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Empower Solar

Our EmpowerSolar programs help you soak up the savings while soaking up the sun. Choose from rooftop solar for your home or business or share in the savings with Solar Share, our community solar program that gives you the benefit of solar without having to install any equipment.

Solar home

Solar Home

Solar business

Solar Business

Solar share

Solar Share

Understanding the Basics

Why Solar?

What Does Solar Cost?

Consumer Resources

Why Solar?

Solar is a sustainable, emissions-free energy source that is an investment in your future, the environment and your community. Solar also can save you money on your energy bill when you install or select the right amount of solar for your home or business.

What Does it Cost?

Upfront rooftop solar costs depend on what size system you need and your installer’s costs, and Solar Share costs depend on how much solar capacity you purchase.

Our Distributed Generation Rider allows customers to sell their excess solar generation back to Santee Cooper. The rider also provides a standby fee to cover fixed costs, such as maintenance of generation, transmission and distribution systems, that wouldn’t otherwise be fully collected from solar customers. The standby fee ensures those fixed costs are not shifted to non-solar customers.

  • Residential Standby Fee: $4.40 X size of system (kW)
  • Commercial Standby Fee: $4.70 X size of system (kW)
  • Metering Fee: $2.00
  • Energy Credits (June-Sept.): $0.0416 per kilowatt hour returned
  • Energy Credits (Oct. - May): $0.0384 per kilowatt hour returned

View Rider

Distributed Generation Explained

Santee Cooper first offered distributed generation options to customers in 2010, when we launched a pilot rooftop solar program. Learn more about how we integrate distributed generation resources on the Santee Cooper power grid.  

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Consumer Resources

Solar can be a great investment. Before making a decision, do your homework, check prices from several sources, understand upfront and ongoing fees, and carefully consider what is right for you. As with all big-ticket purchases, beware of misleading sales tactics and scams.

Consumer Protection Website Consumer Solar Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

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 you business or home typically uses.  Santee Cooper urges customers to size solar systems with the “offset” in mind.  Below is a table comparing system size and “average” customer energy needs.  For further assistance, a qualified Santee Cooper Solar Trade Ally or NABCEP Professional can help you determine what size system is right for your home/facility.  For a list of qualified Santee Cooper Solar Trade Allies, please contact or (843) 946-5951.

This chart can give you an estimate of the size array you may need.

MEL users can find their average monthly usage under the Usage tab. All other customers can call us at 800-804-7424.

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.

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.

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).

Financing options are available for Santee Cooper’s residential customers only. Santee Cooper also offers on-bill financing for qualifying residential customers through the Smart Energy Loan Program for Renewable Energy for up to $40,000. Learn more information about the loan program here.

If your building 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 PV system at your home / facility. 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.

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.

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.

All qualified Santee Cooper Trade Allies can assist in the rebate application process.  Starting Dec. 1, 2019, only solar arrays that are installed by Santee Cooper Trade Allies will be eligible for program incentives.

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.

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 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.

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

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. Customers are eligible for rebates if they use a Santee Cooper Trade Ally.

The Nameplate Rating of the residential Customer's installed generation system and equipment must not exceed the lesser of 20kw or the estimated maximum monthly kilowatt (KW) demand.  The Nameplate Rating of the non-residential Customer's installed generation system and equipment must not exceed the lesser of 1,000 kW or the estimated maximum monthly kilowatt (KW) demand. 

Solar Rootop rebates are intended for solar systems installed on or after December 1, 2020. If your system was installed prior to this date, please contact Santee Cooper at to receive more information about your options.

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

Typically, rebates are mailed within six weeks of Santee Cooper's final acceptance testing and meter exchange.

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 most recent Distributed Generation Rider.

The stand-by charge was designed to collect the fixed costs that are embedded in our energy charges. These fixed costs are associated with components of the electric system that solar customers will continue to utilize when their solar system is not producing enough energy to supply the customer’s needs.

The $100 non-refundable Interconnection Fee must be paid to Santee Cooper first.  After the Interconnection Fee has been paid, the Interconnection Request Application and Rebate Application are sent electronically through DocuSign to the Solar Trade Ally and the customer for signatures and approval.