In 2010, Congressman Clyburn led a bipartisan coalition of House Members, rural electric cooperatives, and energy industry leaders in introducing legislation to establish the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). In the subsequent years, Congressman Clyburn fought to see the program implemented in the face of congressional gridlock, championing its inclusion in the 2014 Farm Bill and subsequent reauthorization in the 2018 Farm Bill. Using low-interest loans to promote durable, cost-effective, and energy-efficient measures, RESP creates jobs, saves American families and businesses money on their electric bills, and reduces air pollution.
RESP offers interest-free loans for terms up to 20 years to utilities, utility subsidiaries, electric cooperatives, and similar organizations. These loans are used to pass savings and incentives to small businesses and consumers who make cost-saving energy efficiency improvements like solar panel installation, weatherization, and roof repair. Up to $100 million dollars is available through RESP in FY 2019, and South Carolina cooperatives have been major participants in the program. Millions of dollars in RESP funds have helped many customers in South Carolina lower their electric bills by over $100 each month.