Going solar in Philadelphia, PA

In Philadelphia, an average home needs a 7kW solar system in order cover most of their electricity needs. Given the average residential price-per-watt of $4.16 in Philadelphia, a 7kW system can cost around $29,120 depending on applicable rebates and other factors.

Average out-of-pocket cost for a 5 kW system The upfront amount spent to buy and install solar.
Philadelphia: $20,800US Average: $19,594
Average Payback Period The number of years until you break even on the solar investment.
Philadelphia: 13 yearsUS Average: 13 years
Average Net 20-year savings The total amount of money saved over 20 years minus the out-of-pocket cost.
Philadelphia: $11,985US Average: $11,571

Solar Potential in Philadelphia

Estimated system size and solar electricity production per median viable roof in
Philadelphia.

Roof size 268sq. ft.
Capacity 3.75kW DC
Electricity 4.5kkWh AC per yr.

Go Solar for as low as $0 down and $79/mo and reduce or replace your electric bill

Compare solar panels by system size in Philadelphia

Get the most value out of your roof by comparing the different benefits a given system size has.

System Size 3kW
Roof Size Min. space required
215 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $706 a year
Est. Price
$12,480
Savings from a 3kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 4,231 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $59
  • Full payback in 18 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 1.54 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 71 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 3,808 mi less a year
System Size 4kW
Roof Size Min. space required
286 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $942 a year
Est. Price
$16,640
Savings from a 4kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 5,641 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $78
  • Full payback in 18 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 2.05 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 94 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 5,078 mi less a year
System Size 5kW
Roof Size Min. space required
358 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,177 a year
Est. Price
$20,800
Savings from a 5kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 7,051 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $98
  • Full payback in 18 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 2.56 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 118 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 6,347 mi less a year
System Size 6kW
Roof Size Min. space required
429 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,413 a year
Est. Price
$24,960
Savings from a 6kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 8,462 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $118
  • Full payback in 18 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.08 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 141 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 7,616 mi less a year
System Size 7kW
Roof Size Min. space required
501 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,648 a year
Est. Price
$29,120
Savings from a 7kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 9,872 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $137
  • Full payback in 18 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.58 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 164 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 8,864 mi less a year

Philadelphia solar incentives, tax credit, and rebates

Philadelphia has 22 rebates and tax credits that you may be eligable for. Visit the official links for more details to see if you apply.

Solar incentives in PA

High Performance Building Incentives Program

Value:Up to $500,000

As part of Pennsylvania's 2008 energy conservation bill, Pennsylvania has a statewide fund established for residential and commercial buildings constructed to green construction standards. Loans, grants, or default protections may apply to homes or businesses that are formally certified at the LEED Gold level or higher. Facilities that earned 3 Green Globes may also qualify, so long as they follow additional state standards. The maximum available loan principal is $100,000 for homes and $2 million for small businesses. Loans will be repaid over 25 years at market interest. Grants top out at $500,000 and may be awarded alongside loans for a different project. Loan guarantees can fund $100,000 for homes or $2 million for businesses in the event that the owner defaults. Additional information is available from the Department of Community and Economic Development website.

Alternative and Clean Energy Program

Value:Up to $1,000,000

A major 2008 energy bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature created loan and grant funds for businesses and local/state government agencies making energy efficiency improvements or constructing new sustainable facilities. This fund differs from similar initiatives in that it supports renewable energy aside from solar. Grants may be available for lower-income entities. The maximum available grant is currently $2 million or 30% of project expenditures. Loan principal varies depending on the type of applicant and the specific project. The maximum available principal is currently $5 million or half of the project's expenses. Additional information and annual reports are available from the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Met-Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund

Value:Up to $25,000

Pennsylvania's First utilities manage two Sustainable Energy Funds, one of which is earmarked for the Metropolitan Edison service area. The Met Edison SEF was created through a partnership with the Berks County Community Foundation. Funding is acquired through a surcharge on consumer bills. Initiatives supported by the fund include educational programs for customers in the MetEd service area. Grants may also be awarded for research on new, potentially disruptive renewable energy technologies. Annual reports detailing fund revenue and supported initiatives are available from the MetEd website.

