Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.
- Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have reliable energy during grid outages and storms.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
- Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Allentown Homeowners?
Governments and utility companies often incentivize homeowners for going solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: newpa.com
Residential loans/loan guarantees: $100,000
Commercial loans/loan guarantees: $2 million
Grants: Lesser of 10% of project costs or $500,000
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: newpa.com
Manufacturer loans: $40,000 per job created within 3 years
Manufacturer grants: $5,000 per job created within 3 years
Loans for geothermal systems: $3 per square foot of space served up to $5 million; also limited to 50% of eligible costs for residential systems.
Loans for wind energy production projects: $5 million
Grants for wind energy production projects: $1 million
Grants for feasibility studies: 50% of cost up to $175,000
Loan guarantee grants: Up to 75% of deficient funds up to $5 million
Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit ProgramWebsite: pennaeps.com
Varies based on market conditions; during 2015 the market price for PA-sourced SRECs has ranged from approximately $32 - $55/MWh ($0.032 - $0.055/kWh) although individual trades have taken place at substantially lower and higher prices.
Incentive Type: Grant ProgramWebsite: newpa.com
Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Allentown
Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and valuable solar system. Make your choice based on the following key factors.
Licensing and Training
There are no state-level contracting licenses issued in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so each city or county can set its own requirements and terms. Check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar industry's most respected trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Cost of Solar Panels in Allentown
The style of solar panels you select dictates how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.
If you'd like to charge an electric vehicle (EV) or use your solar power in dark weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By selecting the right components, you can make your panel array more efficient and user-friendly. Not every solar company includes these additional features, so look for a company that installs them if it's important for you.
You can plan to spend about $17,750 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Allentown. Use the table in this section to get an idea of how much Allentown solar companies might quote for your specific system.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Allentown
Solar contractors use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, solar leases, solar loans and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a car loan or mortgage, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for valuable solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in particular circumstances. Ask each company you're considering about the financing options it offers. A representative can help you determine the most suitable option for your financial situation.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Allentown.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, financing programs, and incentives that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Allentown
How much money could I save by going solar in Allentown?
How prevalent is solar energy in Allentown?
Will solar panels boost my Allentown home worth?
How long is a Allentown solar panel's average lifespan?
How long does the solar panel installation process require?
What is the average payback period for Allentown solar panels?
How can I maximize my solar panels' performance?
- optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
- regularly clean your solar panels
- upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
- use energy-efficient appliances
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