New York's Commercial Solar Incentives

New York’s Megawatt Block Solar Incentive

The Megawatt Black solar incentive provides subsidies for both commercial and residential solar rooftop systems. The size of the subsidiary that you receive depends on the size of the system that you install as well as how much solar energy is already being produced in your area.

One of the great things about this subsidiary is that you don’t have to take any action to claim this benefit. The benefit is paid directly to your installer and that is reflected in the final cost of your system.

The Megawatt  offers generous up-front discounts on a dollar-per- watt basis. They started as high as $1/W but will fall as low as $0.15/W

This depends on a number of factors:

  • First Is the region that your project is being installed in.  New York has been divided into three blocks based on geographical location including the Con Edison Region(New York City and Westchester county), Long Island, and upstate NY.
  • Second is the weather your project is commercial or residential. There are different incentives depending on whether you have the system installed on your home or business.
  • Third is what “block” your region is currently in. For any given area there are a number of different levels or “blocks” that determine your incentive rates. The program began at the highest block that provided the highest incentive at $1/W. As people in that area began to install solar that block began to fill up until a predetermined threshold was reached. At that point, the area moved onto the next block which provided a lower incentive. This will continue until all of the incentives are used, at which point it will no longer be offered.  

The final factor that will determine your incentive is the size of your system. The incentive is paid out as a function of how many watts you have installed.

Besides locking in your energy rates at a fixed cost this is a good reason to not delay on installing your solar system.  

New York Net Metering

This policy ensures that you get paid fairly for the for any excess solar energy that you send back into the grid. Sometimes your system may produce more energy than you can use. If you don’t have battery storage system then this energy will feed back into the electricity grid. Net metering allows you to receive credits for this excess energy to be stored in your “credit bank”. These credits can then be applied to your electricity in non peak months to ensure that you can cover your electricity bills at all times of the year.

It is important because it forces companies to give customers retail value for the energy they produce.

What you will actually receive per kW is dependent on your energy provider and the way in which they go about calculating your credits.

NY State Sales Tax Exemption

The law exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment from state sales taxes and allows and cities to exclude these costs from local sales tax.

Some local cities have exempted commercial systems from the local sales tax but NYC has not.