Solar Panel Cost in Pennsylvania (2022 Local Savings Guide)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Pennsylvania:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.55
  • Cost of Average System: $16,040*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $45,309
  • Payback Period: 11 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $23,634

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/19/2022

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Jump to Section:

  1. Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania
  2. What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania?
  3. Pennsylvania Solar Incentives
  4. FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Pennsylvania

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Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania

Solar energy systems in Pennsylvania are priced per watt at an average cost of $2.55. This is below the national average of $2.66. With a total cost of approximately $21,675 before the federal tax credit or $15,172 after, the price of going solar in PA is lower than in most other areas of the country — and more beneficial based on the state’s electricity rates.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Pennsylvania

There are several factors that can heavily influence the total cost of going solar in PA, but the most significant, by far, is the size of the system required to offset energy consumption. For every additional kilowatt your home needs, you can expect your total to rise by approximately $2,550. The table below provides some typical system sizes in Pennsylvania, as well as estimated pricing for each before and after the 30% federal tax credit is considered.

Size of Solar Panel System Pennsylvania Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
6 kW $15,300 $10,710
7 kW $17,850 $12,495
8 kW $20,400 $14,280
9 kW $22,950 $16,065
10 kW $25,500 $17,850
11 kW $28,050 $19,635
12 kW $30,600 $21,420

If you’re eager to switch to clean energy and enjoy the savings it affords, you can check out our review of the best solar companies in Pennsylvania to ensure you go with the right installer.

See also: See how much you can save by going solar with the EcoWatch Solar Calculator

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What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania?

old rural house with a solar panel roof

Solar panel systems in Pennsylvania tend to cost between $10,710 and $21,420 after the federal tax credit an average of around $15,173. The wide price range is due to factors that affect how much you pay for your panels and how much and what kind of solar equipment you need. 

We’ll explain the most influential cost factors in Pennsylvania below.

Solar Equipment

Which pieces of solar equipment you install on your property and what brand they are will always play a role in your total system price.

In Pennsylvania, residents enjoy just 179 sunny days per year on average, which is much lower than the national average of 205. With limited days of sun, residents often turn to higher-priced high-efficiency panels especially if there are other property-specific factors that limit sunlight like a non-south-facing roof or lots of shade. 

Pennsylvania also experiences some severe weather, including tornadoes (though they rarely cause damage), thunderstorms and heavy snowfall making power outages more likely. Consequently, many homeowners supplement their panels with solar batteries, which can provide electricity through blackouts but add significantly to total system cost.

Solar Financing in Pennsylvania

The payment method you use for your solar panel system is another factor that can bring your total cost up or down by thousands of dollars. Paying with cash is overall the cheapest option as you won’t pay interest but you’ll have a big up-front cost. 

Using solar loans is a more realistic option for most homeowners, and loans sometimes don’t require any money down. Interest payments, though, can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars over time, increasing your all-in price to go solar.

Pennsylvania has two programs to make solar loans for all residents more affordable — the Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) program and the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. These provide low financing costs and rates to all residents to make solar equipment accessible. 

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania doesn’t have financing options for low-income households specifically.

Pennsylvania Solar Installation Company

Just as with any company that does home improvements, the one you hire to install your solar panels will play a part in what your system costs. Solar companies can upcharge or discount equipment and have varying rates for installation labor, which means identical systems from two different companies could be priced thousands of dollars apart.

It’s important to look not only at the cost of the solar installer you choose but also the quality of the panels it provides. 

For example, SunPower is a national solar company that services Pennsylvania. This installer only offers Maxeon panels, which bring some of the highest efficiencies and the top warranties in the market. 

Yellowlite, another national company that operates in Pennsylvania, installs a variety of panel brands including Canadian Solar, SunPower, SolarWorld, LG and Sunviva. Many of these brands will be significantly cheaper than Maxeon from SunPower, but the quality will also be lower. It’s important to compare value and not just cost when choosing an installer for your solar project.

Additional Considerations and Costs

The factors discussed above will be the primary drivers of your solar system cost, but there are some additional things to consider before you commit to an installer. We’ll outline these factors below.