Public Benefits Programs

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania does not have an official public benefits fund for energy efficiency. Instead, the government has pooled resources from independent funds managed by four of the state's five privately-owned and operated utilities. In all cases, the funds are supported by a surcharge on consumer bills. Funding supports incentives, loans, and grants for renewable energy adoption across a variety of economic sectors, including utility-scale investments. Additional information and annual reports are available from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission website.

Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Loan Program (FirstEnergy Territory)

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania's First utilities manage two Sustainable Energy Funds, one of which is earmarked for the Penelec service area. The Penelec SEF was created through a partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. Funding is acquired through a surcharge on consumer bills. Each SEF supports loans, equity stakes, and grants for businesses, nonprofits, and public-sector agencies making energy efficiency improvements or investing in new renewable energy devices. Annual reports detailing fund revenue and supported initiatives are available through the Penelec website.

Solar Energy Incentives Program

Value:Varies

NOTE: This program appears to no longer be accepting applications. By a 2008 act of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Commonwealth Finance Authority, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Community/Economic Development manage a statewide program awarding grants and loans for solar energy investment. Any business, nonprofit organization, or local government/MPO may apply for funding to support new solar photovoltaic and thermal systems. The maximum available grant or loan available will vary depending on the type of applicant and various subfactors, which may include job creation or wattage capacity. Interest rates are fixed at 5%; repayment can occur over 10 - 15 years. Additional information is available from the DCED website.

Interconnection Standards

Value:Varies

Distributed generation and grid interconnection practices in Pennsylvania have been standardized by the state Public Utility Commission since 2004. Generally, each new renewable energy system will be sorted into one of five capacity levels governing permit processes, fees, review turnaround time, and the IEEE/UL performance and safety standards to which the system is subject. The PUC requires all system owners to install disconnect switches at their own expense, but it does not require them to carry liability insurance (even though insurance is still recommended). Additional information is available from the PUC website.

Net Metering

Value:Varies

In Pennsylvania, all private utilities are required to offer net metering arrangements to renewable energy customers within capacity guidelines. Cooperatives or retail electric providers may voluntarily offer net metering. Eligible technologies include solar PV/thermal, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, CHP, and some biomass and conventional fuels. Each new renewable energy system will have a bidirectional meter installed to measure net excess generation (NEG) sent back to the grid. Customers will receive a bill credit for the NEG they generate at full retail price. They will retain all renewable energy credits they generate unless they agree to transfer their ownership. Aggregated net metering provisions may be available for microgrid customers or customers with more than one metered energy facility.

Solar Alternative Energy Credits

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania uses a solar alternative energy credit (SAEC) system to measure compliance with solar carve-out provisions of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. Each credit pegs one megawatt hour of electricity to a dollar amount fluctuating with market forces. Some utilities call these credits "certificates". All solar energy systems in Pennsylvania generate SAECs so long as they are registered with the Public Utilities Commission. Utilities may invest in their own facilities and buy credits from customers under net metering or power purchase agreements. Should a utility fail to meet its SAEC quota, it will be assessed an "alternative compliance" penalty for each credit/megawatt hour it is deficient.

High Performance Buildings Incentive Program

Value:Varies

The Pennsylvania legislature has earmarked $25 million since 2008 for sustainable, energy-efficient upgrades in public and some private buildings. Small businesses of less than 100 employees, homebuilders, and commercial contractors may apply for loans or grant funding to build or remodel structures meeting sustainable standards. Projects receiving funding must meet at least LEED Gold certification and pursue formal accreditation from the US Green Building Council. Buildings earning 3 Green Globes may also qualify. Loans are available at maximum principals of $100,000 (residential) and $2 million (small business). Interest will accrue at a fixed rate over up to 25 years of repayment. Grants are available at a maximum award of $500,000 or 10% of project expenses. Additional information is available from the New Pennsylvania website.

Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania first established an Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard in 2004. The AEPS is effectively equal to RPS laws in many other states and jurisdictions. All public/private utilities, cooperatives, and electric retailers are required to participate. The state's 2020 goals required at least 18% of the state's energy to be generated at in-state renewable energy facilities. Each renewable technology is sorted into two tiers based on emission levels. Compliance with the AEPS is measured using both an alternative energy credit (AEC) and a renewable energy credit (REC) system. Each credit pegs one megawatt hour of electricity to a fluctuating dollar value. All alternative energy systems in the state generate either AECs or RECs depending on their technology tier; utilities may also purchase credits from customers under net metering or a PPA. Should a utility fail to meet its AEC or REC quota, it will be assessed a penalty fee for each megawatt hour it is deficient.

