The Public Service Commission voted to allow parties to file declarations instead of affidavits, adopting the practice of the S.C. Court system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission’s order helps parties who are trying to practice social distancing or have difficulty locating a notary public during the pandemic.
Just as the solar energy business was taking off, the Post and Courier reports it could lose over 1,000 jobs due to COVID-19. Bret Sowers, chairman of the SC Solar Business Alliance said fewer customers will spend money on solar installations during the economic downturn. Solar companies have also experienced supply chain disruption, because many components of solar arrays are manufactured in Asian companies affected by the Corona virus, according to The Hill. Solar is not alone, other sources of renewable energy such as wind are experiencing similar disruptions. So far, the renewable energy sector has gotten little help from Congress either. Measures such as extension of tax credits have been left out of the three stimulus bills passed by Congress, and are missing in the HEROES Act recently passed by the House, according to Politico. Congressional leaders insist they will address renewable in separate legislation. Investment in renewable energy might be part of an effort to resuscitate the economy with public infrastructure projects, as with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which provided $27 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy and investment.
We begin the week with a hopeful sign as the state’s economy slowly reopens. Our clients and colleagues will once again be greeted by Carl Bell’s friendly voice. They will no doubt be reassured that things are going to run much smoother around here from now on.
Holland & Knight LLP energy and environmental partner Tara Kaushik said this in an article published in Law 360. It’s a very good point. According to Business Insider the IEA says energy demand could drop 6% this year, more than seven times the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. Utilities, including those in South Carolina, have also responded to the COVID-19 crisis by suspending cut-offs for non-payment, a reasonable and compassionate step to take when so many of their customers are out of work. But it can’t go on indefinitely. Eventually, customers will be expected to pay their bills, and extended payment plans will be offered to those who cannot pay large accumulated balances. None of these measures are free. Utility companies and regulators have some tough choices ahead as the country attempts to emerge from the COVID-19 lock down.
Lawyers are dressing differently during the pandemic. “Corona casual” is the new look, as we video chat from home and other secluded locations. For those of us already inclined to wear khakis and a polo shirt to the office — well, let’s just say our standards are even more relaxed now. What about after the pandemic? Will we return to our starchy ways, or has the office changed forever?
Good luck filing an application for a PPP loan. Some banks quit taking them before making any public announcement. Others haven’t even started taking applications. Any bank that drags its feet taking Paycheck Protection Program applications should have its status as an SBA lender revoked.
Congratulations to The Moving Gurus, LLC, South Carolina’s newest household goods mover. The Moving Gurus also has the distinction of having the first application approved after a PSC hearing held entirely online. Best of luck to Mike Wright and his new venture!