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Best 5 Solar Companies in Erie, PA

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

Erie homeowners benefit from 5,200,000 sunny days per year, making the city an ideal environment for solar energy. With all the options to choose from in this concrete jungle, you might feel burnt out searching for a great provider. In this guide, we'll highlight Erie's best solar companies and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the perfect one for your home.

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 Erie Solar Companies

Cleve Solar Solutions Logo

Cleve Solar Solutions

4.6/5
Based on 41 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
535 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 716-296-6636 clevesolarsolutions.godaddysites.com
Solar By CIR Buffalo Logo

Solar By CIR Buffalo

4.6/5
Based on 62 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Skilled Repairs Residential Panels Financing Assistance Community Solar Projects Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
2517 Long Rd, Grand Island, NY 716-362-5000 solarbycir.com
YellowLite Logo

YellowLite

4.6/5
Based on 142 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Consultation Financing Assistance Commercial Panels Maintenance Permit Assistance Skilled Repairs Battery Storage Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
1925 St Clair Ave Ne Suite # 205, Cleveland, OH 877-743-8757 yellowlite.com
Go Solar WNY Logo

Go Solar WNY

4.7/5
Based on 14 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Solar Roof Assessment Financing Assistance Residential Panels Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
301 Walnut St, Lockport, NY 716-880-6000 gosolarwny.com

More Local Solar Companies

Pink Energy Cleveland

User Reviews: 4.0/5 

7700 Hub Pkwy Suite #1
Valley View, OH 44125

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 providers near Erie, concentrating on the following criteria:

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Facts about Erie
Average Max Temp: 53°F
Solar Payback Period: 12.5 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 51%
Homes Powered by Solar: 96
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 perks. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have trustworthy energy during storms and grid outages.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the expensive cost of grid-tied power by generating some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Erie Homeowners?

Governments and utilities often reward homeowners for switching to solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.

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 Erie

The more thorough your company investigation is, the better your solar installation will ultimately work. Consider all of these criteria in your company search.

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. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private credentials. Two of the most respected 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 Erie

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total project price, but they can maximize your solar system's performance. Not every solar provider offers these add-ons, so look for a provider that sells them if it's essential for you.

You can plan to spend about $17,750 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Erie. Check the table in this section to get an idea of how much Erie solar companies might quote for your specific system.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,035
Solar Polycrystalline $808
Thin-Film $472
Solar Battery $663
Solar Home EV Charger $2,485

Financing Solar Energy in Erie

Solar companies use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and cash payments. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-saving 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 fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. Ask each company you're considering about the payment options it offers. A representative can help you determine the optimal option for your financial situation.

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

You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even more.

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.5 years
2 kW 5.0 years
5 kW 12.5 years
10 kW 25.0 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Erie

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

Most Erie homeowners spend about $1,477 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $886.87 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How popular is solar energy in Erie?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Erie. A growing number of area homes are already using solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Pennsylvania has about 4231 jobs making up its solar economy.

Will solar energy systems improve my Erie home price?

Yes, solar panels will raise 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.

Could I still use solar power if I live in a wooded, dark, or rainy area?

Even if your property has high tree cover, you could still benefit from solar energy. Your contractor will maximize your system's performance by choosing the proper site for panels, installing a battery backup system, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, and cleaning them regularly. This way, you can store solar power and use it as necessary.

How can I determine my home's solar feasibility?

To determine your home's solar readiness, there's no substitute for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar contractor. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including tree cover, panel efficiency, local weather and topography, and system size.

Is solar installation a fast job?

There's no universal answer for how long a solar project might take. Ultimately, it depends on local weather, system size, the necessary prework, panel style, and the permitting and inspection process. Many homeowners can be solar-ready within a couple of months from their initial estimate visit.

How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?

A power purchase agreement is a contract between you and your installer. They install, own, and maintain the panels, and you buy the generated electricity from them for 10–25 years. There will usually be options to extend the agreement and buy out early to own your system.

In contrast, solar loans can come from local banks, the government, specialty lenders and installer. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are greater, and you'll be responsible for upkeep, you'll also have total ownership and can apply for many more financial rewards.

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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