NEW YORK Solar Incentives NEW YORK
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Solar Incentives > NEW YORK


DSIRE DATABASE New York Energy Incentives

Background Info

Bill 08690 was passed in the New York State Assembly on June 13, 2007, by a vote of 141 to 5, and is continuing to work its way through the legislative process. This important piece of legislation will expand the size and scope of renewable/sustainable energy systems covered under the state’s Net Metering provisions. Under the bill, as amended on October 23, 2007, residential customers with systems up to 25 kW and commercial customers with systems up to 2mW in capacity will receive credit for excess generated power. The credit carries forward to be applied to future monthly billing; at the end of the contract year any excess is surrendered back to the utility. These new provisions extend to electrical power generated from solar and wind sources, as well as farm waste. The progress of the bill can be monitored here.

New York adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2004, making it one of the first states to participate in a mandated effort to move its public utility companies toward alternative energy sources. The targeted goal is a 24% reliance on clean energy by the year 2013 for all investor-owned utilities.

In much earlier legislation in 1996, another important step was taken by New York‘s Public Service Commission (PSC) in the establishment of a System Benefits Charge (SBC) to fund “public policy initiatives not expected to be adequately addressed by New York’s competitive electricity markets”. Administered by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the program targets energy efficiency, research and development, and improvements in the low-income sector. Funds are supplied by the state’s six investor-owned electric utilities through fees collected from customers. According to the state Public Service Commission “…the NYSERDA SBC-funded Energy $mart program reduced annual electricity use in New York by about 2,360 GWh as of year end 2006 and with annual total bill savings for participating customers estimated at $340 million”.

STATE INCENTIVE PROGRAMS, UTILITY REBATES, UTILITY LOANS, and UTILITY INCENTIVES

State/Region/Utility Solar/Wind Technology Solar/Wind Incentive or Rebate Description
US (US)
Applies to: Residential & Business
Solar Electric (PV)
Solar Water Heating
Wind Turbine
Federal Tax Credit (30% of Gross Cost at Installation) » link
New York (NY)
Applies to: Residential & Business
Wind Turbine NYSERDA - On-Site Small Wind Incentive Program » link
New York (NY)
Applies to: Residential & Business
Solar Electric (PV)
Solar Water Heating
NY State Tax Credit
New York (NY)
City: Southampton
Applies to: Residential & Business
Solar Electric (PV)
Town of Southampton - Photovoltaic (PV) Rebate Program
New York (NY)
Utility: Central Hudson Gas & Elec Corp
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Central Hudson Gas & Elec Corp
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Consolidated Edison Co-NY Inc
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Consolidated Edison Co-NY Inc
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: LONG ISLAND POWER AUTHORITY
Applies to: Business
Wind Turbine Long Island Power Authority - Wind Energy Rebate Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: LONG ISLAND POWER AUTHORITY
Applies to: Residential
Wind Turbine Long Island Power Authority - Wind Energy Rebate Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: LONG ISLAND POWER AUTHORITY
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
LIPA Solar Pioneer Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: LONG ISLAND POWER AUTHORITY
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
LIPA Solar Pioneer Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: New York State Elec & Gas Corp
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: New York State Elec & Gas Corp
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: National Grid (formerly Keyspan)
Applies to: Business
Solar Water Heating
National Grid - Solar Thermal Rebate Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: National Grid (formerly Keyspan)
Applies to: Residential
Solar Water Heating
National Grid - Solar Thermal Rebate Program » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Orange & Rockland Utils Inc
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Orange & Rockland Utils Inc
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation
Applies to: Residential
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Niagara Mohawk Power Corp
Applies to: Business
Solar Electric (PV)
NY Energy Smart PV Incentive » link
New York (NY)
Utility: Niagara Mohawk Power Corp
Applies to: Residential
 

 

In 2001, commercial and multi-family structures utilizing passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat, photovoltaics, fuel cells, or day lighting became eligible for New York’s Green Building Tax Credit Program (Corporate). Owners and tenants of buildings which meet specified “green standards” can claim a credit against corporate taxes, insurance corporation taxes, and banking corporation taxes. A Green Building Tax Credit Program (Personal) is quite similar, providing a credit which can be applied to personal income taxes. An overview of legislation and applicable provisions is available here .

The Town of Riverhead on Long Island has initiated a local Green Building Incentive. Building permits on qualifying commercial and residential solar energy systems and other energy conservation devices earn a discounted flat fee of $150. Details here.

