South Carolina: Solar Energy and Small Hydropower Tax Credit (Personal)

Rebates for solar water/space heaters, solar panels, daylighting and hydroelectric systems at 25% of the project cost.

NOTE: This tax credit was temporarily increased from 25% to 30% of system cost in 2009. As of January 1, 2010, the tax credit has reverted back to 25% of system cost.

In South Carolina, taxpayers may claim a credit of 25% of the costs of purchasing and installing a solar energy system or small hydropower system for heating water, space heating, air cooling, energy-efficient daylighting, heat reclamation, energy-efficient demand response, or the generation of electricity in a building owned by the taxpayer. Prior to July 1, 2009, small hydropower systems could not take advantage of the tax credit. Effective July 1, 2009, SB 1141 expanded the scope of this credit to include small hydropower systems. The maximum credit a taxpayer may take in any one tax year is $3,500 for each facility or 50% of the taxpayer’s tax liability for that taxable year, whichever is less. Unused credit, or credit that exceeds the annual cap, may be carried forward for 10 years.

The term “system” includes “all controls, tanks, pumps, heat exchangers, and other equipment used directly and exclusively for the solar-energy system.” The term “system” does not include any land or structural elements of the building, such as walls and roofs, or other equipment ordinarily contained in the structure.

This credit applies to installation costs incurred in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2006. Solar-thermal systems must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the South Carolina Energy Office to qualify for the credit.

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