Going Solar in New York


For those of you New Yorkers who are considering whether or not to “go solar,” there are an ever-expanding number of users and resources to help you make that decision.   You probably already know that the number of solar energy installations continues to increase across the country but you might not know that according to Solar Energies Industry Association (SEIA), the millionth home solar panel system was installed in the United States this year.


On May 3, 2016, the Association’s website states “It took us 40 years to get to 1 million solar systems around the country, but it will take us only 2 years to get the next 1 million systems. Those 1 million installations today generate enough electricity to power more than 5.5 million American homes. With continued growth in solar, America will generate enough electricity to power 20 million homes by 2020.”


Right now American workers install a solar system every 2.5 minutes. In its August 2016 issue, Consumer Reports published a recent guide to going solar and declares, “There has probably never been a better time to switch to solar” – and suggests that U.S. homeowners use the Solar Calculator provided on line by Energy Sage (https://www.energysage.com/solar/calculator) to determine whether solar makes sense for their homes.


Consumer Reports took on the entire solar process. Its researchers address topics that range from how to finance your installation to how to choose an installer. The report helps you learn how to compare warranties and costs, understand local incentives, and choose a vendor. There is also an explanation of all the components in a residential solar energy system and how they work together.


Most important, the report delves into the costs of leasing versus buying solar panels and explores the relative financial benefits of buying a solar panel system in case, with a solar loan or by signing a solar lease.   Consumer Reports also recommends ways to maximize your solar savings and examines up-front costs and long-term solar savings.


  • Please note that there are a number of generous incentives for solar power in New York State, and NY’s Solar Equipment Tax Creditis just one of them. You simply take 25% of your total installation cost and file a New York tax form IT-255 to receive the credit. There is a cap of $5,000, so, if you are installing a 5-kW system for $25,000, you’ll be due back $5,000 from the state. The great advantages of the Solar Equipment Tax Credit are that: 1) You don’t have to purchase your system claim the credit (i.e. it applies to you even if you went solar with a lease or PPPA), and 2) if your tax liability isn’t large enough to claim the entire credit in the first year, you can roll it over into the next year.


By shopping on the New York Solar Marketplace (see www.energysage.com) you can see these and other incentives in action, as well as compare quotes from multiple installers. Get started with an instant estimate today.