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Are Solar Panels Worth it In Pennsylvania?

Are solar panels worth it in Pennsylvania? It’s a question that combines practicality and potential in the minds of Keystone State homeowners. Here, we tackle the numbers, incentives, and environmental benefits of installing solar panels. With a shift towards greener energy and falling installation prices, Pennsylvania offers a promising landscape for solar adopters – a landscape we’re set to explore.

Evaluating Solar Panel Benefits in Pennsylvania

Solar panels on a residential rooftop in Pennsylvania

Homeowners considering going solar in Pennsylvania will find significant benefits attached to this investment. We’ll examine the financial savings, environmental impact, and energy independence provided by solar panels.

Financial Savings

Pennsylvania homeowners who install solar panels can expect to see substantial savings on their electricity bills over the system’s lifespan, with potential savings ranging from $30,000 to $100,000. These savings can significantly offset the initial cost of the solar panel system, making it a worthwhile investment.

The typical payback period for purchasing solar panels in Pennsylvania spans six to nine years. This period represents the time it takes for the savings from reduced electricity bills to cover the initial installation cost. Therefore, if you plan to stay in your current home for a decade or more, solar panels could be a financially sound choice.

Environmental Impact

Solar energy in Pennsylvania plays a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting cleaner energy generation. The state incentivizes electricity suppliers to incorporate renewable energy into their offerings through the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) law, which creates a market for clean energy.

While the AEPS requirement for renewable energy has plateaued at 8% since 2021, there’s potential for an increase. If the ‘Tier 1’ requirement is amended to include more solar energy, it could foster the growth of solar energy production in Pennsylvania to meet 14% by 2030. The estimated environmental benefits of such a move could be as high as $6.5 billion by avoiding costs related to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Independence

Solar panels, as a crucial component of a solar energy system, can provide homeowners with greater control over their energy consumption, reducing reliance on the grid. In a time of rising energy costs and increasing environmental concerns, this level of independence is not only appealing but also practical.

With free solar panels, you’ll be able to:

  • Generate your own solar generated electricity

  • Reduce the amount you need to buy from your utility

  • Save money by producing more energy and needing less from the grid

  • Achieve energy independence

Over time, these savings can add up significantly, making the solar panels worth an excellent investment.

Understanding Solar Costs in Pennsylvania

Solar panel installation cost breakdown

While the benefits of solar panels are evident, it’s equally important to understand the costs associated with solar panel installation to make an informed decision. We’ll dive into the installation costs, maintenance expenses, and various financing options available in Pennsylvania.

Installation Costs

The average cost of solar panel installation in Pennsylvania is about $2.96 per watt as of April 2024, meaning a typical 5 kW system could be priced around $14,787 before incentives. However, costs vary depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Over the past decade, solar installation costs have fallen by 43%, primarily due to advancements in technology and manufacturing efficiencies, along with the availability of federal tax incentives. After considering these federal tax credits, the average cost for a residential solar system in Pennsylvania typically ranges from $12,500 to $17,000.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular solar panel maintenance is required once solar panels are installed to ensure continuous efficient operation. The annual maintenance cost for solar panels in Pennsylvania averages between $300 and $700. This typically includes cleaning and periodic inspections to identify and address potential issues.

However, investing in higher quality solar panels can reduce the frequency and cost of maintenance over time, as more efficient panels require less frequent maintenance. Some companies in Pennsylvania even offer annual maintenance checks for a fee, providing homeowners with peace of mind.

Financing Options

Financing a solar panel system in Pennsylvania doesn’t necessarily require a large upfront cash outlay. Various loan options are available, including $0-down loans that enable immediate electricity cost savings.

In addition to loans, solar financing in Pennsylvania includes $0 down lease agreements and pre-paid power purchase agreements. Companies like Sunrun offer competitive rates for these services, providing homeowners with flexible options to finance their solar panel installations.

