New York solar panels and solar power plan



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New York

New York State recognizes the many benefits of Solar Electric Systems and has implemented several incentive programs to reduce the barriers to installing these systems, including a Net Metering Law, Tax Credits and Rebates.

New York Net Metering
The "Solar Choice Act of 1997" provides for net metering of residential photovoltaic systems in New York. This law was a crucial starting point, giving New York residential electric customers the right to "sell back" excess solar electricity. There is actually much to this subject, hence the complete section on our web site.

New York Tax Credits
The "Solar Choice Act" also provides for tax credits for residential, net-metered photovoltaic systems in New York. This amounts to roughly $1,500 per kilowatt of installed solar, up to a maximum of $3,750. We recommend you talk with your Solar Dealer and Tax Advisor to figure out what all this means (it is a tax law after all!). Information and forms can be found online at: Information (.pdf) and tax form IT-255 (.pdf)

New York Energy $martSM Photovoltaic (PV) or Solar-Electric System Incentive Program (50kW and smaller)

NYSERDA has cash incentives available for the installation of small PV or solar-electric systems. The cash incentives are only available for PV systems purchased through an eligible installer. NYSERDA's New York Energy $martSM initiative currently has several programs that, when combined with the PV cash incentives, could help offset the total installation costs of a PV system by 40-70%.

What do I need to know to participate in the New York Energy $martSM PV Incentive Program?

There are a three key pieces of information that you will need to know to determine if a new PV system is eligible for funding:

1) PV System Size - While incentives are capped at 50kW, PV systems can be larger than 50 kilowatt (kW). As a point of reference, a 2kW PV system could provide about 20% to 30% of the energy needs of an average home.

2) Grid-Connected - PV systems must be connected to your utility's electricity distribution system or "grid-connected." PV systems for homes or facilities that are not on a utility distribution system are not eligible for funding under this program.

3) New York State System Benefits Charge - PV systems must be installed at a site that pays into the System Benefits Charge (SBC). If you pay into the SBC, it will say so on your utility bill. If you are uncertain, please contact your electric utility. Some commercial and industrial customers do not pay into the Systems Benefit Charge, so check with your utility to be sure. Electric customers of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) are not eligible for funding under this program. If you are a LIPA or NYPA customer, please contact your utility to see if they have similar programs.

What do "grid-connected" and "net-metering" mean and how do they impact me?

A PV system can be a grid-connected or it can work independent from a utility's electricity distribution system (off-grid). Only grid-connected PV systems are eligible for funding under this incentive program.

To connect your PV system to the electric utility system or grid, you must sign an interconnection agreement with your utility company. The interconnection agreement sets the terms and conditions under which a PV system can be safely connected to the utility grid and outlines metering arrangements (net-metering) for your PV system. Net-metering allows the PV system to send excess electricity back through the electric meter to the utility. The meter actually runs backwards! Through net-metering, excess electricity is "sold back" to the utility. Your utility will credit the excess power produced at the same rate paid for electricity purchased. Only residential PV systems of 10kW and smaller are eligible for net-metering.

What are the Cash Incentives?

Cash incentives vary depending on the installation. When combined with other New York Energy $martSM programs (highlighted below), the cash incentives under this program could help reduce the total costs to install a PV system by 40-70%.

The three incentive levels are:

1) $4.00 per watt (direct current or the rated output of the PV panel) for any PV system that can be net-metered, or residential PV systems of 10 kW and smaller;

2) $4.50 per watt for PV systems installed on a New York Energy $martSM Labeled-Home and;

3) $4.50 per watt for any building-integrated PV system that is approved under NYSERDA's New Construction Program (PON 869).

Residential PV systems are typically eligible for a New York State income tax credit. Please visit for more information.

Additionally, the New York Energy $martSM Loan Fund provides interest rate reductions on loans for energy efficiency projects and renewable technologies. Interest rates for loans can be reduced by 4.0% for up to 10 years. Visit for more information.

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