Incentives

There are federal, state, and local financial incentives to support investments in installing solar energy. The range of options includes cash payments, net metering, and tax incentives. Many innovative solutions from the commercial sector are emerging as well, such as third-party ownership, property tax assessment, and community solar programs (NYC Community Solar resources coming soon).

Residents of NYC are eligible for a mix of federal, state, and city incentives. Download our incentive guides below for more information. NYC Property Tax Abatement Guidance Document <pdf>.

 

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Incentive Resources

Incentive eligibility varies by location, type of building, and system owner. The NYC Solar Incentive Guides explain which incentives could apply to a solar installation on your home or building in NYC.

Residential Solar PV Incentive Guide

Commercial Solar PV Incentive Guide  

Cooperative/Condominium Solar PV Incentive Guide  

* NYSERDA PON 2589 is now closed for new applications. New funding is expected for both the Standard Offer and the Competitive Bid Program as NYSERDA does anticipate issuing an additional PON (new number) most likely in the Spring 2014 before the Program transitions into a MW block Program. NYSERDA is exploring the potential  to also include NYPA and LIPA/PSEG customers in this state-wide program.

 

residential solar PV incentives <pdf>

 Federal, state and city financial incentives are available to support investments in solar. Below is an overview of the incentives available for installing a solar electric system on a residential building in NYC. Many of these incentives are tax related, and vary from case-to-case.

Federal

Federal Tax Credit : Residential building owners are eligible to receive a federal tax credit worth 30% of the cost of the solar installation, after subtracting the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) incentive (explained below). Assuming the NYSERDA incentive is taxable income, the total installed cost of the system is the basis for calculating the federal tax credit.  For more information, visit: DSIRE .

 

Example, the federal tax credit for a 7 kilowatt residential solar installation that cost $56,000 minus a $8,050 incentive from NYSERDA, would be:

($56,000 - $8,050) X 30% = $47,950 X 30% = $14,385

State

NYSERDA Incentive PON 2112: Con Edison customers are eligible to receive a rebate of up to $1.00 per Watt-DC of solar PV installed on your residence capped at 25 kilowatts, for standard residential systems. For example: If you have a 25 kW residential system you may be eligible to receive $1,000 per kW.  $1,000 x 25 kW = $25,000 toward the total installed system cost. In general, incentives for a typical residential or commercial system cover approximately 25-35% of the installed cost of a PV System. Program details can be found at: NYSERDA PON 2112

New York State Tax Credit : Residential building owners who install solar may be eligible for a tax credit for the lesser of 25% of the installed cost of the solar energy system (up to 25 kW on net-metered systems) after the NYSERDA incentive, or $5,000. Be advised that the federal government considers this state tax credit taxable income. For more information, visit: DSIRE

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. The exemption does not apply to solar pool heating or other recreational applications.

City

New York City Property Tax Abatement: Residential building owners who place a grid-connected solar energy system into service from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014 are eligible for a four-year Tax Abatement of 2.5% per year of the installed cost of the system, for four years (for a total of up to 10%). Abatements are applied after the NYSERDA rebate, capped at $62,500 per year or $250,000 total. This tax abatement is spread equally over four years, and may not exceed your property tax liability for any given year. If you wish to apply for this incentive, you will need to hire a New York State registered architect or professional engineer to file the paperwork with the Department of Buildings. For more information, visit: NYC DOB Tax Abatement <pdf> http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/pdf/pta4_instr.pdf <pdf>

Disclaimer: the authors of this guide do not provide tax advice.  You should consult your tax professional to verify your eligibility for tax benefits .


Commercial Solar PV incentives <pdf>

Federal, state and city financial incentives are available to support investments in solar.  Below is an overview of the incentives available for installing a solar electric system on a commercial building in NYC. Many of these incentives are tax related, and vary from case-to-case.

Federal

Federal Tax Credit: You are eligible to receive a federal tax credit worth 30% of the cost of the solar installation. Assuming the NYSERDA incentive is taxable income, the total installed cost of the system is the basis for calculating the federal tax credit.

Example:   The federal tax credit for a commercial solar installation costing $425,000 would be: $425,000 X 30% = $ 127,500

 

If this tax credit exceeds your federal income tax liability the year the solar energy system is installed, you may carry the tax credit forward through 2016. For more information, visit: DSIRE

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) + Bonus Depreciation : Companies that invest in a solar energy system may be eligible for federal income tax deductions through the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS). The IRS allows commercial solar PV system owners to deduct up to 85 percent of their tax basis. This form of depreciation can be claimed over a five year period. For more information, visit: IRS Publications and DSIRE

