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

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

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 Northampton 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Northampton?

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 meant to help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. These financial incentives are in place to encourage more Americans to switch to renewable energy. Various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be handled by the Pennsylvania government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically provided by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Rebates might be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
  • Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Northampton utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. One of the incentives many people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to the total cost of solar system installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

To know exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Northampton solar panel installer.

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. Under the new program, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Northampton solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Incentives may be provided by the state of Pennsylvania, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Northampton

There are a number of different solar incentives: those offered by local utility companies, those offered by the federal government and those offered by the Pennsylvania government, to name a few. Solar energy use has grown tremendously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Talking to your local Northampton solar panel installer is an excellent 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 Northampton, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

How much will a solar system save me on my electric bill in Northampton annually?

Typically, Northampton homeowners who install solar panels save about $809.47 per year, or about $15,379.89 over 20 years after making the switch.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

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

The order in which incentives are applied could vary depending on which incentives you receive but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.

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

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to go over your ideas with your local Northampton solar installation expert. They can help you as you plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that 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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