Public Institutions & Local Governments

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Saving energy in public institutions:
  • Reduces energy costs to taxpayers;
  • Decreases the burden of increased energy costs on public institutions;
  • Allows money to be diverted back into the South Carolina economy.
For these reasons, as well as the need to protect our environment and reduce dependence on foreign imports, public institutions in South Carolina should become models of energy efficiency.

Energy Conservation Planning
Section 48-52-620, Code of Laws of South Carolina, requires all state agencies, school districts and public colleges and universities to develop energy conservation plans to reduce their energy consumption by one percent annually during fiscal years 2009-2013 and by a total of a 20 percent reduction in energy use by 2020, as compared to 2000 levels. These plans are to be submitted to the Energy Office.
A Sample Energy Conservation Plan has been developed as a guide to assist you in developing your energy conservation plan. This is not intended as a comprehensive, exhaustive list of goals, strategies and actions – but rather examples to help you in formulating your plan tailored to your institution.  

Financing Energy Projects
Financing an energy saving project should not be the prohibitive barrier for public institutions. Programs through the Energy Office such as ConserFund and the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan (EERL) can assist local and state governments purchase energy efficient equipment, retrofit existing equipment, and much more.

State Treasurer’s Office Lease Purchase Program
The South Carolina State Treasurer’s Office (STO) Master Lease Program provides state agencies with an efficient and low cost means of financing purchases of equipment or other personal property. The STO Master Lease Program funds may be used to finance energy conservation projects.

For more details and to receive application procedures, contact the Office of State Treasurer at (803) 734-2114.

Performance Contracting
An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) allows a building owner to identify and complete energy savings projects without having to pay upfront capital costs. EPCs begin when the building owner enters into an agreement with a private energy services company, usually called an ESCO. An ESCO is a business that identifies, evaluates, recommends, develops, installs, and arranges financing for projects that are designed to improve the energy and water efficiency and reduce maintenance costs for a facility. The ESCO conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the facility and identifies improvements to save energy. In consultation with the agency, the ESCO designs and constructs a project that meets the agency's needs and arranges the necessary funding. The ESCO will guarantee that savings meet or exceed annual payments to cover most or all of the project costs over the term of the contract. If the energy savings don’t materialize, the ESCO pays the difference, not the building owner. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the building owner. For more information about Performance Contracting in South Carolina visit the Performance Contracting page.
The Energy Office does not endorse any specific contractor. For more information on performance contracting, visit the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) website.

Annual Reporting/Measuring Energy Use
A crucial step in any attempt to manage energy use and minimize energy cost is to obtain accurate measures of past and present energy use and expenditures. Once the data is collected energy management plans and goals can be developed. Research has shown measuring and reporting energy consumption and costs increases conservation awareness and leads to performance improvements with little to no cost. Please see the information below for instructions on completing the annual report:
Dear Energy Manager:
As you know, your organization is required by the SC Code (§48-52-610 through 680 and §48-52-910) to submit annual reports describing your efforts to reduce your energy consumption in the past fiscal year.
Please see the file (“2022 Annual Progress Report Form (PDF)”) for detailed instructions explaining how to comply with this requirement. Completion of Section II requires the submission of energy consumption data, as described in the attached file. You may use the attached reporting tool or the format you normally use to track your energy use.
Please complete and send this report no later than September 16, 2022. Questions? Contact Rick Campana by email or call 803-737-5229.
Thank you for your continued efforts to reduce your organization’s energy consumption.

Workshops and Training
The Energy Office provides energy-efficiency workshops and training for energy managers and related personnel to improve on-the-job skills.