New York Gets Top Grade for Home Solar

Solar Power Rankings

New York received another boost in the home solar power stakes when Solar Power Rocks gave the state seven “A” grade ratings. The Solar Power Rocks 2017 State Solar Power Rankings Report grades the solar-friendliness of all 50 states and D.C.

The Solar Power Rankings Report grades each state on 12 separate factors giving them a rating of A-through-F.

The Empire State again received an overall grade of A, placing it in the top five for residential solar installations. The state legislature made changes last year requiring utility companies to produce a percentage of their overall renewable energy from new sources, not specifically solar. That change dropped the state from last year’s tied for first ranking.

The top five states were Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon and New York, thanks to a combination of favorable solar legislation and tax incentives.

Solar Power Rocks notes that home solar power is a big part of the energy picture.

New York Sets Solar Standard

New York “A” Grade on Solar Report Card:

  • Solar Power Tax Credits – NY has second best solar tax credits; 25% up to $5,000.
  • Electricity Cost – NY tied for seventh highest electricity prices, averaging $0.17-$0.21/kWh across Long Island, New York City, and Upstate New York. This is 50 percent or more above the national average of $0.13/kWh. This is important because solar panels generate power, reducing electric bills for homeowners. The higher the electric rates, the bigger the solar savings.
  • Net Metering – NY solar homeowners get full-price credit for any unused energy their solar panels generate and contribute to the utility grid. This credit offsets any charge for electricity they right purchase during the year. At the end of the annual billing cycle, or calendar anniversary, there is a net meter reconciliation for any excess electricity produced by the system. The utility company calculates the monetary value of any remaining credits, and pays the customer at a reduced wholesale rate.
  • RPS Law – NY is tied for the third best RPS; legislature mandates that 50 percent of all energy generation come from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Property Tax Exemption – When New Yorkers install solar panels on their homes, they’re completely exempt from additional property taxes even though going solar adds to the home value. For an average-sized solar energy system, that can mean an increase of nearly 20 times annual electricity bill savings. For example, a 5kW system adds up to about $22,932 (20 times annual electricity savings of $1,147).
  • Sales Tax Exemption – New Yorkers who go solar pay no state sales tax for their solar power system, meaning upfront savings.
2017 state solar rankings
2017 State solar rankings. Image courtesy Solar Power Rocks

Ranking Method

To determine the rankings, Solar Power Rocks collected 663 separate data points across stated solar policy and incentives. A benchmark 5-kilowatt solar installation was used to calculate return on investment figures for all states.

Long Island Leads the Way

Going solar in New York is a much more viable option for homeowners compared to other states. Long Island leads the state’s surge in solar usage. Long Island increased solar uptake by 320 percent since 2012. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo made this announcement in September 2016. Long island is the state’s largest residential solar market.

“Clean energy is our future, and Long Island is leading the state in growing our clean tech economy and achieving our climate change goals,” Cuomo said. “The continued success of the solar market is fueled by the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy as we reduce emissions, help residents save on their energy bills, and drive local job growth across the state.”

New York’s commitment to making all solar installations more affordable and creating a more sustainable self-sufficient solar industry led to the State’s rapid growth in residential solar.

Local energy companies such as Grid City Energy have a range of financing options that allow homeowners to buy, finance or lease a solar system. Savings start immediately, and there are no money down options.

Grid City Energy 375 Pearsall Ave, Cedarhurst, NY 11516 516-308-7878 gridcitysolar.com

Ron Daniels is a small business writer who looks for interesting stories to tell. When he’s not researching a story or writing, he loves to go for a run in the park or along the beach.