Hello Neighbor – Everything You Need to Know About Going Solar in Pennsylvania

If you‘re a homeowner located in the Keystone State, you‘ve likely taken notice of increasing electricity rates from your utility provider over recent years. These inflated prices can take a real bite out of household budgets for Pennsylvania families aiming to save money wherever possible in today‘s economy.

Luckily, more and more of your PA neighbors are realizing gigantic lifetime utility savings by harnessing power from alternative sources – primarily residential solar panels. And by installing your own customized solar array, you can leverage sunlight shining down on your property to generate sustainable electricity, wipe out monthly bills, and keep more hard-earned money right in your pocket over the long run.

This guide will act as your personalized roadmap through the process of transitioning your Pennsylvania household to solar energy. You‘ll discover real-world data on just how much money solar systems can save based on your home‘s unique specifications. Additionally, we‘ll uncover the various incentives, cost offsets, and even financing mechanisms that make panels remarkably affordable.

So let‘s dive in and determine whether solar power is the right fit to start saving you big bucks month after month for decades ahead!

Solar Panel Costs and Savings Overview in Pennsylvania

Before covering solar related financials unique to Pennsylvania, let‘s briefly examine national average benchmarks as a baseline:

  • Typical solar panel system pricing falls around $2.85 per watt on average for US homeowners
  • Most systems see payback periods of 8-12 years before breaking even on purchases costs
  • Following payback, additional savings accumulate for another 15-25 years with efficient operation
  • Total 25+ year savings amount to $15,000-$30,000 for an adequately sized solar array

As you‘ll soon discover below, Pennsylvania solar metrics either match or beat these benchmarks thanks to state incentive programs and intense recent spotlight shining on renewable energy adoption.

Pennsylvania‘s Solar Growth Surging in 2022

In fact, Pennsylvania just witnessed its biggest boom ever for residential solar adoption throughout 2022. According to PJM Interconnection (mid-Atlantic grid operator), over 100 megawatts of rooftop solar power came online – which tops any prior year on record!

This momentum signals Pennsylvania homeowners are waking up to the savings potential solar offers, but what‘s driving the surge in interest exactly?

High Electricity Costs Make PA Prime for Solar Savings

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residents across the Keystone State pay a lofty average electricity rate of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) delivered by utilities. Given typical monthly usage of 846 kWh, that puts the overall average residential electricity bill at $1,431 per year for Pennsylvania households.

With such high energy costs, solar panels can offset a significant chunk of your home‘s electric demand via net metering, ultimately wiping out the majority of your pesky utility payments to PECO, Duquesne Light or PPL. This translates to 5-figure lifetime financial savings.

Incentives Cut PA Solar System Prices Over 30%

Now onto the exciting part – how affordable are solar installations actually for PA residents? Thanks to robust financial incentives, solar equipment prices currently average just $2.38 per watt according to EnergySage.

To put this into perspective, compare it to the $2.85 national average. Pennsylvania pricing beats this by about 16% – offering homeowners markedly cheaper solar hardware costs.

Incentives responsible for these savings include:

  • The Federal Solar Tax Credit: Offers 30% back as an income tax rebate with no upper limit
  • PA SREC Program: Earns solar credits traded on local open marketplaces for ~$50 each
  • Utility Rebate Programs: Providers like PPL issue sign-on solar rebates from $500 up to $1,250

So between discounted equipment rates and thousands back through refunds or credits, Pennsylvania goes above and beyond making solar affordable compared to most U.S. states.


How Quickly do Solar Panels Pay for Themselves in PA?

Now for the magic question – what payback period can you expect on a solar system investment as a Keystone State resident? Let‘s crunch the numbers…

With solar able to wipe out ~80% of typical household energy usage, that means around $1,145 in electricity bill savings per year based on the PA average. Next, we divide a solar array‘s post-incentive price by the annual savings to get the payback timeframe.

