2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Washington, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Washington.
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 Washington?
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 make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Different types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be provided via the Pennsylvania government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar system when you're calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically given by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates may be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Washington utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you might receive a refund equivalent to 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 government.
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 is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local Washington solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit equal to 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 begin to decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Washington solar panel installers are the best people to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. They might be provided by the Pennsylvania government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Washington
Solar incentives can come from the federal government, the Pennsylvania government or your local utility company. The variety of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Contact your local solar panel installer today to find out more information and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your Washington home.
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EcoWatch's Washington, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. 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 will apply to your specific situation.
How do I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Washington solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, such as those given by the state of Pennsylvania, may have other requirements.
My home already has solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?
An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Washington solar installer — to learn about 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. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I install solar panels on my house in Washington?
When you add solar panels to your house in Washington, you can anticipate savings of approximately $662.37 per year, or approximately $12,585.10 over the next 20 years.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
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.