New York Solar Tax Credits, Rebates, and Incentives
Currently New York state is, financially speaking, one of the best places to “go solar.” The New York State Renewable Portfolio Standard has mandated that 82 megawatts (or 93,806 MW-hours) of solar electric power system be installed by the end of 2015. In order to meet this goal they have enacted the Electric Incentive Program.
Cash incentives are provided for residential systems under 7kW (the average residential system is 2-4kW) and commercial systems under 25kW. The incentive ranges depending on a number of factors, but usually falls between 25-35% of the total cost of installation (and sometimes as much as 40%!).
You should start by choosing an installer (but make sure you choose one who NABCEP certified and is registered with the state as an “eligible installer”). They will conduct an assessment and help you apply for the incentive. Once approved, the incentives are paid directly to the installer where it is then deducted from the total cost of your installation. The great part is that you don't have to complete any of the paperwork.
In addition to the cash rebate, NY also offers low-interest rate loans for solar and wind installation. They also offer net-metering (“on a first-come, first-serve basis”), which allows individual producers of solar energy to store “credits” for unused electricity they produce. This credits can then be used toward later utility bills if you don't produce enough energy to cover your needs. And don't forget the 30% federal tax credit as well! In combination, these programs can save you a lot of money. :-) You can check out the NY state website for full details.