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Best 8 Solar Companies in Columbia, SC

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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Columbia homeowners are privileged to live in abundant sunlight, both to bask in and use for energy. Many are working with top solar companies to get panels on their roofs. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel overwhelmed searching for a top-notch company. On this page, we'll show you Columbia's best solar installers and offer insightful 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

8 Best Solar Companies in Columbia

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

Renu Energy Solutions

4.5/5

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

Based on 59 reviews


2711 Alpine Rd Suite 260, Columbia, SC 29223

(803) 973-6767

renuenergysolutions.com

South Coast Solar

4.4/5

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

Based on 46 reviews


1219 Bluff Rd, Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 254-0294

www.southcoastsolar.com

Sunpro Solar

4.2/5

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

Based on 178 reviews


630 Blue Ridge Terrace, Columbia, SC 29203

(843) 666-0006

www.gosunpro.com/location/south-carol...

BroCo Solar

4.1/5

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

Based on 17 reviews


1340 Old Dairy Dr, Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 200-1658

brocosolar.com
SOLZA POWER - Solar + Roofing Logo

SOLZA POWER - Solar + Roofing

4/5

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

Based on 20 reviews


1122 Lady St Suite 221, Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 991-4033

solzapower.com
Broker Solar Logo

Broker Solar

4.6/5

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

Based on 89 reviews


118 Drafts Woods Rd, Lexington, SC 29073

(803) 807-7417

brokersolar.com

Southern Coker Power

4.1/5

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

Based on 23 reviews


3142 Platt Springs Rd, West Columbia, SC 29170

(803) 904-5801

socopower.com

Poly Energy

4.4/5

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

Based on 84 reviews


174 Corley Mill Rd, Lexington, SC 29072

(855) 497-6527

www.mypolyenergy.com

Ranking Methodology

We assessed a multitude of Columbia solar installers, using the following criteria to determine the best:

  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar providers 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.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Columbia solar installers have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio indicates a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Educational approach and support: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should use their years of experience answer your questions on how to look after your system and maximize its performance.
  • Panel brands and quality: The leading solar companies stay up-to-date with new technology, offering equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.
  • Certifications and licenses: Each provider on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and keeps current with industry best practices. Many of them have served the Columbia community for a decade or longer.

Facts about Columbia

  • Average Max Temperature:
    73°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    10 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    62%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    6,438
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,730
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    66.0%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid. Plus, a significant number of states offer net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.
  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems can keep your home running through blackouts and emergencies, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery storage.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Columbia Homeowners?

South Carolina homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for rebates, reimbursements, special financing and tax credits. Here are just a few of the local incentive offerings.

Incentive Type:Rebate Program

Website:https://www.duke-energy.com/home/products/smart-saver

Incentive Amount:

Central A/C or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Pool Pump: $300

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Columbia

The purchase price and effectiveness of solar panels often hinge on which company installed them. Consider all of these criteria in your business search.

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. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most recognized are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, awarded by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Columbia

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options and generally have the highest quality. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will add to your overall installation costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar company includes these extras, so look for a company that installs them if it's essential for you.

Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,250 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Columbia. This table displays more specific costs for different solar panel types and system components in your area.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,132
Solar Polycrystalline$883
Thin-Film$516
Solar Battery$724
Solar Home EV Charger$2,716

Financing Solar Energy in Columbia

Solar contractors use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, cash payments, solar loans and power purchase agreements (PPAs). We advise making a cash payment or using a solar loan for the best 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 have full ownership of 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 benefiting from energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll spend more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, much like an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each company you're evaluating about the financing options it offers. A consultant can help you determine the best option for your budget.

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

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit for solar panels on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Municipal authorities and utilities might also offer their own incentives, financing programs, and rebates that could save you more money.

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 Columbia

Sources

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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