Net Metering

Net metering is an arrangement between utilities and customers who produce their own power (through solar panels, for example). Customers can be residential, commercial, or industrial customers. If customers produce more electricity than they use, they sell any excess power back to the utility as a credit on following months’ bills. That means a utility gives a customer credit for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar power not consumed by their home and returned to the utility's grid, thereby reducing their electricity bill.

The dollar value of that bill credit can vary by state and by utility. “One-to-one” (sometimes called “full retail”) net metering means that the electricity produced by customers is equal in value to the electricity produced by a utility. For example, if a customer pays $0.10 per kWh for electricity from a utility, the utility will also give a credit for any excess power produced by the customer at $0.10 per kWh. Some utilities offer bill credits at less than the one-to-one rate.

In South Carolina:

  • The major investor-owned utilities – Dominion Energy, Duke Energy Carolinas, and Duke Energy Progress – currently offer one-to-one net metering, but their policies will change over time.
    • Customers with existing net metering agreements under Act 236 of 2014 will continue to receive one-to-one credits until December 31, 2025.
    • Customers who apply before June 1, 2021 will be offered one-to-one credits until May 31, 2029.
    • Customers who apply on or after June 1, 2021 will be offered “solar choice metering tariffs.” The value of these tariffs has not yet been determined.
  • Santee Cooper does not offer one-to-one net metering. Any generated energy that is exported back to the grid is credited to the customer at the rate specified on the most recent Distributed Generation Rider. View Santee Cooper’s website for more information.

Note: Please consult your utility for specific information and be sure to fully understand your utility’s net metering policies. Many utilities offer net metering, and most utilities impose additional fees related to the installation of solar systems. Talk to your utility to ensure that you understand all fees and requirements associated with the installation of solar panels. Failure to take fees into account could significantly affect your financial return on investment. Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities may change their rules at any time.

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Office of Regulatory Staff
Energy Office
1401 Main Street, Suite 800
Columbia, SC 29201