Solar panels Columbia, SC:

Prices, incentives and best companies 2021

Avg Columbia cost:

$12,929 - $15,803*

Avg 25 year savings:

$13,290 - $16,243

Avg payback period:

11.8 - 14.4 years

Estimate cost and savings based on your location and power usage

* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.

Guide to solar panels in Columbia, SC (2021)

Updated August 19, 2020

Columbia is a great place to go solar. You’re probably using South Carolina Electric & Gas as (SCEG) your utility. The combination of SCEG's net metering policy and high average electricity usage makes solar an excellent investment.

The most significant incentive to install solar panels in Columbia is the 26% federal tax credit. However, the tax credit is set to step down to 22% at the end of 2020. This means in order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Columbia is now. 

Another key incentive for going solar in Columbia is South Carolina's solar tax credit, which helps reduce the cost of your solar installation. By entering your address into our solar panel calculator, you can see what other local incentives are available in your area. 

On this page:

Current cost of solar panels in Columbia

Showing data for:

Prices based on a 6.9kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices


Net profit (savings less system cost)


Payback period

11.8-14.4 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill


Solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar installers in Columbia, SC


Columbia solar panel cost & savings calculator

Current solar incentives and tax credits available in Columbia, SC

South Carolina solar tax credit

Columbia residents can take advantage of South Carolina's solar tax credit. The credit is equal to 25% of the cost of your solar installation. 

South Carolina state tax credit

South Carolina has a state solar tax credit that is equal to 25% of the cost of a system.

The 26% federal solar tax credit explained

The federal solar tax credit is equal to 26% of the total cost of installing solar panels on your home. The amount of the tax credit is then deducted from your federal taxes. You can claim the credit over several years if the amount you owe in taxes is less than the amount of your tax credit. You can only take advantage of the federal tax credit if you pay federal income taxes.

Keep in mind that the federal solar tax credit is set to step down at the end of 2022, falling from 26% of costs to just 22%. So, the best time to go solar is now, so you can maximize your solar savings.

How much will solar panels on my home save me?

The answer to this question depends on your electricity usage. Generally speaking, the higher your power usage, the greater your potential savings are from installing solar.

The average monthly electricity usage in South Carolina is about 1,155 kWh per month. However, you are most likely using a lot more than this since this average includes small apartments and condos.

The Columbia solar panel savings calculator uses our database of electric rates from local utilities to convert your monthly power bill into how much electricity your home uses. From there, the calculator can work out how many solar panels you need to offset your power usage, how much a solar system will cost based on prices of local solar companies, and the amount of money you will save on your electric bill.

Cost and savings for a 10.35 kW average-sized solar system in Columbia

Cost per watt range

$2.07 - $2.53

Net cost of system


Average payback

7.1 - 8.6 years

Annual power production

16,595 kWh

Levelized cost of solar energy

4¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

19¢ /kWh

(forecast avg South Carolina electric rates over the next 25 years)

Average solar savings on this system over the next 25 years


(Savings shown after repayments of capital)

Related topics:

Are solar panels worth it in Columbia

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2021 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Going solar in SC

Check out all of the ways energy providers of can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: State incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit

Showing 1 - 2 of 3

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

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