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South Carolina has a very weak Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS. To drive the adoption of renewable energy, states give their utility companies a goal to produce a certain percentage of the power they need by renewable means, by a deadline. Utilities that miss the deadline pay a fee. Rather than pay the fee, the power companies offer incentives to homeowners to get onboard with solar. Unfortunately, South Carolina's RPS (passed in early 2016) mandates that all utilities produce a mere 2% of their aggregate capacity from renewable energy. The deadline is 2021.
As an incentive for going solar in South Carolina, you can get either a lump sum payment, or your installer will subtract the rebate from the final installed price. Rebates require paperwork, but many installers will handle the paperwork. Duke Energy offers an excellent $1/watt rebate off the cost of a solar energy system. Santee Cooper has a new incentive program where customers are eligible for a rebate of $1.30/W of solar energy that they install on their roofs, up to $5,200.
South Carolina offers net metering, a plan for how solar panels get connected to a public utility power grid so that excess power can be sucked up by the grid. This allows homeowners to offset their energy costs by selling excess to the grid. The amount of energy is deducted from your monthly bill or credited toward a future bill.
Looking for a great reason to purchase a solar panel system rather than lease it? How about South Carolina’s solar panel tax credit, which covers 25% of the total system cost! Don’t worry if you don’t meet the minimum threshold to claim the credit, as it can be carried over to the following fiscal year.
As it currently stands, those who own a solar system can deduct 26% of the system’s cost from their Federal taxes, thanks to the Federal Investment Tax Credit. Come 2023, that percentage is expected to drop to 22%, so don’t hesitate to put EnergyBillCruncher to use today!
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