Should I Buy Or Lease My Solar Panels
Buying and leasing solar panels both come with plenty of benefits. But in the long run, its more cost-effective to buy your solar panels, either in cash or through financing. When you buy the panels you can take advantage of the federal tax credit and other financial incentives. It also allows you to save more over the long term since you wont have a monthly payment for your solar panels forever. Adding solar panels can also increase your homes resale value by about $15,000.
Leasing solar panels is a good option if the initial cost is not feasible right now for you . Renters who want to utilize green energy may opt to lease solar panels. Overall, leasing programs help to make solar energy more accessible.
A final option is community solar. These shared solar programs split the cost of the solar system amongst participants who then share the benefits and energy produced, without the expense or obstacle of maintaining your own solar system. This option is great for those in apartment buildings or those who want a more affordable option.
Energy For All: Single
We provide low-to-no cost solar electric systems to families that qualify as low income, and install them using a barnraising model that gives volunteers and job trainees hands-on experience they can use to get jobs in the growing solar industry. Each project has a triple impact: energy cost savings that help struggling families put food on the table or pay medical expenses a classroom in the field for solar aspirants that supports local employment and the growing solar industry and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that helps local governments reach their emissions targets and contributes to cleaner air for everyone.
With an estimated 20 million low income, owner-occupied single family homes in the United States, we have a tremendous opportunity to support the continued growth of solar and the long-term transition to clean, renewable energy that will benefit us all. Get involved today by partnering, volunteering or making a donation to support our work.
Pennsylvania Free Solar Program
Two programs in Pennsylvania may help you install solar panels at no upfront cost. These are the Power Purchase Agreement and the PA Sunshine program.
In the PPA, eligible homes can have solar panels installed on their homes at no cost to them. You pay for the energy produced by the solar panels, purchasing solar power for your home rather than strictly purchasing grid energy. Residents using this program save money on energy in most cases.
The PA Sunshine program can provide low or no-cost solar panels to eligible residents who meet certain criteria. These include income caps and living in an area that the census has declared underserved by solar energy. If you fit these requirements, speak to your local municipality for more information.
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On This Page You Can:
Learn what solar incentives are available to Pennsylvania homeowners
See what Pennsylvania solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city
Find out how much these incentives and/or Pennsylvania solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries
Pennsylvania Solar Incentives Or Rebates
Theres no doubt that solar panels are expensive. The good news is the federal government and state and local governments have incentives in place to help reduce the cost for homeowners. Through 2022, the federal government offers a solar tax credit for anyone who purchases a residential solar system. The tax credit is 26% through the end of the year, and will be reduced to 22% in 2023. This can save you thousands of dollars on your solar panel purchase.
Pennsylvania also has incentives in place to help you save. First, the state offers a net metering policy that allows homeowners to sell their excess energy back to the energy grid at the price at which they would buy it. You can bank this energy and then use it later when your solar production is low. The state also allows you to sell the solar renewable energy certificates that your panels generate, which could earn you more than $100 per year.
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Labor Cost To Install Solar Panels In Pennsylvania
Labor costs to install solar panels in Pennsylvania range from $0.81 to $0.93 per watt. Costs vary depending on many factors, including region, panel and inverter type, and installation location. Labor costs are generally higher in urban areas than in less-populated spaces. For example, installing the panels in Pittsburg is more costly than installing them in more rural spaces. Also, the area you install the panels on can also influence the labor cost. Ground installations are more labor-intensive than roof installations, impacting your final costs. Below are Pennsylvanias average labor costs to install grid-tied solar panel systems.
Important Solar Factors To Consider
Solar panels offer homeowners plenty of benefits, but there are a few things to consider before you purchase them for your home:
- According to the Department of Energy, solar panels are best for newer roofs and those in good shape, since they wont need to be replaced soon. Theyre also most effective on south-facing roofs with slopes between 15 and 40 degrees.
