2022 South Carolina Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, Rebates (And More)

Here’s a quick look at the solar incentives in South Carolina:

  • State Solar Tax Credit
  • Property Tax Exemption
  • Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • Net Metering
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/20/2022

Why You Can Trust EcoWatch

Our solar experts have sifted through hundreds of local governments’ and utility companies’ websites to find accurate information about current solar incentives in each state. We’ve also unbiasedly ranked and reviewed hundreds of solar installers to empower you to make the right choice for your home.

How Much Can You Save With Solar Incentives in South Carolina?

In this article, we’ll discuss the solar incentives and rebates available to South Carolina homeowners. When you’re ready to speak with a qualified professional, follow the links below. Each of these companies can help you identify and apply for incentives available in South Carolina.

Jump to Section:

  1. Solar Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentive Programs in South Carolina
  2. Net Metering in South Carolina
  3. Federal Solar Tax Credit
  4. FAQ: South Carolina Solar Incentives
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South Carolina is quickly rising the ranks when it comes to solar energy, recently jumping to rank 14th nationally (up from 21st in early 2021).1 The fact that more South Carolinians are choosing solar as an energy source is likely because the state offers a ton of great tax incentives, like the state solar tax credit and property tax exemption.

In this article, we’ll discuss all of the solar incentives available to South Carolinians who install a home solar panel system.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on for and is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice.

Current Solar Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentive Programs in South Carolina

South Carolina Solar Incentive Description
South Carolina Solar Energy Tax Credit South Carolina’s state tax credit for solar energy allows residents to claim 25% of their solar installation costs as a tax credit.2
Net Metering Net metering allows South Carolinians to receive credits from their utility company for any excess power their panels produce.
Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Property Tax Exemption South Carolina provides a property tax exemption for renewable energy systems under 20 kilowatts.3
Federal Solar Tax Credit The solar investment tax credit, or ITC, allows homeowners to claim a tax credit worth 26% of their installed system costs on their next federal filing. In South Carolina, that’s an average of $7,779.

South Carolina Solar Energy Tax Credit

Good news for South Carolinians going solar: You’re eligible for one of the best solar state tax credits in the country. Residents of the Palmetto State can cut the cost of their solar energy system by a quarter through the Solar Energy Tax Credit.4 

The credit allows solar users to claim 25% of their total system cost as a tax credit, capped at $3,500. If you don’t pay enough in taxes to reap the full value of the credit in a single year, don’t sweat it. The tax credit carries over for up to 10 years.

The South Carolina Solar Energy Tax Credit isn’t just for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems — it also applies to solar water heaters, solar space heaters, geothermal heat pumps and small hydroelectric systems.

Combine this state tax credit with the 26% federal solar tax credit, and South Carolina residents can offset a huge chunk of a solar installation — assuming they have the tax liability to do so.

Other South Carolina Solar Incentives

It’s hard to beat South Carolina’s incredible solar tax credit, but residents of the Palmetto State are also eligible for other incentives, like property tax exemptions and net metering. Plus, depending on where you live, you may be entitled to rebates for energy efficiency.

South Carolina Solar Property Tax Exemption

South Carolina offers the Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Property Tax Exemption.5 Under the policy, the cost of all renewable energy equipment and its components (such as inverters for solar batteries) are exempt from property tax increases. So, even though installing solar panels will increase your property value, you won’t have to pay the difference in your property taxes.

At the moment, there is no sales tax exemption on solar equipment in South Carolina, but there is a bill currently making its way through committee that could come to fruition in 2022.6

Net Metering in South Carolina

Net metering policies are an important factor to consider when switching to solar energy. These policies allow homeowners to earn credits for the extra energy their solar power system produces. Then, when they use more energy than their solar energy system generates, they can use their credits to accommodate the difference. It’s a great way to minimize electricity bills, even when you use more electricity than your solar energy system produces.

In South Carolina, residents benefit from generous net metering policies, although lawmakers 

enacted a cap on net metering effective June 2021, so customers who have gone solar since may not see as many savings as customers who went solar prior.7 

Several utilities offer net metering programs in South Carolina, which gives residents the freedom to choose the option that works best for them. All utilities with over 100,000 customers must offer net metering in South Carolina, excluding cooperatives.8 In late April 2021, the South Carolina Public Service Commission approved a bid to keep net metering in place while gradually transitioning to Dominion Energy’s existing time-of-use (TOU) rate schedule.9

Local Incentives and Rebates

Here are a few additional rebates offered by South Carolina utility companies:

 

Utility Company Solar Program / Rebate Offer
Duke Energy Rebates ranging from $100 to $450 on select energy-efficient upgrades via Progress Energy Carolinas. Doesn’t include solar panels but does include water heaters, lighting, heat pumps, HVAC and more.10
Palmetto Electric Rebates up to $1,000 per household on ground-source heat pumps via the Buried Treasure Rebate Program.11
Santee Cooper If you’re lucky enough to be a Santee Cooper customer, you’re eligible for a rebate of $1.05 per watt of solar energy you install on your roof, up to $6,300.12

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Regardless of which state you live in, all homeowners in the U.S. are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit, or ITC, for installing solar panels as well as solar batteries and other energy storage systems. You can claim the ITC on your federal tax returns, and it deducts 26% of the total cost of the system from the taxes you owe.

With the average cost of a solar system in South Carolina at about 29,920, the federal tax credit can lead to a savings of about $7,779.

The ITC was first developed through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, under the Bush administration. Initially, it was set to last for just two years, but due to its success has continually been extended for solar panel installations. It’s important to note that, unless Congress extends the credit, it is set to phase out by the end of 2023.

To be eligible for the solar tax credit, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • You have installed a residential solar energy system at any point from 2006 through the end of 2022.
  • You have placed the solar energy system in a residential location. It does not have to be your primary residence.
  • You own the solar energy system, either having paid for it in cash or by taking out a solar loan. Homeowners who lease solar panels are not eligible to claim the ITC.

Related Topics

FAQ: South Carolina Solar Incentives

Here at EcoWatch, we field many questions from South Carolina homeowners who are interested in going solar. Here are some of the more common queries we see:

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.