2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Reading, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Reading.
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 Reading?
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
Solar incentives are designed to encourage people to switch to renewable energy by providing incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are provided by the Pennsylvania government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. 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: Be sure to talk to your Reading utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces over a specified (typically 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 typically considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, accessories and labor. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it 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.
Speaking with your local Reading solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC may apply to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. The expansion to the program 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 Reading solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. The incentives — which may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Reading
You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the Pennsylvania government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Your local Reading solar panel installation expert can help you learn more about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Reading, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds yearly, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I change out my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there benefits that I can claim?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in may vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination 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 discuss your plan with your local Reading solar installation expert. They can help you with the plan for 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.