On average, South Carolina receives 216 days of sunshine in a year. With the high number of sunny days, you would think that more people would use solar panels in SC. Perhaps South Carolinians are not aware of the benefits of solar panels.
A significant reason to consider solar panels is the amount of energy they save. Solar panels harness power from the sun to generate electricity. After that, they store unused solar energy that you can later use at night. By saving energy, you also reduce electric bills.
The Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) also recommends solar panels since they do not emit harmful gases into the atmosphere. Electricity from non-renewable sources like coal and water majorly releases the gases. The toxic gases then cause the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon that occurs when the gases trap heat from the sun. Consequently, it leads to excessive heat on Earth which can lead to fatalities.
After understanding how beneficial they are, you now want to consider installing solar panels at your home. However, before installing them, there are factors that you need to consider before installing them in sc. Here is a detailed explanation of the factors.
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Check the Amount of Electricity You Use at Home
One of the reasons people use a lot of electricity at home is the kind of electrical appliances. For instance, a washing machine uses between 350 and 500 watts of power. With such an amount of energy, you are sure to pay a lot of electric bills.
Remember, other electric appliances consume a lot of electricity besides washing machines. Other electrical appliances include dishwashers, fridges, computers, and so on. If you have such electrical appliances, it would be best to migrate to solar energy.
With solar energy, you will use less when you use your electrical appliances, unlike the case with non-renewable electricity, whereby electrical appliances use excessive energy.
If your house has many electrical appliances, you may need to install several solar panels. Unfortunately, it then becomes expensive to install more than one solar panel. However, when it comes to energy consumption, you will still use less energy than non-renewable electricity.
Watch Out for Solar Incentives in Southern Carolina
The point of migrating to solar energy is cutting back on electrical bills. Solar panel installation in SC save you money through three main incentives:
- 25% State Tax Credit
- 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit
- Net Metering and Power Performance Payments
25% State Tax Credit
You receive a tax credit of 25% of the purchase and installation costs for this SC tax credit. The tax credit helps the solar panel owner cover their solar panel cost. You can only use a certain amount from the tax credit in a year.
Out of the tax credit, you should use not more than 50% of it. Due to the restriction, you may end up not exhausting the tax credit. Fortunately, if you do not finish the tax credit, the government pushes the remainder forward.
26% Federal Solar Tax Credit
The SC federal government seeks to minimize emissions into the air from non-renewable sources of electricity. To encourage South Carolinians to use solar energy, they introduced this tax credit and previously discussed one.
Like the previous tax credit, the percentage covers installation and purchase costs. Also, if you do not exhaust your tax credit, the government carries it forward.
Net Metering and Power Performance Payments
Net metering is a system that reduces electricity bills by recording your electricity usage. When your solar panel does not use all the energy, the excess energy moves to the electric utility grid. Your solar energy company will then credit the amount to the electric utility grid.
A power performance system is a net metering system that works differently. Instead of your solar company crediting the power in the electric utility grid, they credit each kilowatt of energy you used.
Besides the three incentives from the government, you can receive incentives when you install with Blue Raven. You will receive incentives through a power purchase agreement with a third-party lender. You only need to have a taxable income to qualify for such incentives.
For instance, if you procure solar panels in Columbia with the solar company, you will get free power of 18 months. After that, Blue Raven sends you a monthly check to ensure you do not get billed during the free trial period. You can then use the amount to pay for other solar-related costs.
Investigate the Price of Solar Panels in SC
The average cost of solar panels in SC ranges from $4 to $10 per square foot. Since they vary in size, solar power installation will also vary. You can expect to pay amounts ranging from $12,878 to $17,422 for solar panel installation.
Before settling for a price, consider your solar payback period. The solar payback period is when it takes for the buyer to recover their money after installing their solar panels. It roughly takes eight years for you to get back your money.
To calculate the solar payback period, divide the system cost together with the incentives by the yearly amount you spend on utility bills. That way, you will know the exact number of years you will get back your money.
Be Keen on Solar Installation Quality
There is nothing wrong with comparing the prices of different solar panels. After all, it is essential to operate within your budget. However, a mistake most homeowners make is shopping around for low prices whether or not they can afford them.
For example, you may come across a solar panel that is unusually cheap. However, cheap is sometimes expensive. In addition, the solar company may install solar panels with minor cracks. Cracks interfere with solar cells, which do not generate the expected amount of electricity.
