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Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

2017 Policy Grade

C

Avg. Yearly Savings

$121

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Pennsylvania

2017 Policy Grade

C

Avg. Savings/year

$121

Welcome to the 2017 Pennsylvania solar power rebate and incentive information page

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

A few years ago the $100 million boost to the Pennsylvania Sunshine program had solar power here buzzing. Unfortunately, with funding exhausted for the statewide solar power rebate program, other gaps in policy have drawn Pennsylvania back to the middle of the solar-friendly pack.

There’s still a solid foundation to build around, and with a couple of easy tweaks lawmakers could again make Pennsylvania an example for solar policy. Needless to say, with so much to protect here –from the beautiful Presque Isle to the vast Alleghenys– Pennsylvania has countless reasons to support strong solar-promoting policy.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Pennsylvania solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Pennsylvania

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Pennsylvania. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Pennsylvania. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Pennsylvania. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Pennsylvania is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Pennsylvania

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Pennsylvania can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

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Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Pennsylvania

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but look a little closer. Taking a solar loan or Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit (HELOC—the orange bars) and paying for the system over time means you'll actually spend less of your own money over time, while reaping a big financial benefit in year 1.

That's because you take a loan for the system, but you still get a 30% federal tax credit based on the entire cost. You'll start out ahead, so your payments over 15 years will have less impact on you than plunking down a big pile of money up front. All you need is equity or great credit.

Lastly, take a look at the blue bars. They represent a solar Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA), which is also called third-party ownership. With a PPA, you put $0 down on a rooftop solar system and buy the electricity it produces for a little bit less than what you've been paying the electric company. You accumulate savings over time, but since you're not spending any money for the installation, you're cashflow positive from day one!

Read more below about each of three very good options for solar in Pennsylvania.

Net Present Value of Solar in Pennsylvania

“Net Present What?!” Don’t panic, this isn’t an economics test. NPV is just a tool used to compare investments. Basically, it asks, “if you had X dollars to invest, which investment would get you the best return?” It relies on the idea that getting a return on your investment sooner is better than later, because you can reinvest your early profits and keep the gain train going.

We compare an investment in solar to a “what-if” investment in a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 stock index fund, which has seen growth of about 7% per year over the past 25 years. We use the cost of solar in Pennsylvania and ask “how much better or worse (in 2017 dollars) is an investment in solar than stocks?” Here's what we found for the three different ways of going solar in Pennsylvania:

Now there's a telling chart! Solar can be a very good investment in Pennsylvania, or it can be kinda bleh. It all depends on how you pay for it. A solar investment in Pennsylvania should provide a better return than the stock market if you choose a PPA or a loan, but not so much if you pay up front. Here's some more about how we got these numbers:

Solar PPA NPV: $1,927

Saving money without having to put anything down is always going to have a positive NPV. In Pennsylvania, A PPA will save you a little bit each month, adding up to $4,050 over 20 years. That's like having an extra $1,927 to invest today. The thing is, it even comes close to a solar loan, so you can choose a PPA in PA and let the solar company do all the work, while you just soak up the savings. Read more about PPAs in Pennsylvania below.

Solar Loan NPV: $2,309

As we’re fond of saying, taking a loan for solar is a no-brainer, because it’s like agreeing to pay over time for something that is also making you money. In Pennsylvania, the money you make comes from electricity savings, and a little bit from selling SRECs. Add to that the money you'll get back from excellent state and federal tax credits, and solar in Pennsylvania is a no-brainer.

All that helps push the NPV of a solar loan to $2,309 better than a similar investment in the stock market. That's a great value for any investment, and it's insane for something that requires no money down. Read more about solar loans below

Solar Purchase NPV: -$1,272

If you're paying for solar up front, you're gonna need a few thousand dollars to do it. And when all is said and done, the NPV of an outright solar purchase in Pennsylvania doesn't match up. Instead, look at what happens to NPV if you choose a solar loan instead. Unless you need to put cash into an asset, a loan is a much smarter way to pay for solar panels. Read more about solar purchases below.

blue  Solar Power-Purchase Agreements in Pennsylvania

A PPA is a great way to go solar if you haven't got stacks of cash or oodles of equity in your home. It's possible to get solar panels for $0-down and see some modest savings over 20 years!

As for leases in Pennsylvania: the electricity costs here are pretty high—above the national average. That means a PPA saves you money starting on day 1! For now, the electricity from a 5-kW solar system will cost you $685 per year under a PPA, but you would have paid $805 to the utilty for the same amount of power. That's $121 that will be staying in your pocket this year.

Now that might not sound like a huge amount of money right now, but as the utility company raises rates, you will start to see greater annual savings. Over 20 years, our estimate shows a total savings of $4,050. The panels will be installed and maintained by professionals, and all you have to do is brag to the Smiths down the street about your green habits!

Here's more about how a solar PPA works:

Example savings in Pennsylvania

Annual Electric Bill Before Solar

$1,434

Annual Electric Bill After Solar

$629

Est. Annual Solar Payments

$685

Average Annual Savings

$121

Power-Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are the most popular form of what's called "third-party solar." A PPA just means your solar company owns the panels on your roof, and you pay for the electricity they produce. The numbers above show the savings with a solar PPA for an average home in Pennsylvania. The typical electric bill before solar power is super expensive, but with a PPA, your monthly expenses will be lower. You'll be saving money and saving the planet all at the same time!

