South Carolina solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 26% (tax credit)

State tax credit: Yes ($3,500)

Net metering (by utility)

Calculate for your homes location

There can be solar tax credits and incentives available at the federal, state and local levels. The calculator above will show you the value of all incentives your home is eligible for.

Summary of South Carolina solar incentives 2020

Palmetto State lawmakers passed a monumental solar bill in 2019, which lifted the state’s net metering cap and protected the right of homeowners to generate and sell their own electricity! Read on to find out how much you can save with solar in 2020.

There are great incentives for going solar in South Carolina, including both state and federal tax credits, which combined can save you up to half the cost of installing solar panels.

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to South Carolina homeowners

  2. See what South Carolina solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or South Carolina solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

Federal solar investment tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar in South Carolina

This perk is commonly known as the ITC, short for “Investment Tax Credit”. If you install your photovoltaic system in 2020, the federal tax credit is 26% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 26% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 26% = $5,200.

The federal tax credit falls to 22% in 2021. Unless new legislation is introduced in Washington D.C., this program will be gone in 2022.

Net energy metering in South Carolina

With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Full retail residential net metering is good for home solar systems up to 20 kW in capacity. In South Carolina, utilities must roll over your monthly excess generation to the next month and pay you for your annual excess at the end of the year.

There is no cap on net metering until June, 2021, so it’s a good idea to go solar until then to make sure you’re entitled to all your credits when you generate more solar than you use during the middle of the day with a home solar system here in South Carolina. 

Utilities are in the process of reviewing and proposing a successor program to net metering. It’s most probably not going to be as favorable to homeowners as what’s in place now.

Duke Energy has also begun a fast track program for smaller solar systems like you’d install on your home to be connected to the grid. It has a $500 application fee, and requires an external disconnect (which is probably unnecessary).

South Carolina solar rebates

While South Carolina does not have a dedicated state rebate for solar panel installation, some manufacturers like LG offer their own solar rebates. These programs are usually time sensitive. For example, LG offers a $600 solar rebate on their equipment, which your installer can help you redeem over the next year.

If you’re lucky enough to be a Santee Cooper power customer, you can qualify for a generous solar energy rebate. You can get $600 per kilowatt (kW) up to a maximum of 6kW. So, for an average sized 6kW system, you can get $3,600 of your installation cost back right away. 

Note: In the unlikely event there are less than 210 participants in this program for 2020, you can receive $1,200 per kW up to 6kW. 

 

South carolina solar tax credit

The state legislature has scored a slam dunk with South Carolina’s Solar Energy Tax Credit. When you install a residential solar power system here, you’re entitled to claim a state tax credit of 25% of the purchase and installation costs. That’s a whole lot of taxes you won’t be paying in April. 

The maximum credit that can be applied in a single tax year is $3,500 or 50% of your state tax liability, whichever is less. Unused credit may be carried forward for 10 years. Score for South Carolina!

Here's an example of how the South Carolina tax credit works: Say you're a married couple making $75,000/yr. Your income tax for 2020 will be $3,271, and half of that is $1,636. Your 5-kW solar system costs $16,250, meaning you're eligible for a state tax credit of $4,063 (25% of the cost). You take the max in year 1, $1,636, and assuming your income is roughly the same in year 2, another $1,636 in year 2. That leaves you with an unused tax credit of $791 that you can take in year 3.

Don't forget: All solar installations are eligible for a tax credit from the Feds as well. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and fortunately for South Carolina, having no state rebate to deduct means a larger tax credit coming your way. The two tax credits combined can wipe out 55% of the costs to install solar in just a few short years. Wow!

Cost of solar panels in your part of South Carolina after all applicable solar incentives

Showing data for:

Prices based on a 10.1kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$16,781-$20,510

Payback period

7.4-9.1 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$40,419-$49,401

Average size system installed in SC in 2020

10.1kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar companies in South Carolina

35 solar companies in South Carolina provide pricing on SolarReviews. Here are the best rated companies near you.

Solar guides for your South Carolina city

For more information about going solar near where you live, check out the following resources:

Find local city information

 

Useful links

Santee Cooper Renewable Energy Resource Loans - Current terms:1.25% interest, maximum loan amount $40,000, max term 10 years.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

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