South Carolina Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

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South Carolina solar panels

Like many states around the country, South Carolina has embraced solar energy. The state currently gets just over 2 percent of its electricity from solar power, but that percentage has grown dramatically over the past five years, and the state is nearing the top ten in the nation for solar energy generation.

There are plenty of benefits that come with investing in solar panels for your home, including financial savings and environmental protection. Keep reading to learn more about the perks of solar panels and how to get started.

South Carolina solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels varies depending on several factors, including the size and configuration of your system, the components included, and labor costs. On average, residential solar systems cost between $3 and $5 per watt, with a total average price tag ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 before tax credits and other incentives.

There’s no doubt that residential solar systems are expensive, but the average payback period — meaning the number of years before you’ve recovered your initial investment — is just 6 to 9 years. So, while the upfront cost might sting, solar panel owners will likely see their investment returned in a matter of years.

Why choose South Carolina solar power?

Lower energy costs

One of the best reasons to invest in solar power is the savings you’ll get on your monthly electricity bill. Anytime you’re powering your home with solar power, you aren’t paying to use the electricity grid. These savings could exceed $1,000 per year.

Not only will you reduce your electricity usage, but you may also have the opportunity to re-sell some of your unused solar power through a process known as net metering, which can save you even more and help you make back some of the initial cost of solar panels.

Establish energy independence 

When you install solar panels on your home, you aren’t fully reliant on the traditional electricity grid. This comes with serious cost savings. Not only will you save on energy costs each month, but you’ll also be protected from price hikes during times of high demand. Additionally, you can avoid losing your power when there are power outages in your area whenever there is low energy supply.

Go green

Solar power has serious environmental benefits, in addition to the financial ones. Traditional electricity generation emits greenhouse gasses, which contribute to climate change and pollute the air and water. Solar energy generation doesn’t emit these gasses, making it more environmentally friendly and a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

South Carolina solar panel incentives or rebates

It’s true that residential solar panels are expensive, but federal, state, and local governments have created incentives to encourage homeowners to invest.

First, the federal government offers a 22 percent tax credit for homeowners who invest in green energy infrastructure such as solar panels. There’s no cap on this credit, and Congress recently extended it. However, this tax credit likely will not last forever. So if you’re considering investing in solar panels, now is the time.

South Carolina residents also enjoy a state tax credit when they purchase a solar system for their home. This tax credit allows homeowners to claim 25 percent of their solar savings, and you can spread it out over ten years to maximize your savings.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

When you decide to install solar panels on your home, you’ll have the option to either buy or rent them. Both options come with some advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh your options.

When you lease your solar system, you’ll have a smaller upfront investment, which can help to make solar more accessible for more people. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the costs associated with maintaining a home solar system.

But with the benefits of leasing your system, there are also some downsides. First, you’ll actually spend more money on solar in the long run. Unlike with buying or financing a system, leasing means you’ll have a monthly payment forever.

Another downside to leasing comes from the effect it has on your home’s value. Buying a residential solar system can increase your home’s value by as much as $15,000. When you sell, that’s extra money in your pocket. But when you lease your system, there is no value added to your home.

A final option people can consider is a community solar program. This option is well-suited to people who either rent their homes or can’t afford to buy a solar system. Consumers can purchase a percentage of the power from a particular solar panel or farm and then receive a solar credit on their electricity bill.

South Carolina solar panel companies

Because green energy is becoming more prevalent in South Carolina, there are more and more companies providing these services. When searching for the best South Carolina solar panel company, be sure to thoroughly research all of your options. Read reviews, ask for customer references, and research the company’s history before signing a contract. You can also find solar panel guides and resources with SaveOnEnergy to make the shopping experience clearer.

The history of solar power in South Carolina

South Carolina implemented its first solar policy back in 2006 by creating a solar energy tax credit. But the policy wasn’t that impactful, and it wasn’t until 2016 that the state really saw an increase in development.

And while the state may have gotten a late start with solar power, it’s quickly becoming a national leader. In March 2021, the state ranked 12th in the nation for solar energy generation. Today, solar power makes up 2.18 percent of South Carolina’s electricity.

Important solar installation factors to consider

Solar panels can be a great investment, but it’s important to consider whether they’re the best choice for your home. Here are a few things to consider before investing in South Carolina solar panels:

  • State/age/angle of your home’s roof: The Department of Energy says that solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with slopes between 15 and 40 percent. They are also best for homes where the roof won’t have to be replaced in the near future.
  • How sunny your state is: Clearly, some parts of the country get more sunshine than others, and solar panels perform best in areas where the sun shines often.
  • HOA rules: Some neighborhood associations have restrictions around solar panel installation or require approval ahead of time.

Solar power FAQs

How much would solar cost in South Carolina?

The cost of your solar panel system will depend on many different factors, but the average cost falls between $15,000 and $25,000.

Is solar power a good investment in South Carolina?

South Carolina can be an excellent investment, thanks to the savings on your electricity bill. But it’s important to consider your own situation, including how much sun your home gets and your energy usage habits.

How much could I save by investing in solar?

South Carolina residents pay an average of about $131 in monthly electricity costs, meaning you have the potential for more than $1,500 in annual savings.

Where can I find a good solar panel installer in South Carolina? 

SaveOnEnergy can help you find the best South Carolina solar panel installer. We supply helpful resources and answer common solar questions to help guide you through the process of finding the right solar panel company for your home.

How does solar power help the environment?

Solar energy generation doesn’t emit the greenhouse gasses that traditional energy generation does, which helps you reduce your carbon footprint and do your part in fighting climate change.

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