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Guest Opinion

Now is the time to invest in solar


Wondering how you can make an impact in the wake of Earth Day?

A home solar system can lower your power bills, reduce your carbon footprint and help bring Pennsylvania into the future of energy.

The price to install a home solar system has fallen 43% over the last 10 years. With the Inflation Reduction Act offering a 30% tax credit on the total system cost, Pennsylvania offering the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program to provide financial incentives for solar energy production, and the fact that net metering is 1:1 in Pa., there’s never been a better time to make the switch.

It’s never made more financial sense for Pennsylvania homeowners to install solar, but there are other compelling reasons.

In 2010, Pennsylvania was one of the country’s top five solar development states. Since then, Pennsylvania has fallen to second-to-last among all 50 states in total renewable energy growth.

Thankfully, thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners have decided to boost the solar adoption rate by installing solar panels and generating power onsite.

Now, not everyone will be able to “go solar.”

Your home’s candidacy for solar is influenced by various factors, including the direction your roof faces, the amount of shade your roof receives, and the policies of your local utility company.

When you decide to go solar, we suggest you select a reputable and experienced solar installer in your area with proper licensing and certifications. Take your time and talk through the options. If a company’s salespeople pressure you to sign for an expensive system on the spot, they may not fit your needs.

Solar systems are very custom and bespoke, so there is no better way to learn precisely the kind of system that your home needs than to set up a 1-to-1 consultation with a reputable local solar company.

Here’s what you can expect when you decide to go solar:

Choose a solar installer

Check reviews, request quotes, and verify their experience. Look for your area’s most experienced, highly rated, awarded solar companies.

Going with a reputable local installer can save you time and money in the future, even if it’s not as cheap up-front. If you accept a bid from an out-of-state installer, there’s a good chance they don’t know the territory. A local installer has worked with your energy provider, in your area, and is likely to have worked on a home with a permitting process exactly like yours.

Have a consultation

Consult with the most reputable local company you can find. During a typical solar consultation, sales engineers determine your energy usage and the amount of energy you’d like to offset with a solar system. They will also ask you about your specific requirements and how you plan to finance the total system cost. They’ll set up a home inspection to better understand your exact needs and provide resources and education to help you make informed decisions.

Home Inspection

During your home inspection, the inspector should look at your roof and double-check all the measurements from the software, finding the best spot to place panels for maximum energy output.

The inspector may also fly a drone over your house to take a video, then cross-reference that to show you where the panels will sit and the potential output.

Get the permits

Your solar company should handle these for you. Before installing a solar system on your home and starting to produce power, you must obtain the necessary permits and interconnection approvals from your local municipality and utility company.


A team will visit your home, install your system, and turn it on after it passes approvals.

Reduce the energy bills

After your installer turns your system on, you should see the benefit on your next bill.

Monitoring and maintenance

Some companies provide an app that monitors your solar system’s output and ensures that each panel is performing as it should.

Panels generally last 25 to 30 years, and are quite low-maintenance. Warranties can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years.

Starting the solar process is one of the best actions you can take.

Aaron Nichols is a research specialist who works for Exact Solar.

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