Here's an estimate of the monthly savings for a solar PPA in Pennsylvania:

Monthly solar PPA savings in Pennsylvania

With a PPA, your solar company essentially becomes a second utility provider, only the solar electricity is sold to you at a lower rate than the fossil fuel electricity you've been buying from the electric company! Note: your PPA won't eliminate your power bill from your regular electric provider, because you'll still need energy from the grid when the sun isn't shining. But it will save you money!

The less-popular cousin of the third-party solar family is the solar lease. It's basically like renting your panels for a set monthly payment, and getting all the energy they produce—however much it is. Don't get spooked by that language, though. A typical solar lease comes with energy production guarantees that will make sure you're getting what you paid for. In fact, if you're not offered a production guarantee with a solar lease, walk away.

Here's the best part of third-party solar: whether you end up with a lease or a PPA, the installation company owns the panels and will do all the maintenance for you. Usually that means just a good cleaning every year, but if any part of that system fails, you're off the hook! That can be a great benefit to homeowners who are risk averse.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Pennsylvania. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar lease or PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Home Solar Power: PPA vs. Purchasing

To PPA, or not to PPA? Willsolar Shakespanels would be proud we're discussing this. Here's the basic deal. If you choose to lease your panels, you benefit from no out of pocket costs and an immediately reduced total electricity payment. Because of this, many regard this option as a no-brainer, since there isn't any downside to think of. The only hiccup you'll start to experience is when you consider the long term financial benefit of owning the solar panel system yourself.

In many situations, if you can afford the outlay or can easily secure financing, the cost of the install becomes an investment with a return outpacing even the strongest performing mutual funds. In addition, there's significantly less principal risk, since the energy credits you will be producing are tied to the sun coming up in the morning instead of our financial markets!

Additionally, if you go the PPA route, you must forfeit all the credits and performance payments you would receive by owning the system yourself to the solar PPA company (after all, that's how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place).

orange square  Solar Loans in Pennsylvania

You don't need $17,000 sitting around to pay for solar. As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in Pennsylvania, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you a tax break. That's right: a HUGE tax break!. You'll come out thousands ahead this year, and you'll still see a handsome profit over the 25-year life of your system.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $16,875, with a fixed rate of 5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period. Don't be put off if you're offered a higher rate. It just means a tiny bit less of the thousands of dollars you'll make with solar.
  • You love making money without much risk.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for an Pennsylvania homeowner who makes a solar purchase with a HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $16,875 after Pennsylvania's High Performance Buildings Program grant. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $819, but your annual loan payments will be $1,601, meaning you would spend $782 on solar this year, but...
  • You'll also see a huge tax break! The Feds give you 30% of the cost of your system back as an income tax credit, which in this case means $5,063. You'll be paying over time but getting the benefits up front!
  • But wait, there's more! On top of the electric bill savings, you'll earn special Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for the first 5 years your system is running. You'll get one each time your system produces a megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity, and our example 5-kW will earn you about 5.5 SRECs each year. You can sell your SRECs to the utility company for $39 a piece, putting an estimated $215 in your pocket.
  • All those incentives mean you'll come out $4,494 ahead after year 1. Your loan payments will be about $65/month more than your energy bill savings, but that difference will get smaller as the utility company raises rates every year.
  • By the time you've paid off your loan in 2030, you'll see yearly savings of about $1,400. After 25 years, your total profit will be $14,223!
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too—106 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Pennsylvania. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

green square  Buying Solar in Pennsylvania

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the "biggest" financial returns. The reason we put "biggest" in quotes here is because it's technically true, but based on percent return for the money, a loan is a better option.

If you'd rather make monthly payments instead of putting $17,000 down on a solar system, and if you have equity in your home or can get a large loan with an interest rate of 5% or less, a loan is the option to go with. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof. Read about loans below.

If you've got cash and you prefer to pay up front, you'll have to plunk down $16,875, but tax breaks and energy savings will erase a bunch of that after just 1 year. Over 25 years, your system will have produced more than $21,000 in income, after your system cost is paid back. The reason this works is that solar offsets your electricity costs—enough to save you about $819 in year 1, and it just goes up from there. As the electric company raises rates, you save more and more, and more...

Here’s how the numbers work for a 5-kW rooftop solar system in Pennsylvania:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $16,875 after Pennsylvania's High Performance Buildings Program grant. That's cheaper than solar has ever been, but it still might seem like a big investment. Don’t worry, because after tax breaks and energy savings, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • The Federal government offers a great tax credit worth 30% of system costs. So take 30% of $16,875, and you've got a tax credit of $5,063. That brings your first-year investment down to $11,812.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $819. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $10,995.
  • But wait, there's more! On top of the electric bill savings, you'll earn special Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) until at least 2021. You'll get one each time your system produces a megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity, and our example 5-kW will earn you about 5.5 SRECs each year. You can sell your SRECs to the utility company for an average of $39 a piece, putting an estimated $215 in your pocket.
  • Between those SRECs and your electricity savings, your system will pay for itself in just 11 years, and you'll see a total net profit of $21,369 before the end of your panels' 25-year warranty. The internal rate of return for this investment is a solid 10.1%. That beats an investment in a market-based index fund, and it's more reliable, too!
  • And here's a nice bonus to consider: your home's value just increased by more than $16,000, too (your expected electricity savings over 20 years).
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 106 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Pennsylvania. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Pennsylvania Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Pennsylvania:

RPS

18.02% by 2021

Grade: C

Pennsylvania's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Pennsylvania’s RPS is split into two separate requirements. 8% of the state’s energy has to come from “Tier 1 Technologies” -- primarily solar, wind, and low-impact hydro, along with a few less common forms of environmentally friendly energy production. To be classified as Tier 1 the electricity generally must also have been produced within Pennsylvania. Finally, Tier 1 of Pennsylvania’s RPS includes a specific carve-out of 0.5% for solar power.

