2023 Solar Incentives Guide for West Reading, PA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in West Reading.
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 West Reading?
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
The phrase "solar incentives" generally refers to financial incentives implemented by the government and by solar companies to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. Different types of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Some incentives may be handled by the state of Pennsylvania, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are normally handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your West Reading 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 make back a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are usually applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Solar rebates might be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. You've likely 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 your solar system.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local West Reading solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Now, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to get in touch with your local West Reading solar panel installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. The incentives — which might be handled by the state of Pennsylvania, or by your county or municipality — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in West Reading
Solar incentives can come from your local utility company, the federal government or the Pennsylvania government. The large number of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Talking to your local West Reading solar panel installation company is an excellent first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's West Reading, PA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on a 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. Speak with your local West Reading solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
Can I use a combination of 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 talk through your ideas with your local West Reading solar installation expert. They can help you with the 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.