2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Summit, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Summit.
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 Summit?
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 make the switch to renewable energy by providing financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. These incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the state of Pennsylvania and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Summit utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be offered by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. These differ from tax deductions.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are 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 normally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, accessories and equipment. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Reaching out to your local Summit solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit of 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then begin to decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Summit solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided at the state and local level. Like with federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives may be offered by the state of Pennsylvania, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Summit
The large number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Pennsylvania government. Talking to your local Summit solar panel installation expert is a great first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Summit, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Summit solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
I already have solar panels. Do I qualify for any incentives?
You should plan to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Summit solar installer — to clarify which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Summit annually?
Generally, homeowners in Summit who install solar panels save around $905.11 per year, or around $17,197.14 over 20 years after making the switch.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied could 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 ensure 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.