- Solar panels are best utilized in areas with lots of sunlight. Before installing them, consider the weather patterns in your state and whether theres anything obstructing sunlight from reaching your home.
- Some homeowners associates and other neighborhood organizations may have restrictions for solar panels. You may be limited in the size of your solar system or may need approval before you install them.
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How Much Does Solar Cost In Pennsylvania
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same state, due to a range of factors. These include:
Households energy needs
Quality of the solar panels
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Pennsylvania, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $11,500 to $20,100, or in other words from $2.30 to $4.02 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
Utilizing Pennsylvanias solar incentives to your advantage can also reduce your costs of going solar.
The federal investment tax credit program allows homeowners nationwide to receive a 26% income tax credit after installing solar panels on their homes.*
Pennsylvania homeowners can also make money from their solar energy production system. The Solar Renewable Energy Credits program in Pennsylvania allows state residents to receive compensation for every kWh their solar systems generate.*
Additionally, Pennsylvania participates in net metering, which allows homeowners to sell their excess solar power to their utility companies at the same prices they would buy it. This program also reduces the overall costs of switching to and generating solar energy.*
Pennsylvania Solar Panels Guide 2022
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.
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Cost Of Solar Panels In Pa By Cell Type
Solar panels can be grouped into polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin film. Monocrystalline panels are the most common and expensive. Monocrystalline panels typically produce the best output and work in bright sunlight. They have a matte black finish for a sleek appearance.
Polycrystalline cells are made from fragments of silicon crystals, while monocrystalline panels are made from whole crystals. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but less efficient than monocrystalline panels. They are also a brighter blue, which some people may not like.
Thin-film panels are the lowest profile. While they work best in overcast areas, they are less efficient than monocrystalline panels. They are also less expensive than monocrystalline panels. Below are the average costs for installing a 6kW system using the 3 solar panels.
|$14,000 – $20,000|
You May Be Paying More For Your Lease Than You Would Have For Traditional Electric
Because of the lease escalator, it is entirely possible that over the twenty year lease, youll reach a point where youre spending more on the lease than you would if you received a bill from your utility company.
Also, if your consumption goes down, you are on the hook for making the loan payments. For example, we all know the family components of the house change. If you get into a lease when you have a large family and then your family reduces in size the lease costs now does not outpace your energy. The lease payment is more then the average electric bill because it was done on data when more people were in the home. In addition, it is a mistake to assume energy prices will go up over the next 20 years. Better energy technology, both from fracking and renewables, should increase supply and reduce costs over time.
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Put Solar Energy To Work On Your Verona Home
Homeowners in Verona PA are ideal candidates for solar energy absorption. If your area or utility offers net metering, youll receive a credit for the excess energy you produce, effectively reducing or eliminating your utility bill.
How Solar Works:
What Do Companies Mean When They Say Free Solar Panels
The terms free solar panels or no cost solar program are sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements . Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front but will charge you for the electricity that they produce. Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure youve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.
So what do a companys marketers and salespeople mean when they say free solar panels or no cost solar program? Usually, they are referring to solar leases and power purchase agreements . Under these solar financing arrangements, a solar company will put a solar system on your roof at no up-front cost to you for installation, enrollment, or maintenance. This sounds great you get to say that your home is powered by clean energy, and can even point to the solar panels on your roof to prove it.
But the reality is that you do not technically own the system, and the solar energy the panels produce is not part of a no cost solar program. Under solar lease agreements, ownership is retained by the solar company, and you pay for the electricity it produces. In essence, the company has built a small power plant on your roof and is selling you the electricity.
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Pennsylvania Solar And Renewable Energy Incentives
Pennsylvania has a solid foundation to help boost solar power. Favorable laws, rebates, performance payments, and high electric prices make going solar in Pennsylvania a wise economic decision.
Keep in mind that the Federal Government currently offers a 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system That’s a huge benefit available to you no matter where you live in the US! Talk to a local installer about the rebates and incentives available in your area.
