Learn more about why solar power is appealing to New York homeowners, how it works, its affordability, and more!

Contrary to popular belief, solar is actually very appealing to residential homes in New York, despite the harsh winters here. Some of the things that make solar great for New York are net metering, NYSERDA, and the NYS tax credit.

What is net metering?

In NYS, solar systems are “grid-tied” meaning that if your solar panels are not producing enough energy, you can still pull energy from the grid to power your home. Typically, what happens in NY, is the solar system will underproduce in the winter, and overproduce in the summer. This is where net metering comes into play. In the summer, when your system is producing more electricity than you are using, you will send energy from the panels back to the grid. Your utility company will then give you a credit of one kilowatt hour (kWh) on your future utility bills for each kWh that you send back to the grid. This is net metering.

The credit that you get for sending a kWh back to the grid is equal to the retail rate of the cost of a full kWh from the utility company. This is a bonus because, in other states, you often do not get this. Customers may get only half of the retail rate as a credit. NY has a superior interconnection policy compared to other states in the US.


NYSERDA is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. In other words, it is New York’s body of renewable energy. Most states do not have something like this. NYSERDA currently offers a grant of $.40 per watt for residential solar customers, up to $5000, and it is based on the size of the solar system that is installed.  Everyone is eligible for the grant and at GreenSpark, we will apply for the grant on your behalf and take that money off of the cost of your system.

Once the grant is gone, there are no plans to extend the grant or create a new one. Luckily, you are able to lock in the NYSERDA grant when you sign up for solar and you do not need to wait until the project is actually built. This means you can still lock in the NYSERDA grant money, even if your system won’t be installed for a few months.

NYS Tax Credit

In NYS, you are able to get a tax credit of 25% of the cost of your solar project. This is on top of the 26% credit that you can get from the federal government. In order to be eligible for the NYS tax credit, you need to have paid at least the equivalent of the tax credit in NYS taxes for the year. If you paid less than what your tax credit will be, you can stretch the credit out for up to 5 years.

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