Solar Energy Loan Program

Value:Varies

The Commonwealth Financing Authority administers the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Program alongside the DEP and DCED. Through the SEP, Pennsylvania businesses, nonprofits, and local governments may borrow funding for new solar PV or thermal energy investment and research. Available loan principal can reach $5 million. The borrower is required to share 25% of the cost and make matching investments at a 1:3 investment-to-loan ratio. Application forms are available from the DCED website; forms will be considered at regular Commonwealth Finance Authority meetings.

Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) Loan Program (PPL Territory)

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania's Sustainable Energy Fund is operated as a public-private partnership between the state government and PPL. Funding is acquired through a surcharge on all PPL customer bills. SEF grants and loans support new renewable and low-emissions energy investments among businesses, farms, local governments, and nonprofit agencies in the PPL service area. SEF administrators may also enter Power Purchase Agreements with nonprofit agencies to acquire renewable energy credits. Additional information is available through the fund website.

Small Business Advantage Grant Program

Value:Varies

Small businesses (>100 employees) making energy efficiency improvements or investing in new renewable energy systems may apply for grant funding through the PA Small Business Advantage program. Qualifying projects should reduce the business's energy usage by at least 25%. The PA SBA program is specifically tailored for projects listed in the application documents. Solar PV, biomass energy, and room HVAC are among the projects that do not qualify for grants. Additional information is available from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

City of Philadelphia - Streamlined Solar Permitting and Fee Reduction

Value:Varies

Philadelphia residents who install new solar photovoltaic systems in single-family homes or duplexes may be eligible for special permit procedures and discounts. For photovoltaic arrays, the city uses a single form for both the building and electrical permits. Systems meeting capacity, performance, and safety requirements listed on the application form may be eligible for a discounted fee of $25. Additional information is available from the city website.

Alternative and Clean Energy Program

Value:Varies

A major 2008 energy bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature created loan funds for businesses and local/state government agencies making energy efficiency improvements or constructing new sustainable facilities. This loan fund differs from similar initiatives in that it supports renewable energy aside from solar. The maximum available principal varies depending on the type of applicant and the specific project. Loans will top out at $5 million or half of a project's expenses. Grants may be available for lower-income entities. The maximum available grant is currently $2 million or 30% of project expenses. Additional information and annual reports are available from the Department of Community and Economic Development.

City of Philadelphia - Solar Rebate Program

Value:Varies

Philadelphia residents and businesses who install new solar photovoltaic, water heating, or HVAC systems may be entitled to a rebate from the city. Rebates are performance and project-based, but the average rebate amount will be $1,000 as of 2019. Applications should be submitted in a timely manner as funding for the rebate program is capped annually. Additional information is available from the city website.

Sustainable Development Fund Financing Program (PECO Territory)

Value:Varies

Since 1985, Pennsylvania's Sustainable Development Fund has supported new renewable energy investment and energy efficiency education in the state. The SDF, as a unit of the Reinvestment Fund, primarily targets low to moderate-income Pennsylvanians and economically disadvantaged communities. Arms of the SDF include venture capital initiatives supporting renewable energy businesses, lease programs for nonprofit agencies making energy efficiency improvements, and business loans for companies desiring energy efficiency improvements. Additional information and annual reports are available from the Reinvestment Fund website.

Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Grant Program (FirstEnergy Territory)

Value:Varies

Penelec has established its own Sustainable Energy Fund to offer grants and loans for business renewable energy investment. The fund portfolio includes loans and equity stakes. Grants may support LEED certification, educational initiatives/energy auditing, and large-scale solar or wind energy systems. Additional information is available from the Berks County Community Foundation, which handles routine fund business.

Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Loans (FirstEnergy Territory)

Value:Varies

Pennsylvania's First utilities manage two Sustainable Energy Funds, one of which is earmarked for the Metropolitan Edison service area. The Met Edison SEF was created through a partnership with the Berks County Community Foundation. Funding is acquired through a surcharge on consumer bills. Each SEF supports loans, equity stakes, and grants for businesses, nonprofits, and public-sector agencies making energy efficiency improvements or investing in new renewable energy devices. Annual reports detailing fund revenue and supported initiatives are available through the Met Edison website.

