Your Guide to Pennsylvania Home Solar in 2024

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In 2010, Pennsylvania was one of the country’s top five solar development states. Since then, Pennsylvania has fallen second-to-last of all 50 states in total renewable energy growth. Because of a lack of state-level support, Pennsylvania is behind in the renewables race. 

Thankfully, thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners have still decided to boost the solar adoption rate by installing solar panels on their homes and generating power onsite. With power costs mounting daily, these revolutionaries are taking matters into their own hands. 

The economics have never been more favorable in Pennsylvania for homeowners interested in going solar. There are several exciting state-level policy developments in the works. There’s never been a better time to invest in Pennsylvania home solar and join the solar revolution.

Exact Solar has installed over 2,000 residential solar systems locally in the last 19 years. As experts in the solar industry, we know firsthand that installing a solar system can create more wealth for the average homeowner in Pennsylvania. 


The Economics of Home Solar in Pennsylvania Today

Did you know that the price to install a home solar system has fallen 43% over the last ten years? Even with that massive price drop, Pennsylvania has lagged behind many other states in solar adoption, partly owing to the lack of state stimulus or endorsement with supporting policy mechanisms. 

The overall growth of solar and maturation of the industry has helped drive down installed costs, and has made the cost/benefit of home solar more attractive today. 

It’s never made more sense for Pennsylvania homeowners to install solar. The power savings on their utility bills provide a great return on investment, even without external support from the state. 

At Exact Solar, we’ve seen Pennsylvania homeowners who invested in solar systems save $30,000 to $100,000 over the life of their system. The average Pennsylvania home solar system we build at Exact Solar pays for itself in 8 to 12 years and produces power for 25 to 30 years, offering homeowners almost 20 years of heavily discounted power. 

Installing solar panels on your home is an excellent choice for reducing energy costs, decreasing your carbon footprint, and contributing to a more sustainable future.

With the Inflation Reduction Act offering a 30% tax credit on the total system cost and Pennsylvania offering the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program to provide financial incentives for solar energy production, there’s never been a better time to make the switch. 

Our team of solar experts are here to guide you through the process. We are well-versed in the Pennsylvania market, have been in the industry for over 19 years, and have extensive knowledge of the costs, incentives, and noteworthy trends for solar in Pennsylvania. Since we are located on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in Bucks County, we work on an equal number of projects in both states. We would be delighted to help you through the process!

Exact Solar focuses on educating our customers and ensuring they get the best return on investment possible. Based on our extensive experience installing solar panels in Pennsylvania, we’ve summarized below everything you need to know about Pennsylvania home solar systems to help you make the best choice for your home. 

“Once the necessary approval and supply issues were taken care of, the installation itself was completed quickly and professionally, with the system going online in December/January. Exact Solar was also very helpful with setting up net metering and SREC accounts. I highly recommend their services!”

Charles – Morrisville, Pennsylvania


Is Solar Energy Right for Your Home?

The first step of going solar is assessing your home’s candidacy for solar. Your home’s candidacy for solar is influenced by various factors, including the direction your roof faces, the amount of shade your roof receives, and the policies of your local utility company. 

If you’re just in the beginning phase of gathering information, start with PVWatts, a free tool for homeowners created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This tool can be used to get a general idea of the system size you need for your home, taking your area and weather patterns into consideration.

For the most accurate information and a customized solution for your home, we recommend scheduling a one-on-one consultation with a reputable local solar company. They will assess your energy needs and provide you with a detailed proposal.

Since 2005, Exact Solar, a locally owned and operated company, has empowered Pennsylvania homeowners to embrace clean, renewable energy. Our passionate team of experts is dedicated to educating you and answering all of your questions about solar energy. We’ll work together to design a customized system, perfectly suited to your home’s needs and budget. Start your journey today with a free, no-obligation consultation. Let our local team of solar experts guide you through the entire process, from initial assessment to system installation and beyond. We’re here to help you achieve your energy goals and make a positive impact on your wallet and the planet.


Choosing a Solar Installer

Choosing the right solar installer is crucial for successfully transitioning to clean energy. While national companies might offer competitive prices, opting for a reputable local installer can save you time, money, and potential headaches down the line.

Select a reputable and experienced solar installer with proper licensing and certifications in your area. Research reviews, request quotes, and verify their experience. Look for your area’s most experienced, highly rated, awarded solar companies.

