How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Panels in Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina has almost 5 million residents living within its borders. However, the population isn’t scattered evenly across the state. Instead the majority of people live in cities such as Columbia, Charleston, and North Charleston. This means there are large expanses of land with a lower population density; ideal areas for utility-scale solar initiatives set up by the state. That is, areas where solar powered systems, such as spotify, are set out to receive the sun’s rays without the concern of shadows caused by buildings. Sometimes, these panels are able to move with the sun’s path throughout the day, maximizing the amount of power they produce.
For the more populated cities in South Carolina, or any home really, residential generated solar initiatives are becoming more popular options to powering one’s home. The solar power technology is improving every year, and it is more common than it was even five years ago. Solar power is a great way to significantly reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint at the same time. If you’re wondering how you can make the leap to solar power for your Columbia, South Carolina home, read on for tax incentives and other details about powering your home with solar power.
How Does South Carolina’s Climate Affect Solar Panels?
South Carolina sees plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Because of its humid subtropical climate, South Carolina residents don’t see a lot of snow during the winter. This is all good news for solar powered homes. The low snowfall means you won’t have to worry about brushing snow off your panels during the winter- a task that is best left to the professionals anyway. On partly cloudy days, solar panels are still able to store some power for the home.
While reducing energy bills and receiving an initial tax credit are great incentives for solar powered homes, another benefit is that it can be used when other power is unavailable. For instance, when tropical storms or hurricanes near South Carolina’s coast knock out the power, you can still utilize the stored solar power until the city’s power grid comes back on. This can make a difference if you need to boil water to purify it, but you only have an electric stove.
Tell Me About South Carolina Solar Tax Incentives
South Carolina offers a personal tax credit for residents installing solar-thermal systems for their home. These systems must be endorsed by the South Carolina Energy Department in order for them to qualify for the tax credits. The maximum incentive for that tax year is $3,500 or 50% of taxpayers tax liability for the year, whichever is less. The credit does not expire, and any excess credit can be carried forward for up to ten years. On the federal level, there is a 30% tax incentive for South Carolina residents who take advantage of the solar-electric technology available to them. The earlier solar technology is installed on your home, the larger the tax incentive available to you. When you prepare your taxes, make sure that you fill out and attach form SC SCH.TC-38 to your income tax return in order to receive credits.
South Carolina Solar Net Metering
Currently, each South Carolina utility has an option for net metering. If you’re not familiar with net metering, here is a basic explanation: Net metering uses a standard electrical meter, one you’re familiar with, to record the back and forth flow of energy between your solar powered generator and the utility’s power grid. Any surplus power your generator produces then flows to the power grid and helps to offset your home’s energy cost when using the power grid’s resources.
According to the South Carolina Energy Office, each utility proposed its own method of net metering. For example, SCE&G, offers early adopters of solar panels the chance to sell back any excess power to the power companies at a slightly higher price. If South Carolina residents opt in for net metering of their solar energy early, their incentives will be higher than those who install and opt in for net metering early- based on SCE&G’s tiered rating. On the other hand, Santee Cooper bases their energy charges (or credits) on On-Peak and Off-Peak kilowatt hours.
Utility customers participating in net metering generally are more aware of their energy consumption. This awareness in itself will most likely decrease your home’s energy bill. Solar panels and other thermal-utilities also help ease the strain on the city’s power grid during On-Peak hours.
Placement of Solar Panels on Columbia, SC Homes
In order to maximize the thermal energy, make sure your solar panels are positioned to receive the most direct sunlight throughout the year. For most homes, that means the south side of the building. This will take advantage of the sun’s position year round- even during cooler winter months, when the sun’s trajectory changes. You can use almost any surface for solar panels or similar systems. If you have a covered driveway or a shed with a roof that receives ample sunlight, those may be prime spots for solar panels as well. When considering solar power, don’t just think about your home’s roof!