South Carolina residential solar energy incentives

Solar energy and small hydropower tax credit:

-This incentive allows residents of South Carolina who purchase and install solar energy and hydropower systems to claim a tax credit of 25% of the total cost of equipment, installation and generation of electricity produced by the system.
-The maximum incentive for each tax payer may claim per taxable year is $3,500 or 50% of the taxpayer’s tax liability, whichever is less.
-Any excess credit may be carried forward for ten years.

Palmetto clean energy program:

-This is a green-power program designed to encourage residents of South Carolina to use renewable energy sources.
-Customer owned, grid-tied solar and wind energy systems are offered premium payments for the electricity generated. These payments vary depending on the system.
-Solar and wind systems must have a maximum capacity of five kilowatts to be eligible.
-The system must supply the energy generated to the South Carolina power grid and have a power purchase agreement with the utility company that the energy will be supplied to.
-If the system is participating in this program, it cannot be used for net metering.
Pilot solar water heating rebate program – Progress energy Carolinas:
-Residents of South Carolina and North Carolina who own residential solar water heating systems are eligible for a rebate of $1,000 through this program.
-Systems must meet required certifications and carry specified warranties to be eligible.

Net metering – Duke Energy, Progress Energy and SCE&G:

- South Carolina customers who own renewable energy systems that generate electricity have the option to net meter either on a time-of-use tariff or a flat-rate tariff.
-Both tariffs incorporate fees to the net metering customer.
- System capacity limit is 20 kW for residential customers.
-Net excess generation is credited to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate, and then surrendered to the utility annually at the beginning of each summer season.

Utility-sponsored loan and rebate programs:

-Many utility loan and rebate programs are available throughout the state of South Carolina provided by municipal cities and utility companies.
-Details and requirements for each program will vary.
-Loan and rebate programs are available for customers who install geothermal heat pumps, water heaters and cooling systems.
-Loans are given at low interest to help with the purchase and installation of geothermal, cooling and water heating technologies.
-Rebates are given as a one time set amount for the initial cost of heat pumps, water heaters and air conditioners.

Residential renewable energy tax credit:

-This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for.
-Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008.
-The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability.
-This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion:

-This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities.
-The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income.
-Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-efficient mortgages:

-This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.