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The 4 Best Solar Companies in South Carolina

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Author Icon By Tamara Jude Updated 12/20/2023

South Carolina is a great state to transition to solar power because of its abundant sunlight and numerous solar incentives. We’ve researched the best solar companies in the United States and narrowed down our top recommendations for the Palmetto State. See how they compare on reputation, warranty coverage, customer satisfaction, and more.


Compare Solar Companies Across SC

Star Rating Best For Location Presence BBB Rating Link
SunPower SunPower
Best High-Efficiency System 50 States A+ Get Quote
Palmetto Palmetto
Best Customer Support 19 States A+ Get Quote
Sunrun Sunrun
Best Solar Panel Leasing 20 States A+ Get Quote
Blue Raven Blue Raven
Most Reputable 18 States A+ Get Quote
Tesla Solar Tesla Solar
Best Solar Tech 50 States NR Get Quote
SunPower
Logo SunPower
Star Rating
Best For Best High-Efficiency System
Location Presence 50 States
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Palmetto
Logo Palmetto
Star Rating
Best For Best Customer Support
Location Presence 19 States
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Sunrun
Logo Sunrun
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Panel Leasing
Location Presence 20 States
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Blue Raven
Logo Blue Raven
Star Rating
Best For Most Reputable
Location Presence 18 States
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Tesla Solar
Logo Tesla Solar
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Tech
Location Presence 50 States
BBB Rating NR
Get Quote
Company
Star Rating
Best For
Location Presence
BBB Rating
Best High-Efficiency System
50 States
A+
Best Solar Panel Leasing
20 States
A+
Most Reputable
18 States
A+
Best Customer Support
19 States
A+
Best Solar Tech
50 States
NR

South Carolina’s Top Solar Energy Companies: 


Our Top Solar Company Picks for South Carolina

Palmetto Best Customer Support
4.4

Learn more: Palmetto review

Pros and Cons
Pros Offers a tiered system protection plan Provides an online savings calculator to estimate your ROI Includes a 25-year panel output warranty Cons Charges a monthly fee for active system monitoring Doesn’t offer a free energy consultation Doesn’t offer leasing or PPA financing options
Why We Chose Palmetto

Palmetto offers a wide range of solar services, from comprehensive protection plans to pest abatement. It has some of the solar market’s most efficient residential panels. It also includes a 25-year system performance warranty and ongoing customer support via its app. We like the company’s commitment to customer service, which includes phone, email, and online chat options, plus an online service request portal and library of troubleshooting resources.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Palmetto provides a 25-year panel warranty, 12-year inverter warranty, 10-year workmanship warranty, and five-year roof penetration warranty.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan

Reputation and Awards

Palmetto received Solar Power World’s Most Forward-Thinking Contractor award in 2022. Inc. Magazine recognized the company with a Power Partner Award the same year. Palmetto also aims to provide solar energy to underserved communities with its Get Solar, Give Solar program.

Palmetto Solar holds accreditation with the BBB and has an A+ rating. When reading online reviews, we noticed homeowners praising Palmetto for its dedicated installation managers and quality systems.

Sunrun Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4

Learn more: Sunrun review

Pros and Cons
Pros Offers insurance protection for system damage or theft Provides 24/7 customer support Includes free maintenance on leased solar panels Cons Has negative customer service reviews Encourages customers to lease without explaining the drawbacks Limits its 25-year warranty to lease and prepaid customers
Why We Chose Sunrun

We like that Sunrun prioritizes code compliance through its BuilderChoice New Homes Program. This program gives customers a dedicated team to handle their project’s building and permitting paperwork, ensuring all equipment is installed to code. We also like customers’ ability to select equipment damage and theft insurance.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Sunrun offers a 10-year comprehensive warranty that includes product, roof penetration, and workmanship coverage. Leasing customers receive an extended 25-year warranty that includes insurance protection for theft and damage.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ Power purchase agreement (PPA)

Reputation and Awards

Sunrun has an A+ rating with BBB and is accredited. The provider earned DroneDeploy’s 2022 Guardian of Safety Award for using drone technology with its site assessments. In 2021 and 2022, Sunrun received 14 awards from Comparably, including Best Company Culture, Best CEOs for Diversity, and Best Company for Women. One concern with Sunrun is its push for customers to finance their system through a solar lease without explaining the drawbacks. Leases and PPAs prevent homeowners from ever owning their system or qualifying for solar incentives.

