Starting next year, Con Edison will be charging new solar customers a Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge. This new charge is effectively a solar tax in New York City. While it will not significantly affect the investment in solar, we want to make sure our customers are aware of the upcoming changes. 

Read on for what you need to know about the New York “solar tax.”

What is the CBC charge?

Starting January 1, 2022, Con Edison will be applying a Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge to the electric bills of solar owners whose systems were interconnected on or after this date. 

Note: If your system was installed prior to this date, you will not be charged for the CBC. You’ll continue to receive the full retail value of the energy produced by your system for the next 20 years.

The CBC charge is based on the DC nameplate rating, service class, and location of the solar system. We expect this “solar tax” to cost NYC solar owners $7-$10 per month.

Where did this solar tax come from?

Last year, Con Edison announced it would be making changes to its current Net Metering program. Some states have begun to do the same in order to address cost shifting. Utility companies claim that they need to charge their non-solar customers more money in order to make up for the revenue they lose from the Net Metering of clean energy.

To address cost shifting at the state level, NYSERDA announced last July that Phase One Net Metering (the program as it is now) will only be available for projects interconnected before January 1, 2022.

Making the switch to clean, solar energy is a significant financial investment that benefits the entire grid. However, it will now result in an extra charge from Con Edison. This charge is effectively a tax on solar in New York.

A solar tax in New York will be added to the electric bills of customers.
The CBC will show up on the electric bills of all new solar customers starting January 1, 2022.

Is the CBC charge final?

This charge will unfairly target solar customers and therefore stunt the growth of solar in NYC, which undermines the city and state’s sustainability goals. For this reason, members of the solar industry are doing what they can to fight back. Brooklyn SolarWorks, NYSEIA, and a number of other solar companies and organizations in New York have filed comments with the state on the charge.  

The current Net Metering program has been instrumental in the spread of solar throughout NYC; yet this new charge disincentivizes the investment in solar. When it comes to cost shifting, the truth is that solar owners account for only about 1% of total electric customers in the state. Thus, any cost shifting that occurs cannot be very significant. Further, making the switch to solar is an investment that has considerable economic and environmental benefits for both Con Edison and the city as a whole.

The CBC is just another barrier to residential solar in our city. We believe solar should be becoming more accessible to New Yorkers, not the other way around.

Will the CBC charge affect my investment in solar?

While the potential savings from the current Net Metering program will decrease, it is important to know that the return on your investment in solar will not change significantly.

Though payback periods may vary when factoring in these new changes, the investment in solar is still worthwhile, for yourself, for your community, and for the planet.

With that said, energy policy in New York is always evolving. If you’re considering solar, we urge you to move forward as soon as possible to avoid any potential uncertainty.


Take charge of your electric bill and help spread solar! Talk with us about making the switch to solar today.

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