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Add State and Local Incentives to the 30% Federal Tax Credit
Learn about solar incentives and solar rebates. Find out what is available to you through federal, state and local programs, as well as local utilities.
State and Local Solar Panel Rebates
Combining the Federal tax credit with state incentives you qualify for may significantly reduce the cost of your solar PV system.

Read more good news about these programs and important tips on qualifying below.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
30% of the cost of your Solar Electric System and installation can be deducted from your federal tax bill.

Read more about this credit and what qualifies.





Solar Incentives by State… Click on your state to see what is available.    
Solar States


— You may be able to afford a larger solar PV system than you originally thought!
— You may be able to add the battery backup system you were planning to buy in a year or two



The Good News About Solar System Incentives, Qualifications and Tips
Some solar incentive programs pay you back over time, based on the energy you generate. Other solar incentives are one-time payments of rebates or credits. Incentive requirements and definitions may vary between states.

Incentive types can be specifically for residential, schools, business, or industrial; or inclusive of all of them. Solar incentives are mainly for grid tied systems and are sometimes available for off grid systems.

The incentives may be only for solar photovoltaic (electric), for electricity generated by wind, or for solar thermal (hot water generation). Other types of incentives may incorporate multiple solar technologies.

Programs with yearly or periodic application dates have credits or rebate rates that may be stepped down over time.

To qualify for incentives, your solar system may have to be installed by a licensed Photovoltaic System Installer, and/or connected to the grid by a licensed Electrician. This may be particularly true for Grid-Tie (Grid-Intertied) systems.
Plan ahead and act quickly. Many incentive programs are time sensitive. First-come-first-served programs, such as lotteries, can be spoken for in minutes after the opening of their application date.

Be careful including incentives in your PV system's budget due to requirements and possible deadlines to meet before qualifying.

Always consult a tax professional in regards to your eligibility for tax incentives.





Solar Incentive Glossary
Battery Backup Systems
Battery backup systems can store electricity from the grid or a fuel-powered generator to provide emergency power when the grid goes down. It can also store energy created PV system to power appliances and lights at night after the sun goes down.

Feed in Tariffs,
a Performance Based Incentive, or PBI

(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
Feed-in Tariffs are typically long term contracts with your local utility for performance-based compensation.

The contracts are typically a 15-25 year purchase agreement at a guaranteed rate. The rate may decrease over time as specified in the agreement. Feed-in Tariffs may ultimately pay for your PV system or even exceed your initial investment depending on the specifics in the contract.

Originally started in Germany in 1990 and restructured in 2000 to include the right to interconnect to the utility grid. It was designed as an incentive to promote cost-effective renewable energy use and advancements in technologies. Due to its success, the current German policy is the cornerstone for the creation of many feed-in tariff programs around the globe.

Green Building Programs
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
Green Building Programs are generally for new construction and remodeling, or just adding a solar electric system. The most common incentives are reductions or waivers of building permit fees. Some state or local organizations offer coupons that reduce construction and/or installation costs to homeowners. The home or business owner usually gives the coupon to their program-authorized installer/contractor. Once the system is installed the installer/contractor can be reimbursed for the amount of the coupon by the program's organization.

Grid-Tied PV Systems
Grid tied systems are inter-connected to send energy back to the grid when your solar electric system creates more than you're using; and you can receive energy from the grid when you're using more electricity than your system is generating at the moment. Learn more about grid-tied solar systems.

Loans
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
State or local governments may offer low or zero interest loans for renewable energy projects. Terms are typically 10 years or less. If you are going to purchase or remodel a home that you are going to add a solar system to you may also want to see the Energy Star website for information on Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs).

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing may be offered by states that have been authorized to participate in this program. The amount of the loan is determined by a special assessment of your property and is typically repaid over a period of years.

Check with your local banks and credit unions as they may offer renewable energy loans for less than the prime rate. Also consider that mortgage loans and home equity loans can offer several advantages: longer terms, lower interest rates than conventional bank loans, and tax-deductible interest.
Net Metering
(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
As of January 2012, only four states do not have net metering policies ‐ South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. These programs are for utility customers who generate their own electricity and feed excess energy back into the grid. Net-metered customers may use grid energy when their electrical demand exceeds their solar electric system's output. Solar electric credit rates are applied to the customer's total electric use and are shown on the utility bills.

The credit rates and rules vary from state to state. Unused solar electric system credits may expire in a specified time period or they may be carried over from year to year. The credits may only be applied to the utility bill or you may be allowed to get a refund check at the end of a designated period, usually the end of the year.

