Pennsylvania residential solar energy incentives

Alternative energy production tax credit:

-Residents of Pennsylvania who invest in alternative energy production projects are eligible to receive a 15% tax credit on total project costs.
-Qualifying alternative energy projects are those that produce energy from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, waste coal, waste energy, and alternative fuels.
-The maximum incentive for each tax payer is $1,000,000.

Home efficiency incentives – Pennsylvania Home Energy:

-This program is available to Pennsylvania residents who are customers of West Penn Power and designed to encourage residents to reduce their home energy use.
-Incentives amounts vary depending upon the amount of reduced energy usage and energy efficiency in homes under the Energy Star program. A minimum rebate amount of $200 will be issued if the energy in the home is reduced by 20% and a maximum rebate amount of $1,000 will be issued is the energy use is reduced by 49%.

High performance building incentives program – DCED:

-This program provides loans and grants for the construction or renovations of “green” buildings. Green buildings are those build with the intention to conserve energy and use renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
-Buildings must achieve the LEED Gold certification to qualify.
-Residential loan amounts will not exceed $100,000. All loans have a fixed interest rate of 4% and a 10 year payback period.
-Grants are available up to 10% of the total project cost or $500,000.

Pennsylvania sunshine solar rebate program:

-This rebate program is for Pennsylvania homeowners who install solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.
-The rebate amount for residential solar PV systems is $2.25 per watt for the first 10 watts of capacity. The rebate for a solar thermal system is 25% of the system cost.
-Applications must be filled out by an approved installer on behalf of the applicant for this incentive.

Net metering:

-Net metering is available to residents in Pennsylvania who have facilities that generate electricity through solar, wind, methane, biomass, hydropower or geothermal systems.
-The power produced by the renewable energy system is used to offset the kilowatt hours consumed each month. The incentive shows up as a credit on the customer’s monthly bill.
-Systems must have a capacity of 50 kilowatts or less to be eligible for net metering.

Residential renewable energy tax credit:

-This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for.
-Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008.
-The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability.
-This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion:

-This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities.
-The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income.
-Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-efficient mortgages:

-This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.