Why is South Carolina a great place to go solar? It has one of the best state solar tax credits in the nation, for starters. Add to that over 200 days of sunshine per year, and home solar is a winning choice in the Palmetto State.

What is the cost of solar in South Carolina?

The average cost of solar per watt installed  in the U.S. is $3.16. The average size of a home solar system is five to eight kilowatts, so going solar can cost from $14,000 to more than $30,000. Keep in mind that you may get some of that investment back if you are able to apply the 30-percent federal residential renewable energy income tax credit (ITC),* so the cost ends up being $10K to $20K. But don’t put off buying solar for too long, the tax credit will continue at 30% through 2020 but will begin dropping until the tax credit is over in 2022. 

The great news is that solar will pay for itself over time, and there are zero-down lease and loan options for qualified customers. Often, your combined lease or loan payment is less than your previous electricity cost. Learn about the different ways to pay for solar.

For more details, visit our blog post How Much do Solar Panels Cost.

What is the average payback time of solar in South Carolina?

According to the 2017 State Solar Power Rankings, South Carolina has an average payback time of seven years on a five-kilowatt (5-kW) system and an investment rate of return of 16.6%. So if you were to buy a home solar system in South Carolina today, it could pay for itself in just seven years.*

What are the rebates and financial incentives for solar in South Carolina?

If you pay federal income taxes and you purchase a solar system for your home, you may be eligible to receive the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).* It’s currently a 30% federal tax credit you can claim against your tax liability, which is a tremendous boon to most households. But be aware that the ITC is set to step down to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the residential credit will drop to zero, so it’s a really big reason to go solar sooner rather than later.

In addition to the Federal ITC, South Carolina has established a variety of public policies that encourage solar adoption. Though it has a negligible Renewable Portfolio Standard, with the goal of having 2% of electricity production coming from renewable energy sources by 2021, South Carolina does have one of the best state solar power tax credits in the nation, as well as some of the best rebates around. The state also requires utilities to offer net metering, which means you can get a credit on your next utility bill for any surplus energy you produce.

There are a variety of robust local and regional rebates and other financial incentives available throughout South Carolina as well. To find out what’s available to you, search the US Department of energy database. Or you can consult with a knowledgeable solar dealer in your local area who can provide a quote that includes local incentives. Our Solar Advisors can match you with a SunPower-certified installation contractor with experience in your city.

Is solar popular in South Carolina?

More than 28,000 homes are powered by solar in South Carolina, making it an energy choice that’s growing in popularity—particularly since electricity prices are expected to continue rising in the future, and the state has incentives in place to encourage solar adoption. South Carolina currently ranks 23rd in the nation in solar power capacity. Visit the Solar Energy Industries Association for more information on solar in South Carolina.

Should I go solar now?

As soon as your solar system is turned on, you will start generating electricity from the sun, which can lower your electricity bill. And while there are many factors that can influence your savings, such as location, shade, system size, utility rates, weather and local policies, the overarching principle is the same: The more solar energy you produce, the less electricity you must buy from the utility company. The sooner you install your solar system, the sooner you can start saving on your electric bill. Those are savings you won’t get if you wait.

You may be asking yourself, “If solar prices keep falling, shouldn’t I wait for even lower prices?” You could, but consider this. Residential solar prices fell by 8.6 percent in 2016. So, if a solar system in your area cost $17,000 today you could save $1,462 by putting off solar for another year, assuming current cost declines continue.

However, you will delay the immediate solar energy benefits, known as “opportunity cost.” Let’s say you have a $200 per month energy bill—if your system covers 100% of your electricity costs, you could potentially save $2,400 a year in expenses that solar could eliminate (depending on several factors including system size, available roof space, and others). Paying $2,400 for electricity this year to save $1,462 next year puts the cost of waiting at almost $1,000. And when you factor in the time value of money concept, along with a potential utility rate hike, waiting makes even less sense.

Visit our blog post, Why Go Solar Now, for even more reasons to go solar now.

Where can I buy solar panels in South Carolina?

You’ll want to find a good solar installer with experience in your city, such as one of our SunPower-certified installation contractors, who will provide the solar panels, as well as the other needed equipment, and then install the solar system.

It’s important that you hire a professional solar installer who knows what solar works best in your specific geographic region. There is a reason you wouldn’t hire a contractor in Arizona to work on your house in South Carolina, and these reasons hold true for solar installations. Weather and sunlight vary from region to region, so you want to hire an installer who can design a system that works well in your climate.  Plus, every local municipality has different permitting and building code standards, and they change frequently.  If your installer has a strong relationship with the local permitting offices and inspectors, it can help your installation go smoothly, avoiding potential hold-ups caused by changes in local codes or utility requirements.

Our Solar Advisors can match you with a SunPower-certified installation contractor with experience in your city.

  • *. *tax credits subject to change | SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Average payback time will vary, depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to: electricity rates, shading, orientation, financing selected, ability to qualify and apply for local, state and federal incentives.
  • *. *tax credits subject to change | SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.

Why South Carolinians Choose SunPower

60%  

more power*

for greater savings

  • *. More power over 25 years |SunPower 360W compared to a Conventional Panel on same sized arrays (260W, 16% efficient, approx. 1.6 m2), 4% more energy per watt (based on 3pty module characterization and PVSim), 0.75%/yr slower degradation (Campeau, Z. et al. "SunPower Module Degradation Rate," SunPower white paper, 2013).

#1  

in durability*

for peace of mind

  • *. #1 rank in "Fraunhofer PV Durability Initiative for Solar Modules: Part 3". PVTech Power Magazine, 2015. Campeau, Z. et al. "SunPower Module Degradation Rate," SunPower white paper, 2013.

25 Year  

industry-leading

complete system warranty*

  • *. 10-year coverage for monitoring hardware

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  • *. for qualified customers
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