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 has worked to expand the program, 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 repairs. South Carolina electric cooperatives have been a major driver of the program. Millions of dollars in RESP funds have helped many customers in South Carolina lower their electric bills by over $100 each month. The program provides over $208 million in loan authority for Fiscal Year 2022, the highest level ever reached.