- Find a Qualified Solar Installer
- SunnyMoney: Solar Electric Costs & Benefits
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits (S-RECs)
- Your Grid Emissions: EPA Power Profiler
- Solar Electric Design: PVWatts Calculator
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
- MAREA Film: Saving Sunshine: Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power
- Renewable Energy – Info & Resources from PA Public Utility Commission
Find a Qualified Solar Installer
MAREA provides this annual directory as a free service to the Pennsylvania solar community. All data is self-reported by installers, including business contact info, services offered, areas served, and installer qualifications. We hope it helps you do good things!
MAREA Directory of PA Solar Electric Installers
Installer Info Form
The National American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) uses training, tests and experience to certify qualified solar installers.
NABCEP-certified installers in your area
SunnyMoney: Solar Electric Costs & Benefits
Downloadable Excel tool from MAREA helps homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. SunnyMoney is a free and easy tool developed by MAREA to help Pennsylvania homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. Quick & accurate estimates for system size, electricity generation, savings, cost, Federal tax credit, environmental payback & more.
SunnyMoney Tool (2019)
SunnyMoney Notes (2019)
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (S-RECs)
Okay, this is sort of a trick question~in Pennsylvania we don’t have “Renewable Energy Credits” per se, we have “Alternative Energy Credits.” Functionally they work the same but the Pennsylvania program includes some “alternative” resources (like waste coal) that aren’t renewable. In PA, S-RECs are officially called S-AECS.
To earn S-AECs, your solar electric system first needs to be registered as a “qualified facility.” (Often your installer will do this for you.) For full information and registration instructions, see Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credit Program.
To earn and sell S-AECs, you’ll need an account with PJM’s Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS). To understand the process and your options for selling S-AECs (including getting someone else to do it!), see PJM-Environmental Information Services.
Importantly, when you sell S-AECs (or SRECs), you are selling the renewable attributes of the electricity. You are selling its solar-ness. And now the buyer, not you, is the one that owns the clean energy attributes and has all the bragging rights. From the EPA, “If you own an on-site renewable electricity generation source, you should avoid selling the associated RECs of the on-site source if you wish to make an environmental claim. Selling the RECs transfers your claim on the renewable attributes of the system to the buyer of the RECs.” (itals & bold are ours) For more detail, see EPA, Making Environmental Claims.
Your Grid Emissions: EPA Power Profiler
Learn the energy sources used and emissions created to generate grid electricity in your area.
Go to this website and enter your zip code to find the fuel mixed used to generate grid electricity in your area and the associated emissions. Enter the amount of electricity your solar system does (or will) generate and get estimate of the actual emissions your system will save (avoid). Remember your solar electric system’s life is expected to be 25 years or more! The Power Profiler is a free on-line service from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA’s Power Profiler
Solar Design: PVWatts Calculator
Free and easy-to-use online calculator from National Renewable Energy Labs for estimating how much electricity a solar electric system will generate.
You fill out a quick form with your location and basic info about the system you are considering (size in kW, tilt, which way it’ll be facing and a few other things). Then the calculator uses historical local weather data for your area and your system info to estimate how much electricity the system will generate, in kWh per month and for the total year. PVWatts made available by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
NREL’s PVWatts® Calculator
Free on-line database of ALL federal and state incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Use this well-organized list of incentives to quickly find all programs applicable to your home or business and the clean energy project you are considering. Includes complete details, contact info and references. The database also has great summary reports, maps, presentations and publications. A green gold mine one could say! DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® (DSIRE)
This 30-minute film offers an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. Produced by MAREA with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films.
View Trailer & How to Get a Copy
Free with MAREA membership!
Renewable Energy – Info & Resources from PA Public Utility Commission
Descriptions and resources for use of all forms of renewable energy in Pennsylvania.
Renewable Energy (PA PUC)