Not only does going solar benefit the planet, it benefits your wallet too. It will reduce (or eliminate) your electric bill, and you can take advantage of some of the best solar tax credits in the country as a New Yorker. We want to make sure our customers understand the savings they receive and get the credit they deserve for switching to clean energy.

Everyone who goes solar with BSW receives a copy of our Solar Guide. This guide explains the basics of how your solar system works, along with the financial aspects of owning a solar system. Continue reading for a glimpse at our official solar guide for solar system owners.

Reading Your Electric Bill & Net Meter Summary

Getting your first ConEd bill after your solar installation is an exciting moment. It can be a bit confusing though, because ConEdison does a poor job of explaining their billing and recordkeeping system. 

Below is an example of what your bill will look like after going solar. The following is a quick breakdown of each section on your new bill and what it all means.

This is an example of what your electric bill will look like following your solar installation.
“Your Net Meter Summary”

This new section lists ConEd’s record of how much energy you’ve bought from them. It also tells you how many solar credits (if any) you have stored up through their Net Metering program

Note: ConEd is changing their Net Metering program for all projects interconnected on or after January 1, 2022. You can learn more about these changes here.

“Your Electricity Use”

If your house required more electricity than your solar array produced in a month, the value will be positive. This is because you bought some extra from the grid to make up the difference.

If your system produced more energy than you needed in a month, the value will be negative because you gave away your excess to the grid.

In other words, this first column should read ‘Your Grid Electricity Use.’ It indicates how much energy from the grid your home used that month.

“Cumulative Net Meter Energy Credit”

The negative value from the previous column gets stored in this column. ‘Cumulative Net Meter Energy Credit’ is your “bank” of stored up solar credits.

If your grid use in the first column is negative in a given month, that amount will get added to the previous month’s banked amount.

If your grid use is positive, that amount will be withdrawn from your credit bank if you have any.

If your credit bank hits zero, ConEd will charge you for any remaining amount of power. The last column lists this amount as ‘kWh Billed.’

Note: If you get an unusual bill, it’s good to check the reading type. If the most recent reading says ‘Estimated’, ConEd didn’t take a true reading this month. Your bill may be much different than what really happened. They often incorrectly estimate that recently installed systems are not active. In this case, they will take a true reading within a month or two and correct for any overcharges.

After going solar, your ConEd bill will include a Net Meter Summary. Credit
Understanding Your Energy Consumption

You may need to do some math in order to get the full picture of your home’s energy consumption. One confusing factor here is that ConEd cannot see how much power your solar system generates. All they can see is how much power you take from or give to the grid.

We’ve created the chart below to show how adding your Sunny Portal production data to your ‘Net Meter Summary’ can give the complete picture of your home’s energy consumption.

For example, if your solar system produced 598 kWh between September 10th and October 9th, but 411 kWh were sent back to the grid, that means your home consumed 187 kWh in that period.

Similarly, if your system produced 498 kWh between February 11th and March 12th, and an additional 157 were brought in from the grid, that means your home consumed a total of 655 kWh. 

Keep this in mind if you need to figure out your home’s true electric consumption for any reason, or if you’re interested in determining your true solar offset percentage for a given month or year (Solar Production divided by Actual Home Usage).

Combining your energy use data from both ConEd and Sunny Portal will give you a complete picture of your home’s energy consumption.

If you have trouble finding your solar production numbers, please let us know and we can direct you to them. Also, feel free to reach out if you believe there are issues with your solar system’s performance.

If you believe there is a problem with your billing, contact ConEd’s Net Metering division at netmetering@coned.com or 212-780-6600. Remember, they cannot see how much energy your system has produced.

Claiming Your Solar Tax Credits

When tax season arrives, there are four solar tax credits your system may be eligible for. Below, we provide some basic information and resources on these credits.

For filing purposes, your installation date and signed contract are available in your BSW customer portal. Please look to a tax professional for guidance in filing.

Federal Residential Energy Credit

You can find the forms here. Submit this form with your federal return in April the year after your installation. (For example, if your installation occurred between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2020, you’d file this form in April 2021.) The IRS usually updates this form in late January or early February, so wait until then to download it.

Note: The federal solar tax credit is set to be gradually eliminated in the coming years. The tax credit (which was scheduled to drop from 26% to 22% in 2021) will stay at 26% for two more years. Projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022 will still be able to receive a tax credit at 26%. However, it is currently set to drop to 22% in 2024 and then to 0% in 2025.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit is an excellent incentive, but is currently set to be gradually eliminated in the coming years. Credit
NYS Solar Energy System Equipment Credit

You can find information and forms here. As above, you’ll submit this in April the year after system installation. The IRS will also update this form in January or February.

NYS Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Credit

You can find the forms here. Only certain homes in historic regions qualify for this solar tax credit. We would have discussed your eligibility during the sales process. As above, you’ll submit this in April the year after system installation. The IRS will also update this form in January or February. 

You should receive a letter from the NYS Parks within a couple months of your installation referencing your project completion. It will list your project number and approved expenditure amount. Please make sure to keep it for your records as Brooklyn SolarWorks does not receive a copy.

New York City Property Tax Abatement

Brooklyn SolarWorks claims this on your behalf during the permitting process. Building permits signed off by March 15th will have their property tax abatements initiated the following July. 

You’ll see a reduction on your property tax bill under a line item called ‘Solar’ or ‘Solar Elec Generating System Abatem’. The solar tax credit is split up over four years and into four quarters. This means there will be 16 total line item reductions. You can find your property tax records by searching for your address here

Be aware, the search function is finicky. You should enter numbered streets as ‘6 street’ not ‘6th street’.

We know that going solar is a big financial decision, but the benefits are clear. When you go solar with us, we’ll make sure you get all of the local and federal savings you’re eligible for.

It may seem overwhelming to see so much information at once, but you’re not alone! We’ll walk you through each step: consultation, installation, tax season, and beyond. 

Our previous Solar Guide article explains the basics of owning and maintaining a solar system.

Questions? Get in touch with a member of our team now.
Are you ready to flip the switch to solar? Schedule your free consultation today.

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