All that is a very strong foundation for an RPS. Unfortunately, the other 10% mandate of Pennsylvania’s 18% total RPS falls into “Tier 2.″ Tier 2 energy can be filled by much less environmentally friendly resources – almost entirely large scale hydropower (the sort that simply decimates rivers and entire surrounding ecosystems) and derivative uses of coal.

In order to really support truly clean renewable energy, we’d like to see more of Pennsylvania’s RPS mandate truly green power sources like residential solar power systems. Given the friendly conditions in the rest of the state, a strengthened RPS would solidify Pennsylvania as a leader in solar policy.

Pennsylvania’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

.5% by 2021

Grade: C

Pennsylvania's Solar Carve-out grade

Specific carve-outs for clean and efficient technologies like solar panels, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, typically promote stronger incentives for residential solar power. Pennsylvania’s RPS includes a pretty commendable solar carve out which requires 0.5% of total electricity generation to come from solar panels. That’s what we like to see!

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Pennsylvania Electricity Prices

$0.14/kwh

Grade: B

Pennsylvania's Electricity cost grade

Pennsylvania homeowners pay an average of 14 cents/kWh of electricity. That’s pretty close to the national average of 13 cents/kWh, but we still think that’s pretty cheap. We know what you’re thinking … higher than average, that’s bad! Who likes paying more than average? We get that sentiment. We really do. But here at SPR we think that electricity rates are still too cheap, even at nearly 14 cents/kWh.

We know you like paying less now, but the long term costs of cheap electricity are through the roof. All that cheap electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels -- tons and tons of earth-killing fossil fuels. When the astronomical environmental costs start to mount, monthly electricity bills are inevitably going to rise as well. When that happens you’re going to feel pretty darn smart for making the early switch to producing your own clean, efficient solar power. In the meantime, solar power will still save you a chunk of change here. We’ll go over just how much in a minute.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Pennsylvania Net Metering

A

Grade: A

Pennsylvania's Net Metering grade

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Since 2008, Pennsylvania law has required all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering to all residential customers with solar power systems up to 50kW in capacity. If you produce more energy than you consume the surplus is carried over to your next bill at the full retail rate. If you run a surplus for a full year (measured June 1 – May 31), your utility will cut you a check for all of it at the “price-to-compare” rate, which includes the generation and transmission components, but excludes the distribution component charges of your electric bill. While a check at the full retail rate would be even better, the majority of states do not require the utility to cut you that year-end check at all, so kudos to Pennsylvania on this one, regardless of the slightly reduced rate.

More recently, Pennsylvania has been exploring an expansion to net metering that would allow systems sized to produce up to 200% of the owner's usage. At a time when other states are restricting or eliminating net metering this is great news!

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Pennsylvania Interconnection Rules

B

Pennsylvania's Interconnection Standards grade

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Solar Power Rebates

10% of costs

Grade: B

Pennsylvania's Solar Rebates grade

Back in 2010 we wrote pretty extensively about the benefits of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program. At the time, that program was huge, with a budget of $100 million pushing solar throughout the state. The good news is that the Pennsylvania Sunshine program was a smashing success, helping to exponentially raise Pennsylvania’s solar energy production capacity. The bad news is that the program was such a success that the solar portion of the Pennsylvania Sunshine program is in 2013, the program ran out of funds.

Thankfully Pennsylvania realized how great it is to continue supporting solar with great incentives. The state now offers its High-Performance Buildings Program, which offers either grants or low-interest loans to homeowners and small businesses who want to go solar.

The grants are equal to 10% of project costs, up to $500,000. Loans are available at very low interest rates, but since you can't take both a loan and a grant for the same building project, we recommend the grant, because it will save you more money than the loan.

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Pennsylvania Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Pennsylvania's Solar Tax Credits grade

Unfortunately Pennsylvania lacks any state tax incentives for renewable energy as well. Hopefully with the SREC payments, you don’t need any extra help on tax day. But now that the rebate program is exhausted, we think a tax credit available to those who install solar power systems from here on out would be a pretty easy way to sweeten the deal again. All those smart and sensible Pennsylvanians that want to switch to solar power save some cash, and the state never has to remove a dime from its coffers. Sounds like a win-win to us!

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

approx $15-$55/MWh

Grade: C

Pennsylvania's Solar Performance Payments grade

In order to meet those RPS requirements, the utility companies have to produce or purchase a whole lot of electricity produced from renewable sources. More often than not it’s easier (i.e. cheaper) for them to simply buy the energy from others, like folks with solar panels on their roof, than it is for the utility to produce it themselves. That’s led to a market for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). For every megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy you produce, you get one SREC (Pennsylvania actually calls them Solar Alternative Energy Credits, or SAECs, but we’ll use the multi-state lingo). Utilities buy those SRECs in order to get credit for the solar energy toward the utility’s RPS requirements.

