Red Flags for Solar Scams

“The government will pay to put solar on your home.”
Despite claims in the media, no government programs exist that pay for solar on private homes.


“You’ll automatically get a 55% tax rebate from the government.”
Those “rebates” are actually tax credits. You only get a tax credit if you file state or federal tax returns and owe taxes. The SC tax credit is limited to $3,500 per year, but can be extended up to 10 years.


“Those trees won’t be a problem- we’ll just add more panels.”
Shade is shade, and adding more panels to a shady roof will not increase solar output.


“You’ll never have another utility bill.”
Even if the solar panels meet your electricity needs during the day, you’re going to need electricity at night. Also, you’re required to pay basic utility charges.


“The SC tax credit is going away! You have to sign the contract today!”
No sunset date exists for the SC tax credit, although the federal tax credit will be reduced beginning in January 2020.


“I’m handy around the house, so I’ll just install the system myself.”
Solar systems must be connected to wiring and the electrical grid by a licensed electrician. An incorrectly installed solar system could endanger life or property.


“Homeowners’ associations can’t tell me what to do!”
If you agreed to abide by HOA design decisions, they can. It is currently the law in SC.


“My utility doesn’t want me to install solar.”
Electric utilities have been supportive of solar and are your best allies in making sure solar is right for you. Contact your utility for questions about solar in your service area.


“The installer gave me a pretty good quote! I’m just going to go with them.”
Just like shopping for a car, it pays to look at your options. Make sure to do your homework, ask the right questions, and obtain bids from at least three installers.


“I saw a billboard, so they must be good!”
Contact the SC Solar Council and the SC Solar Business Alliance. They maintain lists of reputable, professional, licensed installers.


If you have an inquiry or complaint, please contact the Consumer Services Division of the Office of Regulatory Staff by phone at 803-737-5230 (Columbia SC) or at 1-800-922-1531 (toll-free within South Carolina) during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except state holidays).

Related Links and Files

If it sounds too good to be true... SOLAR.SC.GOV Handout

Costs & Incentives
Net Metering
Red Flags for Solar Scams
Choosing a System
Purchasing Solar
Solar Leasing
Community Solar
Installation and Maintenance
Choosing an Installer or Contractor
Questions to ask a solar installer
What should my solar bid include?
How Solar Works
Types of Solar Panels
Types of Solar Electric Systems
Solar Legislation
Reports and Publications
Training Programs
Solar Related Terms
Local Government Resources
Solar Press

Solar Photos

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