Pennsylvania’s solar industry has been taking off in recent years. Even though the state has long lagged behind its neighbors New York and New Jersey when it came to total installed solar capacity, it added more than 265 MW of new utility solar power to its grid in 2020, representing a 50% increase to the state’s existing capacity. Residential solar has also seen steady growth each year, boosted by falling solar prices nation-wide and the generous state solar rebates available.
If you’re curious about saving on your monthly utility bill by installing solar panels on your property, there’s no harm in entertaining a few free solar quotes from local installers. It’s important, however, to ensure that you approach only trusted, quality solar panel installers. That’s why we’ve prepared the list below, featuring eight of Pennsylvania’s most popular solar installers, and picked out one company which we think comes out on top after our research.
Best Solar Companies in Pennsylvania
Picking out a good solar company isn’t rocket science, but it can be a lot of work to look through and evaluate all of the different solar companies operating in your area. That’s why we’ve done some of the hard work for you, and compare eight different well-known Pennsylvania solar companies below to find a winner. While we recommend that you also do your own research, since each homeowner’s solar needs are different, we think some of the companies below are definitely worthy of being on your initial shortlist.
Belmont Solar has been a part of the Pennsylvania solar industry for almost 20 years, and the company has experience with both grid-tied and off-grid solar installations. They advocate for installing a battery-connected solar system, believing that doing so protects you against grid blackouts caused by unpredictable weather events.
Belmont Solar is headquartered in Gordonville of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. They mainly serve customers in Eastern Pennsylvania and some parts of Maryland.
Licensing and Certification
Belmont Solar is listed as a qualified residential solar installer on the Pennsylvania Solar Center directory, which is required for all residential solar companies operating in the state. It is also registered as a state Home Improvement Contractor. Pennsylvania state does not issue separate solar or electrical contractor licenses.
It’s owner, Ben Zook, is a NABCEP-certified PV Installer.
Belmont Solar was founded in 2002 by Ben Zook, an Amish Lancaster County native. Originally an electrician, Ben later became qualified as a NABCEP-certified solar installer and started his own solar company to provide Pennsylvania customers with quality off-grid, battery connected solar installations.
While the company is also able to install the more commonly-found grid-tied solar energy systems, they advocate for battery-connected systems as a way to keep your home powered even in the event of a natural disaster. They also use a unique Tough Trac solar mounting solution, with wires tough enough to endure adverse weather conditions or damage from wildlife.
Belmont Solar has received most of their reviews on Google, where they have an exceptional 4.9-star rating after 46 reviews. They also have a good 4.25-star rating on Solar Reviews based on 12 reviews, and are recommended by nine out of nine separate previous customers on Facebook.
The company is accredited on the BBB, and holds an A+ rating from the site as well. Many customers commend them for not pushing hard to make sales, and for also being able to provide helpful solar information during the initial consultation.
Lumina Solar is led by a core founding and management team who have over 45 years of solar experience combined. The company is highly focused on providing a great, hassle-free solar installation process, and are the highest-rated solar company for Pennsylvania on Solar Reviews.
Lumina Solar is headquartered in Maryland, but the solar installer also has locations in Virginia and Upper Hanover Township of Pennsylvania. They mainly serve customers in these three states.
Licensing and Certification
Lumina Solar is registered as a Home Improvement Contractor at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. They employ NABCEP-certified PV Installation Professionals, though none of them are currently listed for their Pennsylvania location.
Lumina Solar is the new kid on the block for Pennsylvania’s solar industry, being only recently founded in 2018. Its seasoned management team boasts decades of previous experience working for other major solar installers and Fortune 100 tech companies, however, and they’re committed to using this experience to provide customers with exceptional service.
The company offers solar leases in addition to selling customers their own solar energy systems outright. They also have experience in installing Tesla-battery connected systems, being the first Tesla-certified Powerwall installer in Maryland.
Lumina Solar has a great reputation online. They’re the highest-rated solar installer currently operating in Pennsylvania according to Solar Reviews, with a 4.94-star rating and 185 reviews on the platform. Their Maryland headquarters has also received an incredible 4.9-stars on Google, after 224 reviews.
Despite only having 15 reviews for its Pennsylvania Google listing, Lumina Solar similarly maintains a 4.9-star rating for that location as well. Many customers praise the company for being willing to slowly walk them through the installation process without sales pressure, and for offering a wide variety of brands to choose from for each solar component.
This Pennsylvania solar company has won numerous awards and recognition from local organizations, landing itself on the annual Best of Buck’s and Best of Philly lists published by local newspapers on many occasions. They pride themselves on providing fair and conservative estimates of electricity generated, recognizing that it can be misleading to provide power estimates based on unrealistic optimal conditions.
