By Jeff Irish, PE, Expert on Solar Energy
Photo: Courtesy of Patrick McCormack
“Do the right thing for the environment and save money in the process.” There’s a lot to like about joining the solar energy revolution. But for people who have been thinking about going solar and haven’t made the leap yet, it’s about to get more expensive—by thousands of dollars. Put another way, now’s the time to get in on government incentives for solar before they take another series of steps down.
For an average system, incentives and tax credits cover over 50 percent of the cost. On-site solar systems, both roof and ground mount, currently qualify for a NYSERDA incentive rebate, a federal income tax credit and, if the solar is for your primary residence, a New York State income tax credit as well. Purchase model community solar systems to qualify for a similar NYSERDA rebate, a new temporary community adder rebate from NYSERDA and the same federal tax credit.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) policy has always been that its incentives would be available on a first-come, first-served basis and eventually go away. This started way back in 2003, and sometime this fall NYSERDA will step down to its lowest and last incentive rebate level for on-site solar systems.
The federal tax credit is also scheduled to step down January 1, 2020. This tax credit, currently unlimited and at 30 percent, applies to on-site solar, community solar and battery-backup systems like the Tesla Powerwall when charged only from solar. That tax credit applies to the entire system cost—engineering, design, permitting, the equipment and installation, too.
After these government incentives, attractive consumer financing typically makes it possible to pay nothing up front and just realize immediate monthly savings. This is why you see so much solar popping up in the Hudson Valley. But, because these incentives are stepping down, that means losing over $2,000 for an average system a few months from now.
The savings that come from the state and federal tax credits are reason enough to go solar, but on top of that, solar is good for your wallet long term. You pay for electricity every month and will continue to pay for it every month for the foreseeable future—but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you go solar, you can ditch your electric bill altogether, because you’ll own your electricity source outright!
If you’ve been thinking about going solar, 2019 is the time to maximize your savings. Learn more at SunCommon.com. Call or email us at 866.452.7652 to make sure we can install your system this year and get you all these great incentives before they disappear. █