Hearthside Happenings

Solar Energy in PA: What You Need To Know

Does solar energy make sense for you?
Posted: January 07, 2020 by Joe Carelli

There are a lot of reasons to make the switch to solar energy although the costs and logistics can seem intimidating. Solar panels in your home can be a great way to dramatically cut your energy bill and benefit the environment by reducing your carbon footprint through the means of clean, renewable solar energy. Solar panels typically require minimal maintenance, and due to independence from foreign oils and fossil fuels avert increasing energy costs.

Solar penetration in Pennsylvania, however, remains at a low. Many homeowners in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states have assumed that solar power was just for the West Coast and Sun-Belt states with lots of sunshine. However, that is not necessarily the case.

If you are evaluating the financial impact of installing solar panels here are some answers to clear up any preliminary questions you might have.

What are you currently paying for electricity?

How much you pay each month for your electricity is the biggest determining factor in calculating your potential savings by installing solar in your home. The vast majority of homeowners pay by the kWh, or kilowatt-hour. The amount per kWh varies from city to city and state to state, but it should be somewhere between 8 and 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. The higher your average electricity cost, the more you will benefit from using a solar panel system. 

How much would a panel installation and/or purchase cost?

The average solar panel system, with installation, costs between $10,000 - $15,000. These costs will vary with location, for instance, a high cost of living area will likely be more expensive and vice versa due to labor and material costs. Regardless, the cost of installation must be added to your potential cost savings- calculate your average monthly savings, and subtract that from the total cost of the system to determine how long the solar system will take to pay itself off, after which point you will see the benefits of not paying for power or substantially reduced power bills. One other thing to note is that installing a solar panel can increase the value of your home.

While sun coverage in Pennsylvania is lower than many other parts of the country, the increased energy and electricity costs in the region may make up for the initial outlay- you just have to do the math. 

What tax breaks are available for solar buyers?

There are a number of solar incentives and rebates, both through the federal government and state/local governments, with Pennsylvania incentives linked here. The federal program offers up to a 30% solar tax credit, while the Pennsylvania program offers a 20-30% tax credit for eligible solar systems. Check with your local municipality or utility company to find even more ways to save with solar. 

If you are looking for additional resources on the pros and cons of solar energy we recommend you check out this article here.
The best way to determine if solar panels make sense for you is to reach out to a solar energy company near you.

For more ways to save on your mortgage or home purchase, check out our blog. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Pennsylvania area and outlying counties, we can help. Reach out to Coldwell Banker Hearthside today! 

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