New York Grants, Rebates, and Loans For Solar Installations

New York Grants-Rebates-and Loans For Solar Installations

New York state is among the top US states for proactive renewable energy policies. New York has so many active incentive programs that we have to split this up into multiple posts. Last time we covered New York solar tax incentives. Those are great and convenient, but the catch is that you have to owe that much in taxes or more in order to take full advantage of the tax credit.

What about blunting the up-front costs in the first place? This list covers the grant, rebate, and loan programs for New York residents eyeing a solar power upgrade. Remember that these are just the programs covered by the state of New York - federal solar power incentive programs may also apply too.

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New York Solar Grants:

EmPower New York

Eligible low-income households in New York qualify for this program. Qualifying applicants receive a free Home Energy Assessment to identify areas of possible energy improvements and receive tips on how to save energy. The assessment looks at air sealing, insulation, appliance efficiency, and efficient lighting. They also perform a health and safety check for gas leaks and proper venting of furnaces, hot water heaters, and smoke/CO detectors. This is a good starting point for home-owners beginning the process of converting to carbon neutral energy options.

If the assessment turns up inefficient energy usage, the service will perform the upgrades to your home free of charge. Find out more about EmPower New York here.

NY-Sun Commercial and Industrial Incentive Program

This grant program is aimed at large-scale non-residential tenants, including industrial and commercial property as well as government property. The program is for non-residential new grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that are greater than 200 kW in capacity. The average residential home only has a solar panel capacity between 10-20 kW. The grant program offers a cash payment calculated based on the performance of the PV system over the first three years of the system’s annual energy production.

Home owners and small-scale commercial owners have other programs that suit their needs. This program is strictly for the big buildings.

NYSERDA - Buildings of Excellence Competition

The Buildings of Excellence program is for new multifamily (apartments, condos, etc.) buildings, or extensive remodeling of existing property, meeting the guidelines of carbon neutral buildings. You enter this competition by submitting your proposed building's design to a panel of judges, which hold rounds of competition judged and winners announced.

Winning building designs can get a grant up to $1 million. Again, this only applies to new buildings which have energy efficient design built in. Find out more about the NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence Competition here.

New York Solar Rebates:

NY-Sun PV Incentive Program

In addition to grants and loans, NY-Sun also provides rebates to low-to-moderate income households installing solar PV power systems. Qualifying households can receive up to $0.80/W on systems with a capacity up to 10 kW. This applies in different regions according to NY-Sun's schedule of goals per block, with additional metrics based on historical demand, market penetration, installed cost per watt, and equity on a regional basis.

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New York Solar Loans:

NY-Sun Loan Program

NY-Sun offers financing options for property owners installing solar PV, be it residential, commercial, industrial, or non-profit. Residential owners installing solar PV systems on their home can qualify for a loan between $1.5K and $25K, while small businesses and non-profits can get a low-interest loan of up to $100K.

Some loans can be structured as an on-bill recovery, basically a payment program which spreads out the cost of installation. Find out more about NY-Sun Solar PV Loans here.

NYSERDA - Residential Financing Options

In concert with NY-Sun, NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) also offers loans for installing solar PV and energy-efficient systems on residential buildings. These loans can be up to $25K and can be structured four ways: On-Bill Recovery, Smart Energy, Renewable Energy Tax Credit Bridge, and Companion Loans.

These loans provide low interest rates and are aimed at low-income residents. Find out more about NYSERDA residential financing options here.

Additional Programs

While we are only concerning ourselves with those incentives related directly to solar power, that's just the tip of the rebate iceberg! New York utilities offer a staggering array of rebates and incentives for every facet of energy conservation you can use. From geothermal heat pumps to energy-efficient appliances to programmable thermostats, if you can install it in your home and it saves energy, there's a rebate for it. Check with your local utilities' websites for available offers.

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Does New York have free solar programs?

Eligible low-income households in New York qualify for this program. Qualifying applicants receive a free Home Energy Assessment to identify areas of possible energy improvements and receive tips on how to save energy. The assessment looks at air sealing, insulation, appliance efficiency, and efficient lighting. They also perform a health and safety check for gas leaks and proper venting of furnaces, hot water heaters, and smoke/CO detectors. This is a good starting point for home-owners beginning the process of converting to carbon neutral energy options.

If the assessment turns up inefficient energy usage, the service will perform the upgrades to your home free of charge.

How do I get a loan for solar in New York?

NY-Sun offers financing options for property owners installing solar PV, be it residential, commercial, industrial, or non-profit. Residential owners installing solar PV systems on their home can qualify for a loan between $1.5K and $25K, while small businesses and non-profits can get a low-interest loan of up to $100K.

Some loans can be structured as an on-bill recovery, basically a payment program which spreads out the cost of installation. 

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