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Resources for Residents and Homeowners Assessing Potential Solar Energy Use

Many homeowners are installing solar photovoltaic systems to reduce their energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions. There are many things to consider when installing solar such as life of your existing roof, financing, and energy efficiency. Onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal opportunities should be explored after your home is energy efficient.

  • Need help finding a qualified solar energy installation company? The Pennsylvania Solar Center provides a county-by-county directory of qualified solar energy installers operating in PA. This directory provides information on solar installation companies with staff who successfully completed a solar certification program through the North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals. Just like other home improvement contractors, solar installers operating in PA must maintain a certificate of registration issued by the PA Bureau of Consumer Protection. Consumers can verify a solar installer’s registration status through the Home Improvement Consumer Information website.
  • If you are looking for a local solar installer in the Northeastern section of the state, please visit the local contractor page on the SEEDS website. SEEDS also has a fact sheet on consumer warnings to consider for solar installations.
  • The US Department of Energy’s Guide to Planning a Solar Electricity System for Your Home provides steps to follow when installing solar on your home, starting with investigating and assessing your home’s energy efficiency and solar potential.
  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission website has a variety of resources on installing solar energy including contact information for your local electric distribution company, financing guides and many more resources.
  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission also oversees a monetary credit program called the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. More information can be found at this website to register solar systems. See the latest AEPS report here.
  • The Federal Trade Commission website provides information for evaluating different approaches for installing solar.
  • The Solarize Guidebook offers neighborhoods a plan for making group purchases of rooftop solar through a coordinated program.
  • PA PowerSwitch, offered by the PA Public Utility Commission, provides information on how to purchase solar-generated electricity through an electricity supplier without having to install solar panels on your home.
  • The US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Resources for Consumers offers information on a variety of topics such as solar rooftop potential, information on the solar federal tax credit and much more.
  • The US Department of Energy has provided funding for a statewide planning effort to increase Pennsylvania's solar energy production to at least 10 percent of in-state electricity sales by 2030. For more information, see Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future.
  • For information about solar, energy efficiency and renewable energy data as well as statewide energy data for Pennsylvania, visit our Energy Data page.

Incentives

State Programs

Although Pennsylvania does not offer solar incentive programs for residents at this time, the Philadelphia Energy Authority has a Solar Savings Grant Program which provides support to low- and moderate-income households in Philadelphia to participate in Solarize Philly.

Federal Programs

Solar Thermal Heating

Solar thermal energy can be used for hot water and space heating. This can help save money on utility bills by reducing energy used for heating water.