PA Solar Incentives Pennsylvania
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Solar Incentives >Pennsylvania

Considering solar in Pennsylvania?

Great news!
$100 Million Dollars is YOURS for the taking!!

$100 million dollars is approved in the form of Pennsylvania Sunshine, a provision added to Gov. Ed Rendell’s Alternative Energy Investment Act.

That $100 million takes the form of grant funding for commercial and residential solar projects.

$22,500 -  Is YOURS!!
Residential rebates will be available for Photovotaic (electric) installations at a rate of $2.25/watt for up to 10 kW; that's a maximum rebate of $22,500.

Small businesses can qualify for rebates for systems up to 200 kW in a stepped amount program.

$2000. Is YOURS!!
Solar Hot Water systems are also eligible for the program with a maximum available rebate of $2,000.

This means you can have a SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEM for as low as $2500!!

Federal Tax Credit of 30% of the entire purchase install price.

Click HERE for Latest PA Incentives

Sunshine Program applicants will qualify for funding at the rebate levels provided below, not to exceed 35 percent of the project costs.

Funding levels will automatically decline according to the following pre-determined steps. The department is currently reimbursing in accordance with the highlighted incentive levels listed below:

Residential PV Rebates

Step # Megawatt (MW) in Step Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
1 10 2.25
2 10 1.75
3 10 1.25
4 10 0.75

Small Business PV Rebates

Step # Megawatt in Step 3-10 kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt) 10-100 kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt) 100-200kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
1 10 2.25 2.00 1.75
2 10 1.75 1.50 1.25
3 10 1.25 1.00 0.75
4 5 0.75 0.50 0.25

Residential and Small Business Solar Thermal Rebates

Step # Number of Systems in Step Rebate Amount
1 1,500 25%
2 1,500 20%
3 1,500 15%
4 1,500 10%

Residential applicants that have a household income of less than 60 percent of the state median income, as defined by Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare, will be eligible for the maximum rebate level permitted under the Act (35 percent). Low-income applicants must verify that their income is 60 percent of the state median income. Please click here for the gross income limits, based on household size for tax reporting purposes. Applicants who apply for low income solar assistance will be required to report and verify all earned and unearned income to determine eligibility. Sources of income verification include but are not limited to: tax returns (Federal or State); employer’s statement of past or anticipated earnings; statements documenting income. Verification documents must be included when submitting the solar application package.

NOW is the time to make the move to Solar!
These rebates are on a first come basis, and the money will run out.

Click HERE for PA Sunshine Residential/Small Business Solar Program

Funding will be deployed in the form of rebates for residential and small business projects. Rebates will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis to approved applicants.  Households may receive one solar photovoltaic (PV) rebate for up to 10 kilowatts (kW) of installed PV generating capacity plus one solar thermal rebate not to exceed $2,000. A small business may only submit one PV and one solar thermal application at a time and must complete the project and rebate process prior to submitting another application.

Pennsylvania Sunshine passed with a unanimous vote from the Commonwealth Financing Authority just last week! That money will surely help solar take off in the Keystone State. Until now, the cost of solar has been prohibitive and has made it difficult for home and business owners to justify the expense of solar.

This legislation is hugely important as electricity rate caps expire at the end of 2010. Therefore, you can at least pursue an option to generate some of your own electricity instead of being gouged by your utility.

State/Region/Utility Solar/Wind Technology Solar/Wind Incentive or Rebate Description
Applies to: Residential & Business
Solar Electric (PV)
Solar Water Heating
Wind Turbine
Federal Tax Credit (30% of Gross Cost at Installation) » link
Pennsylvania (PA)
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
PA State SunShine Rebate » link
Pennsylvania (PA)
Applies to: Residential
Solar Water Heating
PA State SunShine Rebate » link
Pennsylvania (PA)
Applies to: Business
Solar Water Heating
PA State SunShine Rebate » link
Pennsylvania (PA)
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
PA State SunShine Rebate » link
Pennsylvania (PA)
Utility: The Energy Coop
Applies to: Residential & Business
Solar Electric (PV)
The Energy Coop Solar Power Purchase Program » link

According to Solar States, the passage of PA Sunshine couldn’t come at a more critical juncture:

“The Pennsylvania solar community came out in force in support of the bill last week, as installers, potential developers and displaced solar company employees gathered in Harrisburg. Nine months ago, when Rendell’s energy policy was passed through the state house, install and development companies sprung up across PA, hoping to take advantage of promised rebates. But by the first of the year, no rebates had been issued and many installers had to lay off employees.

With the economy being in the shape it is in, cities and municipalities have been scrambling to keep development dollars flowing in. Philadelphia, for example, has had bills flowing through City Council since December to scale back generous tax abatement programs. But fears about negative impacts on development prevented support from the Mayor’s office. Pennsylvania Sunshine was propped up alongside federal stimulus funds as better incentives for green development.

