Solar energy is becoming increasingly affordable in New York City, thanks to a variety of unique incentives available to homeowners across the five boroughs. With the right combination of state and federal incentives, installing a solar energy system can be an excellent investment for your home.

One of the most valuable incentives is the New York State Solar Tax Credit, which can significantly reduce the cost of your solar installation. Read on to explore how you can take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

What is the New York State Solar Tax Credit?

The New York State Solar Tax Credit, also known as the Solar Energy System Equipment Credit, is a powerful incentive for residential solar projects. This credit allows homeowners to claim 25% of their solar energy system costs, up to a maximum of $5,000, as a state income tax credit. This tax credit is designed to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for New York residents, encouraging the adoption of clean energy.

Am I eligible to claim the New York State Solar Tax Credit?

Not every homeowner in NYC qualifies for the NYS Solar Tax Credit, determining your eligibility for this tax credit involves understanding several key factors:

Qualifying Expenses

To be eligible for the New York State Solar Tax Credit, your expenses must be related to the purchase or leasing of solar energy equipment used for heating, cooling, hot water, or electricity for residential use. This includes solar panels, inverters, mounting equipment, and other essential components.

Income Tax Liability

To claim the credit, you must have an income tax liability in New York State. This means that if you do not owe any state income taxes, you cannot use this credit to receive a refund. However, any unused credit can be carried forward to offset future tax liabilities.

Building Type

This credit applies exclusively to residential buildings. Whether you own a single-family home, a townhouse, a brownstone, or a condo, you can benefit from the credit as long as the solar energy system is installed for residential use on your primary residence.

Ownership of Solar System

Unlike the federal solar tax credit, the New York State Solar Tax Credit is available for systems that are purchased, leased, or acquired through power purchase agreements (PPAs). This flexibility makes it accessible to a broader range of homeowners.

Installation Location and Timeline

The solar energy system must be installed at your primary residence in New York State. You can claim the credit when you file your taxes for the year the system was installed. For example, if your system is installed in 2024, you’ll claim the credit on your 2024 tax return.

When can I claim the credit?

You can claim the New York State Solar Tax Credit for the tax year in which your solar energy system was installed. If the full amount of the credit cannot be used in one year, it can be carried forward for up to five years. This means you can still benefit from the credit even if you don’t have enough tax liability in the year of installation.

Want to use this tax credit this year? There’s still time to get solar installed for your home in 2024! Start your solar journey today with a free consultation.

Solar installers from Brooklyn SolarWorks getting ready to install solar panels in Park Slope, Brooklyn NYC.
The Brooklyn SolarWorks installation team is ready to bring solar to your home this year!

Is the NYS solar tax credit refundable?

The New York State Solar Tax Credit is not refundable. However, it can be carried forward for up to five years if you cannot use the entire credit in one tax year. While there has been recent advocacy to make this credit refundable to increase accessibility, it has not yet been passed.

Brooklyn SolarWorks partnered with NYSEIA for a day of action by writing personalized letters advocating for the modernization of the Residential Solar Tax Credit!

Efforts continue to push for this change, ensuring more New York homeowners can benefit from solar energy incentives.

How much can I save with New York solar incentives?

In New York City, you can save over 75% on your solar installation when combining the New York State Solar Tax Credit with other incentives. Here’s a list of other available incentives:

  • Federal Solar Tax Credit: The federal solar tax credit covers 30% of your installation costs. In 2033, the credit will drop to 26% and then 22% in 2034.
  • NYC Property Tax Abatement: The NYC Property Tax Abatement for solar allows NYC homeowners to claim 30% of solar energy system costs as a property tax abatement with the NYC Department of Finance. When you go solar, your property taxes are significantly reduced over a 4 year term.
  • NYSERDA Solar Rebate: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) contributes a cash rebate to solar installations through the NY-Sun program. This rebate is paid directly to your solar company and reduces your upfront project cost. The rebate amount varies depending on geographic location. The rebate for residential projects in NYC is currently $0.20 per Watt.
  • Net Metering: As an NYC solar owner, you’ll be able to reduce or even eliminate your electric utility bill through Con Edison’s net metering program. Through net metering, you’ll receive retail energy credits on your monthly bills for any excess energy that your system exports to the grid. These credits are used at times when your system isn’t producing as much energy, like at night or in the winter.

How to Claim the New York State Solar Tax Credit

To claim the New York State Solar Tax Credit, you will need to file Form IT-255, Claim for Solar Energy System Equipment Credit, when you do your taxes. It’s advisable to consult with your accountant or tax advisor to ensure you’re maximizing your savings and complying with all requirements.

New York State Solar Tax Credit for New York City Homeowners

The New York State Solar Tax Credit offers a tremendous opportunity for New York City homeowners to save on solar installations. By combining this credit with other available incentives, you can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs and enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy.

If you’ve been considering solar, now is the time to flip the switch. Take advantage of solar tax incentives at their peak – Schedule a free consultation to get started today. 

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