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Fact Sheet: Solar Energy Use in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to a variety of settings. The state's landscape ranges from the historic urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to rural farmland to the Appalachian Mountains. True to its nickname, "the Keystone State," Pennsylvania holds an important position in the country's solar industry. Not only does the state possess many natural resource to protect, it also holds an important position in Northeastern commerce. Pennsylvania currently provides several quality solar incentives for homeowners, making it easy to invest in solar energy.
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Henrik, CC-BY-SA 3.0, source: WikipediaPennsylvania has a strong foundation for a thriving solar industry. The state's incredibly successful Sunshine rebate program gave its solar energy a $100 million boost, making Pennsylvania one of the top states for solar power. While the Sunshine rebate program has recently ended, Pennsylvania still maintains many other excellent solar incentives. Read on to find out more and decide if a solar energy system is right for you.

Grid Connected Solar Power Systems in Pennsylvania (2012)

  • Residential Solar Power Systems: 10.0 Megawatt
  • Non-Residential Solar Power Systems: 21.3 Megawatt
  • Utility: NA
  • Total: 31.3 Megawatt
  • Cumulative: 164.3 Megawatt

Pennsylvania is currently one of the tops states for installed solar capacity, ranking 11th in the country with 236 Megawatt of solar energy capacity installed. This is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 28,600 homes.

Cost of Electricity in Pennsylvania

  • Electricity Price: $0.13 per kWh
  • Average Electricity Bill: $160.00
  • Average Bill after Solar: $47

Switching to solar energy in Pennsylvania can cut monthly electricity bills by about two thirds. With an average monthly payment of $50 for leased solar energy systems, homeowners can save about $63 each month. Solar energy systems in Pennsylvania take only around 4.6 years to pay for themselves, well below the national average.

Solar Radiation

Average solar radiation in Pennsylvania is between 2 and 3 kilowatt per day over an area of 1 square meter (10.76 square foot). The state's average annual sunny or partly sunny days ranges from 205 in Philadelphia to 160 in Eerie, providing more than enough sunshine for solar energy systems.

State Solar Incentives and Rebate Programs

  • State Solar Tax Credit: None
  • State Solar Rebate: $0.75/W with caps
  • Property Tax Exemption: None
  • Sales Tax Exemption: None

While Pennsylvania has some work to do regarding the establishment of sales and property tax exemptions for solar power, the state does offer a generous net metering law. Pennsylvania law requires all investor-owned utilities to offer net metering to all residential customers with solar power systems up to 50kw in capacity. If residents produce excess solar energy, this surplus carries over to your next bill at the full retail rate. If this surplus occurs for a full year, the utility will send residents a check for the excess energy. In addition to fantastic solar incentives such as this net metering law, the Federal Tax Credit also applies.

Solar Installers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has over 442 solar installers, making it one of the largest solar power employers in the country. While Pennsylvania does not require solar installers to have a license from the state, homeowners should check with their local government to research the license requirements for their solar installer. Here is the license information for solar installers in Philadelphia.

Summary: Good Conditions for Solar Power Systems

Pennsylvania could certainly benefit from more solar incentives such as sales and property tax, but with its abundance of solar companies, Pennsylvania has a strong foothold in the solar industry. Moreover, the state offers outstanding savings for homeowners through its net metering law. To get started on your solar investment by calculating your costs and savings, please use our Solar Calculator , or contact solar installers in your area.

Fact Sheet Solar Energy Use in PennsylvaniaSolar Energy Fact Sheet: Pennsylvania, ©

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Written by: Oliver Behrla, Editor