HOW MUCH DOES SOLAR COST?

The cost of solar PV systems has been declining dramatically in the past several years. Depending on the size of your system and after tax credit rebates; it can cost $3,600 - $4,000 for a small system to $9,000 - $10,000 for a large system that will cover 50% of an average SC electricity bill. Your solar installer can help you determine what size works best for you.

How long will it take to break even?

The short answer is about 9 to 10 years depending on many different factors such as your initial cost of the system, the change in your utility’s price of electricity, the orientation of your roof and any shading from trees. While this seems like along time, many solar PV panels have warranties of 20 years or more with lifetimes of 30 years or more. Over the lifetime of a system, your return on investment (ROI) could be 6% -7%! Your solar installer can help you determine how much electricity will be generated over the lifetime of the system.

For a more detailed spreadsheet on how costs are determined click here.

For updated information and fine print on incentives for solar, see www.dsireusa.org

Current Residential Tax Rebates (3/10/2021)

    • State Tax Rebate 25% of total system cost up to $35,000. Can only take $3,500 or 50% of your tax liability per year for up to 10 years.
    • Federal Tax Rebate 26% of total system cost with no cap.

Current Commercial Tax Rebates (3/10/2021)

    • State Tax Rebate 25% of total system cost up to $35,000. Can only take $3,500 or 50% of your tax liability per year for up to 10 years.
    • Federal Tax Rebate 26% of total system cost with no cap. This is set to expire 12/31/2016
    • Federal MACRS depreciation (5 year property schedule)

Other incentives and resources:

Rural Development – USDA Rural Energy for America Program - Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program (www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_ReapResEei.html)


South Carolina Solar Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

P.O. Box 402 Columbia, SC 29201

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