Funding will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, with applications available through the Department of Environmental Protection as early as April 20th. Specifics for the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law, as well as applications for inclusion are here.

Update 9/1/08 -

We’re pleased to inform you that Governor Rendell signed the Alternative Energy Investment fund several weeks ago. However, specific details on how cash is going to flow from the new program to your checking account once you go solar are lacking. As a Pennsylvania homeowner considering solar, you should know the following if you are looking for money:

1. The Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania will purchase the electricity your solar system produces for 20 cents/kwh. However, to participate in the program, you must be a member of the cooperative and they need to be in demand for your solar electricity as part of their energy mix. For 2008, they have already achieved their target of 3% of its energy coming from solar (By the way 87% comes from hydro-power). So currently, even if you go solar this year, they will not purchase the electricity you produce until they demand more. To be considered for 2009 budgeting they recommend you leave your full name and contact information with their office (800-223-5783 or 215-413-2122).

2. The Sustainable Development Fund historically has granted Pennsylvania homeowners up to $25,000 for qualifying solar systems. That’s a LOT of cash. However, they are now out of cash! Consequently, they are no longer accepting applications this year. Check back later they say. Frustrating, we know.

3. The Department of Environmental Protection will administer the bulk of future state grants, rebates and incentives for Pennsylvania home solar installations. They are currently developing the specifics of the consumer and small business programs, as well as the guidelines and application procedures.  To sign up to receive updates on their progress, click here. Hopefully, they get the ball rolling shortly. A lot of Pennsylvanians would like details before the federal tax credits for solar expire.

Update 7/16/08 -

Special Session Senate Bill 1

A few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Senate held a special session and finally passed some meaningful solar energy legislation for home and business-owners. While the bill passed by a 44-5 margin, the House of Representatives still needs to vote on it. The odds are good that this bill passes. So, some congratulations are in order on making it this far. The bill earmarks $650 million for alternative energy investments and is front-loaded over the next two years to provide some immediate impact.  Specifically, it provides up to $100 million dollars in loans, grants, and rebates of up to 35% of the purchase and installation costs of solar and PV panels. More information will follow once this bill hopefully becomes law. A factsheet of SB 1 is available here.

While this is great news, the legislature has stalled on passing House Bill 2200. This bill would allow almost all Pennsylvania utility customers to benefit from the implementation of smart utility meters and real time pricing. Many customers do not realize when they are being charged for energy consumed at peak demands. Smart meters would allow those customers to see when their usage is being charged at a higher rate, thus encouraging energy conservation. A factsheet about HB 2200 is available here.

Small Business Incentives

Here’s a list of where to get information, help, and most importantly, MONEY, for energy efficient improvements for your small business if you live in Pennsylvania. As far as homeowners are concerned, refer to the update at the top of this page.

1. EMAP, the Environmental Management Assistance Program was created by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers which have consultants to help you (for free) in anything dealing with Energy Efficiency. Here you can sign up for an energy assessment and someone will come out and see where you would best be benefited by energy efficiency improvements. You can also call 877-ASK-EMAP and get a free consultant to answer any questions about energy efficiency.

2. The Small Business Advantage Program grants money for energy efficiency upgrades like solar power and pollution prevention. That’s free money…. but they’re out of it. Gotta wait till next year.

3. “Growing Greener” is a PA program with a boatload of cash ($600 mil) to dole out for green projects. Here’s how to apply.

4. “Energy Harvest” is another PA grant program where Pennsylvania fights for Federal grant money. Energy harvest is closed for 2007 but go here to be notified when it reopens.

5. “AFIG,” The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program is a fairly small PA grant program with money for things like bio diesel, so if you want to convert your old diesel benzo you might be able to get some free ducats here for that

6. The PPAA, or Pollution Prevention Assistance Account Loan Program has low interest loans for small business taking on projects to reduce waste, pollution, or energy use (yay, that mean solar power!). You can get up to 75% of the cost of the project at a rate of, no kidding, 2%… BAM!

7. SAG, the Site Assessment Grant Program funds up to 80 percent of the cost of a site assessment. It’s closed for the time being… call 717-772-8951 to find out if and when it re-opens. Also, while you’re at it, another program out of money that will reopen is PEDA, the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority from which you can solicit money….. next year.

8. NEWPA offers some low-interest loans for small business complying with some energy efficient practices.

Hope this helps… this covers the vast majority of ways to get free money or cheap money in Pennsylvania for your solar power projects.


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Pennsylvania Energy Incentives

LIBRARY: PA Sunshine Energy Program Documentation

PA Financial Incentive Programs

PA Sunshine Residential/Small Business Solar Program

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