Pennsylvania Solar Incentives and Rebates

Pennsylvania solar incentives and rebates

Pennsylvania residents installing solar panels can benefit from various incentives and rebates, in addition to the financial savings from reduced energy bills. We’ll delve into the available federal tax credits, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and net metering programs.

Federal Investment Tax Credit

The Federal Solar Tax Credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), allows solar panel system owners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar system from their federal taxes for systems installed between 2022 and 2032. This significant federal tax credit can substantially reduce the overall cost of your solar panel system.

To claim the ITC, taxpayers must file Form 5695 with their federal tax return. It’s important to note, though, that the federal solar tax credit will reduce to 26% in the year 2033 for new solar panel installations.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Pennsylvania residents can earn Solar Alternative Energy Credits (SAECs) for the clean energy generated by their solar panels. These credits can provide financial compensation, enhancing the financial feasibility of installing solar systems in the state.

The value of these credits varies, but every bit helps when it comes to offsetting the cost of your solar installation. By adopting solar power, you’re not just saving money on your energy bills – you’re also potentially earning money from the energy you generate.

Net Metering

Net metering is available to customers of all utility types in Pennsylvania, including investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, and member-owned cooperatives. This program enables homeowners with solar panels to receive credits for excess energy produced, offsetting future electric utility bills.

The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act mandates that electric utilities in Pennsylvania must credit homeowner-generated surplus renewable energy at the same rate the utility charges for electricity, effectively the full retail rate. This means you’re compensated fairly for the clean energy you contribute to the grid.

Choosing the Right Solar Company in Pennsylvania

Solar company in Pennsylvania

Selecting the appropriate solar company is a pivotal step in the successful installation of solar panels in your home. This involves careful research and comparison of solar installation companies, their services, warranties, and customer satisfaction.

We’re going to unpack the process.

Research and Reviews

Conducting thorough research is paramount in selecting the right solar company. Some important factors to consider are:

  • A company’s expertise and experience in the solar industry

  • The reputation and customer reviews of the company

  • The range of services and products offered by the company

  • The company’s certifications and accreditations

  • The company’s warranty and maintenance policies

In Pennsylvania, there are over 400 solar companies to choose from, known for their service offerings.

Online reputation, through customer reviews and ratings, is a valuable indicator of a solar company’s reliability and service quality. Be sure to read reviews and ratings, and remember, no company is perfect, but a pattern of positive reviews is a good sign.

Get Multiple Quotes

To ensure you’re receiving the best value for your solar panel installation, it’s essential to request quotes from multiple providers. Quotes for solar panel systems can vary based on the equipment brand, system size, and the installer’s experience.

By obtaining and comparing multiple quotes, you can get a sense of the price range and negotiate for better deals, potentially achieving greater savings on your investment. Make sure to request quotes from both local and national providers such as us here at Ethical Energy Solar, to ensure a comprehensive comparison.

Consult with Experts

Solar energy experts, also known as solar installers, can offer personalized recommendations and guidance to navigate the complexities of solar panel installation in Pennsylvania. Many homeowners often wonder, “Are solar panels worth it in Pennsylvania?” The answer largely depends on several regional factors that these experts are well-versed in. Experts can evaluate your property and regional environmental factors to provide the most efficient solar solutions.

They can also check the physical condition of your roof to ensure it’s suitable for solar panel installation and advise on any potential preparatory work. Thus, seeking advice from experts can maximize your investment and ensure your solar panel system is tailored to your specific needs.

Work With A Solar Panel Installer In Pennsylvania

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From substantial financial savings and environmental impact to energy independence, the benefits of installing solar panels in Pennsylvania are clear. While the initial costs may seem high, various incentives, rebates, and financing options can significantly reduce these expenses. The key to a successful solar panel investment lies in careful research, getting multiple quotes, and consulting with experts. Asking “Are solar panels worth it in Pennsylvania?” can lead you to discover the substantial value and benefits they bring to the Keystone State. As Pennsylvania continues to embrace solar energy, homeowners can look forward to a brighter, more sustainable future. Work with Pennsylvania solar installers – Ethical Energy Solar and get a free quote today!