Pittsburgh gets sun-dipped in solar energy

The state of solar in Pittsburgh

With just 160 sunny days per year* Pittsburgh is far from the sunniest city in the U.S.—but that hasn’t stopped the city from making the most of its sunshine.

Pittsburgh ranks 19th among the largest cities in the U.S. based on its energy efficiency policies, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Environment America Research & Policy Center also ranked Pittsburgh among the 2020 Shining Cities for installed solar capacity.

How much solar energy does Pittsburgh produce?

As of December 2019, Pittsburgh ranks 46th in the nation for solar energy capacity per capita at 16.47 Watts per person and 50th for a total installed solar capacity at 4.96 MW. Pittsburgh's solar energy production has quadrupled since 2013.

Considering an estimate 78,600 rooftops in the city are solar viable, there's plenty of room to continue growing—and some of those rooftops have room for large systems.* The Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) Mill 19 features the largest single-sloped rooftop solar array in the U.S. Built in 2020, the 2.5 MW, 110,000 square-foot system generates enough energy to power over 250 homes.*

What are the advantages of going solar in Pittsburgh?

Making the switch to clean energy comes with a long list of benefits. It stimulates the economy by creating opportunities for job growth, lessens harmful air pollutants, and can even increase your property value.

All this is in addition to the financial advantages. In Pittsburgh, 5 kW solar system could offer electricity cost savings as high as $29,000 over 20 years and pay for itself within 8 to 12 years.* How much you can expect to save with solar depends on your energy usage, current electricity rate, system size, whether you opt to utilize net metering, and other factors.

Net metering allows you to transfer any excess energy your system produces to your electricity provider in exchange for a credit on future electricity bills. It can also be used to offset electricity use from the grid during periods of peak rates or low energy production.* Pennsylvania state law requires that credits for net metering be equal to the retail rate of electricity.

How much does solar cost in Pittsburgh?

The state of solar in Pittsburgh

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors, such as:

  • Angle of the roof

  • Household's energy needs

  • Available unshaded roof space

  • Local HOA

  • Quality of the solar panels

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.*

In Pittsburgh, we found that the cost of purchasing a 5 kW solar system ranges from $12,400 to $20,100, or in other words, from $2.48 to $4.02 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

You may be able to increase your return on investment by taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program. This performance-based incentive allows you to earn one SREC for every megawatt-hour of electricity your solar system generates. You can then sell them.* The value of an SREC fluctuates, but as of April 2021, it was hovering around $33.* With the Federal Investment Tax Credit, you also may be able to claim 26% of the total system cost on your taxes.*

What's the best way to go solar in Pittsburgh?

The right solar system for your home or business will depend on a range of factors, from your budget and aesthetic preferences to the size of your roof and the type of panels you choose. You'll also need to decide if you want a grid-tied system to take advantage of net metering and SRECs, a battery system, or both.

A reputable solar provider can walk you through the installation and design process, provide a price quote, energy assessment, breakdown of potential energy cost savings, and review of any available tax credits and incentives. That way, you can make an informed decision. SunPower makes it easy to get started. Simply request a free consultation and we’ll contact you to schedule a convenient time to meet in-person or online. You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Pittsburgh?

SunPower is the #1 Commercial Solar Provider in the U.S. since 2017.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Best Places. Climate in Pittsburgh, PA. April 2021.
  • *. Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).
  • *. Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC). Mill 19’s Rooftop Solar Array, Largest of its Kind, Switched On. November 2020.
  • *. Energy Sage. Pennsylvania solar panels: local pricing and data. April 2021.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. Local incentives and rebates vary and are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. SRECTrade, Inc. Pennsylvania. April 2021.
  • *. Tax credits subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood MacKenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020.
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