The Energy Office promotes activities to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by promoting conservation through improved fuel economy, use of public transit and carpooling, and development of walk and bike-ways. The Energy Office also promotes the development and deployment of alternative transportation fuels.
Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition
The Energy Office staffs the Palmetto Clean Fuels coalition (PCF). PCF is part of the Clean Cities program and is the designated coalition for South Carolina. Clean Cities is a grassroots, locally based, voluntary public/private partnership coordinated by the US Department of Energy that expands the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel. The goal of the Clean Cities program is to promote energy use in the transportation sector that is clean, safe, less dependent upon foreign sources, and sustainable.
The Energy Office has also collaborated with key partners such as the US Department of Energy, the South Carolina Biomass Council, and other public and private organizations to ensure South Carolina becomes a model for transportation alternatives.
Plug in SC Incentive Program
The Energy Office has launched the Plug in SC Incentive Program to support the adoption of standardized electric vehicle (EV) charging station signage and branding.
The Plug in SC Incentive Program enables qualifying participants to obtain standardized EV signage so that charging stations are easily identifiable. Eligible applicants will receive two (2) electric vehicle charging signs for each EV charging station identified in their application. Funding for this project comes from the US Department of Energy through the Clean Cities Program. Funding will be provided to the SC Department of Corrections to manufacture the signs.
Any entity is eligible to apply for the Plug in SC Incentive Program if the following requirements are met:
Participants must be official stakeholders of Palmetto Clean Fuels (PCF) Coalition. Becoming a PCF stakeholder is easy and only requires signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU is available on the PCF website at Palmettocleanfuels.org/involved.
Eligible EV charging station sites must be located within South Carolina, have a fixed location, and be publicly accessible. Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging stations are eligible. EV charging stations also must be entered in the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center Station Locator found at afdc.energy.gov/stations.
To be considered, an applicant must submit a complete application to the Energy Office. Completed applications for the FY20-21 Plug in SC Incentive Program must be received no later than December 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST. Participants are anticipated to be notified before December 31, 2020.
Alternative fuels can be substituted for traditional gasoline or diesel fuels. The federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 identifies six alternative fuels. Alternative fuels may be used either as a replacement for gasoline or in conjunction with it. All alternative fuels can be domestically produced, and most provide significant air quality benefits when used as a vehicle fuel. In addition, there are federal and state tax incentives to purchase alternative fuel vehicles and produce, distribute, and purchase alternative fuels.
Tax Incentives for Alternative Fuels
The federal and South Carolina governments offer tax incentives to purchase alternative fuel vehicles and produce, distribute, and purchase alternative fuels. South Carolina ranks among the top in the nation for alternative transportation fuel production and distribution incentives and as such has among the highest number of publicly-accessible ethanol (E85) and biodiesel (B20) pumps in the country. Federal and state law provides business tax credits for the production, distribution and sale of ethanol, biodiesel, and other non-petroleum-based fuels.
USEPA SmartWay Program
The Energy Office’s Palmetto Clean Fuels coalition has joined the US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program to help companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. The program helps to accelerate availability, adoption, and market penetration of fuel-saving technologies and operational practices while helping companies save fuel, lower costs, and reduce environmental impacts.
Energy Spotlight: Greenwood County Sheriff's Office