Prices can vary, but current market prices set the average value of SRECs at about $18-$55 each, though prices can vary significantly for individual transactions. That’s not too shabby. It’s also easy to see how a stronger RPS ties directly into incentives like solar power rebates getting stronger as well. If utilities need to buy more SRECs to comply with the RPS, there is going to be more competition to buy the available SRECs, and thus SREC prices will go up.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Pennsylvania's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

While we can give state lawmakers a pass on not having implemented a state tax credit in the past (even if it’s time for one now), we’re a bit less forgiving when it comes to not having any state tax exemptions. Tax exemptions are perhaps the simplest things that state legislatures can do to create good solar policy. They’re simple to draft, simple to explain, and simple to implement. Despite that simplicity, the benefits are robust. A property tax exemption would save you year after year by preventing any increase in taxes normally associated with your home’s value (we’ll get to that in a minute).

The state legislature has done a lot of tremendous work to promote solar power, and tax exemptions represent an easy but effective way to do exactly that.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Pennsylvania's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Like we mentioned above, tax exemptions are perhaps the simplest things that state legislatures can do to create good solar policy. Despite that, Pennsylvania has yet to implement either property tax or sales tax exemptions for renewable energy producers. A sales tax exemption would quickly and easily save you between 6% and 8% here.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

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The consensus on Pennsylvania solar power rebates and incentives

Just a few years ago Pennsylvania was near the top of the solar heap, boasting one of the strongest solar power rebate program in the country to go along with solid performance incentives and strong net metering laws. Unfortunately, with the rebate program now exhausted, the picture is not nearly as sunny for solar. The absence of tax exemptions are more glaring omissions without that big rebate check overshadowing them and the SREC payments, while solid, aren’t dragging payback time frames into “A” range by themselves. All around Pennsylvania is still pretty OK – but it’s also just OK.

77 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Ike says:

    I own 150 acres of land in pa and run a summer camp on them i have enormous usage for two months a year and almost nine the other ten. Would anyone know if it would be cost effective for new to install enough panels so that i would be able sell enough electricity during the year to have substantial savings in the summer?

  2. Richard Baker says:

    I live in Waverly NY but electric is supplied by Penn Electric. Transmission wires and all it in tails. Would l still get the over produced energy sold back to Penn Electric.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i own 2 homes in philadelphia and and have solar panels installed on both i am interested in seminars about solar energy in my area to learn all i can about solar energy and my savings.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We own a mobile home, 10 years old and are interested in leasing solar panels for electrical usage. Our unit measures 28 Wide by approximately 59 feel long. I’ve tried twice to secure a quote, and waited by the telephone but NO CALLS. Can you advise if we are qualified to use solar panels, ( leasing) and how much we anticipate in savings? We live near Pittsburgh and recognize the sun doesn’t shine a great deal of the time. I would appreciate a reply. Thanks, Jerry Kline

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t receive a reply. A mobile home often lacks the roof support system needed to support a solar system and in many areas, mobile homes are in parks that do not allow for ground mounted systems so it is very unusual to be able to install a solar system on a mobile home. However, if you own the land your home sits on and there is sufficient room to install a ground mount system, simply indicate that you are interested in a ground mount system. In answer to your question, assuming you are paying the state average of 13 cents per kilowatt currently, a solar system can make an excellent investment for you. Your actual savings will depend on your cost of installation, etc, but at 13 cents per kilowatt, it’s definitely worth pursuing if it’s an option for you. Your installer will be able to provide you with a detailed cost savings based on your actual usage and current electricity costs. I hope that helps!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I put not real phone # becasue Im deaf, I rather you contact me by email. I own more then 5 acres, and interest black solar panel without reflection . Im serous.

    1. Hi, I’m certain the installers will be happy to work with you via email and other methods suitable for a deaf customer. Simply follow the link to contact an installer and mention what you said here, that you prefer the initial communications to be via email because you are deaf.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I put not real phone numbers 610 845 0001 becaue Im deaf , so you have to accept to contact me by emails if you dont then you are discrimatation . So contact me by email , this is important, I own more then 5 acres and want to lease black non reflection solar panel or solar power window, Im sure you know what Im talking about.

    1. Hi, I’m certain the installers will be happy to work with you via email and other methods suitable for a deaf customer. Simply follow the link to contact an installer and mention what you said here, that you prefer the initial communications to be via email because you are deaf.

  7. Anonymous says:

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  8. Lael says:

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  9. james piccerillo says:

    hi my wife and i really want to have solar. our house is perfect location. all day sun direct our house from 9am til dusk. we want to add yr listing. thank you so much,james

  10. Ernie Givens says:

    We would like to add our Solar company in you r Pennsylvania listing.
    Thanks

  11. Joe says:

    I believe the correct course action would be to contact the local utility company to make sure a “net meter” was installed at the time of commissioning. This will allow for the home owner to sell any excess electricity back to the utility company. Also they should contact Clean Power Markets 877-237-7773 or http://paaeps.com/ . This orgainization is responsible for registering all alternative energy systems within the state of PA. Once the system is officially registered within the state it will be elgible to sell the renewable energy credits the system is producing. There are also people called aggregators who will help get the system registered and help in the process of selling the credits as they accumulate. We recommend using Knollwood Energy 908.955.0590 It’s hard to say if the system was registered, but Clean Power Markets should be able to tell them if it was, and what the next course of action should be.

