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Best 5 Solar Companies in Reading, PA

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

With Reading's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's an ideal area for families and businesses seeking to harness the extra sunlight. While going solar comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $760 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional installation team can help you choose the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Reading's top-rated solar companies and learn important 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 Reading Solar Companies

PowerStream Solar & Electric Logo

PowerStream Solar & Electric

4.5/5
Based on 26 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Grid-Tied Solar System Permit Assistance Panel Installation Consultation Cleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Family-operated business
5810 Northeimer Rd, Narvon, PA 717-768-8500 powerstreamsolarelectric.com
Lumina Solar PA Logo

Lumina Solar PA

4.6/5
Based on 134 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Grid-Tied Solar System Cleaning And Maintenance Skilled Repairs Panel Installation Consultation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Prompt service delivery
  • Informative resources
1004 Gravel Pike, Hereford Township, PA 800-971-6118 luminasolar.com
Green Way Solar Logo

Green Way Solar

4.7/5
Based on 15 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing Assistance Panel Installation Grid-Tied Solar System Permit Assistance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
43 Doe Run Rd, Manheim, PA 717-821-9921 greenway-solar.com
Pinnacle Exteriors Logo

Pinnacle Exteriors

4.7/5
Based on 322 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Cleaning And Maintenance Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
2222 S 12th St, Allentown, PA 484-350-6829 pinnacle-exteriors.com

More Local Solar Companies

Green Home Systems

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

1653 Lititz Pike #1044
Lancaster, PA 17601

KC Green Energy

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

1262 Loop Rd
Lancaster, PA 17601

Bright Eye Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1200 Corporate Blvd #16
Lancaster, PA 17601

Evoke Solar, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

323 Linden Ave
Hellertown, PA 18055

PosiGen

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

400 Davis Dr
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

TerraSol Energies, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

64 Watkin Ave
Chadds Ford, PA 19317

Open Sky Energy

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

6 Park Ave
Swarthmore, PA 19081

Blessing Electric

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

26 1st St
Lansdowne, PA 19050

Finray Solar

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

29 Bala Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

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 Reading, concentrating on the following criteria:

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Facts about Reading
Average Max Temp: 59°F
Solar Payback Period: 12.5 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 53%
Homes Powered by Solar: 89
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,243
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 provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power reduces your dependence on conventional, less environmentally-friendly sources.
  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with energy storage operate through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and comfort.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Reading Homeowners?

The state of Pennsylvania offers a number of solar incentives to help minimize your solar system costs. Below is a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.

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 Reading

The more comprehensive your provider search is, the better your solar panels will ultimately operate. Here are some key items to bear in mind while shopping for a solar specialist.

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 terms. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most prestigious are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer 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 Reading

The type of solar panels you purchase dictates how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. 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.

Additional system add-ons, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, 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 additional features, so look for a provider that sells them if it's a priority for you.

A majority of Reading homeowners choose solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,750 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,126
Solar Polycrystalline $879
Thin-Film $514
Solar Battery $721
Solar Home EV Charger $2,703

Financing Solar Energy in Reading

There are various ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will minimize your overhead. A few of the most common options include leases, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. Most solar experts recommend paying cash 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. Like a home or car loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) lets you pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, like an electric bill. We usually don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the solar system and are disqualified from using solar incentives. Look for installers that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your pocket.

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

A 26% federal tax credit applies to new home solar systems purchased through 2032. Additional incentives may be available through city and state governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

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 Reading

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

On average, Reading homeowners spend approximately $1,243 per year on power bills. Once you pay off your solar array, you could save $755.21 per kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy readily available in Reading?

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

Will a solar PV system raise my Reading home price?

Yes, new solar systems translate to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could boost your property value by $12,000.

How can I check my site's solar viability?

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

What's a Reading solar panel's average lifespan?

Today's solar systems are impressively durable, lasting up to 25 years. Monocrystalline options and other high-end models tend to live longer than "budget-friendly" models.

What maintenance do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?

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

What are some "red flags" to watch for as I research companies?

Even the most highly-regarded Reading solar providers will have both supportive and unfavorable reviews. To make the most informed selection possible, focus on these signs to know if a company isn't worth your time:
  • Pushy sales approach
  • Dodging questions about warranties, references, cost and training and credentials
  • Inflexible options
  • Rushing through the site assessment
  • Limited customer feedback

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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