What was your reaction when you read your most recent power bill? Do you balk at the idea of paying high prices every month for the rest of your life? With solar panels, you can escape the grip of high utility rates and enjoy immediate savings that last for decades.
Plus, with the help of solar incentives in Orange County, NY, the upfront purchase is more affordable than you might imagine. Take a look at the top four solar incentives available to New York residents and see why our state is one of the most affordable for switching to solar energy.
Federal Tax Incentives
If you apply for no other solar incentives in Orange County, NY, apply for federal tax incentives. They are the best ones available, and everyone in the country has access to them until they expire on December 31, 2016. Federal tax credits cover 30% of the cost with no upper limit. This means a hypothetical $25,000 solar installation qualifies for $7,500 in tax credits. This incentive is a very powerful reason to consider going solar.
Keep in mind, if you decide to claim any rebates (such as the one from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), you need to subtract the rebate from the total first. A $25,000 solar array may qualify for a $3,500 rebate, bringing the new total to $21,500 and the 30% tax credit to $6,450.
Both existing and new homes qualify, but you must own your home. Installations on vacation homes also qualify.
New York Solar Energy Tax Credits
Some states offer no tax incentives at all for installing solar panels, but you’ll be grateful to learn that New York is not one of them. In fact, our state ranks among the most generous with a 25% tax credit on the total purchase and installation cost. Be aware, the incentive tops out at $5,000. So, if you invest more than $25,000 in new solar panels, you won’t be able to claim more than $5,000.
Remember, tax credits aren’t exactly free money. However, since they’re “credits” and not “deductions,” you can take a 1:1 dollar amount off your taxes up to the aforementioned $5,000. Be sure to consult a tax professional to make sure you can claim the full amount based on your tax situation.
It’s easy to qualify for these solar incentives in Orange County, NY. Simply do the following:
- Install a system under 25 kilowatts (kW), an easy feat, since most residential solar arrays are only about 5kW.
- Remain grid tied and net metered.
- Purchase your panels outright, lease your panels or sign up for a purchase power agreement.
NYSERDA is offering cash incentives for solar installations through the NY Sun Incentive Program. The program’s budget is $762 million and you can claim your piece of the pie if you act quickly! Incentive rates vary by location and they’ll decrease as the state meets its solar capacity goals, but as of May 2015, the rate for Orange County is $700 per kilowatt, or $3,500 for a typical 5kW system.
The program is easy to understand. You’re familiar with receiving rebates in the mail from retailers for appliance purchases, and the state offers rebates in a similar fashion. In this way, these solar incentives in Orange County, NY offer free cash, often as a lump sum paid directly back to you. Many times, solar installers offer to handle the paperwork for you and then subtract the incentives you qualify for from the total installation cost.
Qualifying is easy:
- Install a residential, commercial, industrial or institutional solar array totaling 25kW or less.
- Remain tied to the grid.
- Have the installation completed by a pre-approved contractor.
- Comply with all standards and safety codes.
Property Tax Exemption
When you add solar panels to your home, you increase its value. For average-sized solar arrays, home value may increase by $20,000 following the installation. Normally, this spurs an increase in property taxes. However, a property tax exemption ensures your rates won’t be affected by this value increase for the next 15 years.
Obviously, you can save a big chunk of change over the next decade and a half thanks to this solar incentive in Orange County, NY. The property tax exemption also allows you to add solar water heaters, wind power, biomass energy and geothermal heat pumps to your property without owing more on your property taxes.
Essentially, all you need to quality is to live in a single-family to four-family residence and have one of these energy conservation improvements installed.
Are you ready to claim as many solar incentives in Orange County, NY as possible? You can maximize your savings and decrease the hassle by working with an installer who can shuffle the paperwork on your behalf.