  12. Brenda Parker says:

    I purchased a house in Pittsburgh, PA and it currently has solar panels installed, what do I need to do to receive the rebate credits over the years of ownership. I have heard about the program but was never formally notified when I purchased the home. What do I need to do from here?

  13. Mary S. says:

    I would like to know if there is any State money out there to support a non-profit organization that wants to go solar but needs industrial solar panels? Thank you for a response.

  14. Loreal says:

    Is there a problem with going all solar or just partial in PA or is it ownly in certain places in PA? Also, to even own solar equippment with the intent to use on or in your home do you have to get anyones permittion?

  15. Loreal says:

    I am thinking about moving out to either Brandywine or Oxford MD. I wanted to know if there were any probitions on having solar panels installed either a connection in my backyard to my house or on my roof?

  16. Ilona says:

    In your December 2010 update you mention Pittsburgh but you only have Philadelphia suburbs listed. Are there any suggestions for Pittsburgh in the works?

  17. jennifer says:

    I would like to explore solar panels for our church. Are there state grants for churches?
    Jennifer

  18. stuart edelman says:

    What is the Pa. grant for a commercial
    450 kw system.

  19. jay says:

    Put them up any way and make them hire a lawyer……it will be a pretty penny…….then take the panels down thw day before you court date, thus canceling the affair….then put them up a week later……..repeat as necessary

  20. Bob,

    Your story is sadly common in many areas. And sadly, you may need a lawyer to ultimately resolve this issue. However, I would recommend several tactics for persuading your HOA to reconsider.

    1) First, I would contact votesolar.org and SEIA.org, the Solar Energy Industries Association. This is a common issue and they may have resources that you can use.

    2) You might call/contact your congressmen and Pennsylvania legislator, and especially the governor’s office. Gov. Rendell is very pro solar, as you know. Staff there may also have recommendations.

    3) If you really want to escalate things and perhaps upset neighbors, call the local media. Your newspapaer and all of the t.v. stations. Point out that there is a very good solar program going on, but HOAs like yours are standing in the way of you being able to take advantage of the programs.

    These are all arcane laws. California and other states have prohibited HOAs from prohibiting solar panels, and yet HOAs still sue homeowners, even here. Their cases are ultimately without merit, since the law is fairly explicit, yet HOAs still try and after some legal bills, the cases are dismissed.

    As far as I know, there are no laws in Pa preventing HOAs from dictating to you about solar. Again, I urge you to contact the above solar organizations for more advice and after that… head for the media. Someone has to lead the charge against this injustice to our planet and your local environment and your realty “right of happiness”–I believe that’s a legal term, even. You may have to be the test case.

    Please let us know what you discover so that we can share it here for other Pa solar buyers!

    If anyone else has experience with Pa HMO’s, please leave a comment as well!

  21. bob says:

    Please help with any info you can!

    To my dismay my HOA has declined my request to go solar. My plan was to use my rear south facing roof with low profile black solar panels. No wires would exposed and the frames of the panels would be black as well. I guess it’s my fault to be this naive in thinking that a HOA could stop a project this important to our planet. It’s my understanding that I can’t even take the matter before the township without the HOA approval?!?

    My local township is East Fallowfield, Pa just outside Coatesville and West Chester Pa. The HOA for Brook Crossings Development is two people and from what they tell me a Attorney that reviewed the HOA bylaws. They concluded “Section 6.1 of the Declaration, solar panel arrays are not harmonious in design with the
    design of your unit or that of others in the community.” One of the problems with this statement is Solar Panels/Arrays are not mentioned in the declaration at all.

    How can this not be harmonious, not only within the development but the planet as well? Is there any person and or organization that can help? Please I can’t just sit back and let this happen not just for myself but for those who will want to make a difference in the future!

    This type of thinking has put this county light years behind others in the world. What can be of more integrity than spending your time and money converting over to clean energy and reducing your foot print on the planet, saving it for future generations to come.

    I’m not trying to be smart or malicious but short of bringing our troops home safe, there can be no greater cause in this country right now.

  22. herbert says:

    I am retired and payout much money for doctors and such so the 30% from the Feds will not be of any help unless someone out there knows how to get that money in a grant

  23. nick c says:

    i love the comments and great feedback. i’m thinking about starting a company and targeting residential townhomes. i was wondering if you could recommend a solar panel company to get info from, and are there any small business
    grants available to help me get started? are there any seminars in the chester county area offering solar information?

  24. Robert lulloff says:

    Just a note to any one who did or is going to install salor on your own. The city of scranton is making me pay a fine for my self installed system. I am disabled and there for can not accsess the roof of our home. The panels are set in the side yard and feed to a controller that charges the set of only 6 12volt batterys, We use it to maitain low voltage lighting. We are not hooked to the grid. Pa just wants money for what somebodies else does. this is only a 12volt system. self installers beware!!!!