Exact Solar has their main office in Yardley, Pennsylvania. From this location, they serve customers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, along with Southwestern and Central New Jersey.
Licensing and Certification
Exact Solar holds a Home Improvement Contractor license for Pennsylvania, and is also registered on the state Pennsylvania Solar Center website.
They do not appear to be NABCEP-certified.
Exact Solar has spent more than 15 years helping Pennsylvania residents go solar. The company’s founder Mark Bortman is also a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor, and is passionate about using his solar expertise to make Pennsylvania homes more sustainable.
Exact Solar has experience in all types of residential and commercial-scale solar installations, from conventional solar PV to solar pool heating and water heating systems. They also provide a solar orphan service, which takes over the maintenance and service for residential solar energy systems installed by companies that have since went out of business.
Exact Solar has received many great online reviews. They have an impressive 4.8-star rating on Solar Reviews from 111 satisfied customers, and also hold a perfect 5-star rating on Google with 37 reviews.
The company’s Facebook profile has a high 4.9-customer rating as well, based on 19 opinions. Some customers credited the company with being extremely thorough with the paperwork, getting complicated solar energy systems approved by their utilities on time even with the challenges posed by covid-19.
Paradise Energy Solutions
Paradise Energy Solutions have been in business since 2009, and they intend to stick around for many more. Employing more than 100 solar installation experts across eight US states, the company is one of the most well-established solar companies in America.
Paradise Energy Solutions have their main headquarters in Paradise, Pennsylvania, along with five other office locations in other nearby states. Their service area extends across the eight states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.
Licensing and Certification
Paradise Energy Solutions hold a Home Improvement Contractor license in Pennsylvania, and are also registered with the Pennsylvania Solar Center. They employ both NABCEP-certified PV Installation and PV Technical Sales professionals.
Paradise Energy Solutions was founded in 2009 by four brothers – Matthew, Jason, Tim and Marcus Beiler. They’ve installed solar for numerous local organizations and businesses, including Kent State University and Berlin Gardens. Altogether, the company boasts of having helped more than 1,500 satisfied customers install solar.
Paradise Energy Solutions also offers a 10-year workmanship and performance guarantee warranty for all solar energy systems they install.
Paradise Energy Solutions has an impeccable 5-star rating on Google for their Pennsylvania headquarters, even after 74 total reviews. They have the exact same record on Facebook: a perfect 5-star rating with 74 reviews.
The company also holds a high 4.85-star rating on Solar Reviews with 64 reviews. Many of their previous customers gave props to Paradise Energy for being friendly and easy to work with.
Energy Independent Solutions
Energy Independent Solutions (EIS Solar) calls themselves the leading solar experts in Pittsburgh, and aims to make going solar cheaper than ever before for Pittsburgh residents. They have experience installing solar energy systems on any property from private businesses and home residences to putting together systems for farms and municipal facilities.
EIS Solar has three main locations, with two offices in Pittsburgh and one in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. They mainly serve customers in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, but have also helped customers in the neighboring states of Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland go solar.
Licensing and Certification
EIS Solar has the required Home Improvement Contractor license for Pennsylvania, and are registered on the Pennsylvania Solar Center website. The company employs NABCEP-certified PV Installation professionals.
EIS Solar is a local Pittsburgh solar company founded in 2008, They believe in installing high-quality systems at the lowest possible costs. The company only use top quality solar panels which are made in America, and make the daring claim that all of their residential solar energy systems will only take 7-10 years to completely pay for themselves.
EIS Solar also has a strict policy of doing all solar work in-house, without relying on sub-contractors.
EIS Solar has great reviews across the board on Google, Facebook and Solar Reviews, with spotless 5-star review scores on both Google and Facebook and a high 4.6-star rating on Solar Reviews. Perhaps due to being a local Pittsburgh-focused company, they haven’t received as many customers reviews relative to some of the other companies on our list however. They’ve only accumulated 33 reviews on Google and 14 on Facebook so far, though though the company does have a total of 59 ratings on Solar Reviews.
Most previous customers only had good things to say about the company, applauding them for being professional and quick to respond to inquiries.
Evoke Solar Inc.
Evoke Solar Inc is a family-owned Pennsylvania-based solar installer specializing in home, commercial and agricultural solar projects. They are certified as a Sunpower Elite Dealer, and mainly use this leading American brand of solar products for their installations.
Evoke Solar has their main office in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. From this location, they are able to serve solar customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
Licensing and Certification
Evoke Solar is licensed as a Home Improvement Contractor in Pennsylvania. They are also registered as a qualified solar installer on the Pennsylvania Solar Center website.
The company does not appear to be NABCEP-certified.
