Greenville, South Carolina Homeowner Discusses Going Solar With Southern Current

The following interview was conducted with Steve V., recent Southern Current residential solar customer who lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Find out how much money you could be saving on electricity costs by contacting Southern Current today!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Our family moved to this location in South Carolina from New England six years ago to get away from the harsh winters and the high cost of living there.

Why did you decide to switch to solar energy?

I like the idea that the cost of the solar project is constant, while commercial power will only go up. Additionally, it’s a solid investment toward the value of the home that can be recouped if we were to sell the property. The federal and state incentives made the decision a bit easier for me.

How much did you know about solar energy?

Before this project, just the basics of consumer solar energy. I’ve seen other homes in the local area go with solar installations and also viewed the nearby Furman University Solar Farm. I got curious and decided to investigate their feasibility.

What kind of system did Southern Current install for your home?

The installation size is 5.32 kW supplied by 19 Jinko 280 watt roof mount panels and a Solar Edge 3800 watt inverter. Click to view more details about this Greenville South Carolina home solar panel install.

View of the Greenville, South Carolina residential solar panel installation.

What made you choose Southern Current for your solar installation?

Actually, the initial contact for the solar project was made by Brio Solar representatives. They highly recommended Southern Current as the in-state solar installation contractor. I guess I got lucky.

What was the process of going solar like?

The initial contract signature was in early June, solar energy production started the end of August. Soon after the initial paperwork was completed, Southern Current staff made an on-site inspection of the roof and electrical services. The Southern Current project manager made the process as seamless as possible and keep us informed via e-mail and phone throughout the process. They initiated all of the required permits with the county, Duke Energy and even the H.O.A for compliance.

Once all of the permits were secured, the installation date was scheduled quickly. Once started, it took two days to complete. The county inspection was completed the next day. The Duke Energy inspection and production meter installation was completed a week later.

What was the most difficult part of the process for you?

I guess the most difficult part was to actually commit to the project.

What benefits have you seen since the installation?

I’ve only seen one complete cycle utility bill since the system was activated. This was Sep – Oct. My bill was 60% lower than the same usage last year. I hope to get enough credits throughout the upcoming year to get a near zero utility cost.

PS: The Solar Edge phone app is cool; I can get the system’s production status anytime I wish from anywhere.

What would you say to someone who is interested in going solar?

If you are considering solar, do it now while any federal and state incentives are still in place as makes the entire project more affordable. Make your final decision on the return of investment of 7 – 10 years. Also keep in mind any contractor you work with should be around for the duration of the installation and product’s 10 – 20 year warranty.

Based upon my present experience with Southern Current, I would definitely work with them once again. They were easy to work with, the on-site crew were professional and kept me informed throughout the installation.

Learn More About Solar Power In South Carolina!

Southern Current is proud to be one of the leading solar companies in South Carolina, with Residential, Commercial, and Utility-Scale services available throughout the Southeast. Contact us TODAY to schedule a FREE consultation and find out how much you could be saving with solar!

Summerville, South Carolina Homeowner Discusses Going Solar With Southern Current

The following interview was conducted with Jeff H., recent Southern Current residential solar customer who lives in Summerville, South Carolina. Find out how much money you could be saving on electricity costs by contacting Southern Current today!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Born & raised in Southeast Michigan. Moved to Summerville, SC in 2010. I miss my Detroit sports and my family & friends in “the D”, but I don’t miss the cold or the snow and ice. The climate & number of sunny days in South Carolina make it easy to live down here!

Why did you decide to switch to solar energy?

Primarily for financial reasons.

How much did you know about solar energy?

I have a lot of stock in solar companies and have educated myself on the industry. I’ve been studying solar energy since 2011.

What kind of system did Southern Current install for your home?

It’s a roof-mounted 12.32 kW system using 44 Trina Solar 280W panels and a SolarEdge inverter. Click to view more details about this Summerville South Carolina home solar panel install.

Aerial view of the home solar panel install in Summerville, South Carolina.

Side view, Summerville South Carolina home solar panel install.

What made you choose Southern Current for your solar installation?

I did a lot of research, read a lot of reviews, and talked to a few friends who had gone with Southern Current and others who went with another company. Based on my due diligence, the reviews of others, the price comparison, and my sales woman (Sheri), who was excellent, I went with Southern Current.

What was the process of going solar like?

The sales, design, and installation process was very good on Southern Current’s part and very professional. The neighborhood HOA was very accommodating and Southern Current helped extensively with that procedure as well. My electric company’s net metering and approval process took longer than I would’ve liked.

What was the most difficult part of the process for you?

There was the initial “sticker shock” of shelling out all of the money up front. That was my decision – I wanted to avoid paying all of the interest on a loan. I think most people who do this set up a financing plan.

Having a cloudy, rainy summer season was also difficult and unfortunate.

What benefits have you seen since the installation?

