Renewable Energy Policy in South Carolina
The adoption of solar energy in South Carolina has been relatively slow, but that is soon to change as recent legislation is spurring several strong utility incentive programs. In July 2014 South Carolina mandated the creation of a voluntary Distributed Energy Resource Program, with set targets for generation capacity from renewable energy sources. In response, the major utilities have created incentive programs for their generating customers. These newly introduced incentives, along with the Federal tax credit and South Carolina’s tax credit, make solar energy a very favorable investment for home and business owners at this time.
Furthermore, South Carolina also addressed net metering policy in its 2014 legislation, establishing full retail value for electricity that solar generators deliver to the grid through 2025.
In addition to significant federal incentives. South Carolina residents and businesses may be eligible for the following incentives:
SC State Solar Tax Credit
- 25% tax credit for residential and commercial sectors
- Applies to solar thermal and solar electric systems
- Up to $3,500 a year, or 50% of taxpayer’s liability, whichever is less.
- Excess credit can be carried forward for 10 years.
Duke Energy SC Solar Rebate
(Program capacity update: waiting list in place.)
- $1 per watt-DC rebate
- Available for residential installations up to 20 kilowatt AC
- Available for commercial installations up to 1 megawatt AC
- Applies to net-metered or sell-all solar electric systems
- Offered on a first-come, first-serve basis until full program subscription
SCE&G Customer Scale Solar Rebate
- Performance Based Incentive for residential customers up to 4 cents per kilowatt hour
- Bill Credit Agreement for commercial customers of 14 to 22 cents per kWh, based on system size, rate schedule, and tax status.
- Offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and until full program subscription
For additional information, we recommend the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency as a comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support energy efficiency as well as renewables, from the national to municipal level.