South Carolina lags behind many other states in its commitment to going solar, although recent legislation has been a step in the right direction. The state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires that at least 2% of all energy produced within the state be sourced from renewable production methods by the year 2021. While that is a very conservative figure, and far behind more aggressive policies in other states, it is at least heartening that the state is beginning to recognize the importance of going solar for the future.
Incentives offered by South Carolina for going solar
There have been some very favorable developments in this area during 2015, and if you contract with the right energy company, you can enjoy a huge savings on the cost of installing a new solar panel system. Duke Energy is providing a rebate of $1,000 per KW incentive to homeowners for going solar – which means a typical 5 KW system would cost you only $15,000 to install instead of the list price of $20,000. That’s still fairly expensive of course, but a $5,000 savings is nothing to sneeze at.
South Carolina has an exceptional tax credit incentive for going solar, offered through its South Carolina Solar Energy Tax Credit program. By installing a new solar panel system, you can claim a huge 25% off the costs for equipment and installation on your state tax bill the following year. In any given year, up to $3,500 can be claimed in this manner, and if you’re entitled to more than that figure, it can be carried forward to the next calendar year.
How to transition to solar in South Carolina
The most cost effective way, and the way that generates the greatest savings by far, for going solar in South Carolina is to purchase the solar panel system outright. The relatively high initial cost can be somewhat offset by state and federal tax credits and rebates, and then you get to enjoy the benefits of saving on a monthly utility bill, which dwindles down to almost nothing. This is so appealing that it’s even worthwhile to take out a home equity loan so that you can make the purchase.
When you just can’t raise the kind of money needed to buy a solar panel system, you can still realize tremendous savings on your utility bill by leasing a system. In this arrangement, a utility company or third party provider will install a new system on your rooftop, and charge you a monthly bill which includes installment payments that recover the cost of equipment and setup over a period of time.