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 in New York City, NY
New York City is one of the best cities to live in if you are interested in integrating solar energy into your home or business because of overwhelming government support for renewables. The state of New York has adopted a very ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), requiring that 30% of its energy come from renewable resources by the end of 2015. On top of the RPS, Governor Andrew Cuomo has implemented the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) for the state. REV is a strategy that places New Yorkers in a great position to take advantage of the transitioning energy market that makes renewable energy technologies, like solar, increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuel based energy sources.
New Yorkers views solar as the answer to the many factors that compromise New York’s aging infrastructure, including extreme weather events, as well as a way to provide more affordable energy to residents. Just a 7 kW solar electric system located on a south-facing roof can typically offset 70-80% of a home’s electricity needs. When combined with improving energy efficiency, the savings on your electric bill can be even more significant.
In additional to the potential for long-term energy savings, as well as significantly decreasing the city’s carbon footprint, now is a great time to invest in solar because the prices for new systems are lower than ever. With advances in solar technology and the proliferation of solar manufacturers and installers, solar prices have plummeted 70% since 1998. In addition to lower than ever purchase and installation costs, New York City residents are eligible for an array of federal, state, and local incentives that can help solar adopters to quickly see a return on their investment.
Available Incentives and Rebates in New York
There are so many available incentives and financing options for new solar energy systems in New York City, that you’ll want to consult with an accredited solar installer to make sure you are maximizing your investment.
- The New York City Property Tax Abatement (PTA) is available only to New York City residents. The PTA offers building owners who install a grid-connected solar energy system between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016 a four-year Tax Abatement of 5% per year of the installed cost of the system, for a total of up to 20%. This tax abatement is spread equally over four years, and may not exceed your property tax liability for any given year. To be eligible for this incentive, you or your solar installer will need to hire a New York State registered architect or professional engineer to file the paperwork with the Department of Buildings. Abatements are applied after the NY-Sun Incentive, capped at $62,500 per year or $250,000 total.
- The NY-Sun Incentive helps to reduce the installation costs associated with solar electric systems up to 25 kilowatt (kW) for residential customers, and up to 200 kW for nonresidential applications (larger multi-unit buildings, schools, not-for-profit, and government) in most of New York State through a Megawatt Block Incentive Structure. Each region (Con Edison, PSEG Long Island, and the balance of the state) and sector (commercial vs residential) is assigned a series of megawatt targets at certain incentive levels, referred to as “blocks.” You’ll want to act quickly though, because once all of the blocks for a particular region and sector are filled, an incentive for that region and sector will no longer be offered. On average, incentives for a typical residential or commercial system cover approximately 20-30% of the installed cost of a PV system.
- The New York State Tax Credit is available to residential building owners who install solar energy systems. The tax credit is for $5,000 or 25% of the installed cost of the solar energy system (up to 25 kilowatts on net-metered systems), whichever is less. Note: the federal government does considers this state tax credit taxable income.
- New York exempts the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems from the state’s sales and compensating use taxes. The exemption applies to solar-energy systems that utilize solar radiation to produce energy designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water and/or electricity. The exemption does not apply to solar pool heating or other recreational applications.
- Federal Tax Credit: Residential building owners are eligible to receive a federal tax credit worth 30% of the cost of the solar installation. You’ll want to work closely with your solar installer and perhaps consult a tax professional though, as some state and local incentives will impact the amount of the federal tax credit for which you are eligible.
What about the Many New Yorkers Who Rent or Don’t Live in Single Family Homes?
The Shared Renewables Initiative is helping to build stronger and healthier communities by linking up renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses to join together to share in the benefits of renewable energy projects. This program creates space for those who want to adopt solar energy systems, but may not have a feasible roof structure.