Calculate how much you can save on your ORU bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a ORU customer: $51,535

Average solar panel cost: $16,623 - $20,317*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Orange & Rockland Utilities electric bill

Updated: October 22, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your ORU bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. ORU offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Orange & Rockland Utilities bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Orange & Rockland Utilities each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Orange & Rockland Utilities. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Orange & Rockland Utilities customers?

Yes! With a 25% New York state tax credit for solar, transitional renewable energy credits (TRECs) for customers living in New Jersey, and solar sales and property tax exemptions, solar panels make a whole bunch of sense for Orange & Rockland customers in New York and New Jersey. Orange & Rockland’s net metering policy also ensures you get credited on your power bill at full retail rates for the excess solar electricity your panels produce. Your credits are rolled over and applied to your next month’s bill.

Does Orange & Rockland Utilities offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

Yes, Orange & Rockland Utilities offers 1 for 1 net metering. This means you are paid the same rate for excess solar energy that you export to the utility grid during the middle of the day as what you pay for power purchased from the grid.

In the case of Orange & Rockland Utilities, Time of Use (TOU) pricing applies. You will earn an average of $0.32 for power exported at peak rate times, and an average of $0.02 for power exported at off-peak times.

If you have excess energy credits after offsetting your usage over the course of a year, ORU will pay you out for those credits at a lower rate. After that, the amount of excess energy in your account will be reset to zero. Excess annualized production is credited in New York at the "day ahead hourly price", in New Jersey at the "cost of wholesale power". 

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to ORU customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a ORU customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$4,436
Solar Sales Tax Exemption (State)

Exemption of New York state sales tax on retail sale and installation of residential solar systems.

Varies
Value of Distributed Energy Resources - Phase One Net Metering (State)

Systems installed between March 9, 2019 and January 1, 2020 receive volumetric credits for kWh their system exports to the grid. After January 1, 2020, Phase One Value stack Tariff starts, receive monetary credit on bill not kWh credits.

Varies
NY-Sun Smart Energy Loan (State)

Loan amounts available between $1,500 and $25,000 repaid directly to NYSERDA's loan server.

Varies
Residential Solar State Tax Credit (State) -$5,000
NYSERDA Retail Energy Storage Incentive Program (State)

$250/kWh of storage

Varies
Net Metering (State)

Current net metering continues until 2022, at which time new customers will begin paying a small "Customer Benefits Charge" on every monthly bill.

Varies
NY-Sun Affordable Solar Program (State)

Additional funding of $800/kW for homeowners at 80% or less of area median income. Also includes solar loans with on-bill repayment options.

Varies
Property Tax Exemption (State)

100% of cost of system is exempt from property tax. Local entities can disallow the exemption through implementing policy.

Varies
NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program - Upstate Region - Block 8 (Utility)

As of August 2020, at block 8 - $.35/W. Block 9 is $.20/W

-$2,899
TOTAL -$12,335

*Based on 8.28 kW system, average installation cost $24,960

How much does installing solar panels save the average Orange & Rockland Utilities residential customer?

If you input the details for a ORU customer with a power bill of $180 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 8.28 kW solar system that will produce 10,477 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $51,535 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as an ORU customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical ORU customer with a $180 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 8.28 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for ORU customers?

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$15,548-$19,003

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$43,926-$53,688

Payback period

5.1-6.2 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

8.3kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

8.28 kW

Annual Power Generation

10,477 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

5.6 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

15.5%

Gross cost

$24,960

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$14,803

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$10,155

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$61,690

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Orange & Rockland Utilities customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from an Orange & Rockland Utilities customer installing a 8.28 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 10,477 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$2,061

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

5.19

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

36 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

11,473 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Orange & Rockland Utilities customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $3.01 per watt or $10,155 for a standard 8.28 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

Related solar news

Have your say!