New York State Program

Ranked 2rd in the country.With an average 19% return on investment.

The cost of going solar in NY can be covered by incentive by of 75%. It has never been cheaper to go solar in the Empire State. The governor is working to improve the program moving forward.  Stay tuned – with the new number New York may now be the best program in the country. 

State Incentive Rebates

Residential – $1.00 per watt, up to 25 kW.

Commercial- $1.00 per watt

Not-for-Profit – $1.00 per watt

State Income Tax Credits

For residential solar systems, New YorkState provides an income tax credit for up to 25% of the system cost, with a maximum of $5,000.
The federal government provides a 30% tax credit for both residential and commercial solar systems.  Please discuss all tax matters with a financial professional.

Federal Income Tax Credits

The Federal government offers an income tax credit of 30% for residential systems.   As such, this credit can offset a significant amount of the “total” or “basis” project cost (a term which the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) interprets to mean before any incentives have been applied).  To claim the credit or for more detailed information, refer to Federal tax form 5695.  The 2010 form states If you cannot use all of the credit because of the tax liability limit…, you can carry the unused portion of the credit forward. This credit can then be carried on to subsequent years for 5 years.

The Federal Business Energy Tax Credit of 30% also has no cap.  To claim the credit or for more detailed information, refer to Federal tax form 3468.

Please note that NYSERDA offers its incentive program subject to the following restrictions:

  • The PV system must be grid-connected.
  • Incentives are available for PV systems installed for qualified customers only.  Qualified customers are those who pay the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)/System Benefits Charge (SBC) as part of their electricity bills.  To see whether your utility company participates, please refer to this NYS Department of Public Service webpage.  All New YorkState investor-owned utilities, including Central Hudson, NYSEG and National Grid, participate in this program.
  • NYSERDA reserves the right to limit the number of incentives per customer/site/meter.
  • Incentives are based on direct current module ratings at standard test conditions (STC).
  • System sizes may be greater than the maximum size allowed for incentives, however, the incentives will be provided only for the eligible portion of the PV System.
  • NYSERDA reserves the right to make changes in the incentive levels.  It is anticipated that these changes may occur at two month intervals based on the level of participation in the program and market conditions.  Any revisions in the incentive levels will be posted on NYSERDA’s website, and Eligible Installers also will be informed via email.
  • Incentives are capped based on the proposed PV System size that does not exceed 110% of the total kWh consumption for the previous 12 months of electric usage.  New Construction systems must be sized not to exceed 110% of the calculated yearly projected kWh of electric usage.
  • Additionally, the incentive cannot exceed 40% of the owner’s net out-of-pocket costs after deducting for any federal and state tax credits or federal payments in lieu of tax credits.  The installer shall include calculations supporting the requested incentive amount.
  • Incentives will be reduced in proportion to output losses when losses from factors such as shading and orientation exceed 20% of ideal kWh output.


New York State Property Tax Exemption

Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law exempts from taxation, but not special ad valorem levies or special assessments, real property which includes a solar or wind energy system or farm waste energy system satisfying guidelines established by NYSERDA.  The solar or wind energy system or farm waste energy system must be existing or constructed before July 1, 1988 or constructed after January 1, 1991 and before January 1, 2015.

New York State Residential Solar Sales Tax Exemption

New York enacted legislation in July 2005 exempting the sale and installation of residential solar-energy systems from the state’s sales and compensating use taxes.  The exemption applies to solar-energy systems that utilize solar radiation to produce energy designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water and/or electricity.


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