2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Sumter, SC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Sumter.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Sumter?
Duke Energy Progress - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Pool Pump: $300
Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Property Tax Exemption
Santee Cooper - Rooftop Solar Rebate Program
Solar Energy, Small Hydropower, and Geothermal Tax Credit (Corporate)
Solar Energy, Small Hydropower, and Geothermal Tax Credit (Personal)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" refers to a wide range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Different types of incentives, like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of South Carolina, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Sumter utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your home.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. Any rebates you receive will usually come off the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of installing solar panels, and has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Talking to your local Sumter solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC could apply to you.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. The total credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Sumter solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the state and local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. These incentives might be offered by the South Carolina government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Sumter
Nationwide solar energy use has increased enormously in the past 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the South Carolina government. If you're ready to make the change to solar energy, talking to your local Sumter solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
Outstanding Regional Installer
Renu Energy Solutions
- Excellent reputation
- Many financing options
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Sumter, SC Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I claim incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in may vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. Make sure that you discuss your proposed plan with your local Sumter solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what incentives you will or won't qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.