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Let’s learn about some of those incentives, the utility policies associated with interconnection and setup, and special solar financing plans for solar panels and systems in New York.

New York Solar

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States and boasts over 137,000 solar system installations. New York has a variety of topography, and it experiences the four seasons. It is home to New York City, the largest city in the country, and Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse. New York state government policies favor solar tax incentives. Its encouraging net metering program, great rebates and tax incentives make New York a favorable place for businesses and residents to install solar panels and battery systems.

Let’s learn about some of those incentives, the utility policies associated with interconnection and setup, and special solar financing plans for solar panels and battery systems in New York.

New York Solar Incentives

New York provides multiple solar energy rebates and incentives that help to reduce the overall cost of solar systems. Our EnergyPal Advisors can help you navigate all of the solar incentives available in New York and also apply them to the available solar panel offerings.

In summary:

  • New York offers a 25% credit, up to $5,000, on a purchased or leased solar, solar-battery or battery system. It’s applied to your owed income taxes.
  • The Megawatt (MW) Block program provides an upfront, per-watt rebate for solar systems and depends on local production rates.
  • No property tax in New York City on any increase in property value from installing solar

New York Rebates and Tax Breaks

Here are more details about the incentives available in New York:

  • The New York Energy System Equipment Credit allows property owners to receive a tax credit of 25% of the total installed cost of a solar system, up to $5,000. It’s good for purchases, leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
  • New York offers an adjustable block rate program called MW Block. Each kW of electricity your solar system is capable of producing grants you $300 to $350. This program has a limit on the number of subscribers, and as the program fills up, the value of your rebate decreases. Availability depends on your electricity provider, and the rebate amount decreases if you have excessive system output losses due to shading, orientation, etc.

For example, let’s say you need a 10 kW system. If you act early and get into Block 1, then you get $350 per kW. Your savings would look like this:

10 X $350 = $3,500 savings

  • The New York City property tax abatement is a tax break where you won’t pay additional property taxes if your property value increases when you add a solar system (and with solar, your property value does go up!).
  • Residents of New York City, Westchester, Rest of State and Long Island can claim a $250 per kWh rebate when they install a battery system. The program has limited capacity.
  • Veterans, seniors and income-qualified individuals can save $5 to $15 on their monthly bill up to $180 per year by showing their support for solar farms. Just sign up for the Solar for All program.

Other Solar Energy Incentives

The US federal government helps residents and businesses pay for their solar systems. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) allows for a tax deduction of 26% of the cost of a solar system currently. Tax credits can be rolled over if you can’t use the whole credit this year. The ITC cannot be claimed for solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs) where the third party financier takes the credits themselves, but that is typically baked into a reduced lease/PPA monthly for you. For the actual US government bill, see 4908 of the HR 133 (It’s a giant file, so watch out!).

If you purchased a $20,000 system, your savings from the federal tax credit would look like this:

$20,000 X 0.26 = $5,200 savings

You also would save an additional $5,000 by taking advantage of the New York tax credit. So if you spent $20,000 on that system, your cost would go down to $9,800. And if you enroll in the MW Block program, your savings are even higher.

Utility Policies

Utility policy factors determine what your utility provider pays you for the excess power you produce and what you save on your power bill by reducing electricity usage. New York gets a high score for utility policies.

Net Metering and Interconnection Policy

One important policy for solar customers is called Net Metering. Net Metering is a billing mechanism that allows solar customers to push electricity to the grid for credit that can be used later, like at night when your solar panels aren’t generating power. This incentivizes people to go solar, provides clean energy for others to use and prevents waste. Some states have poorer net metering policies than others, meaning that credits may not be able to be rolled over to the next month or year, or that you don’t earn full watt-for-watt credit for your excess energy.

New York’s Net Metering program is favorable. You are paid the full retail amount for your excess energy in the form of a bill credit. Credits can be carried over into the next month but expire at the end of every billing year, when you are paid at the average commodity rate. The exact details depend on your electricity provider’s policies.

Solar Setup Fees

In New York, there are no application fees for residential systems.

Electricity Prices

Electricity prices in New York are high. Usually you don’t want high prices, but with solar, the higher the prices, the more you save, and the more economical a solar system becomes.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average total cost of electricity in New York is $0.189 per kWh for residents. The national average for all states is $0.134 per kWh, ranging from $0.967 to $0.288 per kWh.

Rate Design

Rate designs are comprised of monthly fees and either a flat or tiered rate you pay for electricity. Good rate designs, which save you money when you conserve energy, are tiered and have low fixed monthly fees. Poor rate designs have flat rates and high fixed monthly fees. 

New York is about average when it comes to the quality of its electricity bill rate design. It has flat and time-of-use programs and average fixed fees (around $13–$16 per month). Its optional time-of-use electricity rate plan, where your rate is lower during the day, also benefits solar-battery customers.

You still pay fixed monthly fees when you go solar because you are still tied to the grid. Being tied to the grid is a good thing, because otherwise you might not have power at night or if your system stopped working suddenly. Even if you go off of the grid and rely on a battery source, the high cost of the battery would not outweigh the low monthly fee and the substantial savings obtained from a net metering program.

PACE Programs

PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a financing program for solar projects that is tied to the home instead of the homeowner. A residential PACE program is not available in New York.

Other Energy Financing

Solar systems can be financed by bank loans, solar installer financing, new home mortgages, energy loans and home equity loans or lines of credit. Cash works too. 

Talk to your EnergyPal Advisor about financing solar options in New York. We regularly source the best deals and terms for our customers.

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