We may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website. Our Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services. More

Best 5 Solar Companies in Pittsburgh, PA

Get matched with a top local pro
Join the 10,601 people who have received a free, no-obligation quote in the last 30 days
  1. Home
  2. Find Local Pros
  3. Solar Near Me
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Pittsburgh Solar
Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

Pittsburgh homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to power their homes and heat their water. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel overwhelmed searching for an excellent contractor. Discover Pittsburgh's best solar companies and learn key decision-making advice on this page.

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 Pittsburgh Solar Companies

Energy Independent Solutions Logo

Energy Independent Solutions

4.7/5
Based on 57 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tesla Powerwall Commercial Panels Solar Roof Assessment Financing Assistance Residential Panels Energy Efficiency Audit

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
51 Arch St, Carnegie, PA 412-294-1741 eissolar.com
Green Rack Contracting Logo

Green Rack Contracting

4.6/5
Based on 31 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Consultation Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
1418 Parkway View Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 614-949-0518 greenracksolar.com
Scalo Solar Solutions Logo

Scalo Solar Solutions

4.1/5
Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
22 Rutgers Rd #101, Pittsburgh, PA 412-921-9968 scalo-solar.com
Elysium Solar Energy Logo

Elysium Solar Energy

4.7/5
Based on 32 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Grid-Tied Solar System Commercial Panels Off-Grid Solar Systems Permit Assistance Full-Service Battery Storage Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Family-operated business
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
192 Railroad St, McDonald, PA 412-510-3492 elysiumsolarenergy.com

More Local Solar Companies

Pennsylvania Solar Energy Company Inc.

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

390 Old Hickory Ridge Rd
Washington, PA 15301

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 screened dozens of solar contractors near Pittsburgh, emphasizing the following criteria:

Get Your Solar Project Quote Today

Get matched with a top local pro

Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!

Facts about Pittsburgh
Average Max Temp: 59°F
Solar Payback Period: 12.5 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 50%
Homes Powered by Solar: 304
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,625
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 comes with multiple perks. Here are some highlights.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power reduces your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery storage function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on your power company for your safety and well-being.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your periodic electricity costs. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Pittsburgh Homeowners?

Pennsylvania homeowners who go solar could qualify for special financing, rebates, reimbursements and tax credits. Here are just a few of the local incentive offerings.

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: duquesnelight.com

Incentive Amount:

Programmable Thermostats: $25
Central A/C / Heat Pumps: $100/ton
ENERGY STAR Certified Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Solar Water Heater: $300
Ceiling/Floor/Wall Insulation: $0.23/square foot
ENERGY STAR Certified Dehumidifier: $20
ENERGY STAR Certified Refrigerator: $25
ENERGY STAR Certified Freezer: $10
ENERGY STAR Certified Room Air Conditioner: $25
ENERGY STAR Variable Speed Pool Pump: $200
Occupancy Sensor Based Control: $10
Smart Strip Surge Protector: $5
Furnace with High Efficiency Fan Motor: $100
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $100
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $35

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: dlcwattchoices.com

Incentive Amount:

$300/system

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 Pittsburgh

Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and valuable solar array. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.

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 recognized are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, backed 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 Pittsburgh

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. 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.

Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will add to your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies provide these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.

A majority of Pittsburgh homeowners opt for solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,750 to install, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific cost information in the table.

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

Financing Solar Energy in Pittsburgh

Solar contractors 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, power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases and cash payments. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments require 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. Much like a home or car loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. We suggest working with a contractor that offers multiple financing options. Speak with each agent about what's available, and secure more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

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

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on your new solar panels, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, incentives, and financing programs that could save you more money.

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

Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?

Get matched with a top local pro

Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Pittsburgh

How much money could I save by going solar in Pittsburgh?

On average, Pittsburgh homeowners pay roughly $1,625 per year for energy. Once you pay off your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $816.11 per kilowatt you produce.

How prevalent is solar energy in Pittsburgh?

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

Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after adopting solar power?

Yes, a solar PV system will increase your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you reduce 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, rainy, or dark area?

Solar panels could still work in dark areas. Your installer will position your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a back-up power source to keep your system performing at its best.

How long does the photovoltaic installation process last?

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

How do I care for my new solar system?

To protect your solar system's efficiency, inspections and cleanings every six months are usually sufficient. In dusty or dry seasons, your panels might need cleanings every one to two months. Your contractor can recommend a maintenance schedule. Its team could also do the cleaning for you.

How can I maximize my solar panels' performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can try the following steps:
  • 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

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

Sources