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Are you considering installing solar panels in Pennsylvania? It’s a great time to do it, with prices steadily falling and the government providing various Pennsylvania solar incentives. The Keystone State has invested nearly $3 billion into solar projects, with many more currently under development.
If you live in Pennsylvania, investing in a home solar system can be a smart financial and environmental choice. By switching to solar, you’ll enjoy a range of benefits, including lower utility bills, energy independence, and a reduced carbon footprint.
Read on to learn more about solar panels in Pennsylvania, including pricing, providers, financing options, incentives, and more.
Pennsylvania solar panel cost
If you’re like many other homeowners, one of your first thoughts when considering a solar purchase is about the cost of solar panels in Pennsylvania. The truth is that the price of your panels will depend on numerous factors, including local installation costs and the size and configuration of your system. However, let’s look at how much these types of set-ups cost on average.
It’s important to mention that the cost of solar panels is measured in dollars per watt, with the typical residential solar system priced at $3 to $5 per watt. For an average home, this represents an investment of $15,000—$25,000 for the entire system.
Although these might seem like significant costs, there are several points to keep in mind. First, this estimate doesn’t take into account any applicable tax credits or other incentives. Also, once your solar panels start generating energy for your home, the solar system should pay for itself within six to nine years after installation.
Why choose Pennsylvania solar power?
There are many benefits of going solar, from cutting your electricity costs to securing energy independence to minimizing your impact on the environment. Let’s discuss three of the best reasons to choose solar power.
Lower energy costs
For many people, the cost savings are the biggest advantage of moving to a renewable energy source like solar. While switching to solar energy doesn’t reduce your overall energy usage, it allows you to generate your own power rather than having to purchase it from your local electric company. As a result, you’ll no longer have to pay a monthly energy bill.
Separately, adding solar panels to your residential property has been proven to increase the resale value of your home. It’s much easier for someone to purchase a home that already has solar installed rather than putting it in themselves, meaning that your system could be a huge selling point for prospective buyers.
Establish energy independence
With solar panels, you’re able to produce your own power — instead of purchasing it from an electric company and relying on the public grid. As a result, your home won’t be impacted by any large-scale power outages that affect your neighbors who don’t use solar. Plus, you won’t be subject to spiking electricity rates during extreme weather or excessive demand on the grid.
In addition to the personal benefits listed above, going solar also means that you’ll reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. This is because you’ll be using a green energy source instead of a traditional carbon-emitting source like oil or gas. It’s a win for the environment and your wallet.
Pennsylvania solar panel incentives or rebates
Concerned about the costs of going green? Fortunately, there are many ways to save on your solar investment through both federal solar tax credits and Pennsylvania solar incentives. Here’s how they work.
At the federal level, you’re eligible to receive a 26% tax credit if you install solar panels on your primary or secondary residence. There’s no limit on the credit, so you can claim it no matter the size of your solar set-up. It’s valid for installations in 2021 with a scheduled expiration date in 2022, so it’s a smart idea to add your system sooner rather than later if you want to guarantee your refund.
In terms of Pennsylvania solar incentives, the state permits you to collect Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) from your solar generation and exchange the credits for cash. The Keystone State also has a net metering arrangement, which allows you to sell your unused solar electricity back to the utility at retail prices.
You may also be entitled to local incentives, depending on where you live. For example, the city of Philadelphia offers a rebate for solar installations (although it’s currently on hold due to COVID-19 budget cuts).
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
In order to curb the high upfront costs of solar, some homeowners opt to lease their panels rather than buying them outright. While leasing provides its fair share of benefits, you’ll save more money in the long run if you purchase your panels. Here’s why:
You can only take advantage of the tax credits and incentives described above if you buy your solar system. If you lease, you aren’t eligible. Another perk of purchasing your panels is that it drives up the value of your home by an estimated $15,000.
On the other hand, leasing is a smarter decision for many people. Not only does it create more access to solar among families who might not be able to afford it on their own, but it also opens up opportunities for community solar projects and solar power purchase arrangements.
The history of solar power in Pennsylvania
Currently, the Keystone State ranks 22nd in the nation for solar power. There are more than 37,000 solar installations across the state, with many added in 2020. Some of the largest solar-generating locations include the Keystone Solar Project and Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Historically, Pennsylvania has been reliant on traditional energy sources, including coal and gas. But that looks to be changing as the state government and private companies invest in more renewable energy projects.
Important solar installation factors to consider
Aside from the cost, there are a few other matters to consider before you make a solar investment. These factors include:
- The condition of your roof (including its age and angle): To absorb the most sunlight, your roof should face south and have a slope between 15—40 degrees. It should also be well-maintained without needing replacement or repairs.
- The amount of sunshine your roof receives: Places that receive lots of sun are better suited for solar panels. It’s one of the reasons that the industry thrives in states like Texas.
- The relevant HOA or neighborhood rules: If you live in an HOA community, you may need to get approval before adding solar panels to your home.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Pennsylvania?
For an average-sized home, you can expect to pay around $3—$5 per watt. This translates to a total cost of $15,000—$25,000 for a typical residential solar system. Keep in mind, though, that these estimates are before applying any relevant tax credits or other incentives.
Is solar power a good investment in Pennsylvania?
Installing solar panels at your house could help you see short-term and long-term savings on your energy costs, especially if you live in a region with lots of sunshine. When you switch to solar, you’ll generate your own energy and won’t need to rely on the public power grid. Over time, your system should pay for itself and add resale value to your home.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
You’ll save more by switching to solar if you live in a place with high sunshine levels and if your roof is well-suited to absorb sunlight. Also, if you’re paying exorbitant electricity rates to your electricity provider, you’ll instantly start seeing savings when you begin producing your own solar power.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Pennsylvania?
With SaveOnEnergy, we can connect you with reliable solar installers to get started on your green energy journey. Separately, we also offer tips and resources about solar initiatives in your area, solar panel pricing, and more. Through our site, you’ll find everything you need to know about switching to solar.
How does solar power help the environment?
Since solar energy is created from the sun’s natural rays, it is renewable and doesn’t emit carbon dioxide when generated. As a result, using this type of resource will help you reduce your carbon footprint and put less strain on the environment.