What is a solar electric system?

A solar electric system or photovoltaic (PV) system, converts sunlight into electricity that can be used in your home.

Will I still have electricity when there is no sunlight?

Yes, if you are interconnected to Santee Cooper’s electrical grid, Santee Cooper will serve your home’s electricity needs when there is inadequate sunlight.

How do I know what system size to purchase?

The size of the system you choose will depend on a few factors, such as the amount of money you want to invest, the amount of electricity you want to produce, and the amount of space you have for installing solar panels. You should review your old electric bills to help determine how much electricity your home typically uses. A qualified Santee Cooper SE Trade Ally or NABCEP certified PV Installation Professional can help you to determine what size system is right for your home. For a list of qualified Santee Cooper SE Trade Allies, please contact solar@santeecooper.com or (843) 347-3399 ext 3910.

Do solar PV systems require maintenance?

The type of maintenance that may be required of a system is dependent on the particular system you purchase. Please consult your solar installer and manufacturer to find out if any additional maintenance will be needed.

What happens to solar generation through my solar PV system during an electric outage?

It depends on your system. Systems with battery backup will continue to have power. Systems without battery backup must shut down until the outage has been restored. Having electricity run into the grid from a solar electric system is a safety hazard for anyone working on the power lines.

Do systems with battery backup qualify for a rebate?

Rebates are available for the solar electric portion of a system but not for the battery portion of the system. The rebate is based on the installed capacity (kW AC).

Does Santee Cooper install solar panels?

No, Santee Cooper does not install solar panels. To qualify for a rebate, you must choose a SE installer from our list of qualified solar Trade Allies or a NABCEP certified PV Installation Professional. For a list of qualified Santee Cooper SE Trade Allies, please contact solar@santeecooper.com.

Does Santee Cooper finance solar panels?

Financing options are available for Santee Cooper’s residential Customers, through the Renewable Energy Resource Loan program. Please contact solar@santeecooper.com for additional information.

What if my home is not suitable for solar panels?

If your home is not suitable for solar panels for any reason, participating in the Solar Share program may be a more viable option for you. Solar Share is a community solar program that allows Customers to subscribe to a portion of the energy generated by a Santee Cooper-sponsored community Solar Farm, without having to install a solar electric system at your home. Customers subscribe to a certain number of blocks (measured in kW) to support the community Solar Farm, and receive a pro-rated share of the energy produced by the Solar Farm in the form of bill credits.

What are renewable energy credits (RECs)?

A REC represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other non-power qualities of renewable energy generation. In exchange for rebates offered by the programs, Santee Cooper will retain the ownership of all RECs associated with Customer installation of rooftop solar electric system and Customer subscription through the Solar Share program.

If I expand the size of my system, can I apply for another rebate?

Yes, applications for increasing the size of a system are subject to the Program Manual, rebate caps, Terms & Conditions and other rebate program criteria in place at the time of acceptance of the rebate application. The total rebate per Customer over the life of the program is capped at 6 kW.

Who will help me apply for the Santee Cooper Solar Home rebate?

All qualified Santee Cooper Trade Allies or NABCEP certified PV Installation Professionals can assist in the rebate application process.

Do I need approval from my Homeowners Association?

Please check with your Homeowners Association or any Restrictive Covenants and Conditions first. If there are covenants and/or restrictions in your neighborhood regarding solar electric systems, and you are prohibited from installing a system, you will be ineligible to receive a rebate. If your Homeowners Association is considering allowing such systems and would like more information, please have them contact Santee Cooper at solar@santeecooper.com.

What happens if I move out of Santee Cooper’s territory?

Solar Share – If you move out of Santee Cooper’s territory, Santee Cooper may buy back your solar subscription at a depreciated value, depending on the number of years you have held the subscription. Email solar@santeecooper.com for more information.

