Pennsylvania solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 26% (tax credit)

State tax credit: No

Net metering (by utility)

Calculate for your homes location

There can be solar tax credits and incentives available at the federal, state and local levels. The calculator above will show you the value of all incentives your home is eligible for.

Summary of Pennsylvania solar incentives 2020

Pennsylvania has had an up and down solar incentives picture for over the past decade. The state currently has a strong net metering policy, which is good for you as a prospective solar panel homeowner. That means you get credited at near retail rate electric prices for the solar power you create but can’t use!

Also, if you’re lucky enough to live in Philadelphia, you can access new $200-per-kilowatt home solar rebates. Philly plays host to 10% of the state’s population, so the rebates have a chance to make a real impact in the lives of people who want to go solar in 2020.

There is another strong incentive pending in the form of a requirement for utilities to ramp up their harvest of clean energy from sources like your rooftop. That may lead to higher renewable energy certificate (SREC) prices. You can sell those SRECs your panels produce every year, so read on!

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to Pennsylvania homeowners

  2. See what Pennsylvania solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or Pennsylvania solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

Federal solar investment tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar in Pennsylvania

This perk is commonly known as the ITC, short for “Investment Tax Credit”. If you install your photovoltaic system in 2020, the federal tax credit is 26% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 26% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 26% = $5,200.

The federal tax credit falls to 22% in 2021. Unless new legislation is introduced in Washington D.C., this program will be gone in 2022.

Net energy metering in Pennsylvania

With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Since 2008, Pennsylvania law has required all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering to all residential customers with solar power systems up to 50kW in capacity. If you produce more energy than you consume the surplus is carried over to your next bill at the full retail rate. 

If you run a surplus for a full year (measured June 1 – May 31), your utility will cut you a check for all of it at the “price-to-compare” rate, which includes the generation and transmission components, but excludes the distribution component charges of your electric bill. While a check at the full retail rate would be even better, the majority of states do not require the utility to cut you that year-end check at all, so kudos to Pennsylvania on this one, regardless of the slightly reduced rate.

More recently, Pennsylvania has been exploring an expansion to net metering that would allow systems sized to produce up to 200% of the owner's usage. At a time when other states are restricting or eliminating net metering this is great news!

Pennsylvania solar rebates

While Pennsylvania does not have a dedicated state rebate for solar panel installation, some manufacturers like LG offer their own solar rebates. These programs are usually time sensitive. For example, LG offers a $600 solar rebate on their equipment, which your installer can help you redeem over the next year.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Philadelphia, you can get a $200 per kW rebate for your home solar system now until the end of 2024. On an average sized 6kW system, you can claim $1,200. However, there are only $500,000 in funds available every year. That means, these funds are only going to provide relief to about 500 residences annually.

Aside from this incentive, there hasn't been much movement from the Pennsylvania legislature on getting more rebates for needy homeowners. The good news is that solar has fallen an additional 60% (and counting) in price over the last 10 years, so even without cash back from utilities, you can be sure you're getting a sweet deal on your shiny new solar panel system.

Pennsylvania SREC program

In addition to making electricity, your home solar panels generate a special invisible renewable energy certificate, called an SREC. Utility companies can purchase them from you to claim they are hitting their renewable energy targets. The more certificates they acquire, the less risk they have of missing the mark. 

Currently, state lawmakers require utilities in Pennsylvania to source 0.5% of their electricity from solar power. Therefore, they are willing to pay a small amount to access your SRECs, so they aren’t hit with fees from the state. SRECs are currently selling for about $24 apiece.

Your solar panel system creates an SREC each time you generate a megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity. An average 6kW solar system in Pennsylvania makes about 8 MWhs a year, so that’s roughly 8 SRECs. Multiply that by current SREC prices and you can potentially net an extra $200 a year in income. Not a windfall, but still nice.

If Pennsylvania SB600 passes however, that would increase the utility solar energy sourcing requirement from .5% to a much more hefty 10%. If that bill becomes law, you can expect SREC prices here to climb much higher!

Cost of solar panels in your part of Pennsylvania after all applicable solar incentives

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$12,898-$15,764

Payback period

7.8-9.5 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$33,308-$40,710

Average size system installed in PA in 2020

9.2kW

Solar panel cost calculator

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