I’ve realized energy usage savings from a little more than $100 to about $250 per month over the past 4 months.

What would you say to someone who is interested in going solar?

South Carolina certainly is a state where going solar makes financial sense. Just make sure you do all of your homework, get everything in writing and understand it all completely, including your power company’s billing structure, net metering riders and whether they set your bank to $0 if you over-produce in the spring.

Also, understand that the total cost of a system can vary greatly from installer to installer. Southern Current’s costs are very much lower than their competitors that I compared them to, and their customer service and professionalism rank at the top. I’m glad I went with the highly reputable company that I did.

Learn More About Solar Power In South Carolina!

Southern Current is proud to be one of the leading solar companies in South Carolina, with Residential, Commercial, and Utility-Scale services available throughout the Southeast. Contact us TODAY to schedule a FREE consultation and find out how much you could be saving with solar!

Customer Review: Charleston Solar Homeowners Rate Southern Current

The following interview was conducted with Brenda and Gary S., Southern Current residential solar customers who live in Charleston, South Carolina. Find out how much money you could be saving on electricity costs by contacting Southern Current today!

Please tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We retired in Charleston in 2009.

Why did you decide to switch to solar energy?

We didn’t switch, but rather added solar panels to reduce power bills.

How much did you know about solar energy?

We have been looking into solar for several years. We’ve been interested in energy efficient homes since building a geodesic dome in 1983.

What kind of system did Southern Current install for your home?

We have 37 panels, LG 360w NEON, a 13.23 kW system, roof mounted with compatible inverter.

 

View of solar panel installation in Charleston, South Carolina by Southern Current.

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Detail of solar panel roof atop a house in Charleston.

What made you choose Southern Current for your solar installation?

We looked up several companies and compared them against one another including getting cost estimates from different companies during the past year. We liked most what we saw about Southern Current.

What was the process of going solar like?

Do your research, compare different companies and systems, decide what you want, get a price, choose a company to install, pay the money, wait, get installation…begin saving money!

What was the most difficult part of the solar process?

Waiting for all the approvals, certificates, inspections and the actual installation process. Once we made up our minds to do it we were excited and ready to roll with it.

What benefits have you seen since the installation?

In August we saved $243.62 and it was a month with many stormy, overcast and cloudy days! We generated 1539 kwh for the month.

We have a computer program that shows us how much we are generating and using and it appears that we will reach or exceed our estimated production. We have a big house, over 4,100 square feet, we have a pool and lots of guests so our power bills have been big.

What would you say to someone who is interested in going solar?

Where else can you make an investment that you will recover 55% on your income taxes and have that investment begin to pay you back at a rate that far exceeds any interest you could earn on that money? Our projected savings is 63% of our power bills and if that turns out to be true we will in essence be earning better than 10% on the money we spent. That’s better than any bank!

Want to learn more about solar power in South Carolina?

Southern Current is proud to be one of the leading solar companies in South Carolina, with services available throughout the Southeast. Contact us TODAY to schedule a FREE consultation, and find out how much you could be saving with solar!

Report: South Carolina Monthly Electricity Costs Rank Highest In America

Here’s some unfortunate news for residents of South Carolina just in time for the hot & sticky summer season: A new report from WalletHub comparing at the cost of energy across all U.S. states shows South Carolinians pay the highest monthly electricity costs!

Calculations were made using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with South Carolina’s average monthly power bill coming it at a whopping $173 per month.

South Carolina Electricity Costs Highest In U.S.

“Energy costs in America eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, and July & August power bills tend to be the highest of the year thanks to a greater emphasis on air conditioning to offset warmer temperatures. South Carolina’s scorching summer heat raises costs for residents compared with the temperate climate in more energy-expensive Northern California, where heating and cooling units stay idle most of the year.”

Other Southeastern states also ranked on the most expensive list, including Alabama (#2 at $168/month), Florida (#4 at $162/month), Mississippi (#5 at $155/month), and Georgia (#8 at $152/month).

Tips for saving money on energy bills

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room and use LED light bulbs
  • Use energy efficient appliances
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Use a smart thermostat and set comfortable temperatures just before you arrive home
  • Install energy efficient windows and insulation to improve you home’s thermal envelope
  • Look for discounts and refunds offered by your local electric utility

Once the above measures have been incorporated, it is also recommended to produce your own energy using renewable sources like wind & solar power.

Individuals interested in going solar in South Carolina have access to solar rebates and incentives which decrease the overall cost of solar power systems. Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), Santee Cooper, and other local electric utilities have unique solar rebate & incentive programs which provide additional savings when installing solar power systems. Learn more by reading South Carolina Solar Power Rebates And Incentives.

Save Money On Power Bills With Solar Panels!

Southern Current is proud to be one of the leading solar companies in South Carolina, with services available throughout the Southeast. Contact us TODAY to schedule a FREE consultation, and find out how much you could be saving with solar!

