2024 Solar Incentives Guide for Pittsburgh, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2024 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 Pittsburgh solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 20, 2024

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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 Pittsburgh?

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.

High Performance Building Incentives Program

Incentive Type:
Grant Program
Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding

Duquesne Light Company - Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Programmable Thermostats: $25
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

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
$300/system

First Energy (MetEdison, Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power) - Residential Solar Water Heating Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program

FirstEnergy (MetEdison, Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power) - Residential Energy Efficiency Programs

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Appliances
Refrigerator: $75
Clothes Washer: $25- $50
Clothes Dryer: $50
Freezers: $25
Dehumidifiers: $25
Fridge/Freezer Recycling: $50

HVAC
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

Others
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

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 encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are offered by the state of Pennsylvania or your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Pittsburgh utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. They will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that your solar panels add when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
  • Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may be available to you if the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are usually handled by the state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006, on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost – for panels, labor, equipment 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 exactly how much money the ITC could save you, contact your local Pittsburgh solar panel installation expert.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2032. At this point, the percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, beginning in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Pittsburgh solar panel installer can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. Solar incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Pennsylvania government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Pittsburgh

There are many types of solar incentives: those provided by the federal government, those offered by the Pennsylvania government and those offered by local utility companies, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has increased enormously in the last 15 years, thanks to these incentives. If you're prepared to switch over to solar energy, reaching out to your local Pittsburgh solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

EcoWatch's Pittsburgh, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

I already have solar panels installed. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?

An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your system – or speak to a local Pittsburgh solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

Who installs solar panels near me?

To find the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Pittsburgh's top solar panel companies.

I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can get?

The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for a number of incentives that reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.

Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Make sure you discuss your plan with your local Pittsburgh solar installer. They can help you plan your project and also help you understand the 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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