Home to many famous beaches, South Carolinians are no stranger to sunshine. Solar energy systems at your home or business allow you to save money, add property equity, and reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Solar energy is renewable, emissions-free, and sustainable. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about solar energy in South Carolina.
How Does Solar Power in South Carolina Work?
Solar panels are constructed with different layers of positively and negatively charged materials that are suspended within silicon layers, then topped with tempered glass and secured in aluminum frames. When photons (particles of light) hit the panels, they knock electrons loose from atoms, creating a direct electrical current (DC)
our solar panels will be wired up to an inverter, which converts the direct current into alternating current (AC) electricity - the standard electricity type that is used in homes and businesses.
Once the energy from your solar panels has been converted into AC electricity, it flows through your breaker and into your lights, appliances, and anything else that depends on electricity to function.
South Carolina has a net metering program that allows you to essentially sell any excess electricity that your solar energy system produces back to your local utility grid. Your utility company will compensate you in the form of credits that you can redeem on your power bill in subsequent months when your solar energy system’s output may be less or your energy consumption is higher.
South Carolina Solar Potential
Solar potential is high in the Palmetto state, which means that if you choose to install a solar energy system, you can expect to generate a significant amount of energy. Solar potential is affected by factors like how many days of sun per year a certain location receives, and fortunately, South Carolina is one of the top states in the country in terms of average peak sun hours. A solar panel system can provide a return on investment in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Other factors that impact the solar potential of your exact site include the location of your home or business, the orientation and slope of your roof, the amount of shade that falls upon your roof, and so forth.
South Carolina Solar Program
The year-round sunshine makes South Carolina an excellent place to install a solar energy system at your home or business. The state government has been working to make it even easier for you, with highly attractive solar rebates and incentive offers. Let’s look at some of the specific offers you can take advantage of:
Federal Investment Tax Credit
You can also take advantage of the federal tax credit for solar, which allows you to deduct 22% of the total cost of a new residential or commercial solar panel installation from your federal tax liability amount. This credit can also roll over into subsequent years if the credit amount is greater than your tax liability amount. But, this tax credit won’t be around for much longer.
In 2021, the credit amount was reduced to 22%, and from 2022 on there will be no credit for residential solar systems and only a 10% credit for commercial systems.
Utility Company Rebates
If you are a customer of Duke Energy Progress or Santee Cooper, you may be eligible for rebates. Duke Energy Progress offers $1 for every watt of solar power installed on your home or business, which, for an average 6 kW system equates to $6,000 immediately back in your pocket to help offset the investment cost. Santee Cooper offers $1.30 per watt, with a rebate cap of $5,200. Both of these programs substantially reduce your upfront costs.
As we mentioned above, you can also take advantage of net metering in South Carolina, which essentially allows you to sell excess clean energy produced by your solar panel system back to the grid. You will be compensated with credits on your utility account, which can then be applied to your utility bill in months when your solar energy production is lower or your energy consumption is higher.
SC State Tax Credit
South Carolina is one of several states who offer a tax credit for solar energy. With this credit, you can deduct 25% of the total system costs of installing your solar energy system from your state tax liability amount. You can even carry over the credit amount for up to ten years if you don’t have enough tax liability to take full advantage of the credit.
Cost of Solar Panels In South Carolina
The average cost to install solar energy in South Carolina is about $3.15 per watt and the average gross price for an entire system is just under $16,000. The average payback period is approximately 7.5 years and you can expect to save somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 in energy costs over a 20-year period.
Is Solar Worth It in South Carolina?
Generally, solar is very worth it in South Carolina. Of course, the exact financial benefits and solar output potential vary based on your current energy costs and consumption rates, the location and orientation of your property, the amount of shade that hits your roof, and so forth. But, the excellent solar incentives offered by the state make South Carolina one of the best locations for solar energy systems, giving you back nearly 40% or more back of your investment. A solar panel system can provide a return on investment in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Contact Synchronicity Solar Today!
If you want to learn more about installing a solar energy system at your home or business, contact your local South Carolina solar installers today to get started!