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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cheltenham?
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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
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.
EcoWatch's Cheltenham, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
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