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Pennsylvania is pushing for 100% decarbonization by 2050.


Pennsylvania ranks 22nd in solar energy capacity production compared to other states.


was allocated by Pennsylvania to reduce solar costs through the Sunshine Solar Rebate Program in 2009.

Solar in Pennsylvania

Solar energy has snowballed into one of the most sought-after alternative energies in the country, particularly in states such as Texas and Pennsylvania, which offer incentives for the installation of solar power. Although Pennsylvania may not have been fast in its uptake of solar energy, especially due to its history as a producer of nuclear energy, coal energy, and natural gas, its interest and investment have grown considerably in recent years. The Biden Administration’s push for a 100% reduction in emissions by 2035, and the Solar Futures Study, which came out as a result and proved it was feasible to achieve 95% decarbonization by 2035, are significant reasons why there has been such a spike in solar power adoption. Additionally, solar energy is a cheap source of clean energy, which is in line with environmentally friendly policies being taken up by the government.

Pennsylvania Solar Incentives and Tax Credits

Net Metering

Pennsylvania net metering and solar renewable energy certificates are the two major programs applied by the government as incentives for the adoption of residential solar energy. Net metering is a simple and common but powerful policy that is adopted by most states in the country. The policy allows an individual to sell the energy back to the grid. The cost of the sale to the grid is usually the same price at which you would buy the energy, which is one of the highest net metering policies offered.

Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) are an incentive that allows homeowners to earn income based on the energy they generate per megawatt hour or kilowatt hour. State regulations known as renewable portfolio standards (RPS) require that the production of a certain percentage of their electricity be from renewable resources. To that end, the state enforces alternative compliance payments (ACPs) on utility companies that fail to meet the renewable energy standards set by the state. Therefore, SRECs are used as proof that solar energy was used in the production of electricity directly or by proxy. SRECs are a lot like stocks and they are tradeable in a similar manner. 


The other incentive is the federal solar tax credit, commonly known as the investment tax credit(ITC), which allows homeowners to reduce the cost of solar energy systems by 30%. To qualify for the ITC, you must be a tax-exempt individual, purchase the system directly or via a solar loan, and you should have sufficient income.

Pennsylvania Energy Powershift Initiative

Like many other states, Pennsylvania is shifting its energy policies to accelerate the decarbonization needs that have been put in place by the government. The government aims to have 100% decarbonization by 2050. Of course, the government’s aim isn’t just in electrical energy generation and supply but also to achieve net-zero emissions, which means that all energy sectors including the electrical grid and direct use of carbonized fuels, should be fully decarbonized. To do that, the Pennsylvania state is pushing for reforms and technology that promotes renewable energy, especially solar energy, which is one of the cheapest renewable energy alternatives available.

History of Solar in Pennsylvania

As a natural gas, nuclear, and coal energy producer, Pennsylvania has always been a little slow on the uptake of renewable energy sources, which is why it only ranks 22nd in solar energy capacity production compared to other states. However, thanks to the policies it is adopting, it may soon rise among the ranks for solar energy production. Its first breakthrough policy came from the introduction of a solar law in 1996, through the electricity restructuring law. The legislation had a provision for the establishment of public benefit programs for clean energy and created four funds to promote renewable and sustainable energy development. The funds were transitioned into investment funds and revolving loan models for better capital allocation. 

The most influential change in Pennsylvania solar policies was when the state adopted the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) in 2004, which required utility companies to supply 18% of their electrical energy using renewable energy by 2020. Over one-third of the required 18% was required to come from Tier 1 sources such as solar energy, which has been a great advocate for the advancement of solar energy adoption and application in the state. The SRECs also began at the same time as the AEPS. In 2006, the state adopted the net metering program to increase the incentives provided to residential and commercial solar users. In 2009, the state introduced the Sunshine Solar Rebate Program and allocated $100 million as funds to reduce the cost of solar by way of rebates. However, the program was canceled in 2013.

Solar Financing in Pennsylvania

  1. Cash: This is a pretty straightforward purchase model. You buy the solar panels upfront and obtain full ownership. The challenge with this is that it can be quite expensive. However, thanks to the federal tax credit, you can shave off some of the final cost of solar panels.
  2. Loan: Loans are also quite self-explanatory. Essentially, you buy the solar panels through a loan. The Solar Energy Program (SEP) provides grants and loan funds to those who intend to purchase and install solar. However, only businesses, economic development organizations, and political subdivisions such as municipalities, are eligible for the SEP. The downside of buying solar through loans is that they come with interest and other fees, which increase the final purchasing cost. Additionally, you only obtain full ownership after clearing the loan.
  3. Lease: Leasing is the third purchase model but unlike cash and loans, you don’t have ownership of the panels. Instead, you pay a fixed monthly rate to a developer for using solar panels. The developer owns the solar panels and enjoys the incentives.
  4. Power purchase agreement: Similar to leasing, you don’t own the solar panels in this purchasing model and are, therefore, not eligible to enjoy the incentives. However, unlike leasing, you don’t pay a fixed monthly rate for the panels. Instead, you pay for the energy the panels generate based on a fixed price per kilowatt-hour.

