* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 30% federal tax credit.
South Carolina is one of the best places in the U.S. to install solar panels. A combination of high sun exposure, the federal tax credit, a state solar tax credit, net metering, and utility rebates means that homeowners can receive an excellent return on investment by installing residential solar panels in the Palmetto State.
The average cost for an installed residential solar system in South Carolina is currently $11,008 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.62 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.
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Prices based on a 6.1kW system, after 30% federal tax credit
Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2022 they also remain subsidized by the 30% 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.
(forecast avg South Carolina electric rates over the next 25 years)
The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses is the federal tax credit. Right now, the federal tax credit is equal to 26% of the total installed costs of installing a solar system. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will fall to 22%. This means that in order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in South Carolina is now.
South Carolina has a state solar tax credit that is equal to 25% of the cost of a system.
South Carolina has a state-wide net metering policy that requires utilities to compensate customers for any excess energy their solar system generates. However, there is no law requiring utilities to offer customers the full retail value for excess electricity produced.
Many of South Carolina’s utility companies offer solar rebates to their customers. One of the most popular is Santee Cooper’s rooftop solar rebate. Through this program, Santee Cooper will pay customers an additional up to $1.2 per watt of solar installed.
(After tax credit)
(After tax credit)
You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.
Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more
Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2023 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.
A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.
In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.
Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.
Read more about types of home solar systems.
No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.
Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in South Carolina will fall during 2023.
Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.
A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 24-degree pitch roof South Carolina will generate 1,350kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in the Charleston area.
Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.
The biggest advantages in South Carolina for installing solar panels are the state tax credit and the 26% federal tax credit.
South Carolina also offers net metering, however, utilities are not required to offer the full retail rate of electricity for excess solar generation. Plus, the state’s major utilities - Duke Energy and Santee Cooper - both offer solar rebates to their customers.
There are not many disadvantages to installing solar panels in South Carolina. If you’re a South Carolina homeowner, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t get solar while all of these incentives were still around. Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this South Carolina solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
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.