News and Announcements

Empowering you through education. Solar industry news from your local South Carolina solar provider and beyond.

Energy Storage for Solar

Battery backup storage can be an added benefit to a solar energy system. 

Here in the Carolinas, we are no stranger to power outages. Many of our solar customers look into renewable energy because they want alternative electricity options when their lights go out. 

batter backup storage for solar

Understanding Battery Backup

In order to receive the benefits of net metering in our area, a solar system is connected to your home and the utility grid. Because of this, it will automatically shut off during a power outage along with the electricity in your home for safety purposes. Once power is restored, the panels will begin producing again. 

Battery backup allows your solar system to keep your electricity continuously running, even during outages. Some people also consider it as an alternative to net metering, becoming completely independent of the grid. At Southern Current, we believe in empowering you through education to help you understand the advantages and current options for battery backup. 

Solar batteries

Read more at Solar Reviews

Recent Updates on Battery Storage

Battery storage technology is constantly improving and new innovations are on the horizon. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more prevalent over the traditional lead-acid battery hookups. Additionally, the cost for battery storage is forecasted to drop rapidly in upcoming years. Southern Current is committed to working with South Carolina customers to meet your energy goals, including battery backup. 

To discuss battery backup storage for solar

Book a Consult

If you currently have a solar system installed on your home, your solar consultant can help you determine the steps to retrofit your system with battery storage. Because everyone uses energy differently, your battery can be sized to match your needs, just like your solar system. 

Learn More About Tesla Powerwall Storage

tesla powerwall solar battery backup

Combine Tesla Powerwall and solar panels to power your home 24/7, even when the grid goes down. Installing Powerwall with Southern Current is easy. We take care of everything from system design, permitting, installation, and financing.

CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE

Solar Tax Credits Stepping Down Soon

solar tax credits stepping down

Changes are coming to solar incentives.

Everywhere you look, solar panels seem to be more and more common; from homes to businesses and even farmland. Recent studies have shown that carbon emissions are decreasing in most states. Lately, many homeowners are adopting solar energy due in large part to the financial benefits it currently offers. This is because the cost for solar installation is at an all-time low and there are income tax credits offered by both the federal government and the state of South Carolina. However, these incentives will not exist forever. Solar tax credits are stepping down. In fact, the federal solar tax credit will begin stepping down at the end of this year, so it is valuable to understand how it could benefit you. 

What are the federal solar tax credits?

The federal solar tax credit, also referred to as the investment tax credit (or ITC), allows you to deduct 30% of the cost to install a solar system on your federal tax return. It can be used for both homeowners and business owners and there is no cap on its value. The only requirements are that you own the solar system and have tax liability.

According to energy.gov, “If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year.”  The form to file for the federal solar credit can be found here.

These credits are scheduled to step down from 30% to 26% for systems placed in service in the year 2020. Less than 4 months away. But there is still time to schedule an installation to fit in this time frame.

Get Your Free Cost Estimate Today!

What are the South Carolina solar tax credits?

South Carolina has one of the most generous incentives in the country, offering a 25% tax credit.  Limitations include: (1) a value cap of $35,000 and (2) a maximum amount of $3,500 per year or 50% of your state tax liability (whichever is less).

For both federal and state tax credits, you do not have to use the credit in the first year and it can be carried forward. Federal may be carried an unlimited amount and South Carolina is limited to 10 years to carry over. 

Solar tax credits stepping down

The solar tax incentives are not going to be around forever. 2019 is the last year to claim the full 30% federal solar tax credit.  The federal solar tax credit will be lowered to 26% in 2020 and then 22% in 2021, which makes the decision to switch to solar more time sensitive if you would like to reap all the current tax rewards. Otherwise, you are missing out on between $1,500 to $2,000 worth of savings. 

Can you still install solar after 2020?

Yes!  You can still install a solar system after this date. System costs and performance are not impacted. 

Now is the time to go solar in South Carolina!

As 2020 approaches, RIGHT NOW truly is the best time to switch to solar in South Carolina. It can take at least 30 to 60 days to install and hook up a system because of a variety of uncontrollable external factors, such as permits and utilities. The current federal and state solar tax credits are at the highest value they will ever be. Combine that with the decrease in price for solar installations and it is no wonder people are motivated to go solar now. If you would like to have your home evaluated for its solar potential and to find out which tax credits you qualify for, fill out this form:

Learn More About Southern Current

Southern Current is proud to be one of the top Solar Installers in the Southeast, with specialties in residential solar for homes, commercial solar for businesses, and utility-scale solar farms for property owners and utilities. Schedule a solar consultation today to receive a free analysis of how much money you could be saving with solar!