Solar Home – If you move out of Santee Cooper’s territory, the next homeowner will be required to sign an amended Interconnection Agreement and receive the credits outlined in the current DG Rider if the next homeowner is interested in retaining the PV system interconnected to Santee Cooper’s grid.

Can the Rebate Application be submitted by the Trade Ally on behalf of Santee Cooper’s Customers?

Yes, as long as the Customer signs the application.

Should I submit the rebate application before or after I install a solar generation system?

The Rebate Reservation Worksheet must be submitted prior to installing a solar generation system. The Interconnection Request Application needs to be submitted and approved by Santee Cooper before you can begin a solar installation on your home. Once the installation is completed, you may submit the rebate application to Santee Cooper at solar@santeecooper.com.

Does being approved for interconnection guarantee a rebate?

No, the Interconnection Request Application and the Rebate Application are two separate components of the program. Rebate approval is contingent upon fulfilling all of the program requirements. For more information, please review the Program Manual.

Do I need to submit proof of interconnection approval when submitting my rebate application?

No, Santee Cooper will perform an internal check on the status of your Interconnection Request Application.

Is there a cap on the system size I can install?

The rebate is capped at the lesser of 6 kW. However, residential Customers may install systems up to 20 kW. Any additional capacity installed over 6 kW will not be eligible for rebate.

Can Customers with existing systems apply for a rebate?

Solar Home rebates are intended for solar systems installed on or after December 1, 2017. If your system was installed prior to this date, please contact Santee Cooper at solar@santeecooper.com to receive more information about your options.

If I own two homes in Santee Cooper’s territory, can I obtain a rebate for installing solar at both locations?

As long as the two homes have their own meter base numbers and meet the program requirements, it is possible to obtain rebates for two systems.

How soon after submitting my completed application should I expect to receive my rebate?

Typically, rebates are mailed within 6 weeks of Santee Cooper receiving a completed Rebate Application.

Does Santee Cooper provide one-to-one net metering?

Santee Cooper does not provide one-to-one net metering. However, Santee Cooper does credit customer-generated energy that is consumed by the customer at the full retail rate. Any generated energy that is exported back to the grid is credited to the customer at the rate specified on the Distributed Generation Rider.

How much of a rebate can I receive?

Santee Cooper’s Rooftop Solar program provides rebates to customers for eligible systems in the amount of $1.30/watt AC up to 6,000 watts = $7,800.00 cap.

Will I see fees or charges on my bill after having a solar electric system installed?

Customers that interconnect with Santee Cooper must agree to the pricing and terms of the current Distributed Generation Rider (DG Rider). This includes, but is not limited to: $4.40/kW per month Standby Charge and a $2.00/month Meter Fee. Please review the current DG Rider here for all pricing and terms.

Will I receive credits on my bill for the excess energy I do not use from my solar electric system?

Yes. Santee Cooper provides customers credits for the energy they do not use from the solar energy system. These credits are shown on bills and on the bidirectional meter as kWhR (kilowatt hours received). This means that Santee Cooper “Received” the kWh from the customer. Current Energy Credit rates are 4.16¢/kWh in the summer (June-Sept) and 3.84¢/kWh other months. Please see the latest DG Rider for any Energy Credit rate adjustments. The first 500 residential Rooftop Solar customers will also receive an additional 3¢/kWhR bonus for the first three years their system is installed on a separate line item on their bill through December, 2018.

How can I determine my monthly savings from my solar energy system from my electric bill?

Please note: Customers will not be able to view the energy they use in their home from their solar electric system on their Santee Cooper electric bill. Most solar electric systems come with monitoring devices that customers may log into online to view their system’s complete production. The only energy that Santee Cooper measures is the excess energy (kWhR) that is distributed back the electric grid.

Do I have to apply to interconnect to receive a rebate?

Yes. Customers must submit an Interconnection Request Application and have it approved to be eligible for the Rooftop Solar rebate. All solar PV systems must pass local code inspections and Santee Cooper final acceptance testing to have their new bidirectional meter installed.