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 Buyer’s Guide for New Rochelle, New York
The solar energy industry in the U.S. market faces many challenges as well as opportunities. The industry has been diligently working on ramping up production of solar technology to drive down installation and manufacturing costs. The most common applications of this amazing technology used in residential applications are electricity produced by solar panel arrays and thermal power used to produce hot water. The following information provides a great starting point for New Rochelle residents interested in taking advantage of the many benefits available through solar energy.
Hiring a Solar Contractor in New Rochelle
The technology involved in solar power equipment and its installation is highly technical. You would be wise to forgo the solar installation process yourself and leave it to a professional solar contractor. A solar contractor has the knowledge, experience, license and insurance coverage required by the state of New York to install solar systems. You can search the database to verify the status of contractor licenses at the NYC Department of Buildings or by clicking here. You can also check with the BBB “Better Business Bureau” and the Consumer Protection Bureau for any complaints or pending lawsuits against an applicable company.
Preparing Your New Rochelle Home for Solar Power
Before beginning a solar panel installation, it would be wise to conduct an energy audit on your home or building and make necessary repairs to increase its energy efficiency. An energy audit helps to reduce energy loss, improve your return on a solar investment, and helps your solar contractor identify areas that need attention. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provides free or reduced cost home energy assessments, incentives to help offset the costs of improvements and low-interest loans to help pay for necessary projects. You can begin the application process by clicking here.
New Rochelle Solar Building Department
Residents or contractors interested in obtaining a solar building permit can visit their website by clicking here or calling (914) 654-2000. The New Rochelle Building Department is located at City Hall, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York 10801.
Types of Solar Energy Available to New Rochelle Residents
Solar energy is used to produce both domestic hot water as well as electricity in the New Rochelle areas.
- Solar panels are the most common type of solar energy used in residential applications. Solar arrays use photovoltaic cells to convert energy from the sun to produce electricity. The arrays are most often mounted on rooftops, facing south, but can be ground based when land space is available.
- Solar water heaters use thermal energy from the sun to provide domestic hot water. Direct-circulation systems circulate fresh water through heat absorbing collectors while indirect circulation systems utilize a heat-transfer fluid pumped through the collectors and heat exchangers to heat water.
How to Purchase Solar in New Rochelle
- Through a power purchase agreement or PPA, a third party company maintains and retains ownership of the solar energy system. Homeowners choosing this option pay for only the electricity they use. Since they do not own the system outright, they are not responsible for maintenance and/or upkeep.
- A solar lease is an attractive option for homeowners and businesses alike who do not want to incur the upfront costs and maintenance of a new system. They simply rent the panels while reaping the benefits from the electricity they produce.
- Home equity loans or “HELOCS” are a common method homeowners use to pay for their solar power systems.
- 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 Programs Available in New Rochelle
Several tax incentives are available in the state of New York designed to encourage solar energy use. Incentives for residential applications include:
- Sales tax exemptions for passive solar space heat, solar space heat, photovoltaics, 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 prevents the installation of solar energy equipment from increasing property taxes.
- 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.
Federal Solar Incentives Available in New Rochelle
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, extended through 2016, allows taxpayers to claim a credit of 30 percent of qualified expenditures for systems that serve as a residence. You can learn about additional government cost saving, energy efficient programs by visiting www.energy.gov. To search for additional money-saving rebates and incentive programs by state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency by clicking here.
Harnessing power from the sun requires direct access to its life-giving rays. Since New Rochelle residents enjoy sunshine approximately 200 days of the year, the area is already primed for solar power production.