State

NYSERDA Incentive PON 2112 : (PV system size 200 kW or less) As Con Edison customers, commercial PV systems participating in PON 2112 are eligible for two tiers of incentives. The base incentive, for systems up to 50 kW, is $1.00 per kW of installed capacity per meter. The second tier incentive, $.60/watt, is offered for any installed capacity over 50 kW and up to 200 kW per meter. Example: For a 60 kilowatt (e.g. 60,000 watt) solar PV system, NYSERDA would provide an incentive of up to $56,000 ($1.00/watt x 50kW = $50,000 + $.60/watt x remaining 10kW = $6,000). Systems that are greater than 200kW may still apply but are only eligible for funding up to the 200kW level. In general, incentives for a typical residential or commercial system cover approximately 25-35% of the installed cost of a PV system. Note the NYSERDA incentive is paid directly to the installing contractor. For questions on tax liability you should consult an accountant. Program details can be found at: NYSERDA PON 2112. Check the NYSERDA Solar Program Manual, Attachment H, for details on expansion of completed systems and change orders

NY State Sales Tax Exemption: The law exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment from sales taxes, and allows municipalities and cities to exclude these costs from local sales tax (not available in NYC).

City

New York City Property Tax Abatement: Commercial building owners who place a grid-connected solar energy system into service from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014 are eligible for a four-year Tax Abatement of 2.5% per year of the installed cost of the system for 4 years (total of 10%). Abatements are capped at $62,500 per year or $250,000 total, applied after the NYSERDA rebate. This tax abatement may not exceed your property tax liability for any given year and application requires filing of paperwork at the Department of Buildings by a registered architect or professional engineer. For more information, visit: NYC DOB Property Tax Abatement for Solar

Disclaimer: the authors of these guides do not provide tax advice, and you should consult your tax professional to verify your eligibility for tax benefits.


Cooperative housing and condominiums Solar PV incentives <pdf>

Federal, state and city financial incentives are available to support investments in solar. Below is an overview of the incentives available for installing a solar electric system on a condominium or co-op building in NYC. Many of these incentives are tax related, and vary from case-to-case.

 
FEDERAL

Federal Tax Credit: Building owners are eligible for a tax credit worth 30% of the installed cost of a solar energy system, after subtracting the NYSERDA incentive. Tenant stock-holders in cooperative housing corporations are eligible for their proportionate share of this tax credit for the corporation’s eligible expenditures. Individual members of condominium management associations who own a condominium in the building on which they install solar are also eligible for their proportionate share of this tax credit. If the federal tax credit exceeds an individual’s federal income tax liability for the year the solar energy system is installed, the individual may carry the tax credit forward to the next year, through 2016. For more information, visit: DSIRE

STATE

New York State Tax Credit : Residential building owners who install solar are eligible for a tax credit for the lesser of 25% of the installed cost of the solar energy system (up to 50 kW on net-metered systems) after the NYSERDA incentive, or $5,000. Tenant stock-holders in cooperative housing corporations and individual members of condominium management associates are eligible for their proportionate share of this tax credit for the corporation/association’s eligible expenditures. Be advised that the federal government considers this state tax credit taxable income. For more information, visit: DSIRE

NYSERDA Incentive PON 2112: (PV system size 200 kW or less) As Con Edison customers. Coops and Condominiums participating in PON 2112 are eligible for two tiers of incentives. The base incentive, for systems up to 50 kW, is $1.00 per watt of installed capacity per meter. The second tier incentive, $.60/watt, is offered for any installed capacity over 50 kW and up to 200 kW per meter. Example: For a 60 kilowatt (e.g. 60,000 watt) solar PV system, NYSERDA would provide an incentive of up to $56,000 ($1.00/watt x 50kW = $50,000 + $.60/watt x remaining 10kW = $6,000). Systems that are greater than 200kW may still apply but are only eligible for funding up to the 200kW level. These incentives for a typical residential or commercial system cover approximately 25-35% of the installed cost of a PV.  Note the NYSERDA incentive is paid directly to the installing contractor. Due to the complex ownership and metering arrangements for many multi-family buildings, NYSERDA reviews solar PV incentive eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Program details and contact information can be found at: NYSERDA PON 2112  Check the NYSERDA Solar Program Manual, Attachment H, for details on expansion of completed systems and change orders. For questions on tax liability, consult an accountant.

 CITY

New York City Property Tax Abatement: Building owners who place a solar energy system into service from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014 are eligible for a four-year Tax Abatement of 2.5% per year of the installed cost of the system for 4 years (total of 10%) after the NYSERDA rebate. Abatements are capped at $62,500 per year or $250,000 total. This tax abatement may not exceed one’s property tax liability for any given year. For systems installed on condominiums, the tax abatement is to be divided among all tax lots within the building. If building owners wish to apply for this incentive, they will need to hire a New York State registered architect or professional engineer. For more information, visit: NYC DOB Property Tax Abatement for Solar

Disclaimer: the authors of these guides do not provide tax advice, and you should consult your tax professional to verify your eligibility for tax benefits.