Updated 1 week ago

Going solar with New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG)

Find out how much solar panels can save you on your NYSEG bill

New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) is a major electric utility company in New York - serving over 900,000 customers across upstate New York. The state has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular state for solar panels.

Installing solar panels can lower your NYSEG bill substantially, potentially eliminating all of your energy costs. Let’s look at what you need to know about going solar with NYSEG.

Key takeaways

  • NYSEG offers Phase One Net Metering to customers, which provides full net metering benefits but requires solar homeowners to pay a charge based on the size of their solar system.

  • The Consumer Benefits Charge (CBC) equals $0.91 per watt of solar installed. All utility customers pay this charge, but it’s rolled into the electricity rates of non-solar customers.

  • There are no NYSEG-specific solar incentives, but there are a number offered by the state of New York, including the New York solar tax credit.


Does NYSEG offer net metering?

NYSEG customers installing solar panels can use Phase One Net Metering (NEM).

Phase One NEM is almost identical to traditional net metering: solar panels produce electricity first used by the home, and unused solar energy is sent to the grid in exchange for a bill credit. The bill credit equals one kilowatt-hour (kWh) and fully offsets the cost of any energy a customer takes from the grid. 

However, customers under Phase One NEM must pay a monthly Consumer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge. All utility customers pay this charge, but it’s typically rolled right into the total electricity rate.

Because solar customers don’t have to pay for electricity covered by NEM credits, the CBC charge is added to their bills, so they continue to pay their fair share into programs funded by CBC. 

Consumer Benefits Charge (CBC)

The CBC charge is added to a solar customer’s monthly NYSEG bill as a separate line item. The total value of the charge is determined by NYSEG’s CBC rate and the size of the homeowner’s solar panel system.

NYSEG’s 2024 CBC charge equals $0.91 per kW of solar installed, which equals a $4.55 CBC monthly for an average-sized system. The following table outlines the CBC charge for different-sized solar systems:

System size

NYSEG Consumer Benefits Charge (CBC)

4 kW

$3.64

6 kW

$5.46

8 kW

$7.28

10 kW

$9.10

12 kW

$10.92

Unused credits

Any unused net metering credits remaining on a bill at the end of the monthly billing period will roll over to the following month. Credits can continue to roll over until the end of the 20-year program term.

Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER). Customers can also choose to participate in the VDER program, which has lower CBC charges but provides less predictable solar savings. Phase One NEM will generally result in more consistent monthly savings.


Does NYSEG have any solar rebates or incentives?

The combination of federal and New York state solar incentives makes going solar for NYSEG customers more affordable. The following table outlines some of the top incentives available for NYSEG homeowners:

Incentive

About

Federal solar tax credit

A federal income tax credit equal to 30% of solar installation costs.

New York state tax credit

An income tax credit equal to 25% of solar installation costs, up to $5,000.

NY-Sun MW Block Program

Capacity-based incentive equal to $0.20 per watt installed.

Solar sales tax exemption

Solar equipment and installation are exempt from New York state sales tax.

Property tax exemption

Solar system costs are exempt from property taxes for 15 years unless disallowed by local jurisdiction.

The largest incentive is the federal solar tax credit, which reduces your income tax liability by 30% of your solar installation costs. New York also has its own solar tax credit of 25% of installation costs up to $5,000.

New York’s NY-Sun program offers capacity-based incentives through the Megawatt Block program. This incentive payment gets paid to the solar installer, who then passes the savings on to you.

New York also has solar sales and property tax exemptions, which helps keep costs as low as possible.

Find out what solar incentives are available for NYSEG customers

NY-Sun financing options. The NY-Sun program offers solar financing options through Slipstream Financial for qualified customers and systems. These unsecured loans have terms between five and 15 years and can be repaid like a traditional loan or as an additional payment on your NYSEG bill. You can find out more information on Slipstream’s website.


Steps to going solar with NYSEG

Going solar isn’t as easy as getting the panels on your roof and turning them on. The full solar installation timeline includes a lot of paperwork and a few inspections to ensure the system is safe and working as it should with the utility.

Most of the work is handled by your solar installer, but it’s worth understanding the interconnection process so there are no surprises. New York has a standardized interconnection process to make installing solar panels smoother.

  • Step 1: File an application with NYSEG. The application will include a signed contract, system description, design, and product details. NYSEG has ten business days to review and approve or deny the system. 

  • Step 2: Permitting and installation. The company can obtain the necessary permits and perform the installation when the application is approved. 

  • Step 3: System testing. New York has a testing and inspection procedure solar companies must follow to check that a system works properly. NYSEG may want a representative present during testing, but it is not required. 

  • Step 4: Final acceptance. Once the system passes testing and a written notification has been sent to NYSEG, the company will either send an acceptance letter or explain what improvements need to be made. 

You may run into a few different scenarios depending on the complexity of your installation. Again, the solar company handles most of the hard work. You just need to have patience throughout the process.


Find the right solar installer to lower your NYSEG electric bill

Finding the right solar installer is crucial when going solar. You want a company that’s professional, reliable, and will be around for the 25-year lifespan of your system to provide you with ongoing support – but you also want to pay a reasonable price. 

That’s where SolarReviews comes in. Our extensive network of trusted solar contractors removes the headache of going solar. Not only do we give you a free estimate of how much solar panels can cost and save you, but we can connect you with the best solar companies in your area. 

Choose between one and four installers, and you’ll be on your way to finding out if going solar can help with your NYSEG bills. We always recommend getting quotes from multiple companies to find the one that best fits your needs and budget. Once you find the right solar company, you can look forward to paying NYSEG less and keeping money in your pocket.

Find out how much local installers charge for solar panel installations near you

Going solar with NYSEG FAQs

Written by Catherine Lane Solar Industry Expert

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry for five years. She leads a dynamic team in producing informative and engaging content on residential solar to help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in solar panels. Catherine’s expertise has garnered attention from leading industry publications, with her work being featured in Sola...

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