New York City is arguably the best place in the nation to be going solar. There are two factors that make solar so attractive in the city. First is the high price of power. Electricity rates in NYC are among the highest in the nation with the average homeowner paying $.26 per kWh. Second, the combination of Federal, State and City level incentives make going solar a no-brainer if your roof qualifies.
Any person in the United States who goes solar qualifies for an income tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of the system (after rebate). This is a dollar for dollar credit that will be applied against your federal income tax so as long as you are paying federal income tax you will be able to take advantage of the tax credit.
Homeowners who go solar in New York State in public utility territory (Con Edison), will qualify for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) rebate. The rebate is currently at $.50 per watt in ConEd territory and diminishing quickly.
Homeowners who install solar at their primary residency will qualify for a New York State income tax credit equal to 25% of the total system cost (after rebate) with a maximum credit value of $5,000.
Homeowners who go solar inside NYC will qualify for a property tax abatement equal to 20% of the total system cost (after rebate), applied against their property taxes in quarters over four years.
Net metering is available in all public utility territories in New York on a first come, first serve basis. Net excess generation is credited to the next months bill and trued up on an annual basis. If there is excess generation at the end of a year, ConEd will reimburse the customer at an avoided cost rate.
Historic Restoration Tax Credit
Some lucky New York City residents also qualify for a historic restoration tax credit. The tax credit is very geographically specific but if you happen to be in a landmarked zone with a distressed census track, then you may qualify for an additional 20% State income tax credit.