New York Solar Laws Boost Solar Power Installations by Reducing Costs

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New York may soon be a contender for the state with the most solar power usage.

The State of New York has recently given solar enthusiasts something to be excited about.  Up to now the state has been sluggish in effectively advancing the use of renewable energy sources, especially compared to such states as nearby New Jersey, which recently topped even California in new megawatts of solar installed.  But the use of solar power in New York has received a big boost.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has just signed two laws into effect, and they represent $107 million in additional incentives for the installation of new solar PV systems.  Governor Cuomo, in a press release, was quoted as saying, “The bills signed today continue to build momentum for the state’s NY-Sun Initiative by accelerating the installation of New York solar power while making it a more affordable option for residents and businesses.”

Governor Cuomo further said, “Together with other NY-Sun incentives, these bills demonstrate the state’s commitment to reducing energy costs, growing our green energy sector, creating jobs, and protecting the environment.”

The new energy legislation is sure to fulfill the commitments referred to by Governor Cuomo.  Energy costs are significantly reduced for homeowners and businesses that use solar energy; the cost of solar system installation is typically offset in 3 to 10 years, depending on several factors.  Jobs are created when more solar products and solar installations are in demand.  And the more solar energy used, the less pollutants there are in the air.

The following is an overview of the two latest New York solar laws:

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Commercial solar systems are also getting a lift.  One of the fresh laws provides for exemptions from sales taxes on commercial solar PV system purchase and installation.  The law specifically allows municipalities and cities to exclude the costs associated with commercial solar systems from local sales tax.

This law will go into effect on January 1, 2013.

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solar power system

The cost of the installation and equipment needed for solar power is made more affordable with the new NY solar laws.

Property tax abatement for solar PV generating systems in New York City has been extended through 2014, with the new legislation.  The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2013, and covers reasonable expenditures for the following:

• Labor costs associated with on-site preparation for the solar PV system.
• Assembly and original installation.
• Materials.
• Designs and plans directly related to the solar panel installation.
• Architectural services.
• Engineering services.

To sum up what the new laws accomplish, what is called for is a doubling of solar panel installations in 2012 as compared to 2011 and four times more solar power installed in 2013 as compared to 2011.  It would be tough to argue that this isn’t a sunny proposition.

For more information on these laws and to find out how the New York solar laws affect you, contact one of the local NASS solar stores in New York State, Kindle Wood Solar Store located in Bohemia, NY or Lake Champlain Solar Store in Plattesburgh, NY.  Both of these stores have been serving the upstate New York area for many years.

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New York State Gets On Board The Solar Express

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Save money and save the environment with a solar PV system.

Surveys reveal that most Americans are concerned about rising energy costs, and there is evidence that homeowners everywhere are making a monumental shift toward solar energy.  This is also true in New York, which has not been in the lead toward renewable energy sources, by any stretch of the imagination.  The advancement of solar across America has sometimes been linked to impressive solar incentives offered by government entities.  And two incentive programs currently in effect in the state should prove to be a catalyst that transforms more of the sun’s energy into an electrical source in New York.

New York PV Incentive Program Highlights

The New York state incentives for switching to solar photovoltaic systems apply to customers of investor-owned utilities in the following sectors:  residential, commercial, non-profit, industrial, local government, state government, and institutional.

The amount of the rebate is $1.50 per watt DC (direct current).  The following is a breakdown of the maximum incentive:

  • Incentive can’t exceed 40% of costs after figuring in any available tax credits.
  • Maximum for residential is $10,500
  • Maximum for non-residential, including non-profits, government entities, and schools is $75,000

To qualify for this rebate program, the New York solar PV systems installed may not exceed 110% of the energy demand demonstrated in the previous 12 months.

There are some equipment requirements for the New York solar rebate program, such as that the PV system and components must be new and carry a minimum 5-year system warranty.

grid linked New York solar installation

The New York solar installations qualifying for the state incentives must be linked to the grid.

Installation of qualifying PV systems must be performed by a pre-approved contractor.  The systems are required to be grid-connected, end-use application.

The ownership of the renewable energy credits for solar power produced under this incentive program goes to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the initial three years of the system’s operation.  After that, the customer or generator becomes owner.

In April 2012, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued orders which increased funding of the PV Incentive Program.  The 2012 total funding for this incentive program increased from $24 million to $41.6 million.  Funding for 2013 was increased from $24 million to $37.5 million.

These recent additions to New York solar funding stem from NY-Sun Initiative, which has set a goal to quadruple 2011 annual PV capacity installation within New York by 2013.

Long Island Power Authority PV Rebate Program Highlights

As part of the Solar Pioneer and Solar Entrepreneur programs, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) offers its customers rebates for grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems.  Residential PV systems up to 25 kilowatt and non-residential PV systems up to 2 megawatt are eligible for $1.30 to $1.75 per watt in incentives, depending upon the sector.  This incentive program applies to customer-owned solar PV systems only; leased systems are not eligible.

The current incentives are an extension of efforts launched by LIPA in 2000, which started out as a five-year Clean Energy Initiative.  In addition to the program being extended, the funding levels were increased by $5 million per year to $37 million.  The total investment for the program was increased to $185 million.

These New York incentives along with federal incentives for switching to solar could be the ticket for New York to get on the solar express.

If you would like more information about the local New York solar incentives or are interested in installing a solar system of your own, contact our NASS member Solar Store located in Bohemia, New York or our Solar Store in Plattesburgh, New York. Each of our member stores have years of experience serving their communities with many products and services from their brick and mortar stores that you can visit. Find out today how the solar energy can work for you.

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