2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Polk, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Polk.
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 Polk?
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" covers a wide 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. Different types of incentives, like cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Some incentives may be handled by the state of Pennsylvania, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal 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 the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is typically handled by the state government. You can sell the SRECs you receive to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Polk utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. The value of a rebate will usually come off your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of solar system installation, although that number has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Your local Polk solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This credit will then see a slight annual decrease until its expiration. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Polk 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 are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives might be provided by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Polk
The variety of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the Pennsylvania government, the federal government or your local utility company. If you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, getting in touch with your local Polk solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
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EcoWatch's Polk, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Polk solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.
I already have solar panels. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Polk solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently 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%.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually by installing solar panels. This adds up to around 5,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled 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 receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but usually yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
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.