2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Swatara, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Swatara.
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 March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Swatara?
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 mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. These financial incentives are designed to encourage more Americans to switch their home over to renewable energy. The 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 Pennsylvania government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk to your Swatara utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to receive credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually be deducted from the total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that normally counts as part of your taxable income. In most cases, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are normally handled at the state level.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC was originally for 30% of the cost of solar panel installation, although it has fluctuated slightly over the last few years 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 claim amount. The ITC can be applied 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.
To best understand how the ITC may apply to your situation, contact your local Swatara solar panel installer and ask for more information.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called 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 for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Swatara solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the state and local level. These solar incentives — which may be provided by the state of Pennsylvania, or by your county or municipality — may be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Swatara
Solar incentives may come from your local utility company, the federal government or the Pennsylvania government. The large number of solar incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Speaking with your local Swatara solar panel installation company is the right first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Swatara, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar system — or speak to a local Swatara solar installer — to clarify which incentives you might qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Swatara's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my house?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to around 5,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that use solar energy, are there incentives I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number 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 receive 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 usually yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all possible incentives 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.