Clean Power

Published on November 11th, 2015 | by Derek Markham

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New Affordable Solar Program Doubles Incentives For Low-Income New York Homes

November 11th, 2015 by  

Originally published on Solar Love.

Low- to mid-income New York residents will find it a bit easier, financially-speaking, to get a home solar power system, thanks to the launch of a new program from NY-Sun called, aptly enough Affordable Solar. This program will effectively double the incentives for solar installations on homes owned by low- to moderate-income New Yorkers in a bid to expand renewable energy in residential settings in support of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) goals.

new-york-solarNY-Sun, the Empire State’s solar initiative, is administering the program, which was announced by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) yesterday, and which is expected to initially support up to 4,500 new residential solar projects. These low- to moderate-income homeowners, earning less than 80% of the area or State median income, are typically shut out of the solar revolution due to lack of access to adequate capital to buy a system, even as these same residents would greatly benefit from the lower electricity bills that a home solar array could deliver.

“Affordable Solar expands solar energy to households most in need of the electricity cost reductions that solar provides and enables them to participate in Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy. We expect to see strong interest in this program from solar installers and residents.” – John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA

According to NYSERDA, the current residential solar incentives range from 20 cents per watt to 60 cents per watt, depending on the location, and these incentives will increase to 40 cents per watt and $1.20 per watt, respectively, under the new Affordable Solar program.

Participants in the New York Affordable Solar program will go through a standard household income verification process, as well as an energy efficiency assessment of the home’s electricity use, which may identify a need for a more efficient water heater or lighting system to reduce electricity consumption, and those upgrades will be done to the homes before a solar array is installed.

The Affordable Solar program will be able to spend up to $13 million toward the goal of greater solar electric participation by low- to moderate income residents, of which half will be used to cover the doubled incentives, and the other half will be retained to be used for shared solar projects in the future, which will benefit renters and other potential solar users.

Image: Democracy Chronicles

Reprinted with permission.


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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



  • TedKidd

    So what is the incentive per watt a low income person can expect? Does it fully replace the unused tax credits?

    Not clear how solar magically goes from much less attractive for low income to more attractive with this program. The title suggests it would be.

  • Martin

    Such incentives could be used in other places as well and give a big boost to solar and related jobs over the next number of years and at the same time reduce CO 2 emissions! :))

    • Calamity_Jean

      Yes, the more solar the better. I’d like to see a program aimed at landlords, giving them incentives to improve the energy efficiency of rental properties, and especially giving them incentives to install solar on rental buildings with the power credited to the renter’s electric bill.

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