* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.
Pennsylvania could use some room for improvement as far as solar incentives go; there are no statewide or utility-specific rebates offered for residential solar systems. However, there is a net metering law in place which has the potential to dramatically decrease homeowners’ electric bills.
The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Pennsylvania is currently $10,558 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.38 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.
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Prices based on a 5.1kW system, after 26% federal tax credit
Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.
Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.
(forecast avg Pennsylvania electric rates over the next 25 years)
The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation. Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Pennsylvania is now.
All electric distribution companies are required by law to offer net metering to their customers. That means that if your solar system produces more energy than you use, you will be paid the full retail rate for each excess kilowatt-hour of electricity it produces.
Since electricity rates are so high in Pennsylvania, net metering can save homeowners a pretty penny.
The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act of 2004 mandates that all electric companies and suppliers must obtain 18% of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2021; 0.5% must be derived from solar.
Companies must purchase alternative energy credits (AECs) in order to meet their quota. One credit is equal to 1 megawatt-hour of renewable energy. One of the ways Pennsylvania homeowners can make back their money is by generating these AECs and selling them to the utilities.
(After tax credit)
(After tax credit)
You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.
Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more
Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2021 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.
A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.
In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.
Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.
Read more about types of home solar systems.
No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.
Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Pennsylvania will fall during 2021.
Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.
A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 27-degree pitch roof Pennsylvania will generate 1,254kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in Pennsylvania.
Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.
The main advantage of installing solar panels in Pennsylvania is the state’s net metering law, which requires retail sellers of electricity to provide their solar customers with credit that is equal to the retail rate of electricity for the excess generation their systems create. With power prices above the national average, the return on investment for an installation of solar panels in The Keystone State is one of the best in the US. Pennsylvania homeowners can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, as well.
The disadvantage of installing solar panels is that Pennsylvania receives less sunshine than some other states. This means that a solar system will produce a little less here than it will in sunnier states like Arizona. Also, the state does not require a property tax or sales tax exemption on solar energy equipment like many other states do. Plus, Pennsylvania lacks state and utility solar incentives and rebates.
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Pennsylvania solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.
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