Local installers have a deep understanding of your specific region’s climate, permitting processes, and building codes. They know the ins and outs of dealing with your local energy provider, ensuring a smooth installation and connection process. They’ve likely worked on homes with similar layouts, electrical systems, and roofing structures as yours. This familiarity allows them to anticipate potential challenges and provide tailored solutions.

With a local company, you’ll also have direct access to the installation team and project manager. This allows for clear communication and timely resolution of any issues that may arise. Local companies are more invested in your satisfaction and success as they rely on positive word-of-mouth and community trust for future business. This translates to better after-sales service and ongoing support. If you experience any problems with your system, a local installer will be readily available to provide assistance.

Choosing a local solar installer is the smart and sustainable choice for your home. By working with a local expert, you can enjoy the benefits of clean energy while supporting your community and building a brighter future. Consider going local and reap the rewards of expert knowledge, personalized service, and environmental consciousness.

Beware of companies that:

  • Require you to commit to purchasing a system before they’ll consult with you or inspect your home. This is a red flag and suggests they might be prioritizing sales over genuine customer service. A free consultation is the industry standard, and any reputable installer will be happy to provide one.
  • Pressure you to buy an expensive system on the spot. High-pressure sales tactics are often a sign that the company is more interested in making a quick sale than in understanding your individual needs and recommending the best solution for you.

Instead, look for installers who:

  • Take the time to understand your energy needs and budget.
  • Provide you with a detailed proposal outlining the specific system they recommend for your home, including the cost, estimated energy production, and payback period.
  • Are happy to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have.
  • Offer excellent customer service, both during and after the installation process.

By taking your time and carefully considering your options, you’ll be sure to find a local solar installer who is the perfect fit for your home and your needs.


Your Home Solar Consultation

During a typical consultation with Exact Solar, our highly knowledgeable sales engineers conduct a thorough consultation to determine your energy usage and the amount of energy you’d like to offset with a solar system. They’ll also inquire about your roof’s orientation, shading, and condition to determine if it’s suitable for solar panels and where you’d like them to be installed.

During your site visit, we’ll fly a drone over your home to capture a video that, when combined with our advanced software, allows you to visualize the proposed panel layout and potential energy output. Your dedicated sales engineer will then present a clear and concise proposal outlining the entire system design, potential output, and various financing options available to make your solar investment affordable.

It’s important to note that while consultations offer valuable insight, they don’t guarantee your home’s candidacy for solar. Other factors like utility policies, electrical infrastructure age, roof shading, and local installations might influence your options. To ensure a successful transition, we offer a detailed home inspection after the initial consultation, where our experts will meticulously assess your roof and identify the optimal placement for your solar panels.


Installing Your Home Solar System

Permitting and Approvals

Before you can install a home solar system in Pennsylvania and begin producing power, you must obtain the necessary permits and interconnection approvals from your local municipality and utility company. This process often takes 6 to 10 weeks, depending on the utility, the municipality, and the time of year (sometimes they are more backed up than other times).

At Exact Solar, we’re prepared to guide you every step of the way! We’ve worked with thousands of homeowners in our 19-year history, each with unique permitting needs.

Since we’re local, we’ve worked extensively with PECO, Met-Ed, PPL, and other utility companies. We’ve solved local solar challenges for homeowners for over 19 years. We know how to build the best system for your home. We are also highly communicative, so you can expect regular professional updates from our team on how your project is progressing through the design process and getting all the necessary approvals.

Installation

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your system installation day has arrived. Our team of local, full-time Exact Solar employees will bring your solar dream to life. We don’t subcontract or outsource our project installations, as many solar companies do. This means you’ll have a familiar, dedicated crew, invested in your project’s success. Expect the same meticulous attention to detail and friendly communication you’ve experienced throughout the process. We’ll answer your questions, address concerns, and ensure your complete satisfaction.

If you choose Exact Solar, there are only two days in the entire process that you’ll need to be physically present: 

  1. The day the system is installed.
  2. The day your utility company approves the installation.

The entire process, from initial assessment to installation, typically takes 4 to 8 weeks, depending on your project’s complexity. 


How Much Does It Cost to Go Solar?

Pennsylvania and the US Government offer incentives to make the transition to solar energy more affordable.

The cost of a solar panel system depends on various factors, including the system’s size, brand, and quality.

Pennsylvania homeowners invest an average of $10,000 to $30,000 for a residential solar panel system. The net metering program and the 30% federal tax credit help offset these costs.

