NY provides strong leadership in the shift to solar energy,  With its history of success (800% increase in solar between 2011 and 2016) NY is starting strong in 2018 with a number of new initiatives and statewide partnerships.  As a result, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation maintains that “nearly 23 percent of New York’s electric power today comes from a variety of renewable sources, chiefly hydroelectric with significant contributions from wind, biomass and, increasingly, solar resources. Renewable energy lowers the net price of electricity to consumers and creates jobs and economic opportunities. Renewables also help New York meet environmental goals: our electricity today ranks with the nation’s cleanest, partly because New Yorkers are America’s fifth-largest users of renewable electric power.”

This commitment to renewable energy has resulted in New York being ranked in the top 5 states for home solar power for the past several years. That’s because of our governor’s leadership and our state’s legislative commitment to good solar practices.  And, to accompany our enlightened policy and leadership from the top, NY has also instituted a healthy rebate program and solar tax credit, which make solar investing a sure bet for home and business owners.  NY provides strong leadership in the shift to solar energy in terms of policy and financing.

If you are considering going solar with your home or business, a key question is how to pay for installation and how soon you will recoup your costs.  One option in New York and elsewhere is utilizing a PPA.  A PPA is a power purchase agreement, or an electricity power contract between two parties, one which generates electricity (your power company) and one which is looking to purchase electricity (you).  A PPA is sometimes referred to as “third party ownership” because the solar installation company pays to put the panels on your roof at no cost to you, and you then buy the electricity they provide for cheaper than you would have paid Con Ed.

Your utility costs go down because under what is called the state’s net metering law, utilities reimburse PV owners for the electricity they generate, effectively using the local power grid for energy storage. Usually the utility company gives you a credit for the electricity you generate and you then pay only for the power you need beyond that amount.  Utilities benefit from your PV system – which is why they are willing to pay for it via a PPA – because solar power generation is greatest when electricity demand is highest — on hot, sunny summer days.  The utility company stores the energy you help to generate for use during periods of high demand or when the sun is not shining – at night or during cloudy days.

So a PPA can be beneficial to both parties.  Another option for you to consider to pay for your solar system is taking out a solar loan or Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit and paying for your solar system over time.   Yes, you will be making payments, but you still get all the benefits of paying up front. That’s because in New York, you can take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit and a 25% state tax credit for your investment.  With those big tax credits, which you also get if you just pay cash for your system without taking out a loan, you’ll actually come out way ahead after the first year. And even though you’ll be making loan payments for 15 years, the net cost will be low because of that first year’s windfall.

So what about these federal and state tax incentives?  First of all, all 50 states are eligible for a 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to reduce the cost of installing your system. This is calculated as 30% of the value of your system after any state rebates. If you choose to purchase or finance your system, this tax credit goes to you directly through your federal tax return and if you choose to lease through a PPA, your system will be assigned to your leasing partner which saves them money and ultimately lowers your cost.

New York provides leadership in the shift to solar energy through an innovative program that lowers the initial cost of installing a solar system to make the economics even more attractive to consumers.  The NY-Sun Incentive Program provides financial incentives to help reduce the installation costs associated with solar electric systems. The incentives are built around customized megawatt (MW) blocks tied to specific regions of New York State.  For additional information about residential financing in NY, consult:

          A New York Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Loans, Leases, and PPAs [PDF]

          Explanation of Terms in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Between the state rebates and federal tax incentives, you could save 40% off the up-front cost of solar, and your panels will pay themselves off in just a few short years.  This leaves you with free electricity for the future!

To learn more about these incentives and see if you qualify, you need to connect with a New York solar expert like Venture Solar today.  NY provides strong leadership in the shift to solar energy, and our state and local governments are working hard to make policy changes to support this effort.  Venture Home Solar stands ready to help you explore your solar options and to learn more about the financial incentives available to you.   Headquartered in Brooklyn, we only serve NYC and the surrounding areas.  Find out how you can be part of the NY initiative to bring clean energy to all New Yorkers.  Call us at 800-203-4158 to learn more.