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

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

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 Cheltenham 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Cheltenham?

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 designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. You may be eligible for several types of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, 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. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled at the state level.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
  • Net Metering: Make sure you speak with your Cheltenham utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives might 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 predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC originally covered 30% of the total cost of solar system installation, although that number has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, labor and equipment. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.

Your local Cheltenham solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. You can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The credit will then decrease annually until it expires. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Cheltenham solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Rebates, tax credits and more may be available at a more local level. These incentives might be offered 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 Cheltenham

The variety of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the last 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the federal government, the Pennsylvania government or from your local utility company. Your local Cheltenham solar panel installer can provide you with more details about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

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

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

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

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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 Cheltenham, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I know if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Typically, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Cheltenham solar installer to discover what incentives your project will qualify for.

How much will solar panels save me annually on my electric bill in Cheltenham?

When you add solar panels to your Cheltenham home, you can expect to save approximately $809.23 per year, or approximately $15,375.40 over 20 years.

What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to the best solar companies in Cheltenham.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

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

I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can get?

Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

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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