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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Charleston residents are purposeful about conserving resources and embracing sustainability. That's why many people are purchasing panels from the best solar installers for their homes. 6,807 homes in the area already employ a solar photovoltaic or water heating system. Professional installers will therefore have the precise experience you need to jump on the solar revolution with confidence. On this page, we'll highlight Charleston's leading solar contractors and provide expert advice for your solar journey.

Most Reputable
Blue Raven Solar logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Offers high-efficiency panels and storage options
  • Provides unique in-house financing options
  • Recognized as one of the most reputable solar companies
Best Solar Panel Leasing
Sunrun logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions

7 Best Solar Companies in Charleston

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Top Rated Provider
Top Rated

Second Sunrise Solar

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 33 reviews


537 Long Point Rd Suite 203, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

(843) 268-4284

secondsunrisesolar.com
Live Oak Energy Systems Logo

Live Oak Energy Systems

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 33 reviews


1005 Bankton Cir, Hanahan, SC 29410

(706) 346-3556

liveoakenergysystems.com
LGCY Power Logo

LGCY Power

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 48 reviews


7410 Northside Dr Suite #240, Charleston, SC 29420

(843) 905-2774

www.lgcypower.com/state/sc/charleston
SCSP Solar Logo

SCSP Solar

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 41 reviews


460 King St Ste 200, Charleston, SC 29403

(843) 235-1035

www.scspsolar.com
Palmetto Solar Logo

Palmetto Solar

4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 1479 reviews


997 Morrison Dr Ste 200, Charleston, SC 29403

(855) 339-1831

palmetto.com
RayWell Solar Logo

RayWell Solar

4.2/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 28 reviews


460 King St Ste 200, Charleston, SC 29403

(843) 203-0320

raywellsolar.com

Flowertown Solar Systems

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 17 reviews


616 S Magnolia St, Summerville, SC 29483

(843) 896-3169

www.solar-summerville.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team focuses on the following criteria to determine the best Charleston solar companies.

  • Feedback and reviews from customers: Most Charleston solar providers have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio indicates a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Panel quality and brand offerings: The leading solar companies keep up with new technology, providing equipment from cutting-edge and trustworthy manufacturers.
  • Professional licenses and credentials: Each company on our list complies with state and city licensing requirements and keeps current with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Charleston community for more than a decade.
  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar installers should stand behind their products and services with warranties. We evaluated how each contractor responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer happiness.
  • Educational approach: Solar technicians must be excellent teachers. They should tap into their years of experience answer your questions on how to look after your system and maximize its performance.

Facts about Charleston

  • Average Max Temperature:
    74°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    10 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    65%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    6,807
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,740
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    82.3%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the expensive cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity at home. Plus, many states provide net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back for credits on your bill.
  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on your power company for your safety and well-being.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Charleston Homeowners?

South Carolina's public agencies and power companies offer a number of solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Check out a breakdown of applicable solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type:Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Charleston

Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar array. Make your choice based on the following important considerations.

Licensing and Training

South Carolina differentiates between mechanical and general contractors for solar energy work. A licensed mechanical contractor can install or repair any solar PV system rated for between 50 and 600 volts if they have an electrical Certificate of Authorization. If a company installs solar thermal systems, they need a Certificate of Authorization in plumbing and a supervising licensed plumber on their team. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar sector's most credible trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Charleston

Your photovoltaic panels' style will influence how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels are among the highest quality and cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can enhance your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar contractor includes these extras, so look for a provider that installs them if it's a priority for you.

A majority of Charleston homeowners select solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,250 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific solar cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,174.64
Solar Polycrystalline$916.22
Thin-Film$535.64
Solar Battery$751.77
Solar Home EV Charger$2,819.14

Financing Solar Energy in Charleston

There are many ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and leases. We advise making a cash payment or securing a solar loan for the highest return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also own your system and can apply for solar panel incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) enables you to pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We typically don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the panels and cannot use solar incentives. Ask each installer you're considering about the payment options it offers. A consultant can help you determine the optimal option for your budget.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Charleston.

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and unique financing solutions that could save you more.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW1.9 years
2 kW3.8 years
5 kW9.5 years
10 kW19.0 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Charleston

Sources

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