2024 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 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 Reading solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated April 21, 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 Reading?

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

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 intended 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 can 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 your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:

  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates 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.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Reading utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically handled by your state government.
  • 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.)
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you're calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.

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

Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to the value of solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels have to have been installed after January 1, 2006, on a property owned by you for you to claim the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all system costs (panels, equipment, labor and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Reading solar panel installation expert to get more information.

The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after 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 decrease slightly each year until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Reading solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the local or state level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. They might be offered by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Reading

You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the Pennsylvania government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. If you're ready to make the change to solar energy, talking to your local Reading solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

EcoWatch's Reading, PA Solar Incentives FAQs

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To learn about the top solar panel installers near you, read our article on the top solar companies in Reading.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the 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.

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

The new Inflation Reduction Act introduces multiple incentives meant to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.

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

Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming the correct incentives and getting the most money possible.

What if I want to add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

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

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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