Clyburn Praises $13 Million in Funding from the Rural Energy Savings Program for South Carolina

May 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service announced the initial awards of funding from the Rural Energy Savings Program.  This program was created by legislation included in the most recent Farm Bill, signed into law in 2014.  It was originally introduced by Congressman Jim Clyburn in 2010, when it passed the House of Representatives.

Through the program, the Rural Utilities Service makes loans to electric cooperatives and other utilities which they use to then lend to consumers for energy efficiency improvements to their homes.  Consumers repay the loan through the savings on their electric bill.  The program first received funding in the omnibus appropriations bill for 2016, and was again funded in the most recent omnibus appropriations bill Congress passed last week.

Clyburn statement:

“High electric bills are one of the largest burdens to working families, especially in small towns and rural communities where much of the housing is either old or mobile homes which are particularly inefficient.  Investing in energy efficiency can make a significant impact but is unfortunately out of reach for the people that need it the most.”

“South Carolina’s electric cooperatives will receive $13 million to lend to their members to invest in energy efficiency improvements.  This will reach an estimated 1,250 families across the state.  In many of South Carolina’s rural counties where often over one third of the housing is mobile homes, electric bills can be hundreds of dollars more than they should be due to inefficiency.”

“Today’s announcement means savings for families in South Carolina who need it most, jobs for contractors in rural communities to do this work, and reductions in electricity consumption to cut pollution and help the climate.”

“I want to thank the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina for leading the way on energy efficiency and providing a model that we have now taken nationwide.  I look forward to continuing to work with them to expand the program to reach every person that suffers from high energy bills in South Carolina and across the nation.”