Town Solar Project

Saluda Saves Money on Energy
Costs from Energy Efficiency
Upgrades and Solar Installation


  The Town of Saluda in South Carolina was overwhelmed with rising electricity rates. In order to maintain operating budgets, the Town understood the need to cut energy costs in its public buildings.
  Saluda identified its Town Hall as a potential building that would benefit from energy efficiency upgrades and underwent an energy audit, which resulted in the recommendation of a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.
  In order to finance these upgrades, the Town of Saluda applied for a ConserFund Loan from the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff - Energy Office, which receives funding from the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. ConserFund provides funding for state agencies, public colleges, school districts, local governments, and 501(c)(3) organizations that are implementing energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Organizations that use this financing option are eligible to receive 100 percent of the project costs or up to $500,000 per fiscal year. The Town of Saluda was approved for a ConserFund Loan and used this financing to install LED lighting, occupancy sensors, and a rooftop solar photovoltaic array.
  Amelia Herlong, the Town of Saluda’s Mayor, reflected that, “the bills just keep getting higher and higher and it was important that we explore and see that we had this alternative for our people.” Through the following energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation, the Town of Saluda will save over $13,000 per year in energy costs:
  LED Lighting - The Town Hall received LED lighting upgrades throughout the facility. Exit signs, wall packs, and outdoor lighting were all retrofitted or replaced with LED lights, reducing the operation costs for the Town Hall. Additionally, the fire station and sanitation facilities received funds to replace lighting fixtures with LEDs.
 Occupancy Sensors - Infrared occupancy sensors – sensors that turn off lights when they detect the absence of people – were installed in infrequently used rooms such as break and meeting rooms to reduce lighting use when rooms were unoccupied. People frequently forget to shut off lights in the work place, and the occupancy sensors eliminate this human error to reduce lighting use.
   Solar Installation - In order to increase energy independence, a 26 kW rooftop solar array was installed on the Town Hall, making the Town of Saluda one of the first municipalities in South Carolina to install solar panels. The Town was able to take advantage of a bill credit incentive with the local utility, SCE&G, and receive $0.22 for every kWh of solar-generated electricity put onto the grid from the Town Hall solar array for the next 10 years. This results in the rooftop solar having an expected payback period of 3.5 years.
  The US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state’s role as the decision-maker and administrator for program activities tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.   The Town of Saluda in South Carolina was overwhelmed with rising electricity rates. In order to maintain operating budgets, the Town understood the need to cut energy costs in its public buildings.
  Saluda identified its Town Hall as a potential building that would benefit from energy efficiency upgrades and underwent an energy audit, which resulted in the recommendation of a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.
  In order to finance these upgrades, the Town of Saluda applied for a ConserFund Loan from the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff - Energy Office, which receives funding from the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. ConserFund provides funding for state agencies, public colleges, school districts, local governments, and 501(c)(3) organizations that are implementing energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Organizations that use this financing option are eligible to receive 100 percent of the project costs or up to $500,000 per fiscal year. The Town of Saluda was approved for a ConserFund Loan and used this financing to install LED lighting, occupancy sensors, and a rooftop solar photovoltaic array.
  Amelia Herlong, the Town of Saluda’s Mayor, reflected that, “the bills just keep getting higher and higher and it was important that we explore and see that we had this alternative for our people.” Through the following energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation, the Town of Saluda will save over $13,000 per year in energy costs:
  LED Lighting - The Town Hall received LED lighting upgrades throughout the facility. Exit signs, wall packs, and outdoor lighting were all retrofitted or replaced with LED lights, reducing the operation costs for the Town Hall. Additionally, the fire station and sanitation facilities received funds to replace lighting fixtures with LEDs.
 Occupancy Sensors - Infrared occupancy sensors – sensors that turn off lights when they detect the absence of people – were installed in infrequently used rooms such as break and meeting rooms to reduce lighting use when rooms were unoccupied. People frequently forget to shut off lights in the work place, and the occupancy sensors eliminate this human error to reduce lighting use.
   Solar Installation - In order to increase energy independence, a 26 kW rooftop solar array was installed on the Town Hall, making the Town of Saluda one of the first municipalities in South Carolina to install solar panels. The Town was able to take advantage of a bill credit incentive with the local utility, SCE&G, and receive $0.22 for every kWh of solar-generated electricity put onto the grid from the Town Hall solar array for the next 10 years. This results in the rooftop solar having an expected payback period of 3.5 years.
  The US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state’s role as the decision-maker and administrator for program activities tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.




Emory School Open House

Open house was held at the recently renovated Emory School Sun., May 5. The renovation of the facility that was built in 1890, and graduated Saluda County’s only college class in 1896, was made possible by a bequest of the late Frontis Hawkins. Pictured above are, L to R, front row - House District 39 Rep. Cal Forrest; second row, Emory  Community Club board member Becky Clamp, board member Kim Porter, State Supt. of Education Molly M. Spearman, board member Betty Porter, Eagle Scout Fulton Winn, who led the “Pledge of Allegiance;” back row, County Councilman Justin Anderson, board member Randall Porter, board member Henry Clamp and board member Sherry Kirkland. (Standard-Sentinel photo)


EMORY SCHOOL ALUMNI - Several alumni were recognized at the open house at Emory School Sun., May 5.  Known alumni are Perry Black, Elizabeth Porter Camp, Helen Stoudemeyer Dasher, John Evans, Doris Porter Forrest, Ronald Porter, Donald Porter, Betty Easler Porter, Jimmy Rowe, Anne Shealy Thompson, Ruby Black Keisler, George Ray Metts. Many of the alumni are pictured above. Mrs. Thompson, 90, and Mrs. Dasher, 97, were the oldest former students to attend. (Standard-Sentinel photo)