2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Bristol, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Bristol.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Bristol solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Bristol?

High Performance Buildings Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000

Wind and Geothermal Incentives Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Manufacturer loans: $40,000 per job created within 3 years
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

Incentive Type:
Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
Varies based on market conditions; during 2015 the market price for PA-sourced SRECs has ranged from approximately $32 - $55/MWh ($0.032 - $0.055/kWh) although individual trades have taken place at substantially lower and higher prices.
Learn more:

High Performance Building Incentives Program

Incentive Type:
Grant Program
Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are meant to help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is in place to encourage more homeowners to switch to renewable energy. You might qualify for different kinds of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the Pennsylvania government and others from the federal government. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Net Metering: Be sure to speak with your Bristol utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are generally handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets a certain threshold (generally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
  • Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. The value of a rebate will usually come off your total price before any tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as labor, equipment and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

To better understand how the ITC could apply to your situation, reach out to your local Bristol solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.

The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Bristol solar installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bristol

Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Pennsylvania government. Call your local solar panel installation expert today to learn more and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your Bristol home.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
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  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

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  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

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  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Bristol, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences will fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To learn about the best solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on Bristol's best solar panel companies.

What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?

Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?

Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your plan with your local Bristol solar installation expert, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what types of incentives you may or may not qualify for.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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