South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) Net Metering

How does South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) net metering work?

The South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) net metering program allows customers with solar panels to cover their monthly electricity bills with the solar power they generate. Any energy generated beyond what you use in a month is carried over as a credit on your next month’s bill. If your panels aren’t producing enough energy to fit your needs in a month, you can use the credits you have accumulated. At the end of the net metering year (June 1st) you will be reimbursed for any excess kilowatt-hours (kWh) that you didn’t use.

Where does South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) offer net metering?

SCE&G provides electric and natural gas service to across their 22,000 square mile service territory in central, southern and western South Carolina. This includes service in parts of:

  • Abbeville County
  • Greenwood County
  • McCormick County
  • Saluda County
  • Edgefield County
  • Lexington County
  • Aiken County
  • Charleston County
  • Dorchester County
  • Berkeley County
  • Orangeburg County
  • Bamberg County
  • Calhoun County
  • Richland County
  • Fairfield County
  • Union County
  • Newberry
  • Barnwell County
  • Allendale County
  • Hampton County
  • Jasper County
  • Beaufort County
  • Colleton County

What are SCE&G’s rates and prices for net metering?

The rates and pricing for SCE&G’s net metering program depend on your current electric rate, which depends on your property type. Most likely, you fall under one of SCE&G’s residential service rates for individually metered private residences and apartments. Net metering works the same for all residential rates – every kilowatt hour (kWh) produced by your system that you don’t use is fed back to the grid. Every kWh sent to the grid earns you a credit that you can use towards your bill the next month at the same rate as your current electric service.

At the end of the year you may not have used all of the credits you accumulated. SCE&G will pay for that excess electric production at the cost they would have spent to supply the power themselves.

SCE&G has many different electric rates, a list of which can be found here. Residential customers under rates 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are eligible (as of 1996 rate 1 is closed and not available to any new structure).

Residential Rate Type Stipulations for Rate Type Rate per Month
Rate 2: low use residential
service
Consumption has not
exceeded 400 kWh for
each of the previous 12
billings months
Basic facilities charge: $10
Rate: $0.10712/kWh
Rate 5: time-of-use
residential service
Price of electricity
depends on time of
day
Basic facilities charge: $14
Off-peak charge:
$0.10537/kWh On-Peak:
Summer: $0.31611/kWh
Winter:$0.28450/kWh
Rate 6: energy saver/conservation
residential service
Home must meet thermal
and air conditioning
requirements
Basic facilities charge: $10
First 800 kWh: $0.13231/kWh
Excess over 800 kWh:
Summer: $0.14551/kWh
Winter: $0.12699/kWh
Rate 8: residential service Standard charge for
residencies
Basic facilities charge: $10
First 800 kWh: $0.13701/kWh
Excess over 800 kWh:
Summer: $0.15071/kWh
Winter: $0.13153/kWh

What is SCE&G’s net metering cap?

SCE&G is under South Carolina’s net metering policy, which places the cap at 2% of each utility's peak capacity. This means that the amount of solar that can subscribe to net metering is capped at 2% of the company’s average peak electricity demand over the past five years.

Residential net metering customers are also limited by the size of their solar panel systems. Customers can only install systems of 20 kW or less. Non-residential customers can install systems of whichever is a lesser amount – sized to 100% of electricity needs or 1 MW.

Is South Carolina Electric & Gas net metering the best in South Carolina?

In August 2009 the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued an order that standardized the structure of net metering programs offered by all investor-owned utilities in the state, which includes SCE&G. According to the order, all excess generation is credited to the next month’s bill.

However, some utilities may charge fees that only apply to net-metering customers. For instance, Duke Energy requires that net metered customers switch to time of use tariff (with potentially high demand charges) or charges customers monthly fees. Other differences between electric utilities depend on rate schedules and pricing.

What will happen to my SCE&G net metering bill credits?

If your solar panel system is sized to meet your electricity needs there will be some months you produce more power than you need and others where you do not produce enough power. During months you produce excess electricity that energy will be carried over into the next month in the form of credits. One credit is equal to one kWh.

At the end of the year you may have excess credits left over. If so, SCE&G will compensate you for those kilowatt hours at the “avoided cost rate.” The avoided cost rate is the amount it would cost SCE&G to produce the kilowatt hours from other sources.

Does SCE&G offer other solar incentives?

SCE&G does not offer rebates or financing for solar. However, you can take advantage of federal and state tax credits that will significantly reduce your costs. The state of South Carolina has a tax credit of 25% of eligible costs, with a maximum incentive per year set at $3,500 or 50% of taxpayer’s tax liability for that year (whichever is less). Learn more about this and other South Carolina rebates & incentives with EnergySage’s South Carolina Solar Incentives guide.

SCE&G solar interconnection policies and costs

The last step in connecting your solar panel system to the grid is submitting an application through SCE&G’s system. There is a processing fee of $100. You will need the following information for the application:

  • SCE&G electric account number
  • Installer’s name and contact information
  • Proof of property insurance
  • A completed version of this diagram, which documents PV system information

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