2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Altoona, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Altoona.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Altoona?
High Performance Buildings Incentive Program
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Wind and Geothermal Incentives Program
Manufacturer grants: $5,000 per job created within 3 years
Loans for geothermal systems: $3 per square foot of space served up to $5 million; also limited to 50% of eligible costs for residential systems.
Loans for wind energy production projects: $5 million
Grants for wind energy production projects: $1 million
Grants for feasibility studies: 50% of cost up to $175,000
Loan guarantee grants: Up to 75% of deficient funds up to $5 million
Solar Alternative Energy Credits
High Performance Building Incentives Program
First Energy (MetEdison, Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power) - Residential Solar Water Heating Program
FirstEnergy (MetEdison, Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power) - Residential Energy Efficiency Programs
Clothes Washer: $25- $50
Clothes Dryer: $50
Fridge/Freezer Recycling: $50
HVAC tune up: $50
Furnace Fan Motor: $150
Ductless Minisplit AC : $200
Central AC: $100 - $200
Air Source Heat pump: $250 - $500
Geothermal Heat Pump: $600
Packaged Terminal AC: $75
Packaged Terminal Heat Pump: $150
Programmable Thermostat: $25
Solar Water Heat: $500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
Home Energy Audit: $250
Lighting: Available as in-store discount in participating stores
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Various kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of Pennsylvania, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you exclude the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a specific (usually small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically offered by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Altoona utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive that most people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC is applied to the total cost of solar system installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
To more fully understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, contact your local Altoona solar panel installer and ask for more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will then decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Altoona solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the state and local level. These incentives may be distributed by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Altoona
The variety of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Pennsylvania government or from your local utility company. Your local Altoona solar panel installation company can help you learn more about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
EcoWatch's Altoona, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
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