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Energy Office Releases 2021 Annual Report on Utility Demand-Side Management Activities

Wed, 02/09/2022

Each year, the Energy Office, a department of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, publishes an annual report summarizing the demand-side management (DSM) activities deployed by South Carolina’s electric and natural gas utilities.

DSM is a strategy that electric and natural gas utilities use to decrease or shift demand for their energy services. For the purposes of this report, DSM programs are activities conducted by electric and natural gas utilities for the reduction or more efficient use of energy in the following three major categories (1) Energy Efficiency and Conservation (2) Load Management (i.e., reducing the amount of electricity and natural gas needed); and (3) Public Information.

Saving Energy 2021: How Electric and Natural Gas Utilities in SC are Using Demand-Side Management (PDF) summarizes DSM activities deployed by South Carolina’s electric and natural gas utilities – investor-owned utilities, Santee Cooper, electric cooperatives, and municipalities – as reported in 2021. Data used to create this Report was taken from utility Integrated Resource Plans submitted during 2021 and utility responses to information requests.

  • Of the 46 electric distribution utilities in South Carolina, 37 conducted DSM activities in 2021.
  • Of the 15 natural gas utilities in South Carolina, 13 conducted DSM activities in 2021.

Utilities are encouraged by state legislation to adopt and implement DSM programs, which directly benefit utilities by reducing their need for wholesale energy purchases and potentially deferring infrastructure investments. Utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina receive regulatory incentives allowing them to recover costs associated with these programs. Some examples of infrastructure investments that may be minimized or deferred include the installation of pollution controls, the construction of new generation, and the construction of new transmission and distribution infrastructure. Consumers can also directly benefit from DSM through incentive programs that encourage reductions in their monthly energy consumption.

To view the 2021 report and past years’ reports, visit the Reports and Publications page of the Energy Office website.