2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Penn Forest, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Penn Forest.
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 Penn Forest?
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
The term "solar incentives" refers broadly to financial incentives that are in place to encourage people to use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are offered by the state of Pennsylvania or by your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after you pay for a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- 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.)
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces more than a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are normally handled at the state level. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is typically considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Penn Forest utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides you with a tax credit for a set percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as labor, accessories and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To best understand how the ITC could apply to your situation, reach out to your local Penn Forest solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The total credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
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 applies to you is to speak with your local Penn Forest solar panel company directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. The incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Penn Forest
Solar energy use nationwide has gone up significantly in the past 15 years, in part due to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the Pennsylvania government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local Penn Forest solar panel installer can help you learn more about which incentives you can apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Penn Forest, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I find out if I qualify for solar incentives?
In most cases, 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 run by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Penn Forest solar installer to discover what incentives your project will 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 newly 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 date of installation. Reaching out to the company that installed your system, or any local Penn Forest solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you qualify for.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Penn Forest's best solar panel companies.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or 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.
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.