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City relaunches program to help homeowners go solar

Participants will receive a federal tax credit and a free assessment

Philadelphia skyline Photo by Melissa Romero

A newly reopened city program is pushing homeowners and business owners to go solar by offering them free assessments and discounted costs.

City officials, including Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) relaunched the program, called Solarize Philly, Tuesday.

Solarize Philly is a group buying program, which means the PEA selects vendors who agree to reduce the cost of installing rooftop solar as more households sign up for the program.

It also offers perks to those who join Solarize Philly this year, including a free assessment from a solar installer; discounts on their electricity bill; and a 30 percent federal investment tax credit (which is only in place in 2019).

The program was first announced in 2017 by the newly created PEA and it expired in 2018. At the time, it helped make Philly one of the leading cities in terms of solar market growth, with over 350 homeowners signing up.

Now, with the relaunch of the program, officials hope to focus on bringing Solarize Philly to lower-income households, according to a statement from Council President Darrell Clarke’s office.

“PEA has a goal of making solar more accessible and has made a commitment to ensure at least 20% of participants are low- and moderate-income households.”

If you’re interested in the program, you can sign up for a free assessment here.