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Electricity costs are on the rise, so solar power can save you a lot. Over the lifespan of a solar system, an average home in the US saves
around $10,000 to $30,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs in Pennsylvania

  • Environmental zoning – Areas that are zoned as environmentally sensitive have stricter guidelines and regulations for the installation of solar panels.
  • Permits – Before installing solar panels, you must obtain a local municipality permit.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) – Your HOA can limit the installation of solar panels in terms of type and placement.
  • Licenses – The solar developer and installer need to be licensed and insured by the state. Without those licenses, the installation may be deemed illegal.
  • Warranty – You should always check that the solar panels you install have a warranty, although the duration varies based on the type and brand.
  • Insurance – You should check if your insurance company allows you to add your solar system to your insurance policy, which provides better protection for your system.
  • Geography – Electrical costs vary based on geographical location, which makes the value of solar energy higher or lower depending on location. Additionally, the amount of sun exposure varies based on your location, which influences the placement and energy generation you might get.
  • Solar system output, age, and replacement value – The size of your solar system affects the output, which means that you should aim for a larger system if you need more output. Additionally, you should consider the age of the system since solar panels are subject to depreciation both in performance and value as they age. The brand and type of solar panels could affect how they age. Finally, you should consider the replacement value of your solar system. As the system ages, you might need to replace parts and the expense of the parts and the difficulty of their replacement should also be considered.

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PECO - An Exelon Company Solar Policy

PECO, an Exelon Company, offers net metering for residential and commercial customers who operate eligible alternative energy resources of up to 3,000 kW for their own use. Customers receive credits for excess energy generated and sent back to the grid, as per PECO’s Renewable Service Net Metering Tariff. Customers with solar systems can finance and invest in them through Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). To participate in net metering, solar energy systems are limited to 50kW (residential) or 3,000kW (non-residential) and should not generate more than 110% of expected annual electricity usage.

PPL Corporation Solar Policy

PPL Electric Utilities helps connect solar panels, CHP, biomass, or other DER to the power grid. For systems under 25 kW, PPL responds within 3-4 weeks, but larger systems require additional reviews and field visits. Applications can be submitted online and must include a one-line diagram, site plan, and equipment data sheet. Technical details cannot be modified after submission, so accuracy is crucial. Approval is required for system activation, and the project must be scheduled or under construction within one year of application.

Firstenergy corporation Solar Policy

PPL Corporation offers net metering to customers installing eligible energy production facilities across FirstEnergy’s service territories. Customers receive credit for each kWh of energy received, which offsets the energy delivered on a one-to-one basis during the billing period. Any excess energy is credited to the customer’s account at the applicable generation component of their rate schedule.

Success Story: Kittanning, PA Residents Go Solar with Green Home Systems

For Kittanning, PA residents Donald T., going solar was the logical choice when looking for an economical and efficient way to power their home. 

Green Home Systems Completes Solar Project for Customer in Moscow, PA

The customer chose us for our excellent reputation and because we offer easy payment terms. The solar panel system we installed for them is a grid tie-in with battery backup.

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You want to make sure you choose a reputable company with a proven track record. That’s why Paul A. chose Green Home Systems for his solar needs.

Pennsylvania solar FAQ

The average price for solar panels in Pennsylvania is $2.38 per watt, which is lower than the average $3 per watt for most states in the U.S. Thanks to the 30% Federal tax credit, the cost of a 5 kW – 6 kW solar system, which is used in most residential properties, is $9,500 – $12,700 on average.

The average installation cost for a solar system in Pennsylvania is between $12,900 to $19,500 for a 6 kW system. The installation cost depends on the type of solar panels, the installation company, whether the system is tied to the grid or off the grid, and additions such as a battery backup.

Solar panels can eliminate almost your entire electricity bill. As long as you are connected to the grid, it is impossible to eliminate all your electricity bills since you still get charged a basic connection fee. Since most people don’t install batteries for their solar systems, most systems work by selling the extra energy generated during the day to the grid and then withdrawing that energy during the night. Therefore, as long as the extra energy generated during the day matches the energy withdrawn from the grid at night, then you can eliminate your electricity bills. Since Pennsylvania has a net-metering incentive, if the energy you generate is much higher than the energy you draw from the grid, then you stand to make a profit and increase your savings. In 9 – 12 years, the solar system will cost and earnings will have evened out at which point the system will have paid for itself. 

