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

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

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 Chester 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 Chester?

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 intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the Pennsylvania government or by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are normally handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets a certain threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value that your solar panels add when you're calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
  • Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Chester utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. An incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of installing solar panels, although that number has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, accessories 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 in the United States and owned by you.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Chester solar panel installer to get more information.

In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. The total credit will then decrease annually until the date of expiration. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to get in touch with your local Chester solar panel installers.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives might be offered by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Chester

The large number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Pennsylvania government. Speaking with your local Chester solar panel installation expert is the best first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.

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 Chester, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 300 pounds yearly, or around 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.

I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?

The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for multiple incentives designed to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.

Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order that incentives will be applied in may vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but typically yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

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

Yes, you can employ 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 non-renewable backup source of energy. Make sure that you discuss your proposed plan with your local Chester solar installation expert, so that you understand what you'll need 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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