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Pennsylvania solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 12.02.21

Pennsylvania State 52 solar panels available

  • $2.23 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of December 2022
  • 9 years Average system payback period
  • $47 887 Average savings from going solar in Pennsylvania
  • 8 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 5.82 kW Recommended system size

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What our happy customers say

Hi all, i wanted to share my experience of buying from a1solar. I needed panels for my yacht. I wanted to have only 3, but they have a minimum order size for delivery so I opted for pickup. It was good. It went smoothly. I appreciate the split payment that they offer. I basically went to the center, grabbed the panels, loaded ‘em in the truck and drove them home (gotta do it carefully though!). Nice guys too. peace, Carl
Caarl Arlac
Via Trustpilot
Oct 2, 2022
I did business with A1 about half a year ago (it’s september 22 atm) when I needed panels for my home in Phoenix. I took Panasonic, if anyone’s wondering. The system’s doing great, and I think I got really lucky with my installer and the shop as well. If I recall correctly, my order was indeed processed in 24h as promised, delivery took a bit longer than expected but it wasn’t a big deal, these were busy days for fedex. panels were in good shape. I myself checked them thoroughly.
Ryden R
Via Trustpilot
Sep 25, 2022
I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
i read too much about the broken panels and decided to go with the pickup option. Loved the experience overall. One of their centers was nearby, so I ordered some q cells for myself and drove there. They explained in detail how to drive the package home safely so I was really careful and yeah, now they are in my garage, waiting to be installed. Can’t really complain about anything, panels are fine, the service was cool, and the delivery was on me lol
loken
Via Trustpilot
Sep 19, 2022
So I did order a system, and everything arrived on time, and yes, one panel was broken. But you know what? I’m still going to give them 5 stars. Because 1) they warned me about the possibility of this happening and told me what to do in this case; 2) when I contacted them about it, they handled the situation professionally. I sent them all that they asked for and got a replacement relatively quickly. If it’s anyone’s fault that panels break, then it is the carrier's one. My impression: good service, great prices, commendable customer support.
Will Ghost
Via Trustpilot
Sep 14, 2022
I needed just a couple of panels for the boat, but the staff treated me like I was buying the whole warehouse. I decided to pick the order up myself, their center was within reach. Getting my panels and a Magnum inverter was easier than going for groceries. There is a lot of hard work behind this simplicity. This I know from experience
Filip Scot
Via Trustpilot
Sep 11, 2022

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Pennsylvania you need to know

Save 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The main solar incentive that works across all United States is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program. By applying to this program, all Americans can deduct 26% of the total cost of their installation from the income tax. The PV system cost doesn’t amount to only how much you’ve spent on your solar panels, but includes the shipping and installation as well. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes. It makes sense to hurry up: in 2023 the Tax credit decreases to 22% and after that it’s 10% for commercial systems only.

Finance your solar project with the help of loan programs in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania you can get additional financing for your solar project with different programs. They are designed primarily to help businesses switch to renewable energy.

One of the examples is the Sustainable Energy Fund. Solar loans are issued for businesses, nonprofits and municipalities. The size of a loan may vary from $5,000 to $1,000,000: the length of a loan and interest rates depend on the project and its scale. You can calculate the loan and interest on the SEF website.

Get a $1,000 rebate for installing solar in Philadelphia

Since 2019 Philadelphia is willing to pay rebates for those who installed solar panels. Residential solar owners get $0.10 per watt and commercial systems are eligible for a $0.20 per watt rebate. Overall, incentive payments average $1,000 per home, the maximum size of incentive is capped at $100,000. Currently, the program is closed due to COVID-19 budget cuts, but you can still apply and the officials will put you on the waiting list.

Join Net Metering program to cover your electric bills

Net Metering is the main way in which a solar system pays for itself in the US. The idea is always the same: you sell your excess solar energy into the commercial grid, gain credits and use them to cover your next electric bill.

Electricity that you send to the grid is credited to your next bill at the full retail kWh rate, which includes generation, transmission, and distribution charges. All the remaining NEG are compensated at the utility's "price-to-compare" at the end of the year. The customer gets to keep the RECs that his system produces. Contact your utility for exact rates and net metering conditions. 

Save additional $200-400 a year trading SRECs

For generating clean electricity any person can get Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits – the certificates are simply given to you. One SREC is granted for 1 MW of power. A 5kW system can generate over 7 MW over the year, so in theory it’s possible to get 5-7 SRECs in 12 months if you would send all your energy into the grid. 

In Pennsylvania SRECs or alternative energy credits (AECs) can be traded using the PJM-EIS Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS) platform. The price of a SREC in Pennsylvania floats around $20—$60. It may increase in the future so it makes sense to store credits for later. The lifetime of an AEC is 3 years. To participate, register your system at PJM EIS platform.

Get a permit and install your solar panels in Pennsylvania with no worries

Generally, it is legal to install solar panels on your house in Pennsylvania after you get a permit from your local authorities. Requirements for installation may vary from city to city. For example, in Philadelphia you need to get an electrical and building permit, and for some systems it is combined in one.

Be aware that city or county officials can impose additional fees on you for inspections and documents – in Philadelphia the fee for a permit is $25 per $1,000 labor and also equipment in some cases. Usually your installer knows all the details about permits in your area and handles most of the process. 

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