Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

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 5/19/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in Pennsylvania

As a homeowner in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

Jump to Section:

  1. Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania
  2. Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Pennsylvania
  3. What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania
  4. Pennsylvania Solar Incentives
  5. Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022
  6. FAQ: 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 $16,040 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. If your roof is unable to support the typical 8.5-kW system, your savings will likely be more modest than the table above suggests.

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 federal tax credit is considered.

Size of Solar Panel System Pennsylvania Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
6 kW $15,300 $11,322
7 kW $17,850 $13,209
8 kW $20,400 $15,096
9 kW $22,950 $16,983
10 kW $25,500 $18,870
11 kW $28,050 $20,757
12 kW $30,600 $22,644

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 Top Local Installers

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Pennsylvania?

As explained above, the size of the system you need will be the predominant factor when determining the cost of solar panels for your home. However, the solar equipment you choose, your solar financing options and the specific installer will also affect the total. We’ll discuss each of these cost factors below.

Solar Equipment

Not all solar equipment is made equal, and you’ll have access to a variety of solar brands in Pennsylvania. Each manufacturer provides varying levels of quality, energy efficiency, durability and price, and different brands could lead to price differences on the order of thousands of dollars.

For example, homeowners in PA looking for the cheapest solar panels will very likely pay significantly less than those opting for the most efficient solar panels — at least up front. More efficient options like the Maxeon panels from SunPower will produce more energy and typically lead to greater savings over time, but they will push your initial investment higher.

Aside from the brand you choose, the type of equipment you want to be included in your solar project can have a significant impact on your costs. All home solar systems include solar panels and inverters, but add-on equipment such as solar batteries to maintain power at night — like the Tesla Powerwall — or solar electric vehicle chargers will naturally cost more.

Solar Financing

Paying an average of over $21,000 to convert to renewable energy in Pennsylvania might seem unattainable to many homeowners. Thankfully, nearly every solar installer in the state offers solar financing. Financing options reduce or even eliminate your upfront costs at the expense of paying interest over time.

It’s best to consider the total interest you’re expected to pay when deciding if going solar is worth it for you. Even low-APR loans can add substantially to your total. A general rule of thumb for reducing interest paid is to pay as much as you can upfront via your down payment, as this will reduce your APR, the principal on which you pay interest, or both.

Solar Installation Company

Finally, the solar panel installation company you select can affect your total costs. Every installer in Pennsylvania will have different prices for labor, equipment and warranties provided. For example, if you opt for a company that only installs high-quality options like SunPower panels, you might save more on utility bills over time but will have to pay a higher price because of equipment costs.

Additionally, the size of the company you go with can have an impact on your total costs to switch to renewable energy. Larger national companies often have lower pricing because of bulk equipment purchases, sometimes at the expense of quality customer service and system customization options.

Smaller local companies tend to be more expensive, have better customer service and provide complete customization. Some local companies offer discounts from time to time to undercut the more prominent competitors, so it all comes down to the specific installer you choose.

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 26% of what you paid to go solar. For the average Pennsylvania solar system, that comes out to a savings of $5,636.

The federal tax credit is substantial, but it’s scheduled to drop to 22% in 2023 and will no longer be available for residential systems in 2024. It’s possible that it will be renewed, but it’s not a guarantee.

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

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.

Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022

The EcoWatch team evaluated some of the most popular solar brands for efficiency and value for the money to find the best solar panels available. The table below lists some of the top brands and their relative costs to help you decide which might be best for your needs.

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

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People Also Ask

EcoWatch FAQ: 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.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.