Skip to main content

Cost of electricity in West Columbia, SC

Updated 7/21/2024
  1. EnergySage
  2. SC Data Explorer
  3. SC
  4. Lexington County
  5. Cost of Electricity in West Columbia SC

Why you can trust EnergySage

The data on this page comes from real solar quotes to real solar shoppers on the EnergySage Marketplace. We give you access to transparent information so you can confidently make informed energy decisions. Learn more about how our Marketplace works and how we make money.

On average, West Columbia, SC residents spend about $190 per month on electricity. That adds up to $2,280 per year.

That’s 2% lower than the national average electric bill of $2,318. The average electric rates in West Columbia, SC cost 14 ¢/kilowatt-hour (kWh), so that means that the average electricity customer in West Columbia, SC is using 1,327 kWh of electricity per month, and 15,924 kWh over the course of the year.

Electric rates in West Columbia, SC

This data is aggregated over the past 12 months.

Key takeaways about electric rates in West Columbia, SC

  • Over the next 25 years, you should expect to pay $69,500 on electric bills in West Columbia, SC.
  • You can reduce your electric bill by using less electricity or by reducing the cost of your electricity (like by installing a solar system).
  • If you install a solar system, on average, you’ll break even on your solar investment in 7.46 years in West Columbia, at which point you may not owe anything on your electric bills.

Solar saves you money by reducing or eliminating your monthly electric bill. The amount that you can save with solar in West Columbia, SC is based on two factors: how much you spend on electricity now and how much of your electric bill you can offset with solar.

Based on the intensity and amount of sunlight hours in West Columbia, SC, the average electricity customer in West Columbia, SC will need a 10.7 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system to offset 100% of their annual electricity consumption of 15,924 kWh per year. On the EnergySage Marketplace, solar shoppers in West Columbia, SC pay an average of $30,000 for a 10.7 kW solar panel system prior to incentives.

The savings from offsetting 100% of an electric bill with solar can add up fast! Assuming an 1.6% annual increase in electricity prices and that you install your system with a $0-down loan, you can expect to save $2,300 in your first year, $11,800 over five years, $24,600 over 10 years, and $53,300 over 20 years on electric bills in West Columbia, SC. Over your system’s lifetime you’ll save more by financing your solar system with a cash purchase, but you won’t start saving in year one. Learn more about how to finance your solar panel system.

How much can you save by going solar in West Columbia, SC?

factors that make up a total electric bill
factors that make up a total electric bill
factors that make up a total electric bill

Monthly electric bills are a product of how much electricity you use per month and your electric rate. In West Columbia, SC, the average monthly electric bill for residential customers is $190/month, which is calculated by multiplying the average monthly consumption by the average electric rate: 1,327 kWh * 14 ¢/kWh.

Electric bills are designed to cover all of the costs of producing the electricity that you use, of running and maintaining the electrical grid to help prevent outages, and of any public benefit funds that promote things like renewable energy and energy efficiency. These costs are rolled into both fixed charges (i.e., monthly customer charges) and variable charges (i.e., ¢/kWh that you use). While fixed charges will remain the same from month to month, the portion of variable charges on your bill each month will change based on how much electricity you use. As a result, there are two ways to reduce your bills: by either using less electricity or by reducing the cost of electricity, by installing solar for instance.

The easiest way to compare the cost of electricity from one region to another is to look at the electricity rate. Residential rates in the U.S. range from 6 ¢/kWh to 71 ¢/kWh depending upon where you live, what types of power plants provide your electricity, and when during the day or year you’re consuming electricity.

The average residential electricity rate in West Columbia, SC is 14 ¢/kWh, which is 1% higher than the average electricity rate in South Carolina of 14.26 ¢/kWh. The average residential electricity rate in West Columbia, SC is 18% lower than the national average rate of 17 ¢/kWh.

Solar panel systems help you save money by reducing your monthly electric bills. Although a $50 or $100 electric bill might not seem like much when you pay it each month, those bills add up quickly over ten, twenty or even thirty years: if you pay $100 per month in electricity now, you’ll pay over $46,000 on electricity over the next thirty years!

$50 $6,500 $14,000 $23,000
$100 $13,000 $28,000 $46,000
$150 $19,000 $42,000 $69,000
$200 $26,000 $56,000 $91,000
$250 $32,000 $70,000 $110,000

Assuming a 1.6% annual increase based on inflation and average annual electric rate increases.

Installing solar allows you to reduce or even eliminate your electric bill: when you pay upfront for solar panels, you are effectively paying today for the electricity you’ll use over the next 25 or even 30 years. Calculating your savings from investing in solar is as simple as subtracting the amount you pay for solar from what you would have paid for electricity otherwise.

EnergySage can help you go solar and save!

We know electric bills add up over time, and going solar is a great way to save money while helping the environment. When you sign up on the EnergySage Marketplace, you'll be able to receive and compare solar quotes side-by-side from qualified solar installers in your area. We're here to help along the way - talk with one of our Energy Advisors to learn more about your unique quotes, any local solar incentives you may be eligible for, or any other questions about saving on electric bills with solar.

In 2022, the average solar payback period in West Columbia is about 7.46 years – this is the point in time at which your solar investment will start to earn you money.
In most cases, you will still have an electric bill with solar. Even if your solar system offsets 100 percent of your electricity use, as long as your property remains grid-connected, your utility will still send you a bill. However, it’s possible that your bill will be $0 or even negative if your electricity supply to the grid is more than you pull (depending on the incentives available in your location).
In most cases, your monthly payment towards your solar loan will be less than your electric bill – this means that if you install a solar system with a $0-down loan, you can start saving immediately! However, you’ll still pay more over the lifetime of your system with a solar loan compared to an upfront cash payment due to the interest that accrues.
If you live in an area with retail energy providers (REPs), you may choose to switch from your standard electricity utility to a REP. There are two main options for REP contracts: fixed and variable rates. If you choose a fixed-rate plan, you’ll pay a fixed price per kWh that will remain throughout the duration of your contract. On the other hand, if you choose a variable rate plan, the rate you pay for energy will fluctuate based on the wholesale price of electricity from your energy company, which represents how much power plants charge electric companies to buy the electricity they produce.
If you’re on a demand charge electric rate, your electric bill will be based on the maximum amount of power you use over a single time period (like an hour or fifteen minute period) in a given month. You’ll still be billed for your monthly consumption, but the rate you owe for consumption will be low compared to a typical electric bill; thus, the best way to reduce the amount you owe each month is to decrease the amount of electricity you use all at once – like by installing a solar or solar-plus-storage system.
Time-of-use electric rates are an electricity plan designed to incentivize you to use less electricity when the cost of generation is high. Time-of-use rates follow a set schedule, resulting in your electricity provider charging you more for your electricity consumption when the cost of generation and demand for electricity are high (i.e., the afternoon of a hot summer day) and less when both of these are low (i.e., in the middle of the night). You can save money in two ways: by being thoughtful about when you’re running certain appliances and waiting for off-peak times when cheap electricity is available, and by installing a solar battery to reduce the amount of electricity you pull from the grid when rates are high.
When your solar panels are producing more electricity than you’re consuming, you can use that excess energy to charge your solar battery. Now let’s say your electricity usage is more than your panels are able to produce when electric rates are surging – with a solar battery, you can choose to use the energy you’ve stored rather than pull from the grid, protecting you from surge rates and high energy costs, and getting you the best electric rate possible.