A recently proposed charge-transfer (CT) index and some related quantities aimed to the description of CT excitations in push–pull donor–acceptor model systems were computed in vacuum and in ethanol by the direct symmetry-adapted cluster-configuration interaction (SAC-CI) method including solvent effects by means of the nonequilibrium state-specific approach. The effects of both solvation and electron correlations on these quantities were found to be significant. The present results are also in line with previous time-dependent (TD) density functional theory calculations and they demonstrate that SAC-CI provides a description of the excitation character close to that of TD-PBE0. Indeed, CT indices evaluated by the SAC-CI and TD-PBE0 would be useful in the field of materials chemistry, for the design and development of novel molecular materials. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.