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Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina Solar Incentives (2023)

South Carolina solar incentives, tax credits, & rebates

The Palmetto State has it all: mountains, beaches, islands and lots of sun. More and more, South Carolinians want to make the sun work for them with sustainable energy solutions like solar power. And with generous incentives, South Carolina is one of the best states to go solar.

ADT Solar is one of the most trusted solar installers in the country, and we’ve been here in South Carolina for many years. We’re here to help you understand all the great programs that can save you money when you go solar.

How do solar incentives help you save on going solar?

Of course, there’s the big federal Investment Tax Credit, but that’s not all. South Carolina offers a full range of solar incentives, including net metering, property tax exemptions, and even state tax credits. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of South Carolina solar incentives, shedding light on the benefits they offer, the eligibility requirements, and how they can pave the way towards a greener future.

South Carolina’s solar incentive at a glance

Incentive program name Description of incentive
Federal solar tax credit The Investment Tax Credit, part of 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act, is good for as much as 30% of a new solar energy system’s cost, including a backup battery
South Carolina solar tax credit South Carolina will credit you up to 25% of the cost of a new solar energy system
Santee Cooper rebate Local utility Santee Cooper offers rebates to help its customers go solar
Net metering Many South Carolina residents are eligible for net metering, which gives you credit on your power bill for extra solar energy your system sends into the grid.
Property tax exemption Even though a solar energy system usually increases your home’s value, you don’t have to worry about an increase in your property tax.

Federal solar tax credit

The federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is part of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act and is designed to make going solar easier and less expensive. It’s pretty simple. If you qualify for the federal solar tax credit, you can claim up to 30% of your solar system’s cost as a credit. The federal Investment Tax Credit is set up to reward homeowners for going solar all the way into 2032.

Here’s how it works: If your qualified solar energy system costs $30,000, your federal income tax bill will be reduced by $9,000. If the credit is larger than your federal tax obligation for the year, the remainder can be carried over as a credit for the next tax year.

Eligible costs associated with going solar include:

  • Cost of solar panels
  • Supporting equipment costs, such as microinverters, necessary wiring, mounting hardware, etc.
  • Installation and labor costs, including inspection and permitting fees, as well as developer fees
  • Solar battery backups or other energy storage systems with a capacity rating of at least 3 kilowatt-hours (kWh)
  • Sales taxes that were paid for any eligible solar-related expenses

Read more: How the federal solar tax credit works

South Carolina solar tax credit

South Carolina’s solar tax credit is one of the most generous in the country! Taxpayers get to claim 25% of the total cost of purchasing and installing a solar energy system. And you can combine it with the federal Investment Tax Credit, which may be worth up to 30%. Combined, that means you can get a solar energy system installed and get credited on your taxes for up to 55% of that cost! That’s huge!

There are limitations, of course. South Carolina caps the credit amount at $3,500 annually, or 50% of the taxpayer’s tax liability for the year. But not to worry, unused credit, including credit above that annual cap, can be carried forward for up to 10 years. South Carolina wants to make going solar easy for you—even the form is easy! Click here to view Form SC SCH.TC-38

Net metering in South Carolina

How it works:

A solar energy system often generates much more energy than the home uses during daylight hours. Net metering is a billing arrangement that allows you to send that excess energy back to the grid, earning credit on your utility bill. This process enables your meter to spin backward, providing you with financial benefits.

How does net metering impact my savings?

Net metering ensures that you receive credit for the excess energy your solar panels produce, which can then offset electricity you consume from the grid when your panels aren’t generating energy (like during nighttime). That can add up to big savings.

South Carolina solar property tax exemption

A solar energy system is a big investment in your home. Like adding a garage or a pool to your home, a solar energy system will often increase the value of your home. But unlike those improvements, adding a solar energy system to your home doesn’t increase your property tax bill. That’s because the state of South Carolina offers property tax exemption for home solar panels. It’s just one more great tax incentive to go solar!

Santee Cooper solar rebate for solar panels

What’s better than federal tax credits and state tax credits and a really good rate on the extra energy your solar panels produce? How about actual cash in your pocket? If you are a homeowner and customer of Santee Cooper energy, you may qualify for a rebate for some of the value of your solar installation. It’s important to meet their qualifications, and for the system to be installed by a qualified partner. And of course, ADT Solar is at the top of their list!

How to get started with solar in South Carolina

There’s a lot of great reasons to go solar in South Carolina: Federal and State tax credits, great rates for net metering, property tax exemption and even the Santee Cooper rebate for solar panels! With all of these fantastic solar incentives, there’s nothing stopping you from reaping the benefits of solar.

Our ADT Solar Energy Specialists can help you understand how these incentives work and if you’re eligible. And with financing and leasing options available, we’re here to make solar easy for you.


FAQs about South Caroliona’s solar incentives

Does South Carolina offer a solar tax credit?

Yes, you can sell power back to the grid in South Carolina. This process is known as net metering, where if you generate excess electricity from a renewable energy system, such as solar panels, it can be fed back into the grid, and you receive credit or payment for the surplus power. To participate in this program, you’ll need to have a grid-tied renewable energy system installed, and the specific regulations and rates may vary depending on your utility company and location within the state.

When does the South Carolina solar tax credit expire?

As of now, there is no official expiration date for the South Carolina solar tax credit. However, it’s crucial to stay updated with any potential changes in tax policies or incentives that might affect the availability or duration of the credit. Always refer to trusted sources or consult tax professionals for the most accurate and current information.

Can you combine the Federal solar tax credit with the South Carolina solar tax credit?

Yes, you can indeed combine the Federal solar tax credit with the South Carolina solar tax credit for significant cost savings during panel installation. The Federal Solar Tax Credit (or ITC) offers a 30% deduction from federal taxes based on setup costs. Simultaneously, the South Carolina Solar Tax Credit adds state-level savings. By utilizing both credits, you can maximize your savings. Just ensure eligibility and consider professional tax advice for guidance.

How long will the residential clean energy credit be available for solar installations?

As of 2023, the residential clean energy credit offers a 30% tax credit for solar installations until the end of 2032. After 2032, the tax credit percentage will gradually decrease, making it essential for prospective solar adopters to take advantage of the higher incentive before the reduction takes effect.