City of Philadelphia - Green Power Purchasing

Value:Varies

The city of Philadelphia has ratified a central roadmap for energy efficiency investments and sustainability at large. By 2030, the city should cut its carbon emissions in half, reduce public energy usage by 20%, generate all retail electricity using renewable technology, and keep electric costs low for residents and businesses. These objectives are in excess of Pennsylvania's statewide renewable portfolio standard. Progress toward long-term goals is aided through incentive programs, power purchase agreements, and consumer choice aggregation.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Requirements for Utilities

Value:Varies

By an act of the Pennsylvania legislature, the Public Utility Commission is in charge of establishing utility-level conservation and energy efficiency programs. Private and municipal utilities of more than 100,000 customers are required to participate and meet energy saving thresholds set in different annual phases. Different "carve-out" goals require energy savings to be proportionally allocated across economic sectors. Compliance is measured through annual reports forwarded to the Public Utility Commission. Should a utility fail to meet standard goals, it will be assessed a civil penalty. Additional information is available through the PUC website.

Reduce or replace your electricity bill with solar

Frequently Asked Questions

  • As a general rule, unless there are local limitations, the main limitations to the amount of solar panels you can put on your roof are the available space on your roof, your electricity usage, your providers net metering rules, and the limitations of your house hold electrical system.
  • Based on our research the average price per installed watt is $4.16 in Philadelphia. This means for a 10kW system you can expect to pay $41,600 though pricing can vary significantly between installers based on the projects requirements.
  • Based on a Zillow research study from 2019, home with solar panels sell for roughly 4.1% more.
  • To generate the most power, solar panels in the United States should face true south as this generally results in the solar panels receiving the most light each day throughout the course of the year. That said, given that energy prices are often variable throughout the day, your installer may recommend you rotate your panels slightly so that the panels will receive more light at the end of the day when energy prices can be more expensive. That said, for most consumers the positioning of solar panels is highly dependent on your home's roof.
  • Based on our continuously updated database of solar installers, we have found 39 verified solar install companies in Philadelphia

Solar installers in Philadelphia (39)

Freedom Forever

Temecula, CA(800) 685-1850

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Milestone Solar

Falling Waters CDP, WV(866) 688-4274

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Solar SME Inc.

Duncanville, TX(832) 626-2337

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

YellowLite

Cleveland, OH(877) 743-8757

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Paradise Energy Solutions

Paradise CDP, PA(877) 851-9269

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

GreenBrilliance

Sterling CDP, VA(703) 657-0090

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Academy Energy Group

Newburgh, IN(812) 518-2150

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Powur PBC

Del Mar, CA(866) 467-6987

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

SunVest Solar

Pewaukee, WI(262) 547-1200

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Green Power Energy

Annandale CDP, NJ(844) 584-0008

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Appalachian Renewable Power Systems

Stewart CDP, OH(740) 277-8498

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Power Home Solar

Mooresville, NC(704) 870-3670

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Solar Energy World

Elkridge CDP, MD(866) 856-4580

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Dividend Finance

San Francisco, CA(415) 805-7000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Palmetto Solar

Charleston, SC(855) 339-1831

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPower Corporation

San Jose, CA(800) 786-7693

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Silver Sun Solar

Deltona, FL(340) 227-7785

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Open Sky Energy

Swarthmore, PA(610) 544-1214

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

KW Solar Solutions

Elkton, MD(302) 838-8400

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sunnova Energy

Houston, TX(866) 786-6682

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sunrun

San Francisco, CA(833) 394-3384

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Entegrity

Little Rock, AR(800) 700-1414

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Bright Eye Solar

Lancaster, PA(717) 207-8449

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

GenRenew

Freehold, NJ(732) 835-4272

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

MTV Solar

(304) 258-4733

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

City Electric Supply

Dallas, TX(866) 634-9853

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Lumina Solar

Baltimore, MD(800) 971-6118

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

ReNu Solar and Roofing

Harrisburg, PA(717) 483-2367

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

PowerHome Solar

Mooresville, NC(704) 870-3670

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

ACE Solar

Carlstadt, NJ(201) 507-1110

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

American Sentry Solar

Bel Air, MD(800) 823-0555

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Reparation of batteries.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Belmont Solar

Gordonville CDP, PA(717) 768-7796

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.
Last Reviewed By: Ginalyn Gelera
Published: 2022-10-15