CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - SCE&G is rolling out a new option for customers.
It is a way to access solar power without adding panels to your home or property. You don't even have to own your home.
It's called the Community Solar Program.
"If you don't live in a home suitable for solar or you live in an apartment, this is a great opportunity for you to get access to the benefits of solar," Bret Sowers said. Sowers is the chairman of the South Carolina Solar Business Alliance.
You can join in by purchasing solar panels up front or you can enter into a monthly subscription.
The purchase will be more money up front, but a bigger benefit on your monthly bills.
The subscription will require no money down, but there will be a monthly fee on your SCE&G account (that fee is intended to be eliminated through your benefits. Regardless, you're more than likely to save money each month by joining the program. Who doesn't want to have lower bills?
"I don't know anybody that does! We're really big on energy efficiency, we promote that a lot," SCE&G vice president of community relations Danny Kassis said. "You'll get a bill credit. On your SCE&G bill, if you're a buyer you'll get 10 cents per kilowatt hour. If you're a subscriber, you'll get 1 cent per kilowatt hour."
"Everyone is paying attention not to how much energy they're consuming, but to how much they're paying for energy," Sowers said.
These benefits are accessibly until 2037. SCE&G chose a 20-year plan for the Community Solar Program with a 15-year option after it expires.
All of the energy comes from solar farms. The community solar project will take up more than 165 acres of land.
"They will be built in South Carolina to scale and you'll have the rights to the energy produced from the small fraction of the solar farm," Kassis said.
"Mainly flat or agricultural property that's turned into 30-60 acres of solar panels," Sowers added.
All you need to sign up is a residential SCE&G account.
"If you're a residential account, owner or renter, then it is available to you," Kassis said.
Church, schools, and municipalities are also eligible for the program.
For more information, visit this website.