Blue Raven Most Reputable
4.4

Learn more: Blue Raven review

Pros and Cons
Pros Provides a unique financing option that includes 18 months of free solar energy Sells SunPowers’s high-efficiency solar products Has won multiple awards for its in-house team Cons Offers one of the shortest guarantees among companies we reviewed Doesn’t have solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) financing options Some customer reviews mention aggressive sales tactics
Why We Chose Blue Raven

Blue Raven has a great reputation for its reliability and trustworthiness. The company also stands out for its in-house loan option, which includes 18 months of free solar energy. We noted that online customer reviews praised the company’s knowledgeable staff and prompt installation.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
A Blue Raven Solar system comes with a 25-year warranty, a 10-year workmanship warranty, and a two-year production guarantee.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan

Reputation and Awards

Blue Raven has won several awards from Comparably, a site known for its comprehensive company culture and reputation reviews. Comparably recognized Blue Raven for Best Operations Team 2022, Best Sales Team 2022, Best Product and Design Team 2022, Best Places to Work in Salt Lake City 2022, and Best Company Outlook 2022. Its 2021 wins include Best Company for Diversity 2021, Best CEO 2021, Best Company Work-Life Balance, and Best Career Growth 2021. Blue Raven Solar ranked No. 20 on Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work in the USA in 2021.

SunPower Best High-Efficiency System
4.8

Learn more: SunPower review

Pros and Cons
Pros Builds customized, high-efficiency solar panels Provides solar batteries and electric vehicle (EV) chargers Has a 25-year system and labor warranty Cons Only has in-house products, limiting customization More expensive than some other solar providers Some customer complaints cite faulty panels and monitoring systems
Why We Chose SunPower

SunPower’s residential solar panel systems are some of the most energy-efficient and high-performing in the industry. It’s one of the few companies that uses in-house solar components, creating a system in which each component works optimally together.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
SunPower backs its solar products with an all-inclusive 25-year warranty covering all solar system components, additional equipment add-ons, workmanship, and a 92% power output production guarantee.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ PPA

Reputation and Awards

SunPower received PV Magazine’s 2019 Sustainability Award for outstanding sustainability leadership in the solar industry. SunPower also received Good Housekeeping’s 2022 Home Renovation Award in the Biggest Energy Savers category for its innovative SunVault energy storage system.

SunPower is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently holds an A+ rating from the organization. Based on our team’s analysis, we discovered that customers were overall pleased with their SunPower system’s performance.


Solar Incentives in South Carolina

South Carolina offers several incentives to reduce solar panel system costs. Its state income tax rebate is one of the most generous in the country.

  • Federal tax credit: The federal solar tax credit is available to solar owners nationwide. It provides a tax reduction equal to 30% of your solar installation costs. This credit can be applied once per system. Only homeowners who purchase their systems in full or take out a loan qualify.
  • Net-metering: Utility companies such as Dominion Energy and Duke Energy offer net-metering programs. These programs allow you to sell excess energy your system generates back to your utility company for credit on your monthly electric bill.
  • South Carolina state tax credit: South Carolina’s Solar Energy, Small Hydropower, and Geothermal Tax Credit provides a tax reduction equal to 25% of your solar installation costs, up to a maximum of $35,000. You can claim $3,500 or 50% of your annual tax liability for up to 10 years.

What To Look For in a Solar Company

Cost isn’t the only thing to look at when comparing solar providers. The following factors can have a big impact on your investment and experience.

Solar Services

Not all solar companies offer the same products and services. Some only sell solar panels, while others offer solar batteries, inverters, and other equipment. A company that sells multiple solar solutions may provide bundling opportunities. 

