We did it. We survived 2017. Enough reason to celebrate on its own. The thing is, we did it together. We're so thankful for the support we've received from our neighbors and know that we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the power of our community. So cheers! Let's keep building the solar movement in this fine city of ours.
Solar Outlook 2018
These are hard times politically, but there are truly several reasons why you should be thinking really hard about getting a solar system in 2018. Although there's significant pressure on the industry from the White House, the majority of New York's solar market is supported by local incentives. So despite there being a looming tariff on foreign solar panels that could raise prices for the industry, here in Brooklyn 70% of the cost of solar is still incentivized for homeowners that decide to make the switch. Still a boon of a choice. Here are some of the reasons why we're choosing to look on the brighter side of things.
1) Federal Tax Credits should continue through 2019.
In Brooklyn, solar installations are subsidized by Federal, State, and City tax breaks. Luckily, the solar industry escaped serious punishment by the new monster tax bill. The Federal Investment Tax Credit, which covers 30% of the system cost for homeowners, was not eliminated. Although there's no certainty of the credits next year, their current schedule has them set to diminish 12/31/2019.
2) Interconnection procedures, though changing, still provide reliable payback for solar that doesn't require the extra layout for a battery to make economic sense.
New York State's solar industry is undergoing an enormous transition under Governor Cuomo's REV initiative. The policy that has allowed homes to connect to the grid and receive full retail value of their electricity produced is being scrutinized to develop a more competitive payback structure for solar owners and utilities. In the future this will likely mean that most solar systems will need battery backup. RIGHT NOW Net Metering allows for solar owners to connect to the grid and receive credits on their bill for the volume of whatever they produce, whenever they produce it. This means more reliable payback especially given that electricity prices are continuing to rise.
3) Electricity Prices will Continue to Rise.
The Energy Information Administration forecasts that electric prices will increase by at least another 2.5% this year. In New York, we may see even greater seasonal fluctuation in electricity because of increased demand for Natural Gas during this season's cold snap. Homeowners that remember the winter of 2015 should be reminded of unquestionably cold weather and price increases on their ConEd bills. Folks that decide to go solar will avoid these cost increases in the future.