Cash Incentives and tax credits cover more than half of Solar PV installation costs!
New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide a cash incentive currently paying $0.40 per watt (residential) and $0.30 to $0.40 (non-residential) per system. No end date has been verified.
Note: NYSERDA funding is subject to change.
New York State will provide a 25% income tax credit up to $5,000 that can be used until fulfilled. Excess credit may be carried forward for five years.
The Federal government will provide a 30% tax credit, uncapped, on any system regardless of size and not exclusive to main residences. This offer will be decreased to 26% in 2019, 22% in 2021 and 10% for commercial systems or third-party-owned residential placed in service after 1/1/2022 and 0% for residential host-owned. Excess credits may be carried to the following five years after purchase.
Rural Energy for America Program – Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency
Funds may be used for the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems, such as small and large solar generation. The USDA offers a loan with guarantees on up to 75% of total eligible project costs. Also there are grants available for up to 25% with terms of $2,500-$500,000.
Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost (if applying for a grant only,) 25% of the project cost (if applying for load, or load and grant combo.) Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report and energy efficiency project require an energy audit or assessment.
Affordable Solar is a program being added to the NY-Sun initiative in an effort to reach out to low-to-moderate income (LMI) households. Those eligible will qualify for double the incentive that is currently being offered by NYSERDA capped at 6 kW. The income guidelines vary from county to county qualifying those who fall beneath 80% of the area or state median income. In order to qualify, you would also need an electricity efficiency assessment of the home to determine whether any lighting or heating/cooling upgrades are necessary to decrease your energy consumption before getting your solar system installed.
Click the link below to see what the income guidelines are for your county:
Loan financing/short term: 12 months interest free financing will allow the owner of the solar system to wait until tax time when their tax credits are received to pay one lump sum.
Loan financing/long term: Ranges anywhere from 5 – 25 years, interest rates start at 3.49%, please ask someone at CIR for a more specific breakdown.
Purchase Outright: This is by far the most attractive return on investment, especially if you borrow to finance the system. Generally, the savings generated will be much larger than the cost of the money borrowed. Purchasing a system also qualifies for all rebates, tax credits, and revenue from Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) sales, while it also significantly increases your home in property value. As a general rule, every $1 saved in electricity costs / year translates to an increase of $20 in the property’s value.
A Power Purchase Agreement or PPA is a contract to between the customer and a third party financing company which owns, operates and monitors the solar equipment. In most cases, PPA’s are used when the interested party does not have the tax appetite or liability to take advantage of the federal and state tax incentives. Common projects include: churches, schools, municipal buildings, fire houses, etc. PPA’s provide you with the long term- savings which includes system monitoring, maintenance and a low fixed cost for energy.
These fixed rate energy systems hedge you against inflation and rising electric rates as well as provide a 95% production guarantee.
But how does it work? Every time an active solar system produces more energy than a municipality, non- for profit or for-profit business consumes, the owner receives “credits” from their utility company. These credits are commonly referred to as just “energy credits.” So, on a day when the owner’s system produces more than their electrical consumption, the meter on their house or business spins backwards (net metering), and they gain “energy credits.” These credits roll-over from month to month and can add up to a decent buck by the end of the year depending on the systems production.