A portal website bringing together vital information about natural gas and natural gas vehicles.
South Carolina Policy Data
South Carolina offers a state tax credit of 20% of the Federal Fuel Cell Vehicle Tax Credit if that credit is claimed by a resident.
South Carolina's primary legislative focus has been primarily towards ethanol and biofuels, however, some provisions for other alternative fuels are in place such as requirements for state fleets to use alternative fuels where practical, including natural gas vehicles.
An inspection fee in the amount of $.0025 and an environmental impact fee of $.0050 are imposed on all petroleum products. As of January, 2014, these fees are now also imposed on liquid propane gas and compressed natural gas use for on road purposes.
IFTA - IFTA taxes are applied to vehicles of 3+ axles, or weighing more than 26,000 pounds. IFTA tax tables can be found here.
Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit
An income tax credit is available for 25% of the cost to purchase, construct, and install qualified alternative fueling infrastructure. Qualified property includes equipment used to distribute, dispense, or store alternative fuel. Eligible fuels include natural gas and propane. The entire credit must be taken in three equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the facility is placed into service. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to ten succeeding taxable years. A taxpayer may transfer the tax credit to eligible agencies after notifying the South Carolina Department of Revenue. This tax credit expires January 1, 2026. (Reference Senate Bill 1122, 2015)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Revolving Loan Program for Public Entities
The South Carolina Energy Office provides low interest loans for a variety of energy efficiency improvements, including AFV conversions and incremental costs, with qualified project payback periods. Eligible recipients include state agencies, local governments, public colleges and universities, school districts, and private non-profit organizations. The loan may cover up to 100% of eligible project costs ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 per state fiscal year. For more information, see the ConserFund website. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 48-52-650)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Revolving Loan Program for Private Entities
The South Carolina Business Development Corporation provides low interest loans for a variety of energy efficiency improvements, including AFV conversions and incremental costs, with qualified project payback periods. Eligible recipients include business and industries; utilities, non-profit organizations, and government entities may be eligible under special conditions. The loan may cover up to 100% of the project costs ranging from $50,000 to $1 million and must be repaid after one and one half times the projected payback period of the loan. For more information, see the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan website. (Reference (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 48-52-650)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Infrastructure Financing
The SouthCarolinaSAVES (SCSAVES) Green Community Program provides low cost financing to eligible government entities, institutions, and commercial and industrial entities for qualified conservation measures, including natural gas and propane vehicle conversions, incremental costs of eligible vehicles, and alternative fueling infrastructure. Financing is available for up to 100% of the project cost ranging from $500,000 to $5 million; projects must have a payback period of no more than 15 years. The low cost financing is made possible through Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds allocated by the South Carolina Energy Office and issued by the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority. For more information, see the SCSAVES (PDF) website.
Alternative fuels and blended fuels are exempt from the state sales and use tax. These fuels are, however, subject to a state fuels user fee of $0.16 per gallon. Alternative fuels include liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and compressed natural gas. Blended fuels are defined as mixtures composed of gasoline or diesel fuel and another liquid, other than products such as carburetor detergent or oxidation inhibitor, that can be used as a fuel to operate a highway vehicle. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 12-28-110, 12-28-310, and 12-36-2120(15))
Clean Energy Advisory Commission
The South Carolina Clean Energy Industry Manufacturing Market Development Advisory Commission (Commission) will assist with the development of clean energy technologies, materials, and products, including advanced vehicle, alternative transportation fuel, battery manufacturing, and hydrogen fuel cell industries. The Commission will provide an initial report by December 31, 2014, to the governor and the general assembly, with a description and analysis of the existing clean energy manufacturing industry, job development potential, market potential, incentives offered by neighboring states, and recommendations for in-state production incentives, benchmarks to increase clean energy manufacturing, and marketing and public education programs. The Commission must issue a final report by September 30, 2015. (Reference House Bill 3125, 2014, and South Carolina Code of Laws 11-55-100)
2016 Session - Proposed Legislation
Amends the motor fuel tax section of the code to include two separate definitions, one addressing CNG GGE (5.66 lb.) and another for LNG DGE (6.06 lb.). The section amends Section 12-28-110. The Act says that it is effective upon signing by governor. Reference - HB4328 Bill History, Reference - HB4328 Bill Text Status: Committee amendment adopted on Senate floor 4/7/16; introduced version did not address CNG or LNG; 4/14/16 House concurs to Senate amendments.
Tax credits for natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure. CNG, LNG and LPG are included. Tax credits worth 25% of cost for infrastructure and 50% of incremental cost of vehicles, such to following limits: HD 26,001 and up $12K, dedicated less than 26,001 $8K, and bi-fuel less than 26,001 $6K. HD vehicles must be primarily fueled on alternative fuel which is defined as 90% or more. 2,000 pound weight exemption for wholly or partially fueled by alternative fuel vehicle. Exempts incremental cost from gross capital cost thereby reducing sales tax. Duration - 1/1/15 - 12/31/25. Reference - SB1075 Bill History, Reference - SB1075 Bill TextStatus: to Finance Committee, reported favorably with amendment on 3/23/16.
