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.
Our Top Solar Company Picks for South Carolina
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Mobile app
- Online chat
- Online portal
- Website service request form
How To Get a Solar Quote in South Carolina
Get a solar quote quickly using these steps:
- Locate the Get a Quote button or page on the provider’s website.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.