South Carolina utility Santee Cooper has increased its commitment to solar energy by boosting incentives for customers who install rooftop solar or participate in Solar Share, the utility’s community solar subscription program.
“We launched these programs last spring to help our customers invest in solar power and cut their electric bills over the life of the program,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO, in a press release. “With good feedback from our customers, we’ve made the programs even better. These new incentives cut in half, approximately, the time it takes the solar investment to pay for itself.”
New incentives include larger per-watt rebates. The rebate for residential Solar Home and Solar Business customers who install rooftop panels is now $1.60 per watt, up from $1.30. The rebate for customers who invest in Solar Share community solar is now $1.40 per watt, up from $1.
Also, rebates are now applicable for up to 6-kilowatt installations, where the programs originally limited rebates to 4 kW of installed capacity.
Other South Carolina service providers, including Duke Energy and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), also offer solar incentive programs. These can be combined with additional federal and state tax incentives for renewable energy.
Under the new incentives, a customer who purchases a 17-year, 4-kW Solar Share subscription could recover that investment in just under five years, according to the utility. A residential customer who uses an average 1,762 kWh each month and installs a 4-kW rooftop solar array could recover that investment in less than six years.
Santee Cooper’s board of directors will reassess the terms of Solar Share, Solar Home and Solar Business at least annually going forward.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, serving as the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state.