2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Lower Merion, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Lower Merion.
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 Lower Merion?
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
The phrase "solar incentives" refers to a range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. These incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of Pennsylvania and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are generally handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets a predetermined threshold (generally 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.
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Lower Merion 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 others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a certain percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC was originally for 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 equipment, labor and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC can be applied 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.
Speaking with your local Lower Merion solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC could apply to your situation.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. The total credit will then see a slight annual decrease until its expiration. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to talk with your local Lower Merion solar panel company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania. Some incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lower Merion
You can receive solar incentives from the federal government and the Pennsylvania government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We recommend talking to your local Lower Merion solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.
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EcoWatch's Lower Merion, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
If my house already has solar panels, 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 your system was 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 solar system, or any local Lower Merion solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you can apply for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Lower Merion's top solar panel companies.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually by switching to solar panels. This adds up to around 5,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there benefits I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding 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.