The Top 5 Benefits of Solar Energy in New York

Energy consumption is a huge global issue today. Fossil fuels will only get us so far because these natural resources won’t last forever. That’s why more and more Rockland and Orange County residents are looking to the sun for limitless energy possibilities.

What’s driving you to consider solar energy in New York? Whether it’s economic, personal or environmental, you’ll get to experience the many benefits of going solar once you make the switch.

Lower Your Energy Bills

The single biggest reason New Yorkers install solar panels is to eliminate their electric bills. Depending on the size of the solar array you install and your home’s electrical demand, you could offset your entire electric bill, or at least a significant portion of it. With the option to lease solar panels or take out a solar loan, you begin saving on your energy bills from day one with $0 down.

With electricity rates getting higher all the time, now is a great time to switch to solar energy in New York. Consider that rates have grown from 2.5% to 7% yearly over the past 20 years. This means another 20 years from now, your electric bill could be much higher than it is today. Or it could be pretty close to $0 per month if you don’t delay your switch to solar.

Conserve Natural Resources

Aside from saving money, relying on the sun for your electricity decreases your impact on the environment. Once they’re installed, solar panels produce no emissions, deplete no natural resources and don’t contribute to greenhouse gases.

Plus, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates it takes only 1 to 4 years for solar panels to produce the amount of energy it takes to manufacture them. With this energy payback of 1 to 4 years and a life expectancy of 30 years, solar is clearly a great environmental solution.

Conserving natural resources also guides our country toward energy independence. After all, the US only produces 3% of the world’s oil but consumes 25% of it. This creates a vulnerable economic situation, especially because the US relies heavily on other countries for more than half of its oil. Each household and business that switches to solar reduces our shaky dependence on foreign oil.

Increase Home Value

There’s no question that homes experience a property value increase after installing solar panels. According to the NREL, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and at a price set 17% higher than comparable properties without solar panels. On average, this amounts to an increased value of $17,000.

At the same time your home’s value is increasing, New York State incentives prevent your property taxes from going up for the next 15 years. This exemption prevents you from being penalized with higher taxes just because you want to take advantage of solar energy in New York.

Make a Secure Investment

It’s easy to think of solar panels as an expense, but they’re actually a low-risk, high-return investment. Annual returns range from 10% to 30%, and since the panels last for 30 years or more, it’s hard to find a more lucrative investment out there. Your exact returns are based on:

  • Current electric rate: The higher the rate, the greater your savings and therefore the higher your return.
  • Incentives: The more incentives you qualify for, the lower your initial investment and the higher your return.
  • Solar panel efficiency: You’ll have a better chance of offsetting your entire electric bill – and possibly producing more than you need, which you can sell back to the utility company – if your solar panels have a high efficiency rating.
  • Property characteristics: The climate, roof orientation, number of sunny days that year and other factors impact your rate of return.

Take Advantage of Federal and State Incentives

Depending on the financing option you choose, you may be eligible to claim federal and state incentives for choosing solar energy in New York. Here’s what your options include:

  • Federal tax credit: The credit covers 30% of the cost, including installation, with no upper limit. This excellent incentive is available until December 2016.
  • New York State tax benefits: These cover 25% of the system’s total cost up to $5,000 and exempt you from paying sales tax on the purchase of solar panels.
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) incentives: Qualifying residential and business installations receive cash incentives available on a first come, first served basis. Incentives are available through December 2015.

With all these benefits in mind, here’s the best thing of all: switching to solar is easy! You can get started with $0 down and begin doing your part to help the environment and the US economy, all while putting money back in your pocket. It’s a win-win situation you don’t want to pass up.

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