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Best 5 Solar Companies in State College, PA

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

State College homeowners are fortunate to live in ample sunlight, both to bask in and use for energy. Local homeowners might opt for solar to break free of high power costs from sources like natural gas. A professional solar company can help you set up and tune a system that meets your energy needs without costing a fortune. On this page, we'll highlight State College's premier solar contractors and give valuable advice for your solar journey.

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 State College Solar Companies

Envinity, Inc. Logo

Envinity

4.7/5
Based on 20 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Cleaning And Maintenance Financing Assistance Battery Storage Panel Installation

Highlights

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

Universal Solar

4.7/5
Based on 11 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing Assistance Grid-Tied Solar System Panel Installation Skilled Repairs Battery Storage Permit Assistance Off-Grid Solar Systems

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Prompt service delivery
  • Clear pricing policy
2901 Pa-25, Millersburg, PA 717-443-2395 universalsolarpa.com
Green Legacy Solar Logo

Green Legacy Solar

4.7/5
Based on 13 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Panel Installation Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
3506 Countryside Ln, Camp Hill, PA 717-292-8833 greenlegacysolar.com
Solar Grids Central PA Logo

Solar Grids Central PA

4.7/5
Based on 10 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation Consultation Permit Assistance Cleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
1521 Cedar Cliff Dr # 101, Camp Hill, PA 717-966-6286 solargridscentralpa.com

More Local Solar Companies

SunPulse Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

1113 Old Berwick Rd
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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 thoroughly vetted dozens of solar providers near State College, focusing on the following criteria:

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Facts about State College
Average Max Temp: 56°F
Solar Payback Period: 12.5 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 50%
Homes Powered by Solar: 42
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,162
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 advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home running through blackouts and emergencies, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery storage system.
  • Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, 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 means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to State College Homeowners?

Pennsylvania agencies and electric companies offer multiple solar incentives to help minimize your solar system costs. Here's a breakdown of applicable 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 State College

The price and efficiency of solar panels often hinge on which company installed them. Here are some important factors 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 accreditations. Two of the most recognized 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 State College

The style of solar panels you purchase determines how much power you can produce. 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 the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

Additional components, 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 contractors provide these additional features, so look for a provider that sells them if it's important for you.

Most State College homeowners select solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,750 to set up, considering both parts and installation. You can find more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,061
Solar Polycrystalline $828
Thin-Film $484
Solar Battery $679
Solar Home EV Charger $2,547

Financing Solar Energy in State College

Solar companies offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, solar leases, solar loans and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend a cash payment 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. Similar to a home or auto loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to rent 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. Ask each business you're vetting about the payment options it offers. A salesperson 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 State College.

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 discounts, rebates, and unique financing solutions that could save you 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 State College

How much money could I save by going solar in State College?

On average, State College homeowners shell out roughly $1,162 per year on electric bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $695.91 for every kilowatt you produce.

How widespread is solar energy in State College?

Yes, solar energy is spreading quickly in State College. 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 expect a property value increase after installing solar panels?

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 increase your home's value by $12,000.

What if I live in a gloomy or rainy

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

Is solar panel installation a fast job?

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

What size should my new State College solar system be?

A typical State College solar home has a 7.0-kW panel array, but you might need a bigger system if your energy needs are higher. Solar installers will consider your property's energy consumption and roof shading to determine the right system for you.

What's the difference between a PPA and traditional financing?

The main differences between a PPA and traditional financing are that you pay a fluctuating monthly rate based on your energy usage and don't own your system. Your service provider installs and maintains the panels, and you pay for the generated electricity for 10–25 years. Afterward, you can continue the contract or buy the system.

You might think about a PPA if you don’t want to be responsible for maintaining your panels and don’t want to invest in a system, but keep in mind you won’t be paying toward ownership or be able to access any cost-saving solar incentives. Many solar experts don’t recommend PPAs. Our guide covers other financing options above.

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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