Get customized results?

We’ll ask a few questions to find more savings.

Let's go No thanks

Solar Panels in South Carolina: Cost and Savings

Cost of solar panels in South Carolina

The cost of solar panels in South Carolina depends on a variety of factors, including the size, configuration, and solar component options. You’ll also want to consider local permitting fees that could increase the cost, as well as the solar incentives and tax credits to reduce it.

Residential solar systems typically cost between $3 and $5 per watt. An average total cost for a solar panel installation ranges from $15,000 to $25,000. These numbers represent the cost before financial incentives, which can help you to save.

Sunnova has been one of the leading residential solar providers since being founded in Houston in 2012. The company has more than 116k customers across more than 26 states and territories.

Sunnova makes it easy and affordable to install a home solar system with financing starting for as little as $0 down with 0% APR. The company also provides protection plans to cover maintenance, monitoring, repairs, and replacements.

Solar panel system setup

A residential solar system requires far more than just your solar panels. Some of the equipment you’ll need includes:

  • Solar panels: You can choose between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels
  • Inverter: This device takes the power from your panels and converts it to electricity to power your home.
  • Battery: You can store excess solar energy in batteries so you can power your home at night and on sunless days.
  • Racking and mounting equipment: This equipment will allow you to mount your system and keep it in place, whether you place your panels on your roof or the ground.

Solar incentives and rebates in South Carolina

South Carolina homeowners have plenty of ways to save on their residential solar systems. One of the easiest ways to save is with the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This green energy tax credit allows homeowners to claim a 26% federal tax credit when they install solar infrastructure before 2022. After 2022, the ITC will decrease slightly to 22%, and be available through 2023.                     

The state of South Carolina also has a tax credit for solar power, where homeowners can claim 25% of their solar costs. Homeowners also have the option of spreading the tax credit over ten years.

Finally, several local utilities offer rebates to customers who install solar panels on their roofs.

Solar energy in South Carolina may help lower your electric bills

The average cost of electricity in South Carolina is 12.92 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the average South Carolina electric bill is roughly $131 per month. That’s more than $1,500 of potential annual savings. Even if you save just half of your monthly electricity bill, you could save about $750 per year.

With solar systems starting around $15,000, you could break even on your system in as few as 10 years. The break-even tipping point could be sooner when you factor in federal and state tax credits, rebates, and the resale value that solar panels add to your home.

Energy independence in South Carolina can help you

Using solar panels to power your home is a great way to reach energy independence. When you’re energy independent, it means you aren’t reliant on the electricity grid to power your home.

Being energy independent means not only do you save money each month, but you aren’t as vulnerable to price hikes during times of high demand. Additionally, when your area experiences power outages, you can continue to power your home with solar energy using a solar battery.

Another unique benefit of investing in solar power is that you can actually make money from it, not just save money. You can purchase batteries to allow you to store excess solar power and may even be able to resell it for a profit

How to buy solar panels in South Carolina

Are you considering buying solar panels for your home? There’s no doubt that residential solar systems are a considerable investment, and you want to make sure it’s really going to pay off.

A few factors to consider include:

  • Your neighborhood’s HOA rules and whether you need approval before installing your solar panels.
  • How long you’ll live in the home to take advantage of the savings.
  • How much sun exposure your home gets to ensure you maximize the benefits.

The future of energy is solar in South Carolina

Renewable energy comes with plenty of perks. It’s cleaner than traditional sources of electricity, and because it’s renewable, it’s naturally replenishing. It’s better for the planet and better for consumers’ wallets.

South Carolina was a relatively late adopter of solar power. The state implemented its first tax credit back in 2006 but didn’t actually see much progress in solar development until 2016. Even though it got a late start, the state has moved up to 13th in the nation for solar energy generation. Over the past five years, solar installations in South Carolina have increased exponentially.

Solar energy FAQs

Do solar panels save you money in South Carolina?

Yes. You’ll save money with the monthly electricity savings and tax credits. Solar panels can increase the value of your home, allowing you to sell it for more money.

How does solar power help the environment?

Solar power generation doesn’t emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the air. It helps homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to combat climate change.

Is it better to buy or lease solar panels?

When you install solar panels on your home, you can choose to either buy or lease your system. While leasing might provide more short-term savings, it’s not as cost-effective in the long run. You aren’t eligible for tax credits, you won’t see a value-add when you sell your home, and you’ll have to make lease payments for as long as you have the solar panels.

What percent of South Carolina energy production is solar?

As of the end of 2020, South Carolina gets about 2.18% of its electricity from solar power, but we can expect this number to continue to increase.

[Millenius] / Shutterstock