Evoke Solar was founded in 2013 by veteran solar installer Wes Checkeye, who previously worked for one of Pennsylvania’s first solar companies Heat Shed. As a certified Sunpower Elite Dealer, Evoke Solar primarily uses solar components from this leading American manufacturer in their installations, along with other high-performing brands such as LG, SolarEdge and Canadian Solar.
The company strives to always have the customer’s best interests at heart and to treat them like family. This attitude starts with having a low-pressure approach to sales which respects the customer’s needs.
Evoke Solar has been well-received by its past customers online. They have a 4.8-star rating on Google and 4.77-stars on Solar Reviews, with a total of 72 and 68 reviews respectively. The company has no reviews or ratings on Facebook or the BBB, however. Many customers praised Evoke’s owner, Wes, for being personally involved with their projects and taking a hands-on approach to running his business.
Solar States is one solar installer who makes giving back to the community a high priority. They received the Community Award from the B-Corp Best for the World 2021 lists, a reflection of their strong commitment to helping out the communities in which they do business.
Solar States’ headquarters is located in Philadelphia. They primarily serve customers in the city.
Licensing and Certification
Solar States’ holds a Home Improvement Contractor license for Pennsylvania, and are registered with the Pennsylvania Solar Center. They employ NABCEP-certified PV Installation Professionals.
Solar States has been a part of the Philadelphia solar industry since 2008, and the company has stuck with its dual mission to both educate and install during this time. The company runs a free solar training program for inner-city Philadelphia residents, and has also helped numerous low and moderate income Philly customers install residential solar at discounted rates.
They have deep experience with installing solar in Philadelphia, across all types of rooftops and in neighborhoods which would challenge other solar installers. The company offers a 10-year workmanship guarantee with each installation.
Solar States enjoys great online reviews, even though the company’s following is relatively small. They have a 4.8-star rating on Google with 27 reviews, and a 4.51-star rating on Solar Reviews with 24 ratings. The company is not accredited with the BBB and has no customer reviews on that platform, though they do hold a perfect 5-star rating on Facebook based on 11 reviews.
Bright Eye Solar
Bright Eye Solar is based out of Pennsylvania, but provide solar services across three US states. They’re committed to providing thorough initial inspections of your property, and present customers with conservative solar production estimates that they’re willing to stand behind.
Bright Eye Solar has their headquarters located in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. They’re able to serve customers not just in Pennsylvania however. with a service area that extends also to Maryland and New Jerssey.
Licensing and Certification
Bright Eye Solar has the required Home Improvement Contractor license for Pennsylvania. They are also NABCEP-certified.
Bright Eye Solar was founded in 2010, and lays out its affordable solar installation process clearly on its website. The company has expertise with residential, commercial, off-grid and on-grid solar installations, and can perform home energy audits to make your property more energy efficient. They are also able to install Generac solar-battery-linked systems, perfect for ensuring that your home stays powered even when the grid goes down.
Bright Eye Solar is accredited by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. They provides a $50 Amazon gift card to any potential customers who sign-up for a free virtual screen-share consultation.
Bright Eye Solar has a stellar reputation on both Google and Solar Reviews. They’re rated 4.9 stars on Google, after 33 total reviews, and have a 4.47 rating on Solar Reviews based on also 33 impressions. The company takes the time to reply to many Google reviews, and often offers to make things right with their few dissatisfied customers.
Bright Eye Solar has not received a customer rating score on Facebook or the BBB however. There has been a single BBB complaint made against them, where a customer was confused about the terms of a contract he signed with Bright Eye Solar.
While each of the companies highlighted above have their merits, we believe Paradise Energy Solutions stands out the most. The prolific solar company has a great track record, with many outstanding customer reviews and an impressive list of local organizations and businesses as its clients. They’re fully compliant with solar licensing in Pennsylvania, and employ many employees with NABCEP certification.
Paradise Energy has also been around since 2009, and with 1500 successful installations under their belt, the company is likely to continue finding success in the future. This is particularly important since you don’t want to to get your solar installed by a company which quickly goes out of business, voiding your warranties and making it hard to get necessary system repairs.
Solar Power in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, like many other US states, have greatly benefited from declining solar costs across the nation in recent years. Its solar capacity spiked in 2020, and the state is set to add an additional 1.4 GW of solar power to its grid in the next five years. This rising solar adoption is particularly relevant since the state is the third-largest exporter of electricity to other states, electricity which is currently still being generated mostly from coal and natural gas, rather than alternative renewable energy sources.
And while the state does not have a state-wide solar rebate scheme, there are still numerous other incentives for residential homeowners to go solar in Pennsylvania, including a strong net-metering program able to heavily offset utility bills. Below is a rundown of all the applicable laws and incentives for residential solar power in Pennsylvania.
