2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Economy, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Economy.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Economy?
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
Duquesne Light Company - Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Central A/C / Heat Pumps: $100/ton
ENERGY STAR Certified Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Solar Water Heater: $300
Ceiling/Floor/Wall Insulation: $0.23/square foot
ENERGY STAR Certified Dehumidifier: $20
ENERGY STAR Certified Refrigerator: $25
ENERGY STAR Certified Freezer: $10
ENERGY STAR Certified Room Air Conditioner: $25
ENERGY STAR Variable Speed Pool Pump: $200
Occupancy Sensor Based Control: $10
Smart Strip Surge Protector: $5
Furnace with High Efficiency Fan Motor: $100
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $100
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $35
Duquesne Light Company - Residential Solar Water Heating 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 intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Different kinds of incentives, including discounts, cash back 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 others are federal. 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 when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system can earn SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled by your state government.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Economy utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you probably think of federal incentives first. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC was originally for 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, and has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Economy solar panel installation expert to get more information.
The ITC has been renewed and expanded following 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. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local Economy solar panel installation expert with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These solar incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania — could be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Economy
You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the Pennsylvania government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. If you're ready to make the change to solar energy, talking to your local Economy solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
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EcoWatch's Economy, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range 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 Economy solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
If I already have a solar system installed on my house, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Talking to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Economy solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you qualify for.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Economy annually?
Typically, Economy homeowners who install solar panels save about $792.08 per year, or about $15,049.55 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to Economy's top solar panel companies.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial 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 generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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.