How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buying Guide for Mount Vernon, New York
Solar energy is the cleanest, most abundant, and sustainable energy source available on the planet. The United States, with an annual average of 205 sunny days has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Simply put, solar power is energy gathered from the sun that is used to produce thermal — solar water heaters — and electrical — solar panels — energy. Since solar power is the future and its here to stay, many property owners are installing solar energy systems to offset or even replace the costs of big utility energy.
The following solar buying guide will help Mount Vernon residents get started on the path to solar energy, outline the initial steps required for installing solar energy in your home or business, and touch on purchase options as well as money saving rebates and incentive programs that can reduce the installation costs that are designed to promote solar energy.
About Mount Vernon, New York
Mount Vernon is located in Westchester County, New York and shares a border with the Bronx borough. Its climate produces temperatures in mid July that reach upwards of 86 degrees. Winter temperatures can average a low of around 20 degrees in mid January. Although the average number of sunny days in Mount Vernon falls below the national average of 205, it still experiences approximately 200 sunny days per year making it a suitable environment for solar energy production.
Hire a Solar Contractor in Mount Vernon
The first order of business is to hire a local, licensed, certified and insured solar contractor for your Mount Vernon solar installation. Hiring a solar contractor is the most important decision you will make during the project. Their list of responsibilities is long and includes:
- Assessing structural and rooftop conditions
- Determining the best system configuration
- Designing the system
- Ordering necessary equipment
- Applying for and obtaining the necessary permits
- Controlling the quality of the entire installation
Home Energy Audits in Mount Vernon
The overall envelop of your home’s exterior energy efficiency is an important part of energy conservation and can maximize your solar savings. A tight, energy efficient home reduces energy waste and consumption, which in turn saves you money on your utility bills. In addition, some rebate and incentive programs might require a home energy audit. Most New York homeowners can receive a free or discounted home energy assessment through the Home Performance/Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Apply online at by clicking here.
Paying for Solar in Mount Vernon, New York
- Property owners who do not have the cash — $14,000 to $20,000 on average — to purchase a solar panel system outright can borrow the money to pay for their system. Many lending institutions as well as the state of New York offer green home improvement loans with reduced rates to promote energy efficiency systems such as solar power. You can also use a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) to purchase your system.
- Power purchase agreements or PPA’s are another attractive solar option. Here is how they work. A third party company retains ownership of the solar energy system. Homeowners pay for only the electricity they use. Since they do not own the system outright, the third party owners are responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
- You can avoid the upfront costs and maintenance of a new system by leasing the equipment from a third party. Property owners simply rent the panels while reaping the benefits from the electricity they produce.
- Important note, since property owners who lease or enter into a power purchase agreement do not own the equipment, they are not entitled to any rebates or tax incentives.
Solar Rebates and Incentive Programs in Mount Vernon
Several tax incentives are available in the Mount Vernon area that can reduce the costs of solar energy. These programs are designed to encourage solar energy use and make it easier for residents to obtain. Incentives for residential applications include:
- A state income tax credit equal to 25 percent of the cost of the system not to exceed $5000.00 for grid connected and net metered residential solar electric and solar thermal systems. This tax credit also applies for multifamily residences.
- Sales tax exemptions for passive solar space heat, solar space heat, photovoltaic, solar water heat, and related equipment installed in residential and multifamily buildings.
- Subject to local option, a 15-year real property tax exemption for solar and other renewable energy systems. This measure is to prevent the installation of solar energy equipment from increasing property taxes.
Federal Residential Energy Tax Credit
Qualifying taxpayers can claim a tax credit of 30 percent of qualified expenditures for renewable energy and their related components. Since solar energy is renewable, solar power qualifies for this credit. The program, extended until the end of 2016 at present, does have a few stipulations. You can learn more about this valuable program by visiting Energy.gov or clicking here.
Additional Resources for Mount Vernon Residents
To search for additional money-saving rebates and incentive programs by state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) by clicking here.