On January 1, 1998, a Solar and Fuel Cell Tax Credit was put into effect under the laws of New York State. Solar water heat, solar space heat, photovoltaics, and fuel cells are eligible, but there are limits on size. Up to 25% of equipment and installation cost of a solar device, to a maximum of $5,000 can be taken as a personal tax credit on residential and multi-family residential installations. Details here.

A Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption covers commercial, industrial, residential, and agricultural sectors and is applicable to solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, solar thermal process heat, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, day lighting, and anaerobic digestion. The law which governs this provision went into effect in 1988, and has since provided a 15-year real property tax exemption equal to the increase in assessed value attributable to the clean energy system. More info here.

In the residential sector, passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat, and photovoltaic systems are eligible for a Solar Sales Tax Exemption, although the law stipulates that municipalities have the option of granting the local exemption. The list of participating municipalities can be found here; for more info on the program go here.

Quite notably, The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides many programs to promote the use of clean energy and energy efficiency that are, in fact, too numerous to mention in any detail here. There are about thirty separate incentive programs that can be found at the NYSERDA website linked here. Those applying to solar power are listed below with links to the Dsire database; there you will find a detailed description of each program.

NYSERDA – Clean Energy Business Growth and Development

NYSERDA – Renewable, Clean Energy, and Energy Efficient Product Manufacturing and Incentive Program

NYSERDA – Distributed Generation as Combined Heat and Power (DG-CHP)

NYSERDA – Renewables R&D Grant Program

NYSERDA – Energy $mart Loan Fund

NYSERDA – Home Performance with Energy Star – Loan Program

NYSERDA – Energy $mart Multifamily Performance Program

NYSERDA – Energy $mart New Construction Program

NYSERDA – Peak Load Reduction Program

NYSERDA – PV Incentive Program

There are also important rebate programs offered by the following utility companies. The following links take you to the Dsire database which provides details:

KeySpan Energy Delivery – Solar Thermal Rebate Program

LIPA – Solar Pioneer Program

What New York utilities are eligible for the NYSERDA solar incentive program?

Do you pay a New York State System Benefits Charge? - to participate in the New York Energy $martSM PV Incentive Program 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.

Where can I find more information about New York Renewable energy programs and incentives?

Click Here: http://www.eere.energy.gov/states/state_specific_information.cfm/state=NY

Where can I find out about Property Tax exemptions for solar systems in New York state?

Here is a link to New York State Property Tax exemptions for solar systems: www.orps.state.ny.us/assessor/manuals/vol4/part1/section4.01/sec487.htm

 

EXAMPLE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR INSTALLATION

We ordinarily profile a solar installation in a state’s largest population center; however, this is a bit problematic in New York’s (and the nation’s) largest city. Manhattan, for example, comprises the most densely populated county in the U.S. – about 23 square miles of land with something like 66,940 residents per square mile. Not many single-family residential rooftops here for the installation of solar collectors. So let’s go northeast a few miles to New York State’s leading agricultural region: Suffolk County, which is home to about 1.5 million people spread out a little more comfortably over an area of 1,000 square miles.

New York State residents enjoy a relatively modest consumption of electrical power, averaging only 7,440 kWh annually, which for the majority of folks in Suffolk County is provided by the Long Island Power Authority. The state’s electrical rate, however, is the highest in the continental U.S. at 15.72 cents per kWh. The county’s solar power rating is “good”, and robust incentives make a solar installation here almost a no-brainer.

A 50% reduction in conventional electricity usage can be accomplished by a solar power system utilizing 300 square feet of roof area at a (mid-range) cost of $27,000 for both equipment and installation. Now for the good news:

  • Est. Long Island Power Authority Rebate $9,113
  • Est. N.Y State tax credit/deduction $4,472

(Less est. federal income tax on state rebate) – $1,252

  • Federal tax refund $2,000
  • Est. net system cost $12,667

But wait, there’s more!

Est. increase in property value – $11,420 to $22,240

  • Property tax exemption – YES
  • Est. 25-year utility savings – $23,960 to $46,662
  • Est. 25-year reduction in greenhouse gases (CO2) – 76 tons

CONSENSUS

Electric utility providers in New York State have limited capacities, overburdened transmission systems, and aging facilities which contribute to high rates and impaired service – including brown-outs and black-outs. This is an ideal environment for the use of solar power and other renewables to bring cost relief to customers while relieving some of the stress on the grid. Legislators in New York and even a few public utilities have implemented effective measures to encourage solar installations. Hopefully, New York’s leaders will continue their fine work and will take even greater advantage of the enormous opportunities here for solar energy development.

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