Last Updated: September 19th, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Read Time: 3 Minutes
Every day, the sun beats down on your roof, showering it with energy. Solar panels let you harness that sunshine and use it to power your home, business, or electric car, while keeping your electric bill low, or potentially non-existent. By switching to solar power, you can reduce your carbon footprint and your dependence on the utility company.
The cost of installing rooftop solar panels varies by state, depending on state incentives and net-metering programs. Here’s a quick look at how solar panel installation is unique in Pennsylvania.
Solar power in Pennsylvania
Numerous Pennsylvania homes and businesses get their power from solar panels. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there’s enough solar energy installed in Pennsylvania to supply 53,267 homes with power. Several retailers in Pennsylvania have gone solar, including Crayola, IKEA, and Johnson & Johnson.
Pennsylvania has net metering and a grant program through the state’s Solar Energy Program (SEP) that benefits businesses, municipalities and schools. In addition, homeowners and businesses can take advantage of the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) available until the end of 2019. The ITC will be reduced in 2020 to 26 percent, and then to 22 percent in 2021. After 2021, the ITC will only be available for commercial and utility projects at 10 percent.
Pennsylvania’s net metering program values the unused solar energy your system creates at the retail power rate. Net metering is an agreement with your local energy company to purchase any excess energy your solar panels generate. The energy you don’t need to power your home gets sent back into the grid for other homes and businesses to use. For example, if you generate $50 worth of energy and use only $40, you’ll feed $10 worth of energy back into the grid. Any excess power will cover your nighttime energy use, and anything left over after that is credited to future energy bills at the retail values.
At the end of your yearly billing cycle, any leftover credit you have will be refunded back to you at almost the full retail price. Net-metering programs vary from state to state, and not all of them are so generous as in Pennsylvania.
Advantages of solar panels in Pennsylvania
The combination of state and federal incentives makes installing solar panels advantageous. And since the price of electricity in Pennsylvania is approximately the 15th highest in the nation, that helps make solar a worthy investment in the Keystone State.
Pennsylvania gets an average of 3.6 peak sunlight hours a day, which is plenty to make solar a worthy investment. In addition, the attractive local incentives provide additional benefit for those in Pennsylvania switching to solar power.
Finally, Pennsylvania allows homeowners to sell the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) their solar panels generate. SRECs are tradable credits which represent the electricity generated from the solar panels. Utilities purchase these credits to meet the Pennsylvania Renewable Portfolio Standard of sourcing 18 percent of the electricity it consumes from renewable resources by 2020.
For more information to see if solar is right for you, please call us at (800) 765-2715, or visit https://www.powerhome.com.