Top 5 Best Solar Companies in South Carolina (2023 Reviews)

In this guide to South Carolina’s best solar companies, you’ll learn

  • What are the best solar companies in South Carolina?
  • How can you save money on solar panels in South Carolina?
  • Do solar panels increase your home value in South Carolina?
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What Are South Carolina’s Top 5 Solar Energy Companies?

When it comes to installing solar power, South Carolina is quickly rising in the national ranks. It jumped from No. 26 to No. 14 from 2021 to 2022 in terms of watts of solar capacity installed.1

While the majority of solar installation growth is from utility installations, South Carolina homeowners are also realizing the benefits of going solar — like the 25% state tax credit and the more than $24,000 potential lifetime energy savings.

With dozens of installers to choose from, EcoWatch has selected the top five solar companies that provide the best value for South Carolinians:

Explore the drop-down menus below to learn why we chose each of these companies, as well as information about their costs, warranties and offerings. If you like what you read, you can reach out to get a free quote by clicking the orange buttons.

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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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Palmetto Solar

Best Social Impact

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Expansive service area
  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Certified B Corp

Cons

  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location
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Summit Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Outstanding customer service

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Relatively young company
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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation

Cons

  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

How Can You Save Money When Hiring A Solar Company In South Carolina

modern house with solar panels on the roof

The average cost of solar panel systems in South Carolina is $29,920, which is quite expensive compared to the national average price of $23,940.

It’s worth considering that the average South Carolina homeowner installs more rooftop solar panels (an 11 kilowatt system) compared to the national average (9 kilowatt system). This is because SC homeowners, on average, use more energy than the typical American. If you compare solar costs on a per-watt basis, solar systems in SC costs $2.72 per watt compared to $2.66 per watt on the national level.

While solar is slightly more expensive in South Carolina than the national average, it goes a lot further because utility bills are much higher there — and electricity rates are only rising. Still, you should capitalize on all of the ways to save money when hiring a solar installation company, including:

  • Taking advantage of federal and local solar incentives
  • Choosing your solar panel wisely
  • Shopping around for several quotes

Federal and Local South Carolina Solar Incentives

South Carolina offers several financial incentives in an effort to convince more homeowners to install solar panels. These incentives can help lower the total cost of your solar investment.

Below you’ll see a quick look at the incentives available. For more information, you can read our South Carolina Solar Incentives Guide.

SOLAR INCENTIVES IN SOUTH CAROLINA INCENTIVE TYPE DESCRIPTION OCCURRENCE ESTIMATED DOLLAR AMOUNT YOU CAN RECEIVE
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Federal The federal tax credit for home solar energy systems allows residents to claim 30% of their solar installation costs as a tax credit One-time: Applied when you file taxes for the year your system is commissioned $8,976
South Carolina Solar Energy Tax Credit State South Carolina’s state tax credit for solar energy allows residents to claim 25% of their solar installation costs as a tax credit One-time: Applied when you file taxes for the year your system is commissioned $7,480
Net metering in South Carolina Local Net metering allows South Carolinians to receive credits from their utility company for excess power their panels produce Continuous: Always in effect Opportunity to apply overproduction of electricity to future energy bills for monthly savings
Local incentives Local Some utilities, such as Santee Cooper, may offer solar rebates Varies Depends on utility company

Choose Your Solar Panel Wisely

Each solar panel manufacturer has a different efficiency rating and wattage output that determines the strength of its solar energy production. Choosing a higher efficiency panel means that your panels will produce more sunshine in a shorter amount of time. Naturally, the more efficiency or powerful, the more expensive the panel will be.

South Carolina sees an above-average 216 sunny days, meaning customers probably don’t need top-of-the-line panels to get the job done.

On the other hand, if you do choose stronger panels, like the ones from SunPower, you might be able to save by installing fewer panels, as long as they’re strong enough to power your home.

Shop Around For Several Quotes

South Carolina has more than two dozen solar companies to choose from, which can work to your advantage.2

Solar companies are competitive in South Carolina — they want your business. We recommend shopping around and getting multiple solar quotes. That way you can choose the one that offers the best value deal for your energy needs.

Pro tip: if you prefer one company we’ve featured over another, but the preferred company is more expensive, use the lower quote as a bargaining chip. Many solar installers are willing to match prices.

See Also: Calculate How Much You Can Save By Going Solar

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In South Carolina?

In a recent EcoWatch survey of 1,000 homeowners, 63% of respondents said they’d pay more for a home with solar panels than a home without. Multiple studies have further confirmed that solar panels do increase the value of a home.

One of those studies from real estate giant Zillow found that homes with solar panels typically sell for about 4% more compared to homes without.3 In South Carolina where the average home sells for $299,965, that turns into a roughly $12,000 boost in home value.4

Should South Carolina Residents Hire a Professional Solar Installer Or DIY?

If you’re a handy homeowner, you might be looking to save money by completing a DIY solar panel installation. But how much would you be saving, really?

While labor costs vary by company, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory determines that about 10% of a solar installation cost covers labor.5 For the average solar panel installation in South Carolina, you’d be looking to save about $3,000 by installing your own panels.

That’s pretty decent savings. But if you’re looking to install enough rooftop solar panels to power your home (and offset your electric bills), we recommend hiring a professional for the following reasons:

  • Better warranty coverage: Most solar panel manufacturers have a warranty clause that the panels must be installed by a professional solar technician. If you have faulty panels in a DIY installation, you may be out of luck.
  • Bigger solar savings: Solar companies use high-tech systems to find the direction and angle for solar installation. That means your panels will produce more energy, therefore offsetting more of your electricity usage.
  • Access to better equipment: Solar panel companies have access to better solar panels for homes — as well as top-of-the-line inverters or solar shingles — relative to non-certified buyers.
  • Fewer risks: Installing solar panels is a complex process that can be dangerous to you, your home and your new solar equipment if not handled properly.

