2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Unity, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Unity.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Unity?
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 encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy by providing incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are handled by the Pennsylvania government or by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may be available to you if you have a solar system that produces more than a specified (usually 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 receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Unity utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. You may have 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 solar panels for your home.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of installing solar panels, although it has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost 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.
Your local Unity solar panel installer can provide more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners are now eligible for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion 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 Unity solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These incentives might be distributed by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Unity
Solar incentives might come from the federal government, the Pennsylvania government or your local utility company. The growing number of available incentives has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reach out to your local solar panel installer today to learn more and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Unity home.
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 Unity, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How do I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?
Generally, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Pennsylvania government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Unity solar installer to discover what incentives your project will qualify for.
How much will solar panels save me annually on my electric bill in Unity?
Generally, Unity homeowners who install solar panels save around $640.46 per year, or around $12,168.78 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 400 pounds of CO2 annually when you install solar panels. This adds up to roughly 8,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Unity solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what incentives you might or might 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.