Solar panels New York:

Prices, incentives and best companies 2022

Avg NY solar panel cost:

$13,654 - $16,688*

Avg 25 year savings:

$61,533 - $75,207

Avg payback period:

3.2 - 3.9 years

Estimate cost and savings based on your location and power usage

* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 30% federal tax credit.

New York solar panels guide 2022

Updated August 26, 2022

New York has long been one of the best places in the country to install solar panels. Despite not being the sunniest state, it offers some of the best solar incentives available and has high electricity rates, meaning homeowners can get some serious electric bill savings. 

But, some of the incentives that make New York such a solar-friendly state won't be around forever. The state's net metering policy is set to change in the coming years, and the popular NY-Sun Megawatt Block program is in its final stages. To lock in these incentives and maximize solar savings, New Yorkers should consider switching to solar sooner rather than later. 

On this page:

Solar power prices, savings and payback in your part of New York

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in New York is currently $12,029 after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.86 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.

Cost range of local prices

$13,654-$16,688

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$61,533-$75,207

Payback period

3.2-3.9 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

6.8kW

Solar panel cost calculator

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

Are solar panels worth it in New York

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2022 they also remain subsidized by the 30% 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)

NY solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar installers in New York

 

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. The solar tax credit is equal to 30% of the total solar installation costs, potentially earning homeowners thousands of dollars they can deduct from their income taxes. 

Thanks to the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, the 30% solar tax credit is now available until the end of 2032. In 2033, the value drops to 26%. Systems installed in 2034 will receive a tax credit equal to 22% of installation costs. In 2035, the tax credit expires completely. 

New York state tax credit

Another important incentive for solar panel installations in New York is the state solar tax credit. New York's state tax credit is equal to 25% of total installation costs, up to $5,000, and can be used with 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. This leaves home solar system owners with nearly two decades of free electricity.

Net metering

New York's current net metering program is called "Phase One Net Metering plus CBC". The program works just like traditional net metering, where utilities provide a bill credit for excess solar energy sent to the grid that is equal to the full retail rate of electricity. 

But, solar owners must also pay an additional monthly charge, called a Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge. The value of the charge is based on the size of the solar panel system, and the utility's CBC charge rate. For example, Con Edison's CBC charge rate is equal to $0.94 per kilowatt of solar installed. This means a homeowner with a  7-kilowatt solar system would have to pay an additional $6.58 per month. 

You can learn more about how net metering in the Empire State works and how much it can save you in our guide to New York net metering. 

NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program

The NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program is another way New Yorkers can significantly reduce the cost of going solar. The Megawatt Block Program provides homeowners with upfront incentives for installing solar panels, based on the size of their solar system. 

The value of the rebate is typically between $1,000 and $3,000 but varies depending on where you live and the size of your solar system. 

But, this incentive won't be around forever - it expires once the program is full, and is already expired for residents of Long Island. This means the best time to install solar in New York is now before the Megawatt Block Program is no longer available. 

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

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Top models of solar panel installed in New York 2022

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 2022 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.

Hybrid solar system

In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.

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 2022?

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 2022.

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 incredible federal and state solar incentives. Between the Megawatt Block program, the state tax credit, and the federal tax credit, you can potentially cut the cost of installing solar in half! 

Plus, because New York has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, homeowners can save big on their energy bills with solar panels. 

 

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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