Although New York State might not be top-of-mind when thinking about the best places to go solar, homes in the Empire State are actually prime candidates for solar energy systems, thanks to a combination of high electric prices, good financial incentives, and effective net-metering policies. But even as the state of New York consistently ranks in the top 10 US solar markets, and offers a great ROI on solar, the price of going solar there can still vary quite a bit from one metro area to the next.
To help guide New Yorkers in the solar decision, the website Solar to the People has put together a cost index for the price of solar in each of the state’s metro areas, including both the pre- and post-incentive costs paid by homeowners there during the first half of 2015. The Home Solar Panel Cost Index, which used data from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), found that the average cost of an installed solar array in the state (purchased, not leased) was $15,137 after rebates and incentives, which were found to reduce the cost an average of 50.5%.
Although the study doesn’t specify the average system capacity for that cost, Solar to the People stated that the average cost per kW was $2,084 installed, after incentives and rebates. The study found that since 2008, the cost per installed kW of residential solar has dropped about 21% in New York State, and that the average size of a home solar system has increased by 28% since then.
According to the index, homeowners in the Buffalo area had the lowest cost per kW of solar installed, at $1,365, and that New York City had the highest solar costs in the state, at $2,493 per kW installed. The metro areas with the lowest cost of residential solar (per kW installed) for the first half of 2015, were as follows:
- Buffalo Area – $1,365 / kW
- Ithaca Area – $1,479 / kW
- Utica Area – $1,486 / kW
- Rochester Area – $1,517 / kW
- Syracuse Area – $1,633 / kW
- Elmira Area – $1,647 / kW
- Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties – $1,826 / kW
- Orange and Rockland Counties – $1,842 / kW
- Albany Area – $1,860 / kW
- North Country – $1,982 / kW
- Long Island – $2,335 / kW
- Kingston Area – $2,383 / kW
- New York City – $2,493 / kW
More data on New York State solar can be found at Solar to the People.
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