Going Solar in New York: Your Guide to Massive Savings

Hey there! If you‘re a New Yorker considering solar panels, you‘ve come to the right place. Adding solar to your home can be a confusing process, but I‘ll walk you through everything clearly while showing you how to maximize savings. Get ready to slash that energy bill!

First, let‘s get you up to speed on New York‘s impressive renewable energy goals…

Like progressive states across the country, New York is charging ahead on climate action. The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) established a target of 70% renewable electricity by 2030. And an even bolder goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2040.

That‘s less than 20 years away!

A piece of that action is a solar "carve-out" – basically a mini-target within the broader renewable portfolio standard. This carve-out mandates 10 gigawatts of installed solar capacity in particular by 2030.

For reference, a gigawatt is enough to power around 750,000 homes, so we‘re talking major solar growth ahead.

Already, New York solar has expanded quickly to around 4.4 gigawatts as of 2022. That makes New York #4 nationally in total solar deployment! Yet scaling up solar power further requires everyday residents like you choosing to install an array.

So back to the question I‘m sure you have – with harsh winters and often overcast skies, can New Yorkers actually save money with solar panels?

The answer is a resounding yes! Here‘s why:

  • New York has relatively high electricity rates, currently around 20 cents per kwh statewide. More than almost any neighboring state.
  • While NY only gets moderate sunlight, solar panels today are super efficient even on cloudier days
  • Most importantly, New York offers some of the most generous solar incentives in the whole country…

Let‘s dig into those incentives!

New York Homeowners Can Save Over 50% Off Solar

Between federal, state, and even local programs, New York homeowners can reduce initial solar installation costs by 50-80%.

That huge upfront price slash makes panels pay back faster through electricity savings. Then years of almost free power!

Here are all the credits, rebates, and other benefits working in your favor:

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The 26% federal Investment Tax Credit in 2023 covers nearly a quarter of total solar costs in one shot. That includes the panels, inverter, racking, labor, permitting fees – basically every expense related to your array.

Capped at $24,894 in value each year, most homeowners can deduct much more thanks to system sizes.

Our 6 kilowatt example solar array would save $4,420 through the ITC!

Falling to 22% in 2024, time is still on your side to leverage this opportunity.

New York State Tax Credit

Further sweetening the pot, New York offers a 25% tax credit covering up to $5,000 of your solar purchase. Combined with the federal ITC, half of a typical system cost is erased instantly!

NY-Sun Solar Rebate

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the NY-Sun initiative issues generous rebates based on your array size and household income level.

Incentives range from $0.30 per watt up to $0.80 per watt, paid out following project completion. Our example 6 kW system would net $1,800 more in savings!

NY-Sun focuses extra support on low-to-moderate income families and environmental justice communities, as well as nonprofit and government solar projects.

Net Metering

Now let‘s talk about the gift that keeps on giving every month for decades – net metering…

New York requires all utilities to offer net metering, which means they buy any excess power your solar panels export to the grid. That turns your array into a miniature power plant!

You get credited the full retail electricity rate for solar sent to the grid, earning back energy dollars each month. And if you build up extra credits by the year‘s end, the utility cuts an actual check!

A typical 6 kW system in New York with net metering yields $1,000 or more in annual bill savings and surplus energy payments.

That reliable cash flow over 20-25 years really starts to add up. Just another perk boosting solar savings!

Between all these incentives stacked together, our example 6 kW solar array drops from roughly $17,000 pre-incentive down to only $6,530 – $11,530 out of pocket.

In other words, New Yorkers can buy solar panels at 50-80% off!

Let‘s quickly visualize what that looks like:

[Incentives Chart]

Now you see why solar is such a money saver here!

Solar Panels Pay For Themselves in Under 10 Years

Okay, so clearly installing solar panels in New York costs far below sticker price after leveraging incentives. But how long exactly does it take to recoup that remaining out-of-pocket investment through energy savings?

The answer is under 10 years for most homeowners!

Running the math on our 6 kW solar example with $11,530 in post-incentive costs, here‘s the financial breakdown:

  • Yearly utility savings: $1,200+
  • Years to pay off system: 9-10 years
  • 25+ years of nearly free power

Factor in rising electricity rates over coming decades and your annual savings will grow higher still.

While 10 years may seem long, remember you‘re prepaying 25+ years of energy costs today. And locking in protection from volatile utility prices that can swing your monthly bill by $100 or more each year.

Oh by the way, an extra "savings" hides in plain sight…

Did you realize that by owning rather than leasing solar panels, you boost the value of your home?

Yep, a $15,000 solar array adds significantly more than $15,000 to resale value. Which means recapturing your investment if selling, or leaving the panels for the next homeowner while fetching a higher sale price thanks to this upgrade.

Either way, cha-ching!

Key Takeaway – With incentives factored in, solar panels in New York pay for themselves in under 10 years while adding thousands in home value.

Financing Options Beyond Buying Outright

Now you may be wondering…

"These savings sound fantastic, but what if I can‘t afford to buy a whole rooftop solar system in cash right now?"

Not a problem! Plenty of smart financing options exist allowing you to go solar for little to no money down while reaping all the same incentives.

Popular choices like solar loans, PACE financing, and leasing/PPA‘s can cover most/all system costs upfront, which you gradually pay off over 5-25 years.

Solar Loans function similar to a home improvement loan with long terms from 10-25 years and competitive interest rates. This strategy allows you to keep ownership of the solar panels rather than signing a lease.

Pro Tip – Since solar loans get bundled right into your initial purchase price, tax credits apply to the full amount! Be sure to apply incentives before settling on a loan size.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is another smart approach, currently available to over 5 million homeowners nationwide. Similar to buying panels outright, PACE unlocks all ownership incentives too.

With PACE, repayment happens via a voluntary property tax assessment – meaning payments get tacked right onto your property taxes each year. Check availability through programs like Energize NY.

While leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs) remain options too, you generally forfeit access to tax credits this way.

Given New York‘s exceptionally strong solar incentives lined up, buying or financing beat leasing outright. But all options slash your utility bills!

New York Solar Incentives At-a-Glance

Let‘s recap everything real quick:

IncentiveOverviewSavings Estimate*
Federal Tax Credit26% credit in 2023$4,420
NY State Tax Credit25% credit up to $5k$4,250
NY-Sun Rebate$0.30 to $0.80 per Watt$1,800
Net MeteringFull retail credit for excess solar$15,000+
Total Savings$25,470+

*Based on 6 kW solar array

Big thanks to all these credits and rebates, solar panels in New York today offer…

✅ 8-10 year payoff
✅ $15,000+ lifetime utility savings
✅ $25,000+ total lifetime value

So tell me…are you ready to unlock massive savings while doing something good for the planet?

I‘m here to help make it happen! Reply back with any other questions.

Let‘s go solar, New York!

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