Pennsylvania is known as a powerhouse producer of coal and fossil fuel technologies, but the state is starting to gradually encourage solar power in ways that might boost a builder’s bottom line.
TecHome Builder’s solar series takes it state-by-state to provide you with a better grasp on the current solar market, including current laws and advice from builders on how to overcome obstacles.
Part 18 of our series heads to Pennsylvania, where we speak with the vice president of Eco Craft Homes, Elliot Fabri Jr.
“Residential solar in Pittsburgh and surrounding Pennsylvania markets has been successful,” says Fabri. “We have already completed our first solar installation of the year and it’s only the 17th of January.”
Fabri has a good perspective on the unique solar markets of Pennsylvania because Eco Craft works with clients on a range of projects, from custom residential to light commercial.
SCROLL: Solar Power Taps Pennsylvania’s Complex Energy Market
Energy Markets, State Legislation
Pennsylvania’s energy market is a unique mix of coal and nuclear power, but the Quaker State is looking to significantly increase its renewable energy portfolio by 2021.
In a bid to encourage homeowners and builders to adopt solar, state officials passed the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEP). The AEP mandates that 18 percent of electricity sold by 2021 must come from renewable energy sources.
According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the AEP law is working as intended with solar making up 11 percent of the state’s overall electricity capacity. Eleven percent may seem small, but in 2015 solar only accounted for four percent of the state’s capacity.
While the AEP primarily affects utility-scale solar projects, solar legislation such as this can lead to increased awareness of the technology among homebuyers.