  25. Cliff says:

    What’s the latest from the Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania? They or other utilities should be buying the solar power at pro rata prices. If we can’t sell the electricity our grid systems will generate, why would anyone be interested in doing this except for purely altruistic reasons?

  26. Mike says:

    Hi We are looking into putting a 60 kw on the roof of our small business. We need to know if the SREC income can be paid to us monthly or qaurterly instead of yearly so we can pay on our morgage better?

    1. Mike… I’m not sure. I think you can submitted on the SREC market whenever you produce a certain amount of kW, but I’m not certain about that. Please contact someone from http://www.srectrade.com. They’re the experts and will give you more details about the SRECs than I can find.

      60kW sounds great! Good for you.

    2. Mike – If you are still interested and are a profitable business we will install your system for only your would be tax dollars and offer you a $.06 fixed electric rate for 16 years.

  27. Frank says:

    Thanks for the tax info..Now for a solar question… I have a contractor coming out next week to check my site for a system. His company charges $8.00 per watt for a ground mount system. My wish is to have a 6kw system, but at $8.00 a watt that comes to $48,000. Even with the state and Federal rebates the final cost to me for the system comes to around $23000 after state tax is added. Thats a little tight for me to handle so heres my question….is it possible to have a system installed (inverter, etc…) that will handle 6kw but only install panels equal to 3kw (3kw system = $24,000 with final cost of about $11,000+ inverter etc. upgrade) and as money becomes available, add additional panels to the system. I know that the upgrade for the inverter etc., will cost extra no doubt and I realize by doing this I cannot receive a tax credit for any future panels installed, but by doing this I have the option to add to the system in time when monies are available verses buying upgrade equipt. later. Thanks for your input….

    1. Hi, Frank.

      Absolutely, that’s possible. More so than ever with “micro inverters.” Check our our archives about micro inverters. It’s very modular. Even going with a central inverter, what you described is certainly possible, although, as you noted, you won’t get any more rebates for the panels or installation. Going halfway can be very cost effective by itself if you have a tiered rate system with your utility. When you go modular without micro inverters, it does become less flexible, however, and you may need to buy the same exact panels later on for the best efficiency. Keep in mind that micros can get more expensive, also, although they may pay for themselves in their improved efficiency. 8 bucks a watt seems okay for a ground mount, but I would certainly recommend to everyone to get 2 if not 3 quotes and compare apples to apples price comparisons. In other words, if you’re comparing 8 bucks a watt, ask all of the people quoting you to give a quote in $/”DC Watts STC” or $/”AC Watts.” or $/kWh. Right now, DC Watts STC is most common. I’m assuming yours is $8/watt DC STC.

      Check out these related articles here on Solar Power Rocks:

      https://solarpowerrocks.com/solar-trends/microinverters-my-turn-the-boring-technical-stuff/
      https://solarpowerrocks.com/energy-efficiency/whats-inverter-and-why-should-i-care/
      https://solarpowerrocks.com/solar-technology/microinverters-%e2%80%93-a-major-advancement-in-solar-energy-technology/

      Hope that helps.

  28. Frank Vilk says:

    I have read all the comments on this board but can’t find the answer to my question. Here it is… (When filing yearly state and federal taxes)If you cannot claim all of your tax rebate in one years filing, can you roll over the difference the following year or years until exhausted?

    1. Yes, Frank. You can carry over the 30% tax credit. How many years exactly is unclear, but at least until 2016 when the federal ITC expires. That’s our understanding, but you should always double check with your tax person, since we’re, you know, 3 solar dudes, not 3 tax dudes.

  29. mitch says:

    Is the state rebate taxed by the federal government?

    1. Mitch, I’m unsure about that, honestly. It varies by what tax person you talk to, so go with the advice of your expert. Sometimes they consider these rebates as a “reduction in price” rather than “income.” Again, please check with your tax person with their understanding of the guidelines.

  30. stan says:

    My contractor sources say the rebate paperwork is submitted by the installer on behalf of the customer to insure efficiency levels and state requirements are being met. Should the customer owe the state any moneys they are ineligible for state rebates. Any rebate moneys due, by law, MUST be paid to the customer directly, only after the state receives proof of final payment to installer.
    Therefore, does this qualify as a prevailing wage job? Thanks for your help and comments.
    STAN

  31. stan says:

    Does the solar energy installation come under the guidelines of the pa prevailing wage act? The project must be completely paid for before any government moneys come into play and then go to the customer as a rebate not the installer.
    Please respond.

    1. Stan, Short answer: We don’t know about the prevailing wage act. Not sure you’re right about the subsidy being fronted by consumer, however. If you’re talking about residential, I believe under the Sunshine program, the consumer must fill out an application after being approved by the installer for solar (meaning that their home is right for solar and has enough sunlight, roof orientation etc.) and then submit the application through the installer, who in turn submits it to the State program. I believe, but am not certain, that it is the installer who gets the rebate check if the consumer signs off. Thanks for commenting.

  32. david says:

    hi dave form williamsport i just started my co. Renewable Energy For Pa llc . the D.E.P have been a big help.my email add is dave@renewableEnergyForPa.comcastbiz.net i have been installing these systems for 3 plus years and i cant wate to get the first one for my own co.