  • Permits: Every municipality in Pennsylvania will require a building permit for installing solar panels. Your solar installer will typically handle pulling the permit and scheduling the inspection, so you’ll just need to pay for the permit via your system total.
  • Licenses: Pennsylvania is one of the few states where contractor licensing isn’t handled by the state government. Instead, you’ll have to check your local building department’s codes and regulations for any licensing requirements that apply to your solar installer, then confirm that your installer meets them. 
  • Warranties: Solar power systems are expensive, which is why having a warranty to protect your investment is crucial. The best solar panel warranties will cover equipment, labor and power generation, and the lengthier the warranty, the better.
  • HOAs: Many states have laws in place that prevent homeowners’ associations and other private entities from prohibiting solar installation. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not have solar rights laws, so you’ll need to check with your HOA for permission before moving forward with solar conversion.
  • Environmental zoning: Some jurisdictions have zoning laws that prohibit solar installation or make the process more challenging. Pennsylvania is generally lax when it comes to zoning restrictions for solar panels, so you shouldn’t expect to have any issues.

Pennsylvania Solar Incentives

There are several incentives and solar rebates available to Pennsylvania homeowners from both the federal government and the state government. These help reduce your total cost of going solar significantly. We’ll discuss the incentives available in PA below.

Federal Solar Tax Credit for Pennsylvania Homeowners

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is afforded to all Pennsylvania residents to encourage conversions to clean energy. The incentive is given in the form of a tax credit on your federal income taxes in the amount of 30% of what you paid to go solar. For the average Pennsylvania solar system, that comes out to a savings of $6,503.

U.S. homeowners are eligible for the 30% federal tax credit through 2032. The credit will dip to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.

Net Metering Policies in Pennsylvania

Net metering is a billing option supported by many utility companies across the U.S. and mandated in many states. It allows electricity to run in both directions between the grid and your solar panel system. When your panels fail to produce enough power to support the needs of your home, the grid supplies the difference, and you receive a utility bill at the end of the month (just like you would before you went solar). When your panels are making more energy than your home needs — like on a clear, sunny day — the excess gets sent to the grid, and you get compensated via credits to use against your bills.

Pennsylvania has an outstanding net metering policy that compensates at the full retail value for all overproduction. That means all net production — above and beyond what you use — can be sold back to the electric provider at the same rate you’ll pay when you need it. Most importantly, this net metering policy is available for all residential solar customers who have systems up to 50 kW, well in excess of what most residents will ever need.

The Pennsylvania Code Chapter 75 establishes the net metering policy for the state. It only applies when you produce power and sell to your default service provider, and other companies are not required to offer net metering. There are some additional customer qualifications as well, but for most standard residential solar systems, you’ll be able to take advantage of this policy.

Finally, the policy differs from provider to provider, so confirm your utility company’s policy before committing.

Local Solar Rebates in Pennsylvania

hazy sunset shining on solar panels With Pennsylvania’s net metering policy, there is little need for additional incentives, but there are other benefits afforded by the state.

Namely, Pennsylvania offers Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for all energy you produce throughout the year. You can sell these SRECs for a profit, in which case you get paid instead of paying for electricity. SRECs in PA are commonly sold for between $35 and $40 each.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not offer sales tax or property tax exemptions for solar electric systems.

Certain municipalities offer incentives as well. For example, the City of Philadelphia provides a solar rebate program that gives back $0.20 for every watt installed. That’s an average rebate of nearly $1,700. Philly also provides reimbursements for all permitting costs related to solar installation. It’s best to check the DSIRE database before going solar to see if there are any additional local incentives or grants you can take advantage of.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Pennsylvania

The brand of solar panel you choose for your home will have an impact on the power production, the size of the system you need and, of course, the price you pay to go solar. 

The table below provides a quick comparison of relative prices for some of the best solar panel brands in Pennsylvania. These should help you figure out which brands are likely to fit into your budget.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

Ready to see what your solar panel system will cost and how many panels you need installed on your home? Check out our top providers below and get a free, no-obligation quote from a top installer in your area.

Read More About Going Solar

FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Pennsylvania

At EcoWatch, we get tons of questions on a daily basis from homeowners in Pennsylvania. Below are some of the ones we see most often, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.