Solar panel cost in New York

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in New York is currently $12,716 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.86 per watt.

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices


Net profit (savings less system cost)


Payback period

3.2-3.9 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill


Chart 1: Distribution curve of NY residential solar cost 2020
SolarReviews average

Note: Prices after 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit

NY solar panel cost calculator

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 6.8kW system

New York solar power overview

When it comes to home solar panels, New York has long been one of the best places in the country. The state offers a balanced mix of good solar incentives and relatively high electricity prices that makes home solar in New York a very attractive financial investment.

The financial picture for home solar is expected to stay rosy for years to come, but as the federal solar tax credit steps down from its current 26% level to 0% in 2023, the benefits of solar will be harder to come by. Other changes are coming in 2022 that will see new solar owners with additional small monthly charges on their bill, but people who install solar before then can avoid those charges and lock in the current net metering deal. 

The Empire State is focused on a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050, and homeowners can be a part of achieving that goal. The combination of soon-to-expire incentives and changing solar compensation rules makes now the right time to get solar panels for your New York home.

Are solar panels worth it in New York

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Levelized cost of solar energy
Levelized cost per kWh is the cost of the solar system divided by the total number of kWh produced by a solar system over it’s lifetime

4¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

72¢ /kWh

(forecast avg New York electric rates over the next 25 years)

New York solar incentives & tax credits

Federal solar tax credit

The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation. Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in New York is now.

New York state tax credit

The second most important incentive for solar panel installations in New York is the state solar tax credit, which allows you to potentially earn an extra $5,000 to put towards your taxes, on top of the federal solar tax credit. These two incentives can be combined to reduce the cost of going solar by more than half after the first year, and electric bill savings will pay back the rest of the cost in under 8 years, leaving home solar system owners with nearly two decades of free electricity.

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: State incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit

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Top 10 solar panel brands installed in New York in 2020

Average cost of solar panel installation in New York by system size

System size*
Cash purchase

(After tax credit)

Financed purchase

(After tax credit)

4kW $12,536 $13,414
5kW $14,995 $16,045
6kW $17,184 $18,387
7kW $19,859 $21,249
8kW $23,120 $24,738
9kW $24,966 $26,714
10kW $27,470 $29,393

Find city information in New York


Best solar companies in the main cities of New York

Solar Companies in New York

Different types of solar companies

Solar company reviews

Home solar basics

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in New York

You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.

How long do solar panels last?

Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more

How do solar panels work on a home?

Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2020 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

Solar panels are mounted on your roof and wired together in groups called solar arrays. The power they generate flows into a solar inverter where the direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your home or exported to the electric grid.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar power involves meeting all your energy needs from the power of the sun. There’s no utility to fall back on. This means the solar installation needs to power the home not just during the day, when the sun is shining, but after dark as well.

Read more about types of home solar systems.

Do solar panels require regular maintenance?

No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.

Will residential solar power system cost fall in New York in 2020?

Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in New York will fall during 2020.

Can you buy DIY Solar Panel Kits and install them yourself in New York?

Yes you can! In some cases, you can save $3,000 or more when you install solar yourself, even after receiving the federal tax credit. Despite the potential for savings, data from Lawrence Berkeley Labs shows that only about 3% of homeowners choose DIY solar. 

Reasons for this include:

  • The permitting and inspection process for the utility, the state, and municipalities can be quite complex.
  • The installation work is both dangerous and difficult, with electrical work having to be performed at heights.
  • Oftentimes, solar electricity customers will be charged a premium for DIY installations, which can limit savings.
  • In some states, a solar system needs to be installed by a qualified solar contractor in order to take advantage of incentives. In New York, required licensure is regulated at the county level.

SolarReviews does not recommend DIY solar installations unless you have suitable skills. However, for those who do, SolarReviews published a comparison table displaying solar panel kit prices from the top 10 leading solar kit websites in the US.

Buy DIY solar panel kits online

Prices don’t include installation, permits or inspections

How much electricity do solar panel systems generate in New York?

Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.

A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 27-degree pitch roof New York will generate 1,230kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in the New York area.

Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.

What are the pros and cons of installing solar panels in New York?

The biggest advantages in New York for installing solar panels are the big state and federal tax credits that can wipe out over half your cost to go solar in under 1 year.

New York also offers excellent annual electric bill savings, because electricity is pretty expensive here and solar panels can make enough to meet all your needs.

There are not many disadvantages to installing solar panels in the Empire State. If you’re a New York homeowner, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t get solar while all of these incentives were still around. Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

What you can learn from our state solar panel calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this New York solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

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