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02 Apr 2024

2024 Guide to South Carolina Tax Credits, Incentives and Rebates


Solar is shining bright in South Carolina and these incentives are making it more accessible to homeowners than ever. Solar power generation in South Carolina surged by nearly 140% since early 2020,The state’s adoption of residential solar power has seen remarkable growth, positioning it 16th nationally for solar installations—an impressive leap from its 27th ranking in early 2023.

This significant increase in solar capacity is enough to power approximately 314,240 homes across the state. This surge is supported by a combination of factors, including favorable policies and advancements in solar technology, but also largely due to a generous package of financial support incentivizing homeowners to make the switch. 

With the average cost of a solar panel system in South Carolina now standing at $2.66 per watt as of March 2024, it’s time to take the leap into solar. Here is what you need to know. 


Cost of Home Solar Power in South Carolina

So, how much does a typical 5 kW solar system in South Carolina? According to Ecowatch, after accounting for the generous 30% federal tax credit, the average cost is around $13,291. This also translates to substantial long-term savings, with estimates suggesting a reduction in electricity bills exceeding $36,227 over a 20-year period.

With patience, this can pay back your solar (PV) system and then some!  

South Carolina Incentives & Loans

Solar Energy, Small Hydropower and Geothermal Tax Credit

On top of the federal solar tax credit, South Carolina offers a state program that sweetens the deal. Homeowners can get a 25% tax credit, capped at $3,500 per year, on their solar system installation costs.  Unused credit can be carried forward for up to 10 years. To claim it, homeowners will have to file a form with their state tax return and include relevant solar project documents.  

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption

The state recently passed legislation offering a property tax exemption for those who install renewable energy systems. This means that even if your property value increases due to the solar panels, your local municipality won't hit you with additional property taxes. This exemption removes a potential barrier to entry, making solar an even more attractive financial decision for South Carolinians.

South Carolina State Loan Programs

Berkeley Electric Cooperative Home Advantage Loan Program

Berkeley Electric Cooperative goes the extra mile for its members considering solar power. They offer a low-interest loan program (just 5%) on improvements up to $20,000 to help finance the purchase of a solar energy system. This makes transitioning to solar more accessible and affordable for homeowners within their service area.

Image: South River Electric Membership Corporation


South Carolina Net Metering

What is Net Metering

Net metering is a system in which utilities and their customers, who generate their own electricity (for instance, through solar panels), enter into an agreement. This setup includes residential, commercial, or industrial energy producers. When these consumers generate more electricity than they consume, they can sell the surplus back to the utility company, receiving credits on future bills. Essentially, for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy that a home does not use and instead feeds back into the grid, the utility company credits the consumer, leading to lower electricity bills.


The value of these bill credits can differ based on the state and the specific utility company. "One-to-one" or "full retail" net metering means the electricity that consumers generate is valued equally to the electricity supplied by the utility. 

For instance, if a consumer is charged $0.12 per kWh by the utility, any excess electricity they produce will also be credited at $0.12 per kWh. However, some utility companies may credit excess power at rates lower than the one-to-one ratio.

South Carolina’s Net Meter Program

The South Carolina Public Service Commission issued two orders in May 2021 adopting new Solar Choice Tariffs for Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Carolinas, and Dominion Energy South Carolina

Customers who installed their systems on or after January 1, 2022 must take service under the Solar Choice Tariffs described below. 


The solar (PV) system size limit is 20 kW AC for residential systems and the lesser of 1,000 kW AC or 100% of the customer’s contract demand for non-residential systems. 

The system can be owned, leased, or operated by the customer-generator but must meet all interconnection, performance, safety, and reliability standards established by relevant authorities. 

Residential customers must also apply under a time-of-use tariff.

Net Excess Generation

For residential customers, the production and consumption of electricity is netted on a monthly basis. Any electricity exported to the grid by the customer during critical peak pricing hours will be netted against energy supplied to the customer during on-peak hours rather than critical peak hours. 

Any excess kilowatt-hours (kWh) remaining at the end of the month, regardless of the time of delivery, will be credited at a utility-specific rate. 

For 2023, those rates were: 

  • $0.0270 per kWh for Duke Energy Carolinas
  • $0.0230 per kWh for Duke Energy Progress
  • $0.03363 per kWh for Dominion Energy South Carolina.

Federal Rebates

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, is a nationwide incentive enabling individuals to receive a tax credit for expenses incurred from the installation of solar panels. This credit provides owners of solar systems a deduction of 30% off the total cost of their system. For instance, purchasing a 10 kilowatt (kW) system at $33,000 means you are eligible for a tax credit of $9,900.

While South Carolina may not offer local rebates, various energy providers, manufacturers, and installers often run their own programs.

How US Solar Supplier Can Help You Save on Your Next Project

Let US Solar Supplier guide your solar energy project! Consult with us today to find the perfect system to meet your needs!

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