If you’re wanting to install a few solar panels to power a small appliance or an RV, you can probably handle the installation yourself. But for bigger rooftop solar projects, you should call a professional.

What Should South Carolinians Look For In a Solar Installer?

solar panels on a cloudy day

Choosing the right solar company is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when installing solar in South Carolina. There are a few things you should consider to make sure you get a company that can provide the best equipment for your home and maintain good customer service throughout the installation process.

Some of the top considerations are:

  • Strong warranty coverage
  • A variety of payment options
  • Solid track record in South Carolina
  • Top-notch solar panel brands

Strong Warranty Coverage

Warranties are one of the most crucial things to consider when going solar. Companies typically offer coverage for the installation process, power production or equipment, although the best provide all three.

For solar installers in South Carolina, you especially want to look for a production warranty — to provide peace of mind through the state’s extreme weather — as well as warranties for roof leaks, which are especially important given the high rainfall totals throughout the state. For example, Summit Solar’s coverage for roof penetration makes it one of the top solar installation companies in the state, in our opinion.

It’s worth noting that solar panel warranties typically don’t cover physical damage to the panels from a storm (although that will be covered in your homeowner’s warranty). But if a storm damages your panel in a way that inhibits its ability to produce as much energy, that will be protected under a power production warranty.

A Variety of Payment Options

Going solar is a huge investment, especially in South Carolina where the cost of solar is a little higher. Choosing a company that has a lot of solar financing options, like Blue Raven Solar, can help ease the initial financial burden of installing solar panels.

Of course, you’ll see the biggest return on investment if you pay for your solar energy system upfront, but we understand that the majority of Carolinians don’t have $20,000 to $30,000 lying around. If you take on a solar loan, you can use some of the electricity savings to help pay off your solar project.

Solid Track Record in South Carolina

There are certain installers that made our list of the top national solar companies that didn’t make the cut for South Carolina. That could be because they didn’t quite meet the needs of South Carolinians, or perhaps their SC-based technicians aren’t the best representatives of their brand.

You want to pick a company that has a proven track record of quality service in the Palmetto State. That’s why each of the solar companies featured on this list have at least five years of experience in South Carolina.

Top-Notch Solar Panel Brands

We typically like to highlight solar companies that offer a variety of equipment brands to appeal to the most customers. But, there are some exceptions.

For example, SunPower only carries the Maxeon brand, but its panels are well known as one of the best solar panels on the market.

You may not be an expert on the best solar panel brands, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for an efficiency rating — anything above 20% is considered high efficiency
  • Look at the wattage output — the most powerful panels have an output of around 400 W
  • Choose panels that have a power-production warranty of at least 20 years

Choosing a solar company can be an exhausting process — that’s why we’re here to help. You don’t have to spend hours calling different solar companies and comparing prices of the best solar companies because the EcoWatch Reviews team has already done the work for you.

We know you’re passionate about switching to solar energy, and we’re passionate about helping homeowners like you reduce your carbon footprint and create a healthier planet.

By using EcoWatch to receive multiple quotes, you can compare offers directly to make sure you’re getting the best value out of your solar system. Customers who compare multiple quotes via our funnel are more likely to secure a lower price for a system than customers who go directly to a single provider.

Methodology: How We Ranked South Carolina’s Solar Companies

Solar is growing more popular in South Carolina, but the five solar companies we’ve featured in this review were top-ranked for a reason.

When we rank our top solar companies, we start by identifying the factors that matter most when ensuring that our readers find a trustworthy, reliable and environmentally responsible installation. We’ve listed those factors as categories below. We then weigh these factors against the industry benchmark (a company meeting the industry standard in all categories would earn 4 stars in our rating system).

Our goal is to deliver unbiased reports and honest reviews, thus, our methodology is not affected by commercial partnerships and is specifically tailored to South Carolina homes.

  • Solar Services (20%): All solar companies install panels, but we rank those who offer other services — like solar batteries or EV chargers — higher because they appeal to more homeowners and offer more environmental solutions.
  • Qualifications, Reputation & Certifications (20%): As a proponent of positive environmental impact and reduction of our carbon footprint, the EcoWatch team holds companies in high regard that have industry affiliations. Companies linked with associations like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), or the South Carolina Solar Council (SCSC) prove that they care about more than profit.
  • Solar Warranty & Customer Support (15%): Companies that offer more comprehensive solar warranties score higher than those that offer the industry minimum. But a warranty is only as good as the company’s customer support, so we take those reviews into consideration as well.
  • Solar Financing Options (15%): The more solar financing options available, the higher the company will score. Solar is a huge investment in South Carolina, so we favor companies that work to make it more accessible to more homeowners.
  • Experience (10%): Our top five solar companies have at least five years of experience installing solar in South Carolina, ensuring that they are local experts and know what’s best for SC residents.
  • Availability (10%): We rank companies higher if they serve the entire state of South Carolina, not just those who live in its bigger cities like Columbia, Charleston and Greenville.
  • Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Factors (10%): Going solar is great for money-saving benefits, but we prioritize people and the planet alongside your profit. With that in mind, we take each company’s ecological and ethical standards into account when ranking our top providers.

FAQs: Best Solar Companies in South Carolina

At EcoWatch, we get a lot of questions from South Carolina homeowners about going solar and the prices involved. Below are the most frequently asked questions, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

Blog author image
Article author
Kristina Zagame is a journalist and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile.
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Expert reviewer
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
Pros
Cons
  • 5.0
    • Most efficient panels on the market
    • National coverage
    • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
    • Great warranty coverage
    • Expensive
    • Customer service varies by local dealer

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