A quick drive through the outer boroughs of New York City will make it apparent that solar has become a popular choice for homeowners that have ConEdison as their utility company. A closer look at the data published by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will confirm the fact that more homeowners than ever are choosing to make the switch to solar. ConEdison territory is a goldilocks zone for solar due to the high cost of power and the incentives available to customers who choose to go solar.

To decrease the cost of solar installation, NYSERDA distributes an upfront, cash incentive on a homeowner’s behalf. This program is called the Megawatt Block Program. The Megawatt Block Program has a predefined amount of money allocated at different tiers, and once a tier has been exhausted the amount of money allocated per project decreases. When the program opened NYSERDA was allocating $1.00 per watt installed, and is currently in tier 6 of 9, which equates to $0.50 per watt installed. NYSERDA rolled out the Megawatt Block Dashboard on January 1, 2014, which gives real time visibility into the number of solar applications for the three defined regions in NY State (Long Island, ConEdison territory, and upstate). We have analyzed the data published by NYSERDA and it clearly shows that more homeowners than ever are going solar in New York City!

Tier Open Date Close Date Incentive Amount Size Velocity(Systems per day)
1 1/1/2014 10/2/2014 $1.00 / watt 14,000 kW ($14M) 7
2 10/2/2014 12/4/2014 $0.90 / watt 6,000 kW ($5.4M) 13
3 12/4/2014 4/22/2015 $0.80 / watt 9,000 kW ($7.2M) 9
4 4/22/2015 10/19/2015 $0.70 / watt 12,000 kW ($8.4M) 9
5 10/19/2015 5/6/2016 $0.60 / watt 17,000 kW ($10.2M) 12
6 5/6/2016 Open $0.50 / watt 18,000 kW ($9M) 12

*Assumed average system size of 7,000 watts

The data shows that on average in tiers 1-4 there was a daily application volume of 62.5 kW, approximately 9 systems per day, and tiers 5-6 there is a daily application volume of 83.4 kW, approximately 12 systems per day. That is a 33% increase in application volume!

The NYSERDA Rebate is time sensitive. Customers who wait longer will receive a lower upfront incentive, which means their net cost on the system will be greater than an equivalent system that had a rebate reserved from a prior tier. Customers who are interested in solar should act quickly to reserve their rebate before the current tier expires. The upstate region is currently in block 7 of 9 ($0.40 per watt), and the Long Island rebate is completely exhausted.

Customers in New York who install solar are also eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit, up to a $5,000 NY State Personal Tax Credit, and NYC homeowners also qualify for a 20% Property Tax Abatement. Solar will continue to make sense as the NYSERDA rebate is exhausted, but those who act quickly will maximize their return on investment!