SolarReviews | New York Solar Power Rebates and Incentives

Rebates, Tax Credits and other incentives home solar power panels in New York New York State Personal Tax credit for installation of home solar power panels

New York State offers a personal tax credit to residents that install home solar power panels of 25% of the cost of the solar panels up to a maximum of $5,000.

New York SERDA- Solar PV incentive program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides an incentive of $1.50 per watt (DC) to eligible installers for the installation of approved, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. Customers who pay the state's RPS charge are eligible to participate in the PV Incentive Program. These include customers of the following utilities: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. Total incentives may not exceed 40% of the installed project cost after any available tax credits. The maximum capacity supported by the program is 7 kilowatts (kW) for residential systems; 50 kW for non-residential systems; and 25 kW for non-profits, schools and municipalities. Larger systems are eligible for incentives, but incentives may only be received for installed capacity up to the program caps. Incentives are only available to eligible installers, and incentives must be passed on in full to customers. PV systems must be sized to meet specific site energy needs (local load or demand) and may not exceed 110% of the demonstrated energy demand for the site, taking into account any other on-site electrical power generation systems. Incentive levels will be reduced in proportion to potential output losses of greater than 20%. NYSERDA will hold the title to renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the system's energy production for a period of three years, after which REC ownership will revert to the customer/generator. Installers must be registered with the program before their customers will be eligible. Beginning June 30, 2011 all installers must be NABCEP certified in order to qualify for the program. The program web site provides a list of more than 125 fully eligible installers and many others with provisional approval. Once eligible, installers reserve incentives for approved systems for specific customers on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as funds are available ($2 million in new funding available per month). Applications are limited to 300 kW per eligible installer company per month. This limit applies to the total number of applications from one installer company, even if the company employs more than one eligible installer. Prior to installing a PV system, contractors must provide customers with information and basic assistance in understanding possible energy efficiency improvements and benefits, although energy efficiency measure installation is not required for program participation. NYSERDA - RPS Customer-Sited Tier Regional Program New York also has a performance incentive based program for large solar systems. Projects are assessed competitively and the program offers a mixture of production and up front incentives. Under the program project proponents bid a price per kwh, and an upfront incentive level at which they will build a projects. Successful projects are paid incentives over the first three years of the project as follows: The payment structure is as follows:

  • First up-front payment: 15% of the incentive bid (plus the 15% Strategic Location bonus if applicable) times the estimated energy production of the system over three years. This payment is issued upon demonstration to NYSERDA that all major equipment has been procured and transported to the site, and that all applicable permits have been obtained.
  • Second up-front payment: 15% of the incentive bid (plus the 15% Strategic Location bonus if applicable) times the estimated energy production of the system over three years. This payment is issued once the project is interconnected to the grid and has proven capable of providing performance data.
  • Performance payments: Performance payments are issued annually based on actual energy production. For any given year, the payment will be 70% of applicant's incentive bid (plus the 15% Strategic Location bonus if applicable) times the actual energy production.

With this program a size of the system cannot quote to more than 110% of the customers energy demand prior to installation of the solar power system

Sales Tax and Property Tax Exemptions for solar electricity

There is both sales tax and property tax exemptions for the installation of home solar power systems in New York. Here is an example of what a return might look like based on the above incentives

Size of System (kw)  


Space required (square feet)  


Price of system per watt  


Price of power (marginal cost high usage kwh's) $ per kwh  


Average daily kwh produced per 1 kw of solar  


Total average daily production  


Total Price (before incentives)  


Federal Tax Credit  


State Tax Credit  


NYSERDA Solar PV rebate- 40% of cost after credits  


Actual out of pocket cost after incentives claimed  


Annual Power production  


Total Annual Energy savings based on 1:1 net metering  


Total Annual Return  


Return on Investment- pre finance costs  


Payback time based on annual increase in power prices of 7%  


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