Residential Solar Customer Testimonial: Matt Freed

Southern Current residential customer, Matt Freed, sat down to talk with us about why he went solar and why he firmly believes it was a good choice for his family of 4 and also for anyone else seeking an investment that gives back in more ways than one.

Matt and his family started their journey into solar in 2014 when their air conditioning unit broke down . After doing his research regarding the available tax credits, Matt decided to move forward with an AC solar unit and saw a good reduction in his power bill. He kept the idea of a complete solar system on a larger scale in the back of his mind until he was sparked upon finding out that the tax credits were going to expire after 2019. So, he decided “if I’m going to do this, I need to do it NOW.”

“I just started doing a lot of research and I think I spoke to 6 or 7 companies.” Matt said, “I talked to a lot of people and kind of narrowed it down between two companies and ultimately went with Southern Current.” Mainly because he was really comfortable working with the sales representative and didn’t feel like he was being “sold something” necessarily.

“Everything just fell in line for what I was looking for,” Matt explains he thought “This is definitely a viable alternative for me.”

He also chose Southern Current because he appreciated working with a local South Carolina company. “It was important that if there was a good company in South Carolina that could do this project, I wanted a company based in the state to do it, because I certainly believe in supporting the state economy,” he says.

In fact, what really solidified the decision for Matt was a conversation with a friend who worked for a different county in the state. When Matt mentioned he was going to be working with Southern Current, his friend said “oh I know them, they’re actually going to do a big solar farm project in our county. If I was ever going to do solar, that’s definitely the company I would pick, too.” Matt was sure he’d be in really good hands.

When it came to the installation process, Matt was most surprised by the efficiency of the Southern Current team and the speed of having all 40 panels installed on his home.

“The communication was very organized from the start. I knew when things were going to happen and everybody was on time.”

Researching the right company made a difference, Matt believes “everything was top notch from beginning to end. It was impressive.”

Matt has definitely seen a payoff from his system since it was installed in February of this year. The first couple of months, all he paid was around $9.00 for a base facility charge. “At the end of the day, when I look at the savings versus what you’re paying for the loan, it’s pretty much break even. It’s a bill swap, which was my goal in the end. To trade one bill for another. It worked out exactly the way I had planned financially. Only with this, I certainly like the idea that I actually have money going into an investment as opposed to just giving it away to a utility company that can change rates at any time.”

He goes on to share: “If I use the tax credits and do everything the way it’s meant to be used, the system will be paid off in probably around seven years. Then I’ve got my power bill mostly covered and I’m going to get to enjoy 20 plus years out of these panels.”

“I know I’m going to be in my house for a really long time, so for me, a long-term investment was a pretty easy decision.” Matt saw the value of solar from the beginning. “I’m a numbers guy, so I looked at the time value of money,” he says “To me, if you have the ability to do it, it’s crazy not to make this investment.”

“I think people sometimes have this conception that going green is expensive or something and that you can’t do green energy cheaply but it’s not true.”  When there is so much subsidized from the government to fund the solar system, Matt calls it a deal that “can’t be beat.”

“You really save a lot of money in the long run.”

However, Matt recommends to anyone considering solar that the clock is ticking and “if you’re going to do it, do it this year. You can’t trust the future and you can’t trust what utilities are going to charge in five years.” The tax credits will be stepping down in 2020 and as Matt knows, “costs don’t go down for energy.”

Matt has also found success in using Southern Current’s referral program. He occasionally posts on social media and on the Next Door app with pictures of his utility bill and is open to answering people’s basic questions about the process. In fact, one of his referrals is just finishing up an installation and he also inspired his in-laws to go solar! 

So what does Matt have to say to those who have been thinking about solar

“You’ll thank yourself down the road for all the money you’re going to save and the rates you’re not going to be paying in the future…. Just run the numbers on it, it all makes sense in the end, it really does… I promise.”

He suggests crunching the numbers and talking to a finance professional about the tax credits. “You will be amazed at how much money that might be worth”

And when it comes to who to work with, he says “Call Southern Current, or call some other folks too, but you’ll probably come back to Southern Current” Matt says, “Take it from me, I talked to a lot of other companies…”

“…You’re going to be happy.”