Recently, the South Carolina governor signed into law abolishing laws that hindered the solar industry’s growth. Mr Henry Macmaster signed the Energy Freedom Act, which was passed undisputed by the two houses that remove artificial caps, allowing large-scale solar industry operation.
This move triggers South Carolina’s need to invest in clean energy and do away with other types of energy. Secondly, the availability of solar energy electricity bills is expected to drop, which attracts new businesses and investors in the area. Additionally, this move again positively impacts the environment as there is no pollution due to the dirty energy sources.
The legislature is clearly in for a more healthy energy competition rather than the costly harmful energy sources. Since the change of laws restricting solar energy in 2014, the solar industry has grown tremendously, especially in the rooftop solar market sector.
But as soon as the number of roof installations started hitting the cap bill of 2014, the large-scale solar connections went down. The state of solar growth in South Carolina was near collapse, and more than 3000 Jobs were at risk of being lost.
After attempting to lift the laws proven to fail over the years, the two houses ultimately came to a common understanding and overwhelmingly passed the Energy Freedom Act. The new solar energy laws focused on changing the following in the solar industry.
- Removing the arbitrary rooftop solar net metering and renting out the caps completely.
- Bringing into place community solar projects to serve the less fortunate in the community at low cost.
- Powering cooperates in the area.
- Providing commercially reasonable contracts to large-scale solar projects.
Homeowners and business owners are at liberty to choose solar systems that consist of solar panels. Research has proven that homeowners that invested in the whole solar system stood to gain lots of profits over time.
Choosing to buy solar panels first requires you to pay a considerable sum of money upfront, which is not good for business.
Once again, passing this bill showed the position South Carolina holds, which is the number one position when it comes to using and dealing with clean energy.
Having put this place, it is now easier to set up and operate businesses in South Carolina due to the affordable energy costs in the region.
Additionally, a large population in the South Carolina State will benefit from this whole solar project, especially the group that is unable to afford electricity.
Solar energy is the future, and if South Carolina’s solar utilities are tapped well and effectively will surely meet the needs of the people and any future energy plans.
Solar Incentives and Rebates
South Carolina is a state that receives generous amounts of solar, especially during summer. That fact, plus the incredible solar incentives in the state, means that homeowners save on the costs of solar installation in South Carolina.
Energy Tax Credit
The state residents can claim up to 25% of their solar costs as a tax credit. If a resident does not pay enough in taxes to get the full value within one year, they can still carry over for up to ten years.
You can get additional rebates to pay for the solar panels’ costs or receive a payment for each kWh of electricity generated by the solar panels.
It is crucial to understand net metering in South Carolina once you decide to go solar. South Carolina is one of the states that allow homeowners to store the extra electricity produced by their panels.
The state lets the homeowners use their credits to make up the difference if the panels generate less energy than what is needed in the household.
The two top net metering programs in the State are Dominion Energy South Carolina and Duke Energy. Duke Energy offers one dollar per watt installed return to the client through their solar rebate program.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
There are also some federal solar incentives provided in the state. Once a homeowner invests in ITC (Investment Tax Credit), they can lower their PV solar energy system costs by up to 26%.
However, this applies to homeowners who purchase their PV system with cash or a solar loan. The other requirement is that they should have enough income for the tax credit to be significant.
Financing a Solar System Installation
On average, the cost of a solar system is three to five dollars per watt installed. The cost is dropping, though, due to ever-evolving technology.
A South Carolina resident can get a solar system at reduced costs if they have sufficient tax liability because of the federal and state tax credit. It is advisable to talk to a tax advisor when considering the installation of a solar system.
A homeowner can get a local installer’s advice on their financing options to reduce the cost of a solar system installation. An installer should also advise on energy-efficient upgrades that get them the payback on energy sent back on the grid after net metering.
Drawbacks to Solar Power Installation in South Carolina
Any utility company that provides solar systems for homeowners can set its requirements and charges because the state does not have a statewide interconnection requirement. What this means is that a utility company can have monthly fees if they so wish.