That is not to say you should only buy expensive solar panels. Sometimes solar companies will overprice their solar panels despite being of poor quality.
It would help if you found the perfect balance between price and quality. Do this by getting as many multiple quotes as possible.
Desire to Increase Your Home Value
Are you looking to sell your house in South Carolina? Based on a report compiled by the US Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), your home will sell quickly with solar panels compared to one without any.
To understand the extent of the home value, solar panels add $20 for every $1 you saved on your electric bill. That means the home value will be high or low based on your saving habit.
Before getting too excited, you must consider factors like geographical location and local solar installation prices to increase your home value.
Ensure your house is in an area that experiences plenty of sunshine. Luckily, you do not need to worry about that in SC since the state generally receives a lot of sunshine. Still, it does not mean that the entire state will receive sunlight all through.
Regions sell solar panels at varying prices, so you must investigate that information. People tend to shy away from areas that sell solar panels expensively. However, such people will be willing to purchase a house with a solar panel.
Consider the Type of Solar Panels You Need
There are three types of solar powers: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. What you consider the best of the three depends on your preferences.
Monocrystalline solar panels are generally expensive. However, they are very efficient despite the cost and last up to thirty years.
The cells in the solar panel form a pyramid-like pattern. The pattern provides a large surface area for the cells to trap the solar energy. That means this solar panel traps as much solar energy as it can.
Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels. The solar panel relies on multiple photovoltaic cells to trap the solar power. Since they have low heat tolerance, they do not trap solar energy, making them relatively ineffective.
More people are using thin-film solar panels because they are lightweight and cheap. However, it has low power output compared to the other two solar panels. This means that this solar panel will not generate electricity to your satisfaction.
Check the Warranty of the Solar Panel Installation Service
In SC, the warranty is generally up to twenty-five years. Ensure the solar panel company gives you a warranty even before asking for it. The warranty covers the cost of solar panels that become defective on their own during the twenty-five-year period.
Besides the time, find out what costs the warranty covers. For example, some warranties cover parts and labor costs, while others cover only one of them. However, it would be better to opt for the former option.
Another aspect to consider is the time they take to replace your solar panel. For example, would you be comfortable waiting for the solar panel to arrive for a week? Some people may find a week very long, mainly if you use the solar panel for commercial purposes.
Also, be sure to check whether the warranty allows you to contact them 24/7. Some solar companies are only available during the day. Imagine a scenario whereby your solar panel ceases to work properly at night. You would be stranded, especially if your business relies on it.
Lastly, find out whether the warranty covers shipping. Sometimes, you may not have time to visit the solar power company. Or you may find the company location too far from you. If you cannot visit the company, make sure the warranty covers shipping costs.
Sometimes it is easy for most homeowners to misunderstand how warranties should work. Unfortunately, there are instances when your warranty will not cover you.
First, the warranty will cater to repair costs but not for maintenance. The burden of maintaining the solar panels entirely remains with the homeowner.
If the solar panel gets damaged due to poor maintenance, you will have to buy another solar panel. The solar company cannot then be held liable for property damage due to someone’s negligence or ignorance. For proper care, you may have to pay a solar company to schedule regular maintenances.
Also, your warranty may exclude the cost of specific solar panel components. Some parts commonly left out of the warranty include the racking system and inverter. In case the parts get damaged, you will need to purchase them.
Check Website Reviews for Solar Companies in SC
A good way of assessing how a good solar power company is by reading online user reviews. You will get some insight into how the company treats its customers through the reviews. That is information you can get by reading both positive and negative reviews.
If a solar power company has more positive reviews than good ones, it is probably safe to work with them.
Review websites also allow clients to use a five-score rating system. A company with a rating of one might be troublesome to work with compared to one with a rating of five.
Also, review websites rank solar companies in order from the best to the worst. However, it isn’t easy to gauge the criteria used to rank them. For instance, you can rank their performances based on the quality of their solar panels, effectiveness, efficiency, or knowledgeability.
Install Your Solar Panels in SC Today
Getting your solar panels in SC is cheaper for you in many ways. Not only do you conserve power, but you also benefit from the SC incentives.
Even with the benefits, some people still think solar installation is expensive. It would explain their reluctance to install solar panels. The good news is that the price of solar installation has been steadily declining over the years.
Solar panels do not only benefit the homeowner but the ecosystem too. It would explain why the SC has solar incentives.
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