Solar rebates coming to Pennsylvania

May 18, 2009 3:14:08 PM PDT
The new green energy program is open to homeowners and small businesses.

Get more environment stories with's Green Living Channel!

Lynette Rundgren and Charles Bushka hosted a backyard full of people today to share their hottest news since tying the knot last year. The newlyweds are having energy-producing solar panels installed on the roof of their home in Roxborough.

"I suggested that since we were building anyway, we should put in some solar," said Rundgren.

They will spend about $30,000 to buy and install energy collecting panels. The real news is they can get nearly half their costs back from the government through a state rebate called the Sunshine Solar Program and through federal tax credits.

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell stopped by the home today to highlight the state's $100 million solar support program that is designed to reduce energy costs for homeowners and businesses.

"This is a great day for Pennsylvanians who care about saving money over the long run," said Rendell, "who care about creating new green energy jobs that President Obama talks so much about, and who care about quality of our air and the future of our environment."

Charles, who is a Philadelphia fire department captain, says they have wanted solar panels and can now afford them because of the subsidies.

"It's going to generate electricity and take us off the grid," he said. "It will take strain off the system at peak demand times. And it's a financial benefit to us."

It typically takes 7 to 10 years for energy savings to pay for solar panel investments. A local software company owner plans to spend $135,000 and get an $80,000 rebate to ultimately cut his company's $24,000 yearly electric bill by $8,000 dollars.

"We decided it would be good for our carbon footprint and to everybody's benefit if we can derive some of our electricity from solar power," said David Viverette.

Lynette and Charles' solar panels will be installed in the coming weeks. Officials say there is enough grant money set aside for 8,000 people across Pennsylvania to benefit from the same kind of solar rebate.

Follow Action News on Twitter to

Get Action News on your website

Follow Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.