Pennsylvania enjoys an average of 179 sunny days, which is only slightly below the 205 sunny days national average. The state currently has a capacity of 786.7 MW production in solar energy. As an individual, however, it is good to note that the solar energy generated from residential solar panels is more than you would need, especially if you make use of all the available roof space. The production capacity depends on roof space, the amount of sun exposure, and the equipment used in your solar system. The average home uses an estimated 10,500 kWh of electricity in a year. About twenty-eight 320-watt solar panels utilizing the entirety of a 500-foot roof space, with about 5 hours of sun exposure, could generate 45,000 kWh of energy, which is a lot more than the needed average for most households.

Monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels, and thin-film panels are the major types of solar panels installed in Pennsylvania. Your choice should depend on the cost, roof space, and how much you need in terms of efficiency and power rating.

Monocrystalline solar panels are made up of cells that are each made of a single silicon crystal, making it easier for electrons to flow through. They provide efficiency ratings of between 17% to 22%, which provides a power rating ranging from 320 watts to 375 watts or even higher. They are the most efficient type of solar panel and are ideal for those with limited roof space due to their high power capacity. However, they are also the most expensive type of solar panels, whether in terms of purchase price or installation.


Polycrystalline solar panels are also made up of silicon cells but each cell contains multiple silicon crystals, which reduces efficiency compared to monocrystalline solar panels. The multiple silicon crystals reduce the efficiency with which the electrons flow. They provide efficiency ratings of between 15% to 17%, which provides a power rating ranging from 240 watts to 300 watts, with some having a power rating higher than 300 watts. The production and installation costs are in the mid-range, which makes this type of panel an excellent choice if you want the crystalline panel’s performance but can’t meet the price for monocrystalline panels. 


Thin film solar panels are made by placing a layer of photovoltaic substance on a solid surface, usually glass. Since there are different types of photovoltaic substances, the energy efficiency ratings are varied with an average efficiency rating of 11%. The sizes are also not uniform, which makes the power rating dependent on the size of the panel. Common photovoltaic substances used in thin film solar panels include copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and amorphous silicon (a-Si). They are easily portable and can be flexible, which makes them easy to install and the most affordable option among solar panels. If you have a lot of roof space, you should consider installing thin film panels.

Yes. The installation of solar panels increases the property’s market value by an estimated 4%. Unfortunately, the state doesn’t provide an exemption for property taxes, which means an increase in property taxes after solar installation as well as an additional state sales tax for your solar system components during a sale.

Cost is certainly an important consideration when purchasing solar panels but it is not the most important. Although there isn’t a factor that should be considered more than others, you should look into the efficiency and power rating of the panels with a more critical eye than cost. That is especially the case since you enjoy incentives and rebates in Pennsylvania, which could be useful in lowering the cost. Additionally, you can even secure a loan to cover the cost of your solar panels. Aside from the efficiency and power rating of the panel, you should also consider your roof space, HOA and environmental zoning specifications, and panel size.

Solar power helps the environment by reducing the number of fossil fuels burned for energy and the need to do so. Burning fossil fuels results in air pollution and increases greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The fewer of these we have in the environment, the better. Solar power generation doesn’t contribute to pollution, which is why it is noted as clean energy. Additionally, the generation of solar power doesn’t consume non-renewable resources as is the case with energy generated from fossil fuels.

See what our customers are saying

Joe Fenstermaker
January 12, 2023
We contracted GHS to install 28 LG Solar panels with Enphase Microinverters on our home in Pasadena California. The process was simple and easy with GHS even providing a roofing contractor to replace our roof as part of the install process. The system has been robust and more than covers our electricity use despite us having an electric range, an electric ceramics kiln and a four ton AC unit. The team at GHS were very responsive and followed up with us during the entire process and even after the system was turned on. After nearly nine months of being a rooftop solar customer we couldn’t be happier with the product and GHS as our contractors.
Yiannis Philipopoulos
January 12, 2023
I had a good experience getting my panels from Green Home Systems. All the terms were described very clearly and while there were some delays in the permitting process, the site lead for the installation always kept in touch and set expectations. Overall, I had a great experience. I went back to them when I looked to expand my solar system again.
Lynnette Hurley
January 12, 2023
We are extremely happy with our Solar system from Green Home systems. last month my electric bill was $11.09. And that is for an all-electric house that I ran a Home Daycare out of, including our family of 6 that resides in the home. The Office staff to the insulation guys were knowledgeable and professional. We had a very good experience working with Green Home Systems.
Hank Sterrett
January 12, 2023
Great company to work with installing my solar PV system. Each step of the way was done with proficient, polite and professional staff. Could not ask for a better team. They really set the bar high. I would refer them to anyone.