Solar energy revitalizes Soda City

The state of solar in Columbia

With 217 sunny days per year, Columbia, SC, has seen steady solar power capacity growth in recent years and has plenty of room for more. * The city has enough solar viable rooftops to add an estimated 251.7 MW of solar-generated power to the grid. With solar costs dropping rapidly in South Carolina—45% in the last five years—more homes and businesses are likely to make the switch.*


How much solar energy does Columbia produce?

As of July 2019, the Environment America Research and Policy Center estimates Columbia’s solar capacity at 4.23 MW with 7.71 Watts of installed solar PV per person, ranking it 35th in solar energy production per capita and 54th overall among major U.S. cities.

In 2017, the city became the first in the state to set a goal to transition all municipal facilities to 100% percent clean energy by 2036. It became a Silver SolSmart Community in 2019 for its efforts. SolSmart is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that recognizes solar-friendly communities that have taken steps to eliminate residential and commercial solar adoption barriers.

What are the advantages of going solar in Columbia?

Electricity rates in Columbia exceed the national average by 4.66% for commercial customers and 14.81% for residential customers.* As a result, switching to solar power has the potential to offer substantial electricity cost savings.

According to South Carolina Solar Council, many residents break even on their solar PV system installation costs within a decade and see a return on investment as high as 6 to 7%.

With such an abundance of sunshine in Columbia, solar panels can also produce excess energy during peak production periods. South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) net metering enables you to receive a credit on your electricity bill for this excess energy that can be used to offset any electricity usage from the grid.*

Beyond financial advantages, solar power is carbon neutral and helps reduce local air pollution.

How much does solar cost in Columbia?

Solar Energy revitalizes Soda City

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:

  • Available unshaded roof space

  • Local weather

  • Household’s energy needs

  • Quality of the solar system’s panels and parts

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country*. In South Carolina, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $13,300 to $32,400, or in other words, from $2.66 to $6.48 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

You may be able to take advantage of South Carolina’s 25% state tax credit for up to $35,000, or 50% of your state tax liability for the year, whichever is less.* There is also a 26% federal tax credit to further reduce the initial costs and expedites of going solar.

What’s the best way to go solar in Columbia?

While solar power is quickly becoming a leading energy source in Columbia and throughout South Carolina, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Before installing a new solar system, you will need to consider your power production needs, available roof space, aesthetic concerns, and your budget.

A reputable solar installer will have the knowledge and expertise to answer your questions and maximize the efficiency and cost savings of your solar PV system with in-person or online consultations, energy assessments, and more.

Before signing an installation contract, you will receive a custom system design for your roof, a price quote, a breakdown of potential energy cost savings, and a review of any available tax credits and incentives.

Get started by requesting a consultation. We'll follow up to schedule a convenient time to help you review your options, or you can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Columbia?

SunPower is the top commercial solar provider in the U.S.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Best Places. Columbia, South Carolina Climate, April 2021.
  • *. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). South Carolina Solar, Q4 2020.
  • *. Electricity Local. Columbia, SC Electricity Rates, April 2021.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Please visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Please visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Tax credits subject to change. Please visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood Mackenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020
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