  33. Jason says:

    I agree completely we are starting a new business in this area and it seems we are fighting an uphill battle all the way. All I want to know is what tax credit is availible and how do I go about getting it. I’ve spent hours on the web trying to figure this out only to be left more confussed then ever. HELP!

  34. J. Lubas says:

    How does one become a state installer if you have to install at least 3 systems before you get on the list as a contractor. Is there any exception to this? Where can you apply to become a certified installer.

  35. david says:

    HI im dave i live in williamsport and i have been installing these systems for about 4 years, i am starting a renewable energy business and found an outline draft on how the state will only give grants to the systems that are installed by NABCEP Certified installers and they want energy audits to that have to be done only by RESNET OR BPI CERTIFIED I beleive this will stop a lot of people from getting one installed i have installed more of these systems than i can count , at least give us time to get the classes and test

  36. druidclark says:

    So much for the State giving it more than PPL. Solar is actually excluded from the rebate-eligible expenses. Look at this site and “Advanced Performance” (http://www.keystonehelp.com/info/eligible.php)And, you have to use one of their contractors. IMO, as long as the materials are certified Energy Star and the Contractor is registered and I can prove that they were installed correctly, that should be enough. FPhhfffft.

  37. Schmo says:

    Does anyone have information on solar hot water rebates, installers or contractors?

  38. chris says:

    so are there any rebate now

  39. Daniel-Sun says:

    Good to know folks in Pa. are paying attention(not just paying ppl).Being from Ca. I wasn’t sure how solar would be received, and am now confident the time is now!

  40. Jeremy Klotz says:

    Mark, it’s a $2 to $2.5 per watt rebate for PV. I have it from a good source that it’ll start in April. Here’s a draft of the legislation: http://www.paenergyfest.com/downloads/09-Jan-SolarProgramOutline.pdf

    jeremy@solarishere.com

  41. Mark says:

    Does anyone know what % of a tax credit or rebate will be allowed for PA? Everything that I found for the State is for 08. Nothing for 09 yet. I have the Fed information, but can’t find anything exact for state rebates. Thanks in advance!

  42. Brian says:

    Great Website !
    We wanted to Announce an Energy Expo for Northeastern Pennsylvania.
    The Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council is a 501©3 non-profit organization that has been active within northeast Pennsylvania since 1980. The Pocono Northeast RC&D is a regional organization that encompasses and serves the following ten counties: Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne.

    The Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council and its partners will be hosting the Northeast PA Energy Solutions Expo on June 13-14th, 2009 at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds in Dallas, PA. The event will focus on alternative and renewable energy opportunities as well as energy conservation for residents, landowners, municipalities, regional governments, and local businesses. The intent of the Expo a forum where people can come to see, witness, and learn about potential conservation and alternative energy solutions.

  43. Jim says:

    i am a do it yourselfer, and i have been unable to find any where that i can get the info i need and purchase a roof system for my home. of the places i found on th internet in pittsburgh area, they are all contractors and no help, with info do to my wanting to do it myself. can’t find anyone who will sell to the do it yourselfer. any info on where i can find whatever it is i need, please help!!

  44. Charles says:

    Hi People,
    I understand the frustration over this whole alternative energy incentive thing that is lacking in our Keystone State. Seems none of our elected officials can get it together.
    If you need some assistance in lowering your energy bills I may be able to help.
    I’m doing it in my home.

  45. Scott says:

    Hey guys, for information on finance and incentive help in PA try http://www.disireusa.org. Its a database of state incentives for renewable energy. Federally the only real incentive is the 30% direct tax credit for the installation. That is not a deduction but a direct cash credit (same as cash) of 30%.

  46. Anyone interested in signing up to hear exactly what the PA credits are, and exactly when they are going to be released, please visit http://www.ahs2.dep.state.pa.us/aeifsignup/ Please feel free to post back with any further questions. We expect to hear something definitive around March 2009.

  47. Rob says:

    I watched a little bit of the meeting between Obama and the governors last night and was wondering if anyone caught any concrete plans for solar subsidies in PA

  48. DAVE says:

    GOOD OLD RENDELjUST A BAG OF “HOT AIR”.
    ALL SHOW AND NO GO!!

  49. Julia says:

    Here’s the latest word I’ve heard from the DEP about when residents can expect to hear about taking advantage of the Renewable Energy rebate program; the program is being funded by a bond, so they can’t activate the program until the bond has been issued. In our current economic situation, they’re not sure when that will happen. They’re projecting mid-2009. There will likely be stipulations that will determine your rebate eligibility, particularly energy efficiency; if you’ve demonstrated energy reduction in your home and/or have had an energy audit, you’re more likely to get a higher rebate (the maximum we’ve heard is 35%). I’ve also heard that there will be tax credits available as part of the program co-administered by the Department of Revenue.

  50. john says:

    Hello to all you folks talking about solar energy. Over the past 9 months I have designed and build my own solar water heating system. Over the past 3 months I have reduced my natural gas bill by approximately $50.00 a month and my investment was around a thousand dollars. The materials need to build a solar thermal collector are available at many plumbing supply stores. Good plumbing skills are a must have, if you wish to build your own system. I originally got most of my idea from http://www.builditsolar.com and just went ahead with what I wanted to do, make hot water with sunshine.