Laws and Regulations
In 2004, Pennsylvania followed many other US states in implementing a set of Renewable Portfolio Standards, which are a set of laws requiring state utilities to source a certain percentage of their electricity renewably by some future date. Pennsylvania’s regulations were known as the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, and required 18% of all electricity generated to come from renewable sources by 2021. There is also a small solar carve-out included in the regulations, where 1/36th of this 18% renewable power needs to come from solar PV specifically.
Solar Access Laws
Pennsylvania, unlike a few other states, has no laws protecting your right to solar access. This means city regulations, conditions in property titles and rules set by homeowner’s associations are legally allowed to prohibit solar installations on private property. This makes it important to always check the relevant rules for your neighborhood before committing to a residential solar system in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania does not issue state licenses for Electrical or Solar contractors. However, the 2008 Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act requires all contractors earning more than $5,000 a year making home improvements to register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and obtain a Home Improvement Contractor license number.
Solar installers are also required to register with the Attorney General, and the Pennsylvania Solar Center website maintains a directory of all registered and qualified solar companies operating in the state.
In our list above, we made references to companies having NABCEP-certified employees. NABCEP refers to the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, which issues a series of certifications for various fields of solar PV expertise.
While possessing a certification is not legally required to install solar, they can be a great indicator of quality for a solar company. Some solar incentives and rebates also require that a NABCEP-certified installer carry out the installation work. We highly recommend looking out for this extra certification when shopping for a solar company; you can easily check if an installer employs NABCEP-certified professionals by looking up their company name online through NABCEP’s own directory.
All utilities in Pennsylvania are required to offer net metering to residential solar customers, as long as the installed solar energy systems are below 50kW in capacity. Utilities are also not allowed to charge customers any additional fees to participate in this net metering. These regulations were set in 2006, and only minor changes have been made to the state’s net metering laws since then.
Specifically, this means that solar customers can use a bi-directional power meter to fully offset their monthly power bill by generating and selling their own electricity back to the grid (usually via a grid-tie inverter installed as part of the PV array). Any excess generation is credited to customers at the end of the month in terms of kilo-watt hours. If there are remaining kilo-watt hour credits at the end of a billing year, these credits can be exchanged into cash according to a “price-to-compare” rate.
Pennsylvania has a state Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program, where you receive solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) for all solar power you generate. These certificates are worth between $32 to $55 per mega-watt hour according to demand at the time, and can be sold to utilities through the state’s SREC market. Utilities buy these certificates in order to remain compliant with state RPS regulations, which state that a certain percentage of the power they provide must be sourced renewably.
Residential solar customers in the state are also eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). For homeowners installing solar energy systems completed in either 2021 or 2022, the ITC awards a federal tax credit equal to 26% of what you spend on installing solar. This credit falls to 22% in 2023, and is phased out altogether for residential systems in 2024 and onwards.
Solar power is a great choice for Pennsylvania residents, and we recommend moving fast to take advantage of the federal solar ITC incentive before it expires for good in 2024. Switching to solar also allows you to achieve energy independence, while cutting down on both your monthly power bills and carbon footprint at the same time.
Pennsylvania state has already invested almost $3 billion into building new solar power plants, and there’s no reason for you to be missing out on these numerous solar advantages either. We recommend using our list of solar companies above as a starting point on your solar search, but make sure to do your own research into the solar installers operating in your neighborhood as well!
There is no state-wide solar rebate for Pennsylvania, but there is one for Philadelphia residents as part of the Solarize Philly program. Running annually from 2019 to 2024, this program sets aside $500,000 each year to provide solar rebates worth $0.20 per watt to Philadelphia homeowners installing solar. Since this program is oversubscribed each year, a lottery system is used to pick out successful applicants for the rebate.
Pennsylvania has a state-wide Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program which awards renewable energy certificates to homeowners for generating solar energy. These certificates can be sold for cash on the state’s certificates market. Additionally, Pennsylvania residents are also applicable for the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which provides a federal tax credit worth 26% of your solar installation costs.
Yes, solar energy is a great choice for your Pennsylvania home or business! The state has strong net metering laws and allow solar power owners to make extra cash from selling generated renewable energy certificates, which means you get to pay off your solar installation costs and start making returns as soon as possible. If you’re a Philadelphia resident, you might also qualify for the city’s solar rebate program, further reducing the cost of going solar.
Yes, it is theoretically possible for a house to run on solar power alone, as long you have enough solar panels set up and a strong battery back-up system to store power when the Sun goes down. For most residential homeowners in Pennsylvania, however, it is usually much more cost-efficient to install a grid-connected system where you forego a solar battery and instead draw power from the grid when necessary.
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