Off-Grid PV Systems
Off grid systems do not feed energy back to the grid. You may be completely independent from the grid or you may be receiving grid electricity to supplement your system (Grid-Assisted). Learn more about off-grid solar systems.

Solar PV System (Photovoltaics)
A solar PV system uses photovoltaic panels (or modules) to create electricity. This powers appliances, lights, and other electric equipment.

Solar Thermal System
A solar thermal system uses panels (or modules) to heat water. The hot water is typically used instead of a water heater for everyday water use, or in a radiant heating system to warm the air.

State and Local Tax Incentives
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
  • Personal tax incentives include income tax credits (dollar-for-dollar reduction on what you owe) and income tax deductions (reduces your taxable income).
  • Property tax exemptions, exclusions and credit incentives generally exclude the added value of the system from your yearly property tax. Abatements may reduce a percentage of your yearly property tax over time.
  • State sales tax incentives can be an exemption from or a credit towards the applicable sales tax.
Utility Rate Discounts & Rebates
(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
Some utilities and state or local programs may offer temporarily reduced rates on utility bills, or one time rebates on the installation of solar systems and purchases of energy efficient appliances and/or HVAC systems.


Updated: 09/24/2016
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Pennsylvania Solar Incentives
Updated: 09/24/2016
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INCENTIVE NAME: Net Metering
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Net Metering
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA03R
DETAILS:
Applicable Utilities - Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit - 50 kW for Residential
3 MW for Non-residential
5 MW for micro-grid and emergency systems
Aggregate Capacity Limit - No limit specified
Net Excess Generation - Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; reconciled annually at "price-to-compare"
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits - Customer owns RECs
Meter Aggregation - Virtual meter aggregation allowed
WEBSITE: http://www.puc.pa.gov/consumer_info/electricity/alternative_energy.aspx
UTILITIES: Citizens Electric Co, Duquesne Light Co, Metropolitan Edison Co, Pennsylvania Electric Co, PPL Electric Utilities Corp, Pennsylvania Power Co, PECO Energy Co, Pike County Light & Power Co, UGI Utilities, Inc, Wellsborough Electric Co, West Penn Power Co,
LAST UPDATE: 02/17/2016

INCENTIVE NAME: Public Benefits Programs
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Public Benefits Fund
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA01R
DETAILS:
Types - Renewables and efficiency
Total Fund - Varies by fund, approximately $99 million in collective revenue through 2012
Charge - Varies by utility territory
WEBSITE: http://www.puc.pa.gov/utility_industry/electricity/sustainable_energy_fund.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 12/02/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Renewables Portfolio Standard
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA06R
DETAILS:
Standard - ~18% alternative energy resources by compliance year 2020-2021
Technology Minimum - Tier I: ~8% by compliance year 2020-2021 (includes PV minimum)
Tier II: 10% by compliance year 2020-2021
PV: 0.5% by compliance year 2020-2021
Compliance Multipliers - None
REC Lifetime - 3 years
Credit Trading/Tracking System - Yes (PJM-GATS)
WEBSITE: http://www.pennaeps.com/
LAST UPDATE: 02/16/2016

INCENTIVE NAME: Interconnection Standards
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Interconnection
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA07R
DETAILS:
Applicable Utilities - Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit - 5 MW
Standard Agreement - Yes
Insurance Requirements - "Additional" liability insurance not required
External Disconnect Switch - Required
Net Metering Required - Yes
WEBSITE: http://www.puc.pa.gov/consumer_info/electricity/alternative_energy.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 02/17/2016

