With New York State having some of the highest electric rates in the country, the potential for savings is compelling.
Some photovoltaic solar panel systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to zero or even generating solar credits. However, the size of the system must be fairly close to what the household actually uses. And there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $200 per year) to remain connected to the utility grid.
You may qualify for a federal solar tax credit of up to 30% of the net cost of your solar panel system, as well as a 25% New York State solar tax credit up to $5,000.
The federal government provides an uncapped 30% tax credit on any solar panel system regardless of size, not exclusive to main residences. This offer will decrease to 26% in 2019 and 22% in 2021. Once again, you have up to five years to recoup this credit if you qualify.
New York State provides a 25% income tax credit up to $5,000 that can be used until fulfilled. If you qualify, you have up to five years to recoup this credit.
The solar incentives you qualify for may vary based on your location, income and other factors. Buffalo Solar Solutions can help you determine which ones you’re eligible to receive.
New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides a cash incentive currently paying $0.35 per watt for residential solar panels and $0.30-$0.40 per non-residential system. No end date has been verified, and NYSERDA funding is subject to change.
(Note: NYSERDA only allows you to install a system that generates 110% of your annual bill, but no further. Any overages are credited as a kilowatt-hour credit.)
Visit the NYSERDA Residential Megawatt Block Dashboard for real-time information on the status of blocks and current incentive levels by sector and region, including the total number of MW and the incentive assigned to the block, and the percentage of the block still available for applications.
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.
Visit the following links to download the most current versions of the federal and state tax forms for solar installations.
And remember—it’s important to talk to your tax professional about how to qualify—we aren’t accountants and we don’t pretend to be!
(Your net solar power savings may vary depending on your choice of financing, your electric utility and other factors.)
“I went solar with Buffalo Solar Solutions. I wanted to save a lot of money. Tyler and his crew are very nice and professional, [and] it was a smooth job. I’m very happy with my solar, it’s a great install and it looks very good.”
—Stephen D., West Seneca, NY
Buffalo Solar Solutions Inc., the successful solar energy startup that opened in South Buffalo in 2015, is expanding into the Southern Tier with the opening of a second location.
The movement toward green energy is picking up momentum across the country and around the world.
Installation of solar panels is best left to local companies who can better serve the needs of their customers.