New York State offers several tax incentives to encourage solar energy. Incentives for residential installations include:
An income tax credit for 25 percent of the cost of the system ($5,000 maximum) for grid connected and net metered residential (including multi-family) solar electric and solar thermal systems.
Exemption from state sales tax for passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat and photovoltaics installed in residential and multi-family residential buildings.
Subject to local option, a 15-year real property tax exemption for the cost of solar and certain other renewable energy systems constructed in New York State, to ensure that property taxes do not rise because owners install solar energy equipment.
Net metering allows you to “store” the excess electricity that your solar electric system generates on the utility grid if your system is generating more electricity than your home or business is using. Your electric meter will actually spin backwards when your system is generating more than enough energy to power your home. You still use utility-provided electricity during times that there is no sun (night time) or little sun (cloudy or rainy days). At the end of the billing period, you only pay for the net amount of electricity that you used from the utility. Net Metering can allow you to completely offset your utility-provided electricity usage! Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis to customers of the state's major investor-owned utilities. Publicly-owned utilities are not obligated to offer net metering; however, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) offers net metering on terms similar to those in the state law. New York State law allows net metering for solar photovoltaic systems up to 25 kW in residential buildings, and up to 2 MW in commercial and industrial settings, including systems serving nonprofit organizations, schools, governments and agricultural operation
Virtual Net Metering
2011, New York expanded behind-the-meter generation and established Remote Net Metering for renewable energy systems to allow the electricity generated to be distributed among many utility accounts. Utilities must now allow farm and non-residential customers the ability to apply the excess net metering credits they earn under Net Metering to other accounts they own. The account to which the renewable energy system is connected is called the Host Account and must be a commercial or a farm account. Residential customers cannot take advantage of remote net metering as the host turbine site. The account or accounts that will receive the excess net metering credits are called the Satellite Account(s). A satellite account cannot be a net metered account (i.e. a renewable energy source is already connected to it), but it may be a residential account. All accounts must be in the same name, from the same service utility, and reasonably close to each other.
The Shared Renewables initiative (also referred to as community distributed generation) provides opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools, and businesses to join together to set up shared solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects resulting in healthier and stronger communities and solar for all. Each individual member’s production will appear as a credit on their monthly utility bill. The first phase of Shared Renewables will focus on promoting low-income customer participation and installations in areas of the power grid that can benefit most from local power production. Click here for more information.
Solarize Your Community
In 2015, communities across New York State launched more than thirty “Solarize” campaigns with support from NYSERDA. These local campaigns have drawn thousands of New Yorkers to attend solar workshops and community events, resulting in hundreds of households and businesses going solar.
Solarize campaigns bring together groups of potential solar customers through widespread outreach and education, and help customers choose solar companies that are offering competitive, transparent pricing. The campaigns generally last between six and nine months, including planning and outreach. By educating the local community, streamlining marketing efforts, and aggregating customers, Solarize campaigns help make solar a more accessible and affordable energy option. Click Here for more information.
New York solar energy increases your home value
The value of your home will increase once you install a solar power system by $20,000 for every $1,000 in energy reduction costs per year. Moreover, thanks to favorable federal laws, this home value increase will not increase your property taxes. For example, if your current electric bill is $5,000 per year and your system provides 100% of your energy needs, the value of your home after the solar installation will be $100,000 more than before installation.
Other NYS programs
The NY-Sun Initiative: NY-Sun is an umbrella program for a number of solar industry support mechanisms in New York State, including (but not limited to) the Megawatt Block Incentive
Structure. NY-Sun, in conjunction with NYPA, also provides the backbone for the state’s Community Solar and K-Solar programs.
The REV Initiative: The ultimate goal of this program is to reinvent New York State’s energy systems with a focus on ‘distributed energy’ technologies like rooftop solar panels and energy storage. Although it does not directly subsidize rooftop solar power, its ultimate aim is to level the playing field for distributed energy vs centralized power plants (like coal, gas and nuclear) through market reforms.