INCENTIVE NAME: Sustainable Development Fund Financing Program (PECO Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA02F
DETAILS:
Loan Term - Vary by financing instrument
WEBSITE: http://www.trfund.com/sustainable-development-fund-sdf/
UTILITIES: PECO Energy Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Loan Program (FirstEnergy Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA03F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - $500,000 (generally)
Loan Term - Vary according to project
WEBSITE: http://www.metedpenelecsef.org/index.php
UTILITIES: Pennsylvania Electric Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Grants (FirstEnergy Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA07F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies according to project
Maximum Incentive - Varies; $25,000 for some types of projects
WEBSITE: http://www.metedpenelecsef.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85
UTILITIES: Metropolitan Edison Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) Loan Program (PPL Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA08F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - From $5,000 to $1 million
Loan Term - Vary by project; up to 7 years
Interest Rate - Competitive Interest rate as low as 4%
WEBSITE: http://www.TheSEF.org
UTILITIES: PPL Electric Utilities Corp,
LAST UPDATE: 10/14/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: West Penn Power SEF Commercial Loan Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA11F
DETAILS:
Loan Term - Interest rates and fees are similar to rates offered by commercial banks
WEBSITE: http://www.wppsef.org/need-financing.php
UTILITIES: West Penn Power Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Loans (FirstEnergy Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA14F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - $500,000 (generally)
Loan Term - Vary according to project
WEBSITE: http://www.metedpenelecsef.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86
UTILITIES: Metropolitan Edison Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/21/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Grant Program (FirstEnergy Territory)
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA15F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies according to project
Maximum Incentive - Varies; $25,000 for some types of projects
WEBSITE: http://www.metedpenelecsef.org/
UTILITIES: Pennsylvania Electric Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: High Performance Green Schools Planning Grants
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA25F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Determined on a case-by-case basis
Equipment Requirements - Schools must achieve at least LEED for Schools Silver certification
WEBSITE: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/schools/13838/funding_opportunities/588215
LAST UPDATE: 11/25/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: High Performance Building Incentives Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Alternative Energy Investment Fund (state issued bonds)
CODE: PA36F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding
Maximum Incentive - Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Equipment Requirements - Projects must achieve minimum certification under LEED, Green Globes, or the National Green Building standard (e.g., Gold under LEED NC); projects must also meet additional requirements in certain categories.
BUDGET: $25 million (grants and loans combined)
WEBSITE: http://www.newpa.com/find-and-apply-for-funding/funding-and-program-finder/high-performance-building-program-hpb
LAST UPDATE: 05/04/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: High Performance Buildings Incentive Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Alternative Energy Investment Fund (state issued bonds)
CODE: PA42F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Loan Term - Loans at a fixed interest rate (updated quarterly) for up to 10 years. Loans may be amortized over a period of up to 25 years. Minimum green building certification requirements apply.
BUDGET: $25 million
WEBSITE: http://www.newpa.com/find-and-apply-for-funding/funding-and-program-finder/high-performance-building-program-hpb
LAST UPDATE: 11/25/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: City of Philadelphia - Green Power Purchasing
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Green Power Purchasing
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA13R
DETAILS:
Renewables % or Amount - 20% (2.93 million MWh) by 2015*
Solar: 57.8 MW by 2021
Source - Solar, biogas, wind, hydroelectric
WEBSITE: http://www.phila.gov/green/greenworks/energy_Alternative.html#purchase
LAST UPDATE: 11/25/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Requirements for Utilities
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA14R
DETAILS:
Electric Sales Reduction - Phase I: Electricity savings equivalent to 3% of projected June 2009 - May 2010 electricity consumption by May 31, 2013
Phase II: Varies by utility. Electricity savings equivalent to between 1.6% and 2.9% of June 2009 - May 2010 sales by May 31, 2016
Phase III : Varies by utility, electricity savings range from 2.6% to 5%. Phase III begins from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2021
Electric Peak Demand Reduction - Phase II: Electricity savings equivalent to 4.5% of measured June 2007 - May 2008 peak demand by May 31, 2013
Phase III: Varies by utility, ranging up to 2%
Natural Gas Sales Reduction - N/A
Rate Impact Parameters - Costs may not exceed 2% of annual utility revenue as of December 31, 2006
WEBSITE: http://www.puc.pa.gov/filing_resources/issues_laws_regulations/act_129_information.aspx
UTILITIES: Duquesne Light Co, Metropolitan Edison Co, Pennsylvania Electric Co, PPL Electric Utilities Corp, Pennsylvania Power Co, PECO Energy Co, West Penn Power Co,
LAST UPDATE: 06/12/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: City of Philadelphia - Streamlined Solar Permitting and Fee Reduction
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Green Building Incentive
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA76F
WEBSITE: http://www.phila.gov/green/solarGuidebook.html
LAST UPDATE: 11/19/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: West Penn Power SEF Grant Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: Local
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA85F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies by project
Maximum Incentive - Capped at $25,000 per award (exceptions can be made for projects that are deemed to have high impact on sustainable energy industry)
WEBSITE: http://www.wppsef.org/need-financing.php
UTILITIES: West Penn Power Co,
LAST UPDATE: 11/24/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Solar Alternative Energy Credits
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: PA87F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies based on market conditions; during 2015 the market price for PA-sourced SRECs has ranged from approximately $32 - $55/MWh ($0.032 - $0.055/kWh) although individual trades have taken place at substantially lower and higher prices.
Maximum Incentive - Varies based on market conditions; SACP does not represent a price ceiling because it is only determined after the fact
Eligible System Size - No system size limitations
Equipment Requirements - Systems generally require a utility-grade performance meter (exception exists for some facilities of 15 kW or smaller)
WEBSITE: http://paaeps.com/credit/
LAST UPDATE: 05/05/2015

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