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Why go solar? More like why not go solar?


Posted By: Nathan VerHague, Residential Solar Consultant

In the past, when a neighbor or friend invested in a solar array for their home, many would ask them “why did you go solar?” There is a long list of reasons why someone would invest in solar for their home, including saving tens of thousands of dollars long-term, becoming energy independent, doing their small part for the environment, etc. But the better question may be “why wouldn’t you go solar?”

I often joke about this with people I meet and how soon people will be asking their neighbors “why didn’t you go solar?” Sure, the cost of the equipment continues to slowly drop, but with such a boom in the industry the hard costs are reaching all time lows where there isn’t much more to gain. A good portion of an installation consists of the softs costs including labor, engineering, electrical, etc. So why wouldn’t someone take advantage of the government incentives while they are still around?

In New York, we benefit from being in a ‘green minded’ state. There are two major incentives for someone who invests in residential solar in our state. First of all, you are eligible for a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). At the time of this post that grant is $0.40/watt. So, a 5kW system would be an upfront grant of $2,000 (5,000 watts x $0.40/watt = $2,000). That amount will eventually drop to $0.30/watt and $0.20/watt as the fund begins to expire.

New York also has a 25% tax credit available. While this credit is capped at $5,000, it is a fantastic way to collect some money when you file your taxes for the year of installation.

That’s not all though! The Federal Government also kicks in with an uncapped 30% tax credit. This 30% tax credit is good through 2019, at which point it will start to decline yearly.

Once you add up all these incentives, customers typically get 60-65% of their overall bill taken care of by incentives!

What someone receives in tax credits is determined by their tax liability. So, we always recommend they double check with a tax professional to confirm they are going to receive what they are eligible for. If someone isn’t able to receive all their tax credits the first year, they can typically roll those credits over for multiple years until they recoup all that they are eligible for.

Thanks to all these incentives, we typically see customers add more in resale value to the property than they spent as well. They see an immediate payback when they factor that in.

No matter which way you slice it, solar is a sound investment and the incentives just make it that much more lucrative. Our solar consultants at Solar Liberty are well versed in the advantages of going solar and want to help you weigh your options!

Call 866.80.RENEW(73639) or visit the Solar Liberty website to start on your path to energy independence!

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