2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Erie, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Erie.
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 Erie solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Erie?
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
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 encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy by providing incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. You may qualify for different 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 state of Pennsylvania and others from the federal government. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually come off your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. In most cases, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically handled at the state level.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Erie 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 be refunded a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, labor and accessories — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To better understand how the ITC could apply to your situation, get in touch with your local Erie solar panel installer and request more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Homeowners can now receive a credit equal to 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then begin to decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for 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 learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local Erie solar panel company with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Like with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the Pennsylvania government. Some incentives may be ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Erie
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the Pennsylvania government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Talking to your local Erie solar panel installation company is the right first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- 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 Erie, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for different solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Erie solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.
I already have solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?
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 exact installation date. Talking to the company that installed your system, or any local Erie solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you qualify for.
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 help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or around 5,000 pounds in 20 years.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
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.