- South Carolina had over 2.4GW of solar energy installed in 2022, despite having no standards for renewables.
- The average cost of solar panels in South Carolina is $2.49 per watt, and homeowners can save around $4,482 with the federal solar tax credit.
- Installing solar panels in South Carolina can save homeowners $20,675 to $29,587 over the life of the system.
- South Carolina offers state tax credits, rebates, and net metering as incentives for installing solar panels.
In 2022, South Carolina had over 2.4GW of solar energy installed across the state. That’s strange to know, considering it has no standards for renewables. Nevertheless, homeowners have an excellent opportunity to save money on electricity with solar panels in South Carolina.
With that in mind, how much does an installation cost? In this article, we cover all the essential numbers. From average cost to potential savings, here’s all that you need to know about budgeting for solar. Let’s get started.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in South Carolina
Homeowners receive good news when considering solar panels in South Carolina. The Palmetto State has an average price of $2.49 per watt, which is slightly below average. When applied to a typical 6kW solar panel system, residents could expect to pay around $14,940 before incentives.
The value of this array increases when looking at the average cost of electricity. Homeowners in South Carolina use the 9th highest amount of power in the country. And with higher than normal power rates, this means South Carolinians pay the third highest utility bill each month. When residents offset that with solar panels, they have an opportunity to save big each year.
To bring the initial price down on a home array, South Carolinians should utilize the federal solar tax credit. This nationwide program offers a 30% return on all installation costs. This includes equipment and storage, labor, and even sales tax. Those purchasing a 6kW system could watch the overall cost drop from $14,940 to $10,458.
How Much Solar Do South Carolinians Need?
While it’s nice to hear that prices for solar panels in South Carolina are lower than normal, that price can fluctuate depending on your system’s actual wattage. Because homeowners in the Palmetto State use nearly 1,100kWh a month, they may need more than 6kW to power their homes.
To find the right size system, you’ll have to divide your daily power usage by the average amount of peak sun you receive. To see how that’s done, let’s use South Carolina’s averages in an example.
Homeowners in the Palmetto State use about 36kWh a day (taken from 1,081kWh a month). When we divide that by South Carolina’s average peak sun of 5.06, we learn that residents may need 7.1kW an hour to power their homes. Larger than average, South Carolinians could pay around $17,679 for the system.
Now that you know how to find the right size solar array for your house, you can more accurately create a budget for an installation. Because direct sun varies depending on your location, use this South Carolina sun chart to find the average for your nearest town.
South Carolina Solar Cost Factors
As briefly mentioned, sunlight has a large influence on the cost of solar panels in South Carolina. Depending on where you live, you may receive more or less than average. For example, the City of Orangeburg receives about 5.8 hours a day, over 45 minutes more than usual. That makes a noticeable difference over the course of a month.
For more examples of how sunlight and location affect solar costs, compare South Carolina to its surrounding states.
Additionally, the type of equipment used can noticeably affect the cost of your installation. When choosing panels, you generally have two options: monocrystalline, which is more efficient, or polycrystalline, which is more affordable. Because most of South Carolina receives great sun, it’s worth considering the latter. However, if you have limited roof space, monocrystalline makes a great option.
Finally, you don’t want to overlook installation quality. While the cost of labor might seem high, it’s worth your money to have this done well. Some installers may undercut prices by skimping on equipment and warranties. And since you want your system to last 20 years or more, you want a company that will work with you the entire time.
Best Solar Installers in South Carolina
Homeowners in the Palmetto State have 35 solar installers to choose from. When considering companies, take time to look at a few aspects. These include:
- Years of industry experience
- Type of equipment
- Length of warranties
- Contractor transparency
- Certifications and licenses
These are our recommendations to get you started.
Serving North and South Carolina for over 13 years, Renu Energy Solutions provides high-quality installations at a local level. They use top equipment and offer a 25-year equipment warranty. All of this is provided by an in-house team of trained technicians.
With their headquarters in Piedmont, you won’t get more local than Olympus Home. This installation company has trained professionals in both solar and roof repair, making them the full-service option. While they’ve only installed panels since 2019, their reputation in South Carolina makes them worth trusting.
Can Solar Energy Save South Carolinians Money?
With good rates on equipment, high electricity bills, and great sunlight, it’s worth considering solar panels in South Carolina. Even with larger systems than in other states, homeowners can save thousands on utilities. Here’s what you could expect to earn from your investment.
First, you’ll have to know how long it takes to pay off your array. Let’s say we use the average annual power bill of $1,782.36 to offset the cost of installation for a 6kW system. Homeowners could have it paid off in about 8.4 years. While this is much lower than usual, don’t forget that South Carolinians may need more wattage than this, resulting in a longer payoff time.
With the system covered, you’ll start to see net earnings from electricity. Considering solar panels in South Carolina have a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, residents could save $20,675 to $29,587. These are some of the highest returns you’ll find anywhere in the United States, all from switching from traditional power.
Solar Panels in South Carolina: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
Installing solar panels in South Carolina can result in thousands saved on electricity, but that’s only the beginning. Between federal and state incentives, homeowners can practically cut the cost of a system in half. In fact, those taking advantage of the federal solar tax credit alone can save nearly $4,500.
But what about financial incentives at the State level? South Carolina actually has some of the weakest renewable standards in the country. So it’s curious that residents have access to state tax credits, rebates, net metering, and more. For a detailed look at what’s available, check out our South Carolina solar incentives guide.
|Average Cost of Solar Panels in South Carolina||$2.49 per watt, around $14,940 for a typical 6kW system before incentives|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||Offers a 30% return on all installation costs, reducing the cost of a 6kW system to around $10,458|
|Required Solar Power in South Carolina||Residents may need around 7.1kW an hour to power their homes, costing around $17,679 for the system|
|South Carolina Solar Cost Factors||Depends on sunlight received, type of equipment used, and quality of installation|
|Best Solar Installers in South Carolina||Renu Energy Solutions and Olympus Home|
|Potential Savings from Solar Energy||Residents could save $20,675 to $29,587 over the life expectancy of the solar panels|
|Solar Panels in South Carolina: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives||Federal and state incentives can significantly reduce the cost of a solar system|
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