Some providers handle all installation with a certified, in-house crew, while others outsource installation. This can affect your warranty coverage, project timeline, and customer service. 

Find out if a company offers any remote monitoring services. This can help you track panel performance and see how your system benefits you. Many companies now have a mobile app for customers that allows them to monitor system performance from their phones. 

Warranties

Most solar companies offer the following warranties:

  • Manufacturer’s warranty (or product warranty): This protects the solar panel system’s components in case of defects.
  • Workmanship warranty: This covers installation in case of poor workmanship or faulty installation materials.
  • Performance (or power production) guarantee: This guarantees the system’s output functions as outlined in your contract.

The best companies offer 25-year warranties, though some limit their workmanship warranty to 10 years. We recommend finding a company that provides at least 20-year warranties.

Payment Options

Solar financing options include:

  • Full purchase: Fully purchasing your system gives you immediate ownership and qualifies you for all incentives.
  • Solar loan: A solar loan allows you to make monthly system payments and still makes you its owner.
  • Solar lease: You’ll make set monthly payments with a lease, but you won’t be able to own the system, disqualifying you from most solar incentives.
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA): A PPA allows you to make monthly payments with no money down, but you don’t own the system.

Solar leases and PPAs help you save money up-front, but they disqualify you from some solar incentives that could help lower your overall solar panel cost. We recommend purchasing your system in full or through a solar loan so you don’t miss out on valuable tax credits. 

Customer Support

You want the company you choose to be reachable, so look for one that offers multiple ways to get in touch. Also look at the hours customer service staff is available. Issues and questions don’t just arise during regular business hours, so check if the company has evening and weekend support. 

Ideally, a company will offer at least a couple of these contact points:

  • Email
  • Mobile app
  • Online chat
  • Online portal
  • Phone 
  • Website service request form

How To Get a Solar Quote in South Carolina

Get a solar quote quickly using these steps:

  1. Locate the Get a Quote button or page on the provider’s website. 
  2. Fill out the required information. When we went through the quote process with top providers, most asked for basic contact information, location, property type, roof size and slope. 
  3. Check your email or remain on the website for your free quote.

If you prefer to speak to someone over the phone, call the provider’s customer support line for a quote. When we went through the quote process online, getting an estimate took less than 15 minutes. By phone, it took an average of 20 minutes.


Our Conclusion

Though we recommend all providers on this list, the best solar company depends on your home and energy needs. Palmetto is an excellent choice for homeowners who value good customer service. Sunrun is ideal for those who want flexible financing, and Sunpower may be a better fit for those prioritizing high-efficiency systems. 

We recommend requesting free quotes from at least three solar companies before deciding. Remember that cost is not the only factor. If a company offers a price substantially lower than its competitors, you’ll want to research its product quality, warranties, and reputation carefully.


Other South Carolina Home Service Resources


FAQ About Solar Companies in South Carolina

Are solar panels worth it in South Carolina?

Yes, solar panels are worth it in South Carolina. The state has excellent incentives and a relatively high electricity rate that can mean big savings from going solar. Additionally, installing a residential solar energy system in South Carolina will increase your home value by an average of 3.5%, or $5,866, according to a 2019 Zillow report.

How much will it cost to go solar in South Carolina?

Going solar in South Carolina costs $2.42–$3.28 per watt, depending on your system size. That totals $12,100 to $16,400 for a 5-kilowatt (kW) system or $19,360 to $26,240 for a larger 8 kW system before applying tax incentives and rebates.

Do HOAs regulate solar panels in South Carolina?

Homeowners’ associations, or HOAs, are allowed to regulate solar panel installation in South Carolina. You’ll need to check with your HOA in addition to getting necessary local permits before installing a solar energy system.

Can I get free solar panels in South Carolina?

No, you can’t get free solar panels in South Carolina. No state currently offers free solar panels. However, you can get $0 up-front financing through many providers.


Our Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:

  • Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
  • Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
  • Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
  • Financing options (15%)
  • Experience (10%)
  • Availability (10%)

Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.

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