Owning Versus Leasing A Solar Power System: Which Option Is Best For You

A growing number of homeowners across America are experiencing the benefits of generating power from solar. Like any other home improvement, installing solar panels is a big investment. Luckily there are a number of options available that can allow most South Carolinians to take advantage of the savings delivered by solar energy.

Financial Options For Going Solar In South Carolina

The ownership options for going solar are pretty similar to the ones available for getting a new car. Below we explore the 3 most popular scenarios: Cash purchase to own, Finance purchase to own, and Leasing.

2 Main Options For Owning A Solar Power System

Option 1: Pay for your solar power system with cash

Buying your solar power system means you own both the physical system (the panels, the racking, the inverter, etc.) and the power produced by the system. You essentially become a small power company, and you own the solar power plant that is installed on your roof (or in your yard).

As the system owner, you also get to take advantage of the tax credits, rebates, and incentives that are available which can lower the cost by as much as 50%.

As the saying goes, “Cash is king.” Buying a solar power system outright with cash is the lowest cost option for going solar. You will also pay the lowest cost per kWh over time when you own your system. But, in order to get the best deal you must have adequate funds or savings in the bank (or stashed under your mattress).

Option 2: Finance your solar power system over time

If you don’t have the savings (or if you are planning on spending your savings on something else) you can still own a solar power system through financing. When you finance solar you make monthly payments over time equal to the cost of the system + a one-time finance charge + interest.

When you finance your solar power system you can also take advantage of available tax credits, rebates, and incentives. You pick the length of time you want to finance your solar purchase, generally for 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years. The longer period of time you finance, the lower your monthly payment will be, but you will pay more in total interest.  

For many homeowners who do not have the savings but do have good credit, financing is the best option for going solar. Plus, you may be able to take advantage of $0 Down financing arrangements which allow you to own solar and get a 1-month head-start on energy savings before your first finance payment is due.

Leasing A Solar Power System

Leasing a solar panel system is very similar to leasing a car – You are not the owner but you get to take advantage of the benefits of using the product. Under a traditional solar lease, a third party owns the system and rents it to you so that you can benefit from the electricity it produces.

Think of a solar lease as a trade where you rent out your roof space in exchange for electricity. The homeowner agrees to buy the solar power produced by the system, hopefully at a rate that is lower than what they are currently paying. But, be careful to read the fine print and see if this rate gets more expensive over time.

Most leases are 20 year terms, and like a car lease, once your solar lease has finished the owner will typically offer an option for you to buy the system or to renew/extend your payments. If you decide you do not want either of these scenarios, the lease agreement will end and they will remove the solar system from your property (and then you’ll have to buy power from the local utility again).

The biggest trade off with a solar lease is that the leasing company (or their investors) have access to the 30% tax credit the homeowner would be eligible for if he or she owned the system.

Which solar option is best for you?

It really depends on your financial situation and the long-term goals you want to achieve by going solar. A cash purchase will have the lowest total cost, but you’ll need adequate funding or savings. You can also own a solar system by paying for it over time with financing, and the better your credit score is, the better interest rate you will receive from the financial lender. And if you cannot qualify for financing, a lease could be the last option you have to go solar on your home.

Regardless of which option you pursue, here are some key questions to ask before signing an agreement to go solar:

For all solar systems:

  • What is the total cost of the solar system?
  • What is the timeline for this investment?
  • How much do I pay up front, and how much over time, for how long?
  • What is the system size?
  • How much electricity will the system generate each year?
  • Do system output calculations consider actual installation details of the system?
  • Can I expect to save money with this system? If so, how much? Based on what assumptions?
  • Is the installation company licensed and insured?
  • What will the system look like once installed? Will I receive a system design for my review and approval before installation?
  • Will I be required to make any changes to my home (e.g., roofing upgrades)?
  • Are there separate warranties for parts and labor?
  • What do the warranties cover and what are their durations?
  • What type of maintenance or cleaning is required? Are any maintenance services included?
  • Who should I contact if I have a question about the system following the installation?
  • In many states, laws prevent homeowner associations (HOAs) from restricting rights to install a solar system. What are the rules in my state and can you help me work with my HOA?

For solar leases:

  • What is the length of the lease?
  • Who receives solar tax incentives and how are they factored into the cost?
  • Will my payments increase over time? How does the rate of increase compare to the expected/historic utility rate increases?
  • What happens if I wish to end the lease early?
  • Can I purchase the system, either during the agreement or once it ends?
  • What are my options when I sell my home?
  • Am I free to sell my home or do I need the system owner’s permission?
  • Are there fees to transfer the lease agreement to the new homeowner?
  • Do I have to pay off the lease when my home is sold?
  • Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance on the system?

Learn more about solar power in South Carolina

Learn more about solar by viewing solar panel installations near you, reading about available solar rebates & incentives, or contacting Southern Current to schedule a free solar consultation at your home our business.