Santee Cooper Recognizes Full Year of New Department Focused on Conservation and Renewable Efforts

October 14, 2008

MONCKS CORNER, SC – October 14, 2008 – One year after announcing an unprecedented move by a South Carolina energy utility—creating a new department focused solely on conservation and renewable energy—Santee Cooper has achieved significant progress toward additional renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency measures as a way to help meet the state’s growing energy needs.

These initiatives relate to an ambitious goal for the state-owned utility that the Santee Cooper Board of Directors also approved a year ago: to create 40 percent (more than four times present levels) of its energy from non-greenhouse gas emitting resources, biomass fuels, energy efficiency and conservation by 2020. 

“Santee Cooper has made great progress toward our goal—we now have 23 programs focused on saving energy and protecting the environment,” said Marc Tye, Santee Cooper’s vice president of conservation and renewable energy. “As the first utility in the state to offer Green Power, we take our environmental leadership role very seriously, and are focused on expanding our programs and initiatives that generate renewable sources, promote energy efficiency and conservation, fund innovate alternative energy research, and more.”

Some highlights from the first year of the Conservation and Renewable department:

  • The Solar Homes Initiative, a solar panel rebate program that is the first of its kind in the state, helping 10 residential customers install solar panel equipment on their homes.
  • The Green Power Solar Schools program, in partnership with the state’s electric cooperatives, has provided 15 middle schools with an energy education curriculum and solar equipment, teaching sixth graders about the opportunities and challenges of solar energy.
  • Santee Cooper has announced a contract with Rollcast Energy Inc. for 50 megawatts of renewable biomass generation, which takes woody waste and turns it into renewable energy.
  • Through the Switch and Save CFL giveaway program, Santee Cooper gave more than 750,000 compact fluorescent bulbs to residential customers this spring, in hopes of encouraging them to use these energy efficient bulbs more often.
  • Santee Cooper is offering a low 3 percent interest rate for Good Cents loans, so energy efficiency improvements can be made to homes. New and improved Good Cents homes use less energy and qualify homeowners for a lower electricity rate.

“Santee Cooper is committed to developing as many initiatives as possible to maximize energy efficiency and energy produced using renewable sources,” said Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper. “The reality is that all of these efforts together cannot provide the amount of energy our growing state needs. They are a part of the answer and we continue to pursue them all aggressively.”

Santee Cooper has many other projects underway, including wind studies, additional landfill gas projects, conservation education efforts, motor oil recycling, internal energy audits and more. 

For more information about all of the Santee Cooper Green initiatives, visit

Santee Cooper

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, as well as 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 customers 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