  51. Joy says:

    The state rebates are still being dickered over, as I understand it. The federal “30% up to $2,000” is good for systems up and running by Dec. 31 2008. That cut off has been moved before, and (esp. if you call your congressman and senator) could be renewed / extended again.

    use http://www.dsireusa.org/ to track funding opportunities; there are quite a few low-interest loans. Most Solar companies will help to hook you up with one. I would suggest buying a bit more inverter than your panels need, BTW, in case the panel cost and efficiency both improve in the next decade, so you can slot in a spare panel or two. BTW, with the federal credits currently slated to expire, good, fully sealed “made in USA” panels like the ones I got from http://www.solarworld-usa.com are in considerable demand!

  52. Dan Hahn says:

    Tony,

    I provided an update today regarding the status of Pennsylvania homeowner rebates, incentives, and credits. Which ‘list of choices’ are you referring to?

    Thank you all again for your comments and suggestions.

  53. Tony says:

    Please post something for the individual residential homeowner, there must be some funding out there and hybrid (solar and wind) systems are not on you list of choices.

  54. Craig B says:

    Hi,
    I’m a retired NYC Police officer that fell ill after 9/11. Yep, I’m one of those guys that you hear about who are sick, and getting the shaft by the City. So seeing as I am on Social Security and 100% disabled, and living with my father who is also on social security, I need to find a way to lower my energy bills drasticly now. I want to go green, and get off the PPL trough. My dad and I live in a single wide mobile home in a nice area in PA, and the trailer faces exactly south with no obstruction. I was wondering if we’d qualify fir some kind of grant, or special loan to get full solar power up and running. We have only like 1100 sq feet. Is this possible? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to email me: nypd219@gmail.com

  55. Mike says:

    I find it kind of funny that the governor of the state has a solar roof and gets a $20,000 grant to have it done but the working Keystoner can’t get any definitive answers when it comes to financial assistance. (lost the link to the page will post it when I find it)

  56. Dan Hahn says:

    David,

    Thank you for your concern and comments. We’re doing the best we can to accurately reflect what is going on incentive and rebate-wise for Pennsylvania homeowners. From the installers we have spoken to in our network, there is some consensus that solar will not be an easy option to pursue in Pennsylvania for at least a year or so. That is in comparison to other states with much clearer goals and passed legislation. When the aforementioned bills get passed, we plan on reporting what it takes to acquire solar in a fiscally responsible manner with an actual example from a Pennsylvanian family. Again, thank you for your concerns and comments. We’re not here to be predatory misinformers. If you could, please share your experiences with your contractors that came out to your home. Everyone reading this page will benefit.

    Thanks so much,

    Dan Hahn

  57. David Leinenbach says:

    Careful Everyone. I’ve done some pretty extensive research and so far I have yet to see a site that deals exclusively with homneowners, residential, and individual use assistance, grants, and reasonable financing. I’ve had 3 or 4 contractors out to the house and I get the sense there will be some predatory activity initally given the intense interest as of late. ITS STILL THE RIGHT THING TO DO, but dont get sucked in too fast. Im pretty sure it can be done for a reasonable cost, but they’re not gonna make it easy as you can all see. Anyone find a site thats really helpful and informative to an average, middle class residence inquiry in PA, please let me know.

  58. Mike says:

    I got a quote but the “grant” would have sign over my energy credits indefinitely. Does anybody know why the grant program has changed its format so many times?

  59. Jeff says:

    This news release was on the PA DEP website. It mentions “$100 million to provide loans, grants and rebates that cover up to 35 percent of the costs residential consumers and small businesses incur for installing for solar energy technology”. Here is the web address. http://www.ahs.dep.state.pa.us/newsreleases/default.asp?ID=5150&varQueryType=Detail

  60. Sally says:

    I see nothing on this page for financial help for PA homeowners…just small business. It is an enormas expense…how does one get help?

  61. Lorraine says:

    Didn’t the legislation just pass? Please be the first to post information about residential renewable credits from PA.

  62. Gregory Gorbulsky says:

    Dear friends! As I can see from your questions, you are homeowners like me. Unfortunately, there is no rebate program for homeowners in PA right now. Governor Rendall stepped forward last year with so calle Sunshine Initiative, which stipulates 50% rebate for us, homeowners, but this initiative still did not passed Senate. We have to write or call to our Senators to move ahead with this bill asap. Meanwhile, Ihave installed 3.1 kwt Solar System myself and have been enjoying free clean energy.

  63. Bruce says:

    Hello??? Does anyone check the postings on this site? I to would like info for residential solar power incentives.

  64. Allan Minard says:

    I am like the rest of the people psting here. All the listed information seems to be geared to the business owner and not the home owner. Where can I find information for the homeowner that wants to install solar and find possible wources of help?

  65. Doris says:

    Hi. Im interested in getting solar heating for my home. The fuel bills will put me out of my house if I cannot come up with something more feasible. But like Brian asked, where can I find out about info on solar ins. and rebates for residental use? Thanks.

  66. Amy Sahm says:

    The sites listed above are all for small business. Where can I find info about solar panel installation and possible rebates and tax advantages for residential use?

  67. ross says:

    These sites all seem to be for businesses. Where can I find information about solar rebates for residential homes.

    1. The site at Find Solar is really great for general information and is geared toward the home owner. It also can link you up with customer recommended installers.

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