*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.
There are three ways you can reduce your Santee Cooper bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.
You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.
The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. Santee Cooper offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.
Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.
For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Santee Cooper each year for no reason.
Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Santee Cooper. Even a small savings can be worth it.
Yes, with a strong South Carolina tax credit of 25% of your solar purchase and installation costs, solar panels for your home make a lot of sense for Santee Cooper customers. Santee Cooper’s solar generation rate rider also allows you to at least get some credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits, while at a lower rate than you pay for electricity, roll over to the next month’s bill.
Santee Cooper doesn't have full 1-for-1 net metering, but it does still have something decent. Energy produced by your solar panels and used to power your home reduces your bill by the full retail rate. Any generated energy that is exported back to the grid is credited to you at a lower rate—currently $0.04160/kWh from June to September and and $0.0384/kWh for the rest of the yearSantee Cooper also charges each solar company a montly stand-by charge of $4.40 per installed kW of solar panels.
The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2021 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.
Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.
Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a Santee Cooper customer:
|Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal)||-$5,261|
Solar Energy State Tax Credit
25% of costs up to $3,500 per year, or half of state tax liability. Unused credits carry forward. The Tax Credit calculation in this estimate applies only the First Year credit, you may be able to claim remaining credits over several years leading to a significantly better profit. Speak with a local installer for more details.
Investor-owned utilities are required to offer full retail rate for excess kWh produced for customers who apply before June 1, 2021 and will receive compensation until May 2029.
*Based on 10.18 kW system, average installation cost $23,735
If you input the details for a Santee Cooper customer with a power bill of $200 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 10.18 kW solar system that will produce 14,226 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $52,454 profit after repaying the cost of the system.
The solar savings possible for you as a Santee Cooper customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.
Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical Santee Cooper customer with a $200 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 10.18 kW solar system.
Showing data for:
Prices based on a 8.8kW system, after 26% federal tax credit
System Size (for 100% usage offset)
Annual Power Generation
Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment
Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates
Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives
Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years
While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Santee Cooper customer installing a 10.18 kW solar system on their property:A solar system generating 14,226 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place
The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.
It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.33 per watt or $12,069 for a standard 10.18 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.
While Duke Energy’s new net metering program will cut customers’ solar savings, it could potentially increase battery installations.
Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.