Solar panels are priced by price-per-watt (PPW). At Exact Solar, we use only top-of-the-line panels that produce the highest possible output. The system’s total cost will vary, but we only use the highest-quality materials.

A sample analysis of cost/benefit, or payback, for a home solar project pulled from one of Exact Solar’s recent home solar quotes. Net savings are calculated over 30 years. As you can see from this example, this solar project had a 6-year payback period, meaning their investment will be fully recouped in just 6 years!

Solar Incentives and Rebates in Pennsylvania

There are many incentives available to Pennsylvania homeowners to promote solar adoption, including:

Net Metering

Think of net metering as “banking” your home’s solar energy output. When the sun shines with the most intensity in the summer for extended periods, your solar system will likely produce more energy than your home needs. Your utility company will automatically buy this extra energy.

During low solar intensity periods, like wintertime or at night, the utility company will “sell” the extra energy your home created back to you.

In the summer, when you run your AC, you may use more energy than you produce. During the winter, you may produce more energy than you need.

Homeowners who invest in a system that replaces their entire energy usage often find that they only pay their utility company’s $10 service fee monthly, and the rest of their utility cost is eliminated.

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Because of the Inflation Reduction Act, homeowners can claim a 30% tax credit on the total cost of their system until 2032. This tax credit is only available for homeowners who purchase or finance systems outright; it does not apply to leased solar panels. Click here to learn more about the Federal Investment Tax Credit.

Important Note: Eligibility for this credit is based on your personal financial situation, so it’s best to consult with your tax professional before going solar. If your tax obligation is less than the amount of the tax credit, you can take the tax credit over multiple years until it has been fully utilized.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Solar Renewable Energy Credits are automatically generated per 1000 kilowatt-hour (kWh) a system produces. SRECs last three years, and homeowners can sell or trade them.

The price varies based on supply and demand, but the average Pennsylvania home solar system owner can expect to earn a few hundred dollars yearly from their SRECs if their solar system produces more energy than they use.


Maintaining Your Solar System

Solar panels have a long lifespan, typically around 25 to 30 years, as do all the major other components of a home solar system.

In general, home solar systems are quite low-maintenance, but periodic cleaning and inspections are sometimes necessary to ensure optimal performance. 

While it doesn’t make sense to clean the panels themselves (they get dirty again quickly – the rain does a good enough job), it’s important to ensure that debris from leaves isn’t getting stuck under the panels. It’s a good idea to clear such debris annually when you clean your gutters.


Our Exact Solar Guarantee 

We’re committed to long-term support for those who choose our solar energy system. We offer a 10-year workmanship guarantee for all installed components.

Our manufacturers warranty their solar panels and micro inverters for 25 years. The central power inverters have a default 12-year warranty, but we extend it to 25 years for our customers. We guarantee 80% to 84% of original production on our panels for 25 years.

At Exact Solar, we pride ourselves on responsive and helpful customer service. If you’re having any issues with your system, we’ll work to fix them together. We’ve built and serviced thousands of Pennsylvania home solar systems, likely on homes just like yours.

Every system Exact Solar installs comes with an app that allows you to track your system’s output. If one of your panels is underperforming, just call us, and we’ll fix it! 

There’s not much needed from you as the homeowner other than occasionally keeping tabs on your online monitoring system or mobile app and watching for alerts. If there are any error codes or issues with the systems, they self-report through the app, through email alerts, or through the online monitoring system. You just need to let your installer know so that they can help you investigate the issue (most of the time, this can be done remotely).


Make the Switch to Solar Energy Today!

Curious about how your Pennsylvania neighbors are loving their solar? Tour their homes in Exact Solar’s virtual local solar tour, hosted in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society. This is your chance to go beyond online reviews and get the inside scoop directly from happy customers! Dive into the economics of solar and learn how your neighbors are maximizing their investment.

You can also read many more real, recent Pennsylvania home solar customer stories and reviews here. As you can see, many Pennsylvania homeowners have gone solar, and have been very happy with the decision!

If you are ready to explore the possibilities of a home solar system for your Pennsylvania home, reach out to Exact Solar today and schedule your free consultation with one of our expert solar sales engineers. 

You will never get any pressure tactics from our team – just good information, a helpful evaluation of feasibility and economics for your unique home, and a helping hand to guide you on your solar journey!



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