Guide to Solar Panels in South Carolina in 2023
How Much Do Solar Panels in South Carolina Cost?
The exact cost and savings of your system may vary depending on several factors, including:
- The size of your system
- Your current energy usage
- Your current electricity rates
- Any incentives in your area
- The size and layout of your roof
- Preference of loan or cash financing
With Palmetto, the cost of solar panels in South Carolina starts at $85 per month for a loan.1
4 Reasons Why It’s Worth Going Solar in South Carolina
Mitigate OutagesAdd battery storage to your solar system and rely on clean energy if and when outages roll through.
Count On SavingsThe sun is relentlessly shining energy upon us. Solar panels take advantage of this by providing you with consistent, reliable power.
Lower Your FootprintUnlike fossil fuels, solar energy is both clean and renewable—a better solution for your home, your community, and the environment.
Increase Home ValuePlanning to sell? Solar-powered homes have been shown to stand out, earn more, and sell faster in the national real estate market.
Learn How Solar Works in South Carolina
South Carolina homeowners who install solar panel systems utilize net metering and switch to time-of-use electric rate structures. Here’s how those work:
- Net energy metering, or NEM, allows you to earn credits toward your utility bill for the excess electricity your PV system generates and sends to the electric grid. These credits can be used to offset retail electricity purchased during other time periods, like at night.
- Time-of-use (TOU) rates work by charging customers different rates for their energy usage based on the time of day that the energy is being used. Rates increase during peak periods like the late afternoon and evening and decrease when demand is low, such as late at night.
With TOU rates, the rate of electricity fluctuates throughout the day, so the value of net metering credits also changes. TOU and net metering work together to influence how much the utility company credits you for the electricity your PV system puts back into the grid.
Available Solar Incentives in South Carolina
The Federal and South Carolina income tax credits are working together to make going solar a great choice for homeowners.
- The Federal ITC: Most solar energy installations are eligible for the federal tax credit—formally known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct up to 26% of your solar system’s installation costs from your total tax liability for the year of purchase. Storage costs when paired with solar qualify for the ITC.
- State Tax Credit: South Carolina residents can claim 25% of the solar system cost as a deduction to state income taxes. For those who do not have enough tax liability the first year, remaining benefits can be claimed for up to 10 years. The amount of the credit in any year may not exceed $3,500 or 50% of the taxpayer’s tax liability for that year, whichever is less.
- Local utility rebates: Some local utilities may offer solar rebate programs to offset the cost of your renewable energy system even further.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does solar work with my utility provider in South Carolina?
Palmetto will manage the solar interconnection application process with your utility. Once the system is installed, we will submit the required documentation and pay any fees. Your utility will grant Permission to Operate (PTO) your solar system and enable net metering credits on your bill.
Palmetto works with South Carolina’s three largest utility companies who have recently begun requiring new solar customers to switch to time-of-use rates.
- Duke Energy
- Duke Energy Progress
- Dominion Energy
Palmetto also works with the following cooperative utilities in South Carolina.
- Santee Cooperative
- Laurens Electric Cooperative
- York Electric Cooperative
What is net metering?
Net metering, or net energy metering (NEM) is a billing mechanism that enables you to send extra solar energy your solar panels generate beyond what your home can consume at the moment back into the electric grid. In return, you earn credit that you can use to offset the cost of electricity you pull from the grid in the future. The value of the credit depends on how electricity rates and net metering policies are structured in your utility.
Learn more about net metering here
What are time-of-use rates?
A time-of-use rate is a type of billing structure in which the amount you pay for electricity is based on the time of day when you use it. This method, also known as TOU rates, determines how you as the homeowner will be billed for your electricity usage.
In instances where TOU rates are active, the utility company will charge more for electricity when the demand for electricity is higher since they are spending more to meet the increased usage from all of the customers in their service area. Rates, subsequently, are lower during times of low demand, such as early mornings and nights, when the weather is cooler and people are winding down.
Learn more about TOU rates here
How long do solar panels last?
The first solar cells were manufactured by Bell Laboratories in the late 1950s and are still functional today. Likewise, panels installed on homes in the 1970s and ’80s continue to generate power. Most solar modules today have a 25-year power output warranty and may continue to produce power well beyond that point. Homeowners interested in additional protection and savings can enroll in Palmetto Protect and earn quick access to energy monitoring, dedicated customer support, exclusive discounts, and best-in-class maintenance services.
Where do I start? It seems complicated.
You're right, solar energy can feel very complex, especially if you're researching providers, technologies, incentives, municipal requirements, permits, the list goes on. That’s why Palmetto created end-to-end solar energy solutions allowing you to plug into savings with less time and no hassle. From financing and design to installation, production monitoring, and maintenance, our dedicated Customer Experience Team is here to answer questions, address concerns, and guide you through every step of the process. Visit our product pages to learn more about Palmetto’s solar and storage solutions.
Will solar panels work with my roof?
Before designing your custom solar solution, we’ll take a detailed survey of your property and assess the solar energy potential of your roof. Beyond the size, angle, and orientation of your roof, we’ll look at shading, estimated tree growth, materials, ventilation and drain pipes, and the overall condition. Because solar panel arrays can last 25-30 years without the need for repair or replacement, it’s important the roof beneath is in good shape. In some cases, it may be advisable to have your roof repaired or replaced entirely before the installation of solar panels can begin.
How much of my home can be powered by solar panels?
That depends on your overall household energy usage relative to the total capacity of your solar array. Many homeowners desire a system size producing 100% of their energy usage needs, but they may not always be possible. Alternatively, if you plan to change your behavior, such as by purchasing an electric vehicle, you may wish to go a little larger than historical usage.
How much does a solar power system cost?
The cost of your solar power system will vary based on a number of factors including your location, the size of your solar array, installation fees in your area, and if you desire energy storage for backup power. That said, solar technologies have never been more efficient or affordable.
Does my solar array come with a warranty?
What happens if I produce more solar power than I need?
Your home will still be connected to the electric grid so you have power when your system is not producing. Excess energy produced beyond what your home is using at any moment can flow back into the grid, and will earn you credit on your electricity bill. If you choose to integrate energy storage with your solar power system, any excess energy that is produced and not immediately used by your household will function to charge your battery. This, in turn, allows you to access stored solar power for your home when energy usage exceeds production, and provide valuable backup power during an outage.
Will I still receive an electric bill with solar panels?
Yes, almost all solar customers maintain a connection to the grid, even those with battery storage, which means you will still receive an electricity bill, though you can dramatically reduce the amount you pay each month thanks to the energy produced by your solar panels.
If there is a power outage, will my power go out?
- The size and production of your solar panels
- The size of the battery system
- The battery state of charge when the outage occurs
- The areas or appliances in your home that are prioritized to receive power when the grid goes down.