Solar Renewable Energy Credit
The third major financial incentive program available in Pennsylvania is the solar renewable energy credit scheme, sometimes referred to as solar power performance payments or production incentives. For each megawatt-hour of energy you produce, you earn an SREC. You can then sell these SRECs to your electricity distribution company or electricity generation supplier .
SREC prices in Pennsylvania have long been based on SREC values across a shared market known as the PJM region that, in addition to Pennsylvania, encompasses Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and parts of seven other states. As a result, the market is saturated with SRECs, and their relative value has declined from $300 per megawatt-hour 2010 to around $21 per megawatt-hour today. This year, Pennsylvania lawmakers sought to correct this issue by forbidding out-of-state SREC sellers from selling SRECs in Pennsylvania. But the states low renewable energy targets , which determine how many SRECs utilities are required to purchase, remains as a barrier to SREC price increases. You can find the most up-to-date credit market prices at SRECTrade.com.
City and County Level Incentives
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Net Energy Metering In Pennsylvania
With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.
Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.
Since 2008, Pennsylvania law has required all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering to all residential customers with solar power systems up to 50kW in capacity. If you produce more energy than you consume the surplus is carried over to your next bill at the full retail rate.
If you run a surplus for a full year , your utility will cut you a check for all of it at the price-to-compare rate, which includes the generation and transmission components, but excludes the distribution component charges of your electric bill. While a check at the full retail rate would be even better, the majority of states do not require the utility to cut you that year-end check at all, so kudos to Pennsylvania on this one, regardless of the slightly reduced rate.
More recently, Pennsylvania has been exploring an expansion to net metering that would allow systems sized to produce up to 200% of the owner’s usage. At a time when other states are restricting or eliminating net metering this is great news!
Drawbacks Of Solar Leases & Solar Ppas: Free Solar Panels Arent Free
Under both agreements, the main drawback is that you dont own your system. The installer owns it.
They structure it this way so that they can claim the Federal Tax Credit and any local incentives for going solar. As of 2020, that represents a 26% credit on your total costs to go solar.
A system that costs $10k rewards a $2,600 tax credit to the system owner. Under leases and PPAs, it is the installernot youwho gets to pocket this credit. You miss out on the largest financial incentive for supporting renewable energy.
Yes, theyll put free solar panels on your roof, but they also reap most of the long-term value from owning the system. They make more than enough profit over the life of the system to recoup the cost of equipmentsavings that should end up in your pocket.
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Federal And Local Solar Incentives That Lower The Upfront Cost Of Solar
The main takeaway when considering a no cost solar program or PPA is that you dont own the solar panel system on your roofthe installer does. Most agreements are structured in a way that heavily benefits the installer, and it allows them to claim the Federal Investment Tax Credit , as well as any local incentives, for going solar.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
SRECs are icing on the cake for solar owners.
For every 1,000 kilowatt-hours produced by a solar system, the system owner receives 1 SREC. This certificate can then be registered and sold to generate additional income.
The price you will get for each SREC is driven by market demand. At the time of this article, SRECs in Pennsylvania were selling for $35 a credit.
Incentives like the tax credit, net metering, SRECs, and USDA grants all make 2021 a great time to invest in solar energy.
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Homeowners Guide To Going Solar
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the suns energy. Thanks in part to Solar Energy Technologies Office investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your homes roof or finding another way to harness the suns energy. While theres no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out whats best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
How does solar work?
There are two primary technologies that can harness the suns power and turn it into electricity. The first is the one youre likely most familiar with photovoltaics, or PV. These are the panels youve seen on rooftops or in fields. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow. Learn more about how PV works.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
How do I start the process of going solar?
Can I install solar myself?
How much power can I generate with solar?
Will I save money by going solar?
Can I get financing for solar?
How can I find state incentives and tax breaks that will help me go solar?
Is solar safe?
What does mean?