I invite you to play along with one of my favorite online games, “Find the Solar Roofs.” All you need to play is Google Earth and a keen eye. Now thanks to new incentive programs in New York, that game is getting easier.
New York Solar
New York’s NY-Sun Incentive Program encourages new solar installations, resulting in cleaner energy and greener jobs for New Yorkers. Depending on where you live and how many systems have already taken part in the program, residential and small business systems can currently get anywhere from 20 cents to 80 cents back per watt of solar installed. For example, if you are a resident in the Con Edison Region, and you want to have a 6kW (kilowatt) grid tie solar system installed, as long as you are one of the next 15,000 kilowatts to be installed, you would get $0.60 per watt back, which totals $3,600. There is also a NY tax credit for 25% of the system, up to $5000. This is in addition to the ITC 30% Federal tax credit that is good through the end of 2016. Assuming around $4 per watt for an installed grid tie solar system, your $24,000 solar system could cost you as little as $10,535 installed. That’s a 7.7 year payback. If your electric bill is $150 per month, this will reduce your bill by 76%, saving you over $40,000 in 30 years. Try out their Clean Power Estimator to see how much you can save.
Your system does have to be installed by a participating installer, which helps ensure a quality installation while creating local green jobs. The installer can also help you apply for a special solar loan available through the program from a number of banks if needed.
Non-residential customers, including multi-unit buildings, government building, schools, and not-for-profits may also participate in the program. You can see the current status of the incentive program below, as of Friday, November 13, 2015.
Making Solar Affordable for those who need it most
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced a new program to help low- to moderate- income homeowners also be able to afford installing solar on their homes, appropriately called Affordable Solar. By doubling the incentives for those at 80% or lower of their area’s median income, this program helps make the cost savings achieved by installing solar on their home more obtainable to those who will benefit from the savings the most.
A future program will support the ability to buy electricity at a lower rate from shared solar projects for people who cannot install solar at their homes, either due to their roof condition or direction, or the fact that they are renters who don’t own the building.
Before installing solar power, use less energy first!
New York’s Home Energy Efficiency Programs provide free or greatly reduced cost energy audits for your home, and then provide discounts and loans to help pay for the improvements. This program also offers extra incentives to lower income residents. Before you can qualify for a solar incentive, you must first make sure that you have reduced wasted energy. It is far less expensive to save energy than to create it. These two incentives provide a powerful one two punch to help homeowners and small businesses save on their energy bills.
Now let’s get more of those roofs covered with solar panels and see more and more solar jobs!