Getting the Most Out of Solar Rebates in Orange County, NY

Do you think solar panels are out of your reach financially? You might have heard rumors about the high costs of buying solar panels, but solar rebates in Orange County, NY make the investment more affordable than ever.

The time to act is now while these rebates and other incentives are still in effect. Learn about each one to find out if you might qualify. Then work with a solar installer to make sure you claim as many solar rebates in Orange County, NY as possible.

New York Solar Power Rebates

Through the NY Sun Incentive Program, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing cash rebates for all approved solar arrays installed in the state. The program, which launched in 2014, has a goal to support the installation of 3.175 gigwatts worth of solar panels in New York by 2023.

As of May 2015, the residential rebate for Orange County residents is $0.70 per watt. This doesn’t sound like much, but consider that a typical residential solar array is 5 kilowatts (kW), or 5,000 watts. This means you could qualify for a $3,500 solar power rebate. As the solar market becomes more self-sustaining and the $175 million budget is doled out, these incentives will drop. The sooner you make the switch to solar, the higher your rebate will be.

To qualify for a rebate, you need to do the following:

  • Work with an eligible installer who will reserve your incentives while funds are still available.
  • Install a 25kW or smaller system for residential use (or a 200kW or smaller system for business use).
  • Install a system that doesn’t exceed 110% of the site’s energy demand.

Rebates are paid out in two increments. The first totals 75% of the rebate amount and is paid when all solar components are delivered to the site and the appropriate paperwork is submitted and approved. The remaining 25% of the rebate amount is paid after the solar panels have been connected to the grid and begin producing electricity.

Net Metering

This solar incentive technically isn’t a rebate because you aren’t repaid for money you already spent, but it does involve receiving net metering credits for any excess electricity your solar panels produce. Essentially, if your grid-tied solar array generates more electricity than you need, it doesn’t go to waste. Instead, it travels back to the utility company where it can be doled out to other customers. In return, you receive a credit on your next month’s electricity bill.

It’s easy to qualify. Essentially, you just need to install an array totaling 25kW or less and remain tied to the grid. Many renewable energy sources qualify for net metering, such as solar, wind, fuel cells and micro turbines. New York utility companies aren’t required by law to offer net metering, but Long Island Power Authority, among others, have chosen to. It’s an easy way for utilities to offer “clean” electricity to other customers and prevent the power your solar panels produce from going to waste.

Other Solar Incentives

Solar rebates in Orange County, NY are great, but don’t forget about the other incentives you may qualify for when you switch to solar:

  • New York tax credits: You can claim a state tax credit totaling 25% of the purchase and installation cost up to $5,000, resulting in a dollar-for-dollar increase on your income tax return.
  • Federal tax credits: Claim another 30% of the purchase and installation cost with no upper limit on your federal income taxes. This option is only available on solar arrays installed before December 31, 2016. When calculating your savings, remember that state and federal tax credits apply to the total costs minus the rebate amount.
  • Sales tax exemption: Not all states offer this incentive, but in New York, you don’t have to pay sales tax on your solar panel purchase.
  • Property tax exemption: Installing solar panels increases home value by an average of $20,000. Normally, this would increase your property taxes, but this exemption ensures solar panels don’t cause your property taxes to rise for the next 15 years.

With so many lucrative incentives and solar rebates in Orange County, NY to qualify for, it’s clear you have a lot to save when you go solar. To learn more about your eligibility, and to begin the solar installation process, speak with a reputable solar company in New York.

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