Imposes an additional 5 cent user fee on motor fuels consumed in the state as well as on motor carriers operating in the state. For years 2015 - 2021, individuals may claim a credit worth $50 if they have driven 5,000 miles in the state. Reference - HB3262 Bill History, Reference - HB3262 Bill Text
Includes method of sale provision for CNG with GGE (5.66 lb.) and DGE (6.38) allowed and LNG with DGE (6.06 lb.) Exempts alternative fuels from the environmental impact fee imposed on motor fuels. Gross receipt exemption worth 30% of the cost of alternative fuel vehicles. Provides 2,000 lb. weight allowance for natural gas vehicles. Provides income tax credit for fueling infrastructure worth 25% of cost, and for new or converted heavy duty vehicle worth 50% of the incremental cost. Heavy duty credits are capped at $12K. For dedicated vehicles less than 26,001 lbs. the credit is worth $8K, and for bi-fuel vehicles that are not HDVs, the credit is worth $6K. Heavy duty means 26,001 lbs. GVWR or greater. Vehicles must operate on 90% or more natural gas. Adds LNG to the definition of alternative fuel. The tax credits are valid for 2015 to end of 2024. Reference - HB3836 Bill History, Reference - HB3836 Bill Text
Long bill makes changes to motor carrier registration requirements. Also includes the method of sale provision for CNG (GGE 5.66 lb. and DGE, 6.38 lb.) and LNG (DGE, 6.06 lb.) , GGE/DGE tax for CNG and DGE tax for LNG, 2,000 lb. weight allowance for natural gas vehicles, and 30% reduction in gross receipt tax for commercial natural gas vehicles. Reference - HB3838 Bill History, Reference - HB3838 Bill Text
Provides tax credits for CNG and LNG and other alternative fuel vehicles: $500 less than 8,500 lbs. vehicles, $1000 8,501 - 13,999 lbs; $2,000 14,000 - 25,999 lbs., $5,000 if 26,000 lbs or greater. It actually is written so that a vehicle that is 26,000 lbs. does not qualify but that must be a mistake. Credits go into effect in 2015 and expire at end of 2021. New or converted vehicles with an EPA certificate of conformity qualify. Also provides state fleet purchasing preference for all types of alternative fuel vehicles and requires state to giver preference to alternative fuel school buses if such buses have comparable life cycle cost to other available buses. Reference - HB4619 Bill History, Reference - HB4619 Bill Text Pending: House Ways and Means Committee
Provides that CNG and LNG shall be taxed per GGE and DGE, respectively based on 5.66 lbs. and 6.06 lbs. Furthermore directs that CNG must be sold in GGE or DGE units (6.38 lbs.) and that LNG must be sold in DGE units. Also provides up to 2,000 lb. exemption on intrastate roadways for NGVs. And finally makes various changes to commercial vehicle fees. Reference - HB4957 Bill History, Reference - HB4957 Bill Text Pending: House Ways and Means Committee
Amends the current tax credits to remove language relating to now expired tax credits for certain alternative fuel vehicles and clarifies that the FCV credits expires when the federal tax credit for FCVs expires, which is at the end of 2014. Reference - SB402 Bill History, Reference - SB402 Bill Text Action: 2014-02-20 - Scrivener's error corrected
Amends the state tax on motor fuels by increasing it from $0.16 to $0.26 but provides a refundable tax credit for every motor vehicle registered in SC so that the rate does not impact them as much. Refund is $26 per vehicle in 2013; $53 per vehicle in 2014 and 2015; l It also increases the tax in the future as wholesale price for motor fuel changes up or down. Tax on motor carriers also is similarly increased. Alternative fuels would be subject to the increase and the refund and receive no special treatment. Takes effect July 1, 2013 Reference - HB3498 Bill History, Reference - HB3498 Bill TextPending: House Ways and Means Committee
Increases the motor fuel taxes imposed on gasoline, diesel and alternative fuels, and motor carrier fuel; rates all increase from 16 cents to 21 cents. Also provides for future increases based on inflation factor. Reference - HB3645 Bill History, Reference - HB3645 Bill TextPending: House Ways and Means Committee
Creates new tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2013: 2014 - 2020. Credit value for CNG and LNG vehicles is as follows: 10% or $1,000 for new or converted vehicles less than 8,500 lbs., 10% or $5,000 for new or converted vehicles over 8,500 lbs. For conversions the 10% applies to cost of conversion. You have to apply for tax credits . Conversions must have an EPA certificate of conformity for the system used. For state fleets, the bill requires a plan for using more alternative fuel vehicles and also creates preference for buying alternative fuel vehicles when the life cycle cost are comparable to other vehicle; this also applies to school buses. Reference - SB402 Bill History, Reference - SB402 Bill TextReferred to Committee on Finance - Committee report: Majority favorable with amend., minority unfavorable Finance
Modifies existing tax credits for fuel production. Previously the credits were limited to biofuels but now extends to fuels "derived from natural gas." Not sure if this is intended to extend to liquefaction facilities. Reference - SB525 Bill History, Reference - SB525 Bill TextReferred to Committee on Finance - Committee report: Majority favorable with amend., minority unfavorable Finance
This state was last examined and updated in August, 2016.