings to online formats and looking into expanding our webinar-based training opportunities. We’re planning on holding our annual Accredited Commercial Energy Manager (ACEM) training remotely in the fall. Exact details are TBA. Please check our calendar for the most current information.

Financial Assistance 

Public Information & Outreach

  • Public information: We are working to publish additional case studies, such as our SC Energy Success Stories, to showcase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation projects. We will continue to publish our newsletters and update our social media accounts as usual.
  • Staff changes: Landon Masters has transitioned from Clean Transportation and Communications Manager to a new role within the ORS helping to manage agency-wide communications. Ben Kessler will be the Clean Transportation contact for Palmetto Clean Fuels and has taken over as Coordinator.

Energy Data Collection

  • SC Energy Data: We are continuing to collect and publish statewide energy data on our website.
  • COVID-19 data collection: Our staff is coordinating with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to determine any additional data collection needs in response to COVID-19.
 
We wish you and your loved ones good health in this challenging time. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.
 
Onward,
 
The Energy Office team: Anthony, Catherine, Ben, Darcy, Rick, Stacey, and Eva