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Best 5 Solar Companies in Altoona, PA

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: February 05, 2024

With Altoona's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's an excellent area for families and businesses seeking to harness the extra sunlight. 44 homes in the area already employ a solar PV or water heating system. Expert installers will therefore have the precise experience you need to embrace the solar bandwagon with confidence. Discover Altoona's top-rated solar companies and learn key decision-making advice on this page.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons
Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4
  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
4.4
  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

Top Altoona Solar Companies

Envinity, Inc. Logo

Envinity

4.7/5
Based on 20 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing AssistancePanel InstallationBattery StorageCleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
25 Decibel Rd Suite 205, State College, PA 814-231-3927 envinity.com
Green Solar Systems LLC Logo

Green Solar Systems

4.2/5
Based on 10 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationOff-Grid Solar SystemsPermit AssistancePanel InstallationFinancing Assistance

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
579 Feightner Rd, Greensburg, PA 724-691-0628 pagreensolar.com
Paradise Energy Solutions Logo

Paradise Energy Solutions

4.7/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationBattery StorageCleaning And MaintenanceConsultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
10312 Governor Lane Boulevard Suite 5003, Williamsport, MD 301-917-3342 paradisesolarenergy.com
RAF SOLAR POWER LLC. Logo

RAF SOLAR POWER

4.7/5
Based on 14 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
18218 Rockland Dr, Hagerstown, MD 703-357-5262 rafsolarpower.com

More Local Solar Companies

Green Legacy Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

3506 Countryside Ln
Camp Hill, PA 17011

Mountain View Solar

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

11500 Valley Rd
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

Universal Solar, LLC

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

2901 PA-25
Millersburg, PA 17061

Gettysburg Stove And Solar

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

2218 York Rd
Gettysburg, PA 17325

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Ranking Methodology

Our team has meticulously studied dozens of solar contractors near Altoona, emphasizing the following criteria:

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Facts about Altoona
Average Max Temp:56°F
Solar Payback Period:12.5 years
Average Daily Sunlight:51%
Homes Powered by Solar:43
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,477
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers multiple benefits. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to minimize your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home powered through blackouts and emergencies. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery backup.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the added cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Altoona Homeowners?

Pennsylvania homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for tax credits, reimbursements, rebates and special financing. Here are just a few of the area's incentive programs.

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: newpa.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Program

Website: newpa.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Program

Website: pennaeps.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Program

Website: newpa.com

Incentive Amount:

Vary by project, but program generally requires matching funds at least equivalent to DCED funding

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energysavepa-home.com

Incentive Amount:

$500

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: firstenergycorp.com

Incentive Amount:

Appliances
Refrigerator: $75
Clothes Washer: $25- $50
Clothes Dryer: $50
Freezers: $25
Dehumidifiers: $25
Fridge/Freezer Recycling: $50

HVAC
HVAC tune up: $50
Furnace Fan Motor: $150
Ductless Minisplit AC : $200
Central AC: $100 - $200
Air Source Heat pump: $250 - $500
Geothermal Heat Pump: $600
Packaged Terminal AC: $75
Packaged Terminal Heat Pump: $150
Programmable Thermostat: $25

Others
Solar Water Heat: $500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
Home Energy Audit: $250
Lighting: Available as in-store discount in participating stores

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Altoona

The more informed your provider search is, the better your photovoltaic system will ultimately perform. Consider all of these criteria in your service provider search.

Licensing and Training

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not issue state-level contracting licenses, so each city or county can set its own requirements and regulations. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most prestigious are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, awarded by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Altoona

The type of solar panels you choose dictates how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

If you need to charge an electric car 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 productive and user-friendly. Not all solar contractors offer these optional components, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's essential for you.

You can expect to pay about $17,750 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Altoona. Check the table in this section to get an idea of the amount Altoona solar companies might quote for your specific system.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,150
Solar Polycrystalline$897
Thin-Film$524
Solar Battery$736
Solar Home EV Charger$2,759

Financing Solar Energy in Altoona

There are various ways to pay for a new solar system, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), loans, cash payments, and leases. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Similar to an auto or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in certain circumstances. Ask each business you're considering about the payment plans it offers. A representative can help you determine the best option for your financial situation.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Altoona.

You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar power systems until the year 2032. Municipal and state governments and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and unique financing solutions that could save you more.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.5 years
2 kW5.0 years
5 kW12.5 years
10 kW25.0 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Altoona

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

Most Altoona homeowners spend about $1,477 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $894.21 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

Is solar energy common in Altoona?

Yes, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Altoona. Some homes already generate solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're backed by a state solar economy with 4231 jobs and counting.

Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?

Yes, solar panels will increase your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for every dollar you save on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

What can I do to assess my home's solar potential?

To determine your home's solar readiness, nothing substitutes for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar company. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including tree cover, system size, local weather and topography, and panel efficiency.

Is solar panel installation a fast job?

Your solar job's duration will depend on its complexity and size, as well as Altoona's permit and inspection procedures. It could take a couple of weeks to a few months on average.

How do I care for my new solar system?

To protect your solar system's performance, inspections and cleanings every six months are usually enough. In dusty or dry seasons, your panels might need cleanings every few months. Your technician can recommend a maintenance schedule. Its team could also handle the cleaning for you.

What is "net metering," and how does it work?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar homeowners for any excess electricity they generate and feed back to the grid.

Some states or energy providers mandate you to join net metering when installing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you sign up, you'll get a bill credit or check for your excess generation at a retail or wholesale rate.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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