Solar panel installations are becoming more popular in South Carolina. And for good reason.

South Carolina offers some of the most generous tax credits and incentives in the nation for residents to install solar energy systems.

If you live in SC and are thinking about going solar, there’s a lot to consider. This article is meant to help you get an overview of the key costs, savings, and more SC residents want to know.

Below you’ll find the latest on solar costs, rebates, incentives, and more in The Palmetto State and why now may be the ideal time to act.

Solar Panels South Carolina: A Guide For Homeowners

Cost of Solar Panels in South Carolina

You’ll see a wide range of estimates of the average solar cost in South Carolina.

The average cost per Watt for a system ranges from around $2.44 to about $3.30. And the total cost for installation ranges from about $12,000 to $16,500.

Why such a big range? Because every situation is unique. The number of solar panels you need, the solar company that installs your panels, how efficient your panels are, and other factors determine how much your final cost will be.

The best way to get a good idea of how much solar panels will cost you is to get a quote from a local installer. (We suggest you get multiple quotes from local installers to compare costs, equipment, savings estimates, etc.)

At the end of the day, though, the average cost of a solar panel installation in South Carolina is just over $11,000.

All these costs, by the way, make SC one of the most affordable states to get solar panels.

With the savings you’ll have on electricity, it’s estimated that a solar installation in the state will pay for itself in between 7 and 9 years. But as fast as electricity rates are rising, you may break even on your solar investment sooner!

South Carolina Solar Incentives

One of the reasons SC residents are going solar is due to the incredible tax credits and incentives available.  

Here’s an overview of the current solar incentives, which are some of the best in the country, available to South Carolina residents:

Net Metering

Like many other states, South Carolina has a generous net metering policy. Net metering allows you to connect your solar panels to the electrical grid of a public utility.

If you produce excess energy that you do not immediately require, you can sell it back to the grid in exchange for credits that can be applied to your future energy bills. The money the utility owes you will show up as a credit on your following statement. Or, if you produce more electricity than you use over the course of a year, the electric company will cut you a check.

The net metering policy in SC mandates utilities provide consumers with compensation for any excess energy that their solar systems produce. However, there is no rule that mandates utilities must provide customers with the full retail value of extra electricity produced by their facilities.

South Carolina Solar Tax Credits and Rebates

In addition to the significant federal solar tax credit (see below), SC offers its residents many solar rebates and tax credits.

A 25% tax credit is available for those who invest in solar for their homes. If you don’t pay enough taxes to take full advantage of the credit, no worries! That credit can carry over for up to 10 years!

Depending on your location and utility provider, you could be eligible for additional rebates. Currently, if you are a customer of Santee Cooper, you can get a rebate of $1.05 per Watt for the solar panels you install on your roof. This rebate could be good for up to $6,300.

Federal Solar Tax Rebate

All South Carolina residents can take advantage of the current Federal tax credits for solar. Due to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, you can get a 30% tax credit for installing solar on your home. That includes the cost of the panels, labor, batteries, and anything else that’s a part of your system.

This tax credit will save many homeowners thousands of dollars off the cost of solar. This is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Here’s how that works…

If you have an average size solar installation and it costs $15,000. Your tax credit for that will be $5,000. At the end of the year, if you owe $6,000 in taxes to the IRS, you would only have to pay $1,000 due to your solar tax credit.

Is Solar Worth It In South Carolina?

This is a lot of information to take in. But it all boils down to this question… Is solar worth it in SC?

If you factor in…

  • The incredibly generous incentives highlighted above
  • The Federal tax credit, and
  • Low solar panel prices (prices have dropped almost 50% in the last 5 years)…

… the answer for many South Carolina residents is YES!

Solar panel systems take an average of 7 – 9 years to pay for themselves in SC. And, over 20 years, it’s estimated SC homeowners will save between $23,000 and $32,000 on their electricity costs by switching to solar.

This doesn’t even consider the environmental benefits of solar and being able to supply your own electricity and be energy independent (if you include batteries with your system).

But solar won’t make sense for all homeowners in South Carolina. How much electricity you use, how much sunlight your roof gets, the number of panels you can fit on your roof, and other factors come into play here.

The only way to truly understand how much the upfront costs will be and how much you’ll save is to get an estimate from a trusted, local installer.

You’ll want to get at least a few estimates because the costs and savings can vary from company to company.

A great place to get at least one of your estimates is UnderstandSolar. They’ve been around a long time and are the #1 Solar Advisor in the US. They have partnerships with the largest and most trustworthy solar installers in SC.

You can get a solar savings estimate from them in about a minute. Just fill out the form on the UnderstandSolar site to get your savings estimate.

Why NOW Is A Great Time To See If Solar Makes Sense For Your Home

If you even think you may want solar panels for your home, now is the time to do it. This is because we look to be in a perfect window for those who want to save with solar.

However, this window for savings may not last much longer for a few reasons.

  • Yes, solar panels cost much less than just a few years ago. However, costs may be on the rise. Because of material shortages, tariffs on imported panels, and supply chain issues, many are expecting prices to soon rise quite a bit.
  • The 26% Federal solar tax rebate drops to 22% in 2023 and goes away completely in 2024 so the time to take advantage of the thousands in savings thanks to Uncle Sam is drawing to a close soon As mentioned above, the federal solar tax rebate is now at 30% for all homeowners thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
  • More extreme weather coupled with power grid problems has led to more frequent and prolonged power outages all over the US. This is increasing demand for solar and batteries and wait times for installation are increasing.
  • The longer you hold off, the more you miss out on saving money on your monthly electric bill

To make sure you don’t miss out on the current low costs and incentives, it’s worth at least getting an estimate or two now. Have an expert assess your situation, run the numbers for you and see how much you can save.

Again, we highly recommend you get at least one of your quotes from the #1 Solar Advisor in the U.S., UnderstandSolar. They have relationships with the largest, most trusted solar installers to provide homeowners with free, accurate, no-obligation solar savings estimates.

To get started, just fill out the form on UnderstandSolar’s site to get an accurate savings estimate from a trustworthy local SC solar installer.

The representative that contacts you won’t bite (we promise!) and, if you’re not ready to go solar or you find another company with a better offer, that’s totally okay. But at least you’ll do so know knowing you’ve made an informed decision.

And, by taking this first step now, you may just end up saving yourself a HUGE amount on your electric bills in the years and decades to come. So get a savings estimate now while you can still take advantage of low solar panel costs and a fat tax credit from the government.