2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Silver Spring, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Silver Spring.
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 Silver Spring?
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
Adams Electric Cooperative - Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy by providing incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. You might qualify for various types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of Pennsylvania and others from the federal government. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives may be available to you if you have a solar system that produces over a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are usually 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 normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Silver Spring utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. The ITC initially covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, accessories, labor and equipment), although the total amount has fluctuated slightly over the last few 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 amount you can claim.
Your local Silver Spring solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. The expansion 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. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, reach out to your local Silver Spring solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided at the state and local level. Similar to federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. These solar incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Pennsylvania — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Silver Spring
Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from the federal government, the Pennsylvania government or your local utility company. We suggest talking to your local Silver Spring solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar panels.
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EcoWatch's Silver Spring, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many can be claimed on a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to someone from the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Silver Spring solar installer — to clarify 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 panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds a year, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly 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.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Silver Spring solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types of incentives you will or won't 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.