The sun is continuing to shine on the solar power market in New York. Residential solar power systems are booming in the Big Apple and across the state. According to state officials, the number of residential projects has risen to more than 5,300 this year from 186 in 2011, and there are another 1,900 in the pipeline (New York Times). Just last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of the 35,000th residential solar installation on Long Island, which marks a 320 percent increase in solar power over the past four years in the area. Homeowners in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens, are all joining the solar power movement with the help of local financial incentives and the dramatic drop in up-front solar panel costs.
Solar Panel Popularity
The enthusiasm for solar power in New York is catching on for several reasons. One big factor is the availability of federal, state, and city tax credits. The state tax credit is for 25 percent of total solar panels costs, up to $5,000. This value can be taken straight from what you owe on your taxes, leaving more money in your pocket. What really sets New York apart is the fact that you can claim these tax credits whether you purchase a system or opt for a solar system leasing option. In most states, you must own the system to qualify.
Most states are lucky enough to have a singular solar rebate program, but New York residents can benefit from several programs including the Federal Investment Tax Credit, which equals a whopping 30 percent of the base investment, and others. These savings can all be used together, cutting the initial investment into your solar panels in half!
New York’s net metering policy is also a huge help to those interested in generating home solar power. The power you generate from your own system is obviously free for your use. Sometimes you’ll produce more power than you need to use right away. You can feed this power back into the utility grid and get credited for that. You can literally see your utility meter run backward! The rates at which you get paid back depend on each state’s differing policies. New York has pretty much the best deal you can get, crediting you full retail price for your excess electricity. Couple all of these great incentives with the fact that you’ll be chopping your utility bill way down, and save up to 85 percent every single month.
By using the 123SolarPower marketplace, you can learn more about these types of incentives and compare solar power installation costs in your area.
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Governmental processes have also become more streamlined, making it easier for homeowners and businesses to get up and running with their solar power systems. For example, the city’s Department of Buildings now can issue a permit for a home solar system in a matter of days, not weeks.
This looks like just the beginning for solar power in New York. “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has called for half of the state’s electricity needs to come from renewable resources by 2030, while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants greenhouse gas emissions in the city cut 80 percent by 2050” (New York Times).