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Santee Cooper’s Smart Energy Loans program reaches a major milestone.

(50) Million-Dollar Milestone

Sure, Santee Cooper offers rebates to help our customers install energy-efficient heat pumps and insulation and make other home improvements, all so they can save money and energy on their monthly electric bills. But the rebates don’t cover the full cost of those improvements.

So we also offer Santee Cooper Smart Energy Loans, low-interest loans that help with some of those purchases. 

Santee Cooper has loaned residential customers more than $50 million over the past 35 years. We started making loans for customer energy efficiency upgrades in 1982, before energy efficiency was trendy.

That loan pot has helped 8,534 eligible customers install 7,381 heat pumps, 2,381 insulation upgrades, 3,040 sets of replacement windows and 82 solar arrays. Average loan amounts range from around $500 to $20,000, depending on the cost of the upgrade and the customer’s need.

“The goal of our loan program has always been to help customers with the upfront investment in a product or process that will save them money immediately, year-round, and over the life of that product,” said Jim Rabon, Santee Cooper’s manager of conservation and energy efficiency. “With $50 million loaned over 35 years, this is just one way we are putting our money to work for our customers’ benefit.”

Payback times are up to five years for energy efficiency programs and up to 10 years for renewable energy installations. At press time, the interest rate for these loans was 2.25 percent, and residential customers can apply for loans in 2018 to offset the costs of heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, duct replacements and solar panels.

Santee Cooper Smart Energy Loans are just part of our overall campaign to help customers save energy and save money. We launched Reduce The Use in 2009, with a full menu of rebates and other incentives to help customers cover the initial costs of home improvements that would increase their energy efficiency. The loan program was already well established at that point, and it has proven a significant benefit to customers who wanted more help than the rebate provided.

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