When most people think about solar panel installations on homes, images of hippies and environmental movements come to mind. While it may be true that California leads the nation for the amount of installed solar capacity, the solar power movement is gaining momentum all across America. So the question that is often asked is, “Does it make sense to add solar to my home in South Carolina?”
Becoming energy independent, saving money, and improving the environment are all common reasons for adding solar panels to a home. The limiting factor that prevents many people from actually going solar at home is cost. But, South Carolina residents are fortunate to have access to some of the lowest cost home solar panel installations in the nation thanks to some awesome local solar incentives and rebate programs. We’re talking solar power installations that pay for themselves in 6 years, followed by 20+ years of maintenance-free clean energy and savings!
Here’s How To Get Solar Panels On Your Home In South Carolina
So the answer to the above question about whether or not it makes sense to power your South Carolina home with solar energy is, “Yes!” But before you get too excited and run to the local home improvement store, there are a few things you should understand about the process of going solar at home.
Step 1: Understand your power bill
How much is your average power bill? $100 dollars? $150? $200? Sure, you can probably rattle off how much money you paid for power last month, but do you know how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use in an average month?
Power is measured in watts, and you are charged for the amount of power you use at home in 1,000 watt-hour units. 1,000 watts burned for an hour is the same as 1 kilowatt-hour (1,000Wh = 1 kWh).
It’s important to keep track of not just your power bill in dollars, but the amount of kWh you use each month and throughout the year. Knowing specific kWh figures will help you understand how to correctly size a home solar panel installation, and companies from which you receive solar quotes will ask for these numbers.
Step 2: Know what you’re working with
The next important consideration for determining whether or not you should add solar panels to your home is knowing what space is most suitable for solar, and how much space is available.
Since South Carolina is in the northern hemisphere, the best way for a home solar panel installation to be oriented for year-round energy production is facing due south.
Since you can’t rotate your home to give you a south-facing roof, you may be limited to only certain portions of your roof, but east and west-facing roofs are better than north-facing.
Recommended Reading: Do You Need To Replace Your Roof Before Going Solar?
Sunlight is a solar panel’s best friend, and darkness is an enemy. When determining where on your home your solar panels will be installed, be sure to take into account shading from nearby chimneys, roof vents, and trees. You should also keep in mind that if your roof is not suitable for solar, you can always have panels installed via pole and ground mounts. You can even have a solar canopy or carport designed to shade your deck or automobile from heat!
Step 3: Contact local solar installers
Getting started with a solar consultation is as easy as doing a quick Google search or contacting your local Chamber of Commerce. Solar installers in South Carolina will provide you with a free solar consultation, and many of them will even inspect your home for areas where you can improve your energy efficiency. You should NEVER pay for a solar consultation!
Step 4: Compare quotes
Once you’ve scheduled meetings from your favorite companies, put all of the quotes side by side and give them an honest comparison. Questions to ask yourself are:
What is my total cost or cost per watt ($/W) on each quote?
How much energy (kWh) will each system produce monthly, quarterly, and annually? What does that equate to in financial savings?
What type of equipment is being installed and what is the warranty for each installation?
Which company has the best references, or local customers?
Does the install crew get sub-contracted or are they in-house?
After you’ve compared quotes and selected your preferred solar company, it’s time to get the installation started! Depending on their inventory levels and number of customers scheduled ahead of you, solar companies in South Carolina should be able to get started with powering your home with solar in a couple weeks or a few months.
About Southern Current
Southern Current is proud to be one of the largest solar installers in South Carolina, with customers from the Charleston area up to Columbia and beyond.
Contact Southern Current to learn about $0 Down solar financing options and how you can save instantly on your monthly power costs with a solar panel installation!