Green Living: Energy Saving Tips from Santee Cooper Green

February 11, 2009

MONCKS CORNER, SC —February 11, 2009 – As tax season draws near, now is an ideal time to think about any home improvements you’re planning for the coming year and whether these upgrades can qualify for federal income tax credits.

Tax credits are available for energy-efficient home improvements like insulation, replacement windows, water heaters, and approved high efficiency heating and cooling equipment. They offer an additional incentive to the savings you will enjoy with a more energy-efficient home.

To help you get started, Santee Cooper offers low-interest loans to help finance energy-efficient improvements and renewable-energy projects you might be considering. Energy-efficient loans range from $500 to $20,000 with up to 60 months to repay loans more than $1,000. Renewable-energy loans are as much as $40,000 with up to 120 months to repay. Santee Cooper currently offers zero-percent loans for residential solar panel systems and 1.25-percent loans for other energy-efficient improvements; both rates are subject to change.

“Santee Cooper has a long tradition of helping our customers save money by improving the efficiency of their homes,” says Vice President of Retail Operations Zack Dusenbury. “Whether it’s through these federal tax credits or a low-interest Santee Cooper loan, homeowners in 2009 can make some big changes around the house without breaking the bank, and these projects are designed to save you money in the long run.”

Following is a sampling of projects that could qualify for federal income tax credits for homeowners, according to Energy Star, the joint program from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

• Exterior windows — 10 percent of the total cost up to $200. Includes skylights and storm windows.

• Insulation, exterior doors, or roofs — 10 percent of the cost (excluding installation) up to $500. Includes caulk, weather stripping and foam sealants, as well as storm doors.

• Central air conditioner, heat pump, or water heater — up to $300 towards the full purchase price, including installation costs.

• Furnace or boiler — up to $150 towards the full purchase price including installation cost.

Keep receipts and a copy of the manufacturer’s certification, which is a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit.

For more details on qualified products and improvements visit

For specific advice on utilizing tax credits, contact your tax advisor. Additional information is also available through The Tax Incentives Assistance Project ( and the Alliance to Save Energy (

At the state level, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency ( or visit the South Carolina Energy Office online (

For more information about Santee Cooper’s loan programs, visit

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer, supplying electricity to more than 163,000 retail customers in Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties, Georgetown and Horry counties, as well as to 29 large industrial facilities, the cities of Bamberg and Georgetown, and the Charleston Air Force Base. Santee Cooper also generates the power distributed by the state’s 20 electric cooperatives to more than 700,000 customers in all 46 counties. Approximately 2 million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. The utility also provides water to 137,000 consumers in Berkeley and Dorchester counties, and the town of Santee. For more information, visit For information on how Santee Cooper lives green and how you can go green, visit