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The goal of the Charleston Green Business Challenge is to improve the environmental performance and sustainability of our businesses. Save Money and Resource, Support Environmental Stewardship, and Get Recognized as a Sustainable Business Leader.

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Cleaner Energy

Summary and Update

South Carolina relies heavily on fossil fuel (primarily coal) for its electricity needs.  Coal burning reduces the region’s air quality and contaminates waterways.  While coal is often thought of as inexpensive, the hidden costs associated with human health and environmental pollution can be three times costlier to communities than the cost of energy production. 

The Charleston Green Plan recommends that Charleston place a high priority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, which would conserve natural resources, protect public health, save money and decrease greenhouse gases.  Specifically, the plan calls for:

  1. Establish an “Efficiency First” Principle
  2. Use Energy Efficiently
  3. Generate and Support Renewable Energy
  4. Transmit and Deliver Electricity Efficiently
  5. Encourage the Public to Participate

Currently South Carolina sends more than $1.5 billion out of state each year to import coal, natural gas, petroleum and nuclear fuels used to generate our electricity.  According to four recent studies, 20,000 to 28,000 new jobs would be created in South Carolina by expanding our commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Energy efficiency provides the cheapest, cleanest and quickest way for South Carolina to obtain more energy.  The plan calls for a number of steps to be taken to increase energy efficiency, including creating a program that challenges the City’s major energy consumers to reduce consumption, developing energy efficient procurement standards and developing a program to help residents and business owners increase energy efficiency.  An energy efficiency program is currently in the planning stages for the City of Charleston, so make sure to check back to this website often for details.

On the renewable energy front, the plan recommends that the City, working closely with SCE&G and other utilities, encourage the development of renewable energy resources and to work with state officials to establish a statewide renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) equal to or greater than the national average.  The Plan calls on the City to lead the way by establishing a goal of deriving 15% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.

To read the detailed recommendations in the Cleaner Energy Section of the Charleston Green Plan, click here.

If you would like to get involved with the Energy Subcommittee, please contact Mitch Colgan at colganm@cofc.edu


» List of Measures

» City of Charleston and Johnson Controls Presentation

» Notes for Energy Subcommittee

» Notes from 5_13_08

» Notes from 5_21_08

» SCE&G Lights at Leeds

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