For example, let‘s model out a 6 kilowatt solar panel system cost breakdown:

  • Equipment at $2.38/watt: $14,280
  • Federal credit savings: $4,284
  • Final post-incentive price: $9,996

Dividing the $9,996 system cost by $1,145 yearly utility savings gives us a payback period of just 8-9 years in PA.

Compared to the wider 8-12 year US average, Pennsylvania homeowners break even especially fast. And flashlight forward 15+ years beyond payback, this also equates to over $21,472 in lifetime electricity savings per household.


Now that you grasp the favorable solar costs, incentives and bill offsets unique to PA, let‘s explore exactly how your household can leverage panels to benefit your bank account over the long run.

Calculating Your Pennsylvania Home‘s Solar Payback Period

Because every home has varied household energy requirements, you‘ll next want to calculate savings metrics tailored specifically to your property‘s parameters. Let‘s run through the process step-by-step:

Step 1) Review the past 12 months of electric bills to determine your average monthly kWh usage (or annual usage divided by 12).

Step 2) Multiply this by your electric utility rate per kWh to get the current average monthly payment going to your provider.

Step 3) Head to this Pennsylvania Sunlight Profile data to find your regional peak sunlight hours.

Step 4) Take your monthly kWh demand found above and divide it by 30 to get the new daily number.

Step 5) Next, divide this new daily kWh number by your location‘s peak sunlight hours. This gives the sized solar system (in kW) required to fully offset your household usage.

Step 6) To determine cost of this system, multiple the kW size by $2.38 per watt (PA‘s average solar panel equip. rate).

Step 7) Now subtract 30% of this pre-incentive price to account for the federal tax credit discount. This gives your final out-of-pocket solar price.

Step 8) Lastly, divide this post-credit price by the monthly electric bill amount found earlier. The result estimates the solar payback timeframe in months.

Monthly Bill ÷ Solar System Price  = Payback Time (Months)

Convert months into years to get the full amortization period!

Once you have these tailored solar figures crunched, you can accurately gauge potential savings and payback expectations from panels in your specific PA city. Reach out to regional solar installers for quotes aligning with your calculated system size as well.

And for additional guidance as you explore residential solar options, the Department of Energy provides this fabulous Pennsylvania Going Solar Toolkit covering incentives, shopping checklists, costs and beyond.

Pennsylvania vs. Other States for Savings, Payback and Incentives

Given Pennsylvania‘s apparent advantage for fast solar payback times compared to U.S. averages, you may be wondering exactly how the Keystone State stacks up to its direct neighbors or other regions nationwide.

Let‘s compare high-level residential solar metrics across a sample of states:


With equipment prices on the lower side coupled with high kWh utility rates that enhance bill savings, Pennsylvania either matches or bests payback periods across every one of these state examples. Even sun-soaked Arizona and Texas take 1-2 years longer for solar investments to pay themselves off!

Drilling deeper, you‘ll notice some key reasons why Pennsylvania performs so favorably:

  • High electricity rates near $0.14/kWh create bigger offsets
  • Mature market with 165+ solar companies driving competition
  • Plentiful state/utility incentives beyond federal tax credit
  • Net metering guarantees households full retail credit rates

So while places like California and New York offer homeowners even more robust state-level rebates and credits, Pennsylvania holds its own with speedy solar payback times at 8-10 years.

Closing Thoughts – Welcome to the PA Solar Revolution!

As you can see throughout all the Solar Keystone State stats, data forecasts and cost models above, sunlight-derived power provides Pennsylvania homes with a golden ticket to long-term utility savings.

By locking down solar pricing near all-time market lows and capitalizing on various financial incentives before they expire or reduce down the road, now presents an opportune time for Pennsylvania families to secure energy independence for decades ahead.

So feel free to reach out with any outstanding questions as you move forward with project planning and installer selection for your own property. I‘m happy to provide additional Pennsylvania-specific solar guidance along the way as well. Here‘s to joining the rapidly growing residential solar movement sweeping across the state!

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