2023 Solar Incentives Guide for West Penn, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in West Penn.
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 West Penn?
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 mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Financial incentives like these are designed to encourage more Americans to make the switch to renewable energy. The incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the state of Pennsylvania and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk with your West Penn 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 your solar panels generate. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may be available to you if your solar system produces more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is usually handled by the state government. You can sell your SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is normally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. An incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC was originally for 30% of the cost of solar system installation, and 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 total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, labor and equipment. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies 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 better understand how the ITC will apply to you, contact your local West Penn solar panel installer and request 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. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit equal to 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. The percentage will then begin to decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local West Penn solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Pennsylvania government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in West Penn
Solar energy use nationwide has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from the Pennsylvania government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local West Penn solar panel installation company can help you learn more about which incentives you might qualify for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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 West Penn, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the best solar companies in West Penn.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually by switching to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 5,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is set to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but usually yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to go over your ideas with your local West Penn solar installer. They can help you as you plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that 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.