Pennsylvanians have a lot to be proud about. In 1776, the catalytic Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and courageously signed by the founding fathers in Philadelphia, America’s original capital city. Then in 1787 at the Philadelphia Convention (now known as the Constitutional Convention), the Constitution of the Unites States was drafted by then future-President James Madison and made official law of the new nation. The Keystone State’s motto is “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence” appropriately, and is famous worldwide for Valley Forge, Gettysburg, the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall. The country’s first circulating library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin. The first all-motion-picture theater in the world was opened on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh in 1905. Another first in the world was commercial broadcast station KDKA in Pittsburgh, which began regular schedule broadcasting in 1920.The Warner brothers initiated what became their show business legacy with the opening of their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, PA. Later in 1940, the state put in motion the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the first high-speed multi-lane highway, which literally paved the way for modern super-highways throughout the nation.
The state of Pennsylvania isn’t just known for its iconic and transformative history, but also its resources. Pennsylvania possesses a wide variety of rich soils, great mineral wealth, clean water supplies, and a hefty abundance of timber. Additionally, it’s the one state in the country that mines anthracite coal. However, coal is not the only resource generating its energy supply. Pennsylvania has become increasingly more profitable in solar power, with its many incentives available to residents and business owners in the state who are itching to make the switch to a more long-term, sustainable path to energy production.
FEDERAL TAX CREDIT
There are many incentives for those in Pennsylvania to go solar. Let’s begin with the Federal Solar Tax Credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC has been renewed for 30% until the end of 2019. This credit applies to all states and is counted against your paid-in federal taxes throughout the course of the year. Claim your solar tax credit when you file your annual tax return. If not claimed completely in one year, it can continue in for up to 5 years. In January 2020, the tax credit will drop to 26%, and then again to 22% in 2021. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value.
STATE AND UTILITY TAX CREDITS
Although there is no blanket state solar tax credit for Pennsylvania at this time, there are still numerous incentives such as interconnection policies or its net metering program which documents your energy production and offers full-price credit for all the energy your solar panels generate. This is particularly important because Pennsylvania is tied for the nation’s 13th highest electricity prices, so the switch to solar will mean a huge impact to those previously paying a power company for its energy provisions every month. Another incentive is the state’s performance payments which rewards homeowners for the electricity their panels produce on an ongoing basis. They are credited either as per-kWh bonuses or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). The per-kWh bonuses directly reduce your electricity bill, whereas SRECs must be sold after they are earned.
The state now offers its High-Performance Buildings Program, which offers either grants or low-interest loans to homeowners and small businesses who want to go solar. The grants are equal to 10% of project costs, up to $500,000. Loans are available at very low-interest rates, but since you can't take both a loan and a grant for the same building project, the grant is preferable because it will save you more money than the loan.
Also worth the mention is Pennsylvania’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard requiring state utilities to obtain at least 18% of their power from renewable and alternative sources by 2021—a clear indication that solar in PA is here to stay.
Specific utility solar credits are one thing that can vary greatly company to company. Not a problem. Contact us and we’ll do the homework for you and apply all relevant utility credits to your solar power system savings. And speaking of systems, we are proud installers of SolarWorld USA, the oldest and most successful American solar panel manufacturer—over 40 years running! American-made quality you can trust with the best warranty in the business.
Writer: Geddy Friedman