As energy costs continue to rise and environmental concerns take center stage, many New York City residents are turning to solar power as a sustainable and cost-effective solution. But what does this shift mean for your monthly expenses?

In this blog, we’ll explore the factors that influence solar energy production, examine real-life examples of electric bills with solar systems, and provide insights into how you can maximize your savings and reduce your carbon footprint by going solar in NYC.

History of Rising Energy Costs in NYC

New York City has experienced a steady rise in energy costs over the years. There are several factors that contribute to this cause, including increased demand, infrastructure maintenance, and the rising cost of fuel. In NYC, Con Edison customers saw a 22% increase on their electric bills from the winter of 2021 to the winter of 2022.

A graph showing the constant rise of electricity rates by Con Edison in New York City from 2020 to 2023.
Average residential electric bills in NYC from 2020-2022. Credit: Con Edison

New York City has some of the highest energy prices in the country, with New Yorkers paying an average of 35-40% more for electricity despite being relatively energy efficient. This upward trajectory has made alternative energy solutions like solar power more attractive to New York City residents seeking to reduce their energy expenses.

Growing Popularity of Solar Power in NYC

The popularity of solar power in New York City has surged in recent years, driven by a combination of rising energy costs, increased environmental awareness, and attractive incentives.

The city’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy sources has led to various federal, state, and local initiatives that make solar installations more affordable and accessible.

Programs such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) rebates, federal tax credits, and net metering policies have significantly lowered the financial barriers for homeowners. As a result, thousands of NYC residents have embraced solar power, transforming rooftops across the city. Some even add a garden to their rooftop solar oasis!

A solar canopy paired with a green roof project by Highview Creations in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
A gorgeous sustainable rooftop garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Solar by Brooklyn SolarWorks and green roof by Highview Creations.

Want to start your roof transformation with solar? Get a free quote!

What is the Average Solar Panel Production in NYC?

The average solar panel production in NYC is influenced by several factors, including panel efficiency, system size, and local weather conditions. On average, a well-optimized residential solar panel system in NYC can produce about 1,200 to 1,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year for every kilowatt (kW) of installed capacity. For example, a typical 5 kW solar system would generate approximately 6,000 to 7,000 kWh annually.

Factors Affecting the Average Electric Bill with Solar Panels

When it comes to calculating the average electric bill with solar panels on a specific home, there are a good amount of factors that are taken into account. 

Here’s a few of the major factors that affect the average electric bill with solar panels:

Size and Type of Solar Panel System

The size and type of the solar panel system significantly affect the average electric bill. Larger systems with higher capacity can produce more electricity, potentially covering a more substantial portion of a household’s energy needs. 

Brooklyn SolarWorks’ patented, award-winning Brooklyn Solar Canopy helps elevate systems over the most obstructed surfaces, maximizing solar performance on flat roofs. For homes that can not use a solar canopy (like historic and landmarked homes), a tilt rack system is used.

Energy Consumption

Your household’s energy consumption patterns greatly influence your electric bill. Homes with higher energy usage will see more significant savings from solar panels, as a larger portion of their consumption can be offset by solar production depending on the size of the system. Conversely, homes with lower energy usage might achieve lower overall savings.

Net Metering Policies

NYC’s net metering policies allow homeowners to receive credits for excess electricity produced by their solar panels and fed back into the grid. These credits can offset future electricity consumption, reducing overall bills. The specifics of net metering policies, including the rates and caps, can impact the financial benefits for solar panel owners.

Right now, net metering credits are at a 1:1 ratio, meaning 1kW of energy made by solar equals the full amount of how much 1kW from Con Edison would cost. Having a good net metering program in NYC is crucial since solar battery storage is still not allowed in the city.

Location and Sunlight Exposure

The amount of sunlight a solar panel system receives directly affects its energy production. Factors such as roof orientation, shading from trees or buildings, and local weather patterns can influence the effectiveness of a solar panel system in NYC.

A picture taekn by a Suneye to show how the tool measures for sunlight on a roof throughout the year and day.
To figure out how much sunlight a roof gets throughout the day, our Site Evaluation team uses a tool called a Suneye.

Not sure how much sun your roof gets? With Brooklyn SolarWorks, a free consultation includes a roof analysis to see how much sun you get. Book your consultation today!

Utility Rates and Electricity Costs

The cost of electricity from the grid is a crucial factor. Higher utility rates mean greater potential savings from solar panels. As NYC has relatively high electricity rates compared to the national average, the financial benefits of switching to solar are more pronounced.

Solar Power Electric Bill Example

Consider a typical NYC household with an average monthly electricity consumption of 800 kWh and a 5 kW solar panel system installed. If the system produces around 600 kWh per month, the household would only need to purchase 200 kWh from the utility company. With NYC’s average electricity rate of approximately $0.20 per kWh, the monthly electric bill would be reduced from $160 to $40, resulting in significant savings.

Here’s a Con Ed bill from one of our customers after solar in Queens:

Con Edison electricity bill for a solar customer in Queens, New York. The customer only pays for the $20 service charge plus tax.
This bill is from April 2024.  The only amount owed was the $20 service charge.

Because this customer’s solar system covered all of his household’s energy needs, she was charged $0 for supply.

NYC Net Metering Policies

NYC’s net metering policies are designed to encourage the adoption of solar power. Under current regulations, residential solar panel owners can receive credits at the retail electricity rate for excess energy fed back into the grid. These credits can be used to offset future electricity bills, effectively lowering the overall cost of electricity for solar panel owners all year round. 

Net metering policies are not permanent and can change at any time, like it did in California at the end of 2022. Take advantage of NYC’s net metering policies by going solar today and lock in the full value of net metering for the next 20 years! 

Start Reducing Your Electricity Bill Today!

Installing solar panels in NYC can lead to substantial savings on electric bills, protect against rising energy costs, and contribute to a sustainable future. By understanding the factors affecting solar panel performance and taking advantage of favorable net metering policies, NYC residents can reduce their electricity expenses AND environmental impact.

See if your home qualifies for solar today with a free quote!

Brooklyn brownstones lined up in background with over laying text "Want to learn more about solar in NYC? Download our NYC homeowner's Guide for the latest on NYC rooftop solar." Free download button.

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