With electricity rates on the rise, New York City residents are looking into greener alternatives to power their homes. A popular energy solution that New Yorkers have been switching to is solar! Read on to see how solar energy has impacted local Bed-Stuy resident, Jarret Yoshida, over the past year.
About Jarret Yoshida Designs
Meet Jarret Yoshida, an award-winning interior designer whose passion for crafting luxurious, contemporary living spaces is surpassed only by his commitment to purposeful and sustainable design.
Whether it’s a New York City apartment, a quaint townhouse, a charming brownstone, or a freestanding home, Yoshida’s approach is rooted in a holistic perspective. As Yoshida puts it, “Interior design is not just about making homes look beautiful, it is a whole process that begins from the very beginning in order to create a very integrated, seamless living experience.”
Sustainability is a part of Yoshida’s design philosophy and resonates through his design choices. His dedication to the environment is quite noticeable, as he seeks out vintage or custom-made furniture from sustainably harvested wood. The careful and thought out selection of materials extends to fabrics as well, with a focus on post-consumer usage. With a strong commitment to the longevity of his creations, Yoshida steers clear of fleeting trends in favor of timeless designs.
Why did Jarret decide to go solar?
Yoshida’s fascination with solar power traces back to his childhood, a time marked by global concerns over the energy crisis and the search for alternative solutions. As a witness to the upheaval caused by the oil crisis and the looming threat of depleting non-renewable resources, Yoshida was driven by an innate sense of responsibility. He recalls his first step into renewable energy when he convinced his parents to install a solar hot water heater, an experience that laid the foundation for his interest in residential solar energy.
However, Yoshida’s aspirations went beyond just solar energy for hot water. He had always wanted solar photovoltaic (PV) technology as well. Years later, with a home of his own, the perfect opportunity occurred. Fueled by his commitment to sustainability and his longing to be a part of the solution, he took the leap and installed solar PV panels.
For Yoshida, this transition to solar power wasn’t just a practical move; it was a way of aligning his personal values with tangible action, transforming his Bed-Stuy brownstone into a beacon of renewable energy and environmental consciousness.
About the Installation
Yoshida’s 8.4 kW system consists of 21 400 W panels mounted with a Brooklyn Solar Canopy — the perfect size for his three apartment brownstone! The system was tailored to Yoshida’s annual energy needs: with an annual usage of 9,998 kWh, our design team projected that his solar system would offset 93% of his home’s usage.
Embarking on the path to solar energy, Yoshida turned to Brooklyn SolarWorks, a decision that would mark a transformative phase in his commitment to sustainable living.
From the very beginning, Yoshida’s experience with the installation process was characterized by a seamless blend of professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. In his own words, “When they came over, they were extremely thoughtful and were able to explain really complicated terms.”
The positive experience extended beyond the initial installation process. Yoshida was particularly appreciative of the comprehensive support he received, ranging from paperwork to timely follow-ups.
Want to start your solar journey with Brooklyn SolarWorks? Schedule your free consultation!
What have the results been?
This summer marked the solar system’s first major test, and the results have been positive! Beyond aesthetics, the panels have acted as a protective shield, shielding the roof from the elements and prolonging its lifespan as well as preventing excessive heat buildup on the roof.
Spreading the Solar Love
We appreciate Jarret not only because of his own initiative to install solar, but because he truly understands that solar spreads through the ripple effect. Jarret’s commitment to sustainability has extended beyond his own home to encouraging others to embrace renewable energy too.
He’s referred many of his friends, neighbors, and clients to us, and a handful of them have taken the leap into solar as well.
Reduce Your Brownstone’s Energy Costs with Solar
The combination of environmental consciousness and financial savings showcased by Jarret’s experience with his solar canopy system serves as a huge sustainable inspiration in the heart of New York City.
Are you ready to switch to solar? Our experienced team will guide you in the right direction and design the best system for your home and future energy needs. Schedule a free consultation today!
New York City is notorious for being expensive, and electricity costs are no different. But if your utility bills from Con Edison have been higher than usual, you’re not alone. Over the past couple years, Con Ed has been charging New Yorkers more and more for electricity, regardless of their usage.
Here’s the deal about why your Con Edison bill is so high, and what you can do about it.
Brief History of Con Ed Energy Costs in NYC
Across the country, utility rates have been rising. In 2022, consumers across the U.S. paid an average of 14.3% more for electricity compared to 2021. Meanwhile, Con Edison customers saw a 22% increase on their electric bills from the winter of 2021 to the winter of 2022.
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.
If you pay an electric bill in NYC, we don’t have to tell you that Con Ed’s rates have been increasing for years. In 2021, the average bill for a residential customer was $73.11, and in 2022, it was $84.10.
The rate hikes over the last few years have been a result of not only volatile market conditions, but also Con Ed’s operating costs being passed on to customers. The costs associated with maintaining electrical infrastructure and with delivering energy to a densely populated area are high, and they continue to grow as the electric grid requires further upgrades.
Are you a homeowner in NYC looking to reduce your energy costs?
How does Con Edison’s billing system work?
To understand why your bill might be higher than usual, it’s important to first understand the two main charges on your bill: supply and delivery.
Your Supply Charges
The supply charge is the cost Con Ed pays for the energy it transports to you. Neither Con Ed nor the PSC sets these rates, as they’re subject to the energy market as a whole. Con Ed sells energy to you at cost – it’s not legally allowed to profit from the sale of electricity.
In January and February of 2022, many New Yorkers saw a huge increase in their monthly bills. This particular spike was due to a sudden increase in supply charges, not delivery. Around 70% of the electricity used in NYC is powered by natural gas, which has been more expensive for the past couple years due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Although it wasn’t all Con Ed’s fault, Governor Kathy Hochul called on the utility to reform its communication and billing practices after the burden of this surge fell on customers who were already financially strained due to the pandemic.
Your Delivery Charges
The delivery charge is the cost of transporting energy into your home and is regulated by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Although Con Ed’s not allowed to profit from the supply of electricity, it can raise its delivery rate. Con Ed has been raising its rates for years, and will continue to do so in the future:
- In 2020, the PSC approved a three-year incremental increase in electric rates totaling 13.5%.
- In February of 2022, Con Ed requested another increase of 11.2% starting in 2023.
- In July of 2023, the PSC approved three more increases, beginning with a 9.1% increase in August and followed by two more increases in 2024 and 2025.
The reasoning behind these increases is to cover Con Ed’s capital investments and infrastructure upgrades and invest in clean energy initiatives.
Interested in clean energy for your home? We can help!
Why are energy bills so high right now?
In July 2023, the PSC approved another round of rate increases for Con Ed. Beginning in August, residential customers can expect their electric bills to be 9.1% higher. In January 2024, bills will increase 4.2%, then 1.4% in January 2025.
This bill increase comes at the tail end of the hottest summer on record, while the next one is scheduled for the dead of winter (when energy bills already tend to be high).
Are these soaring electric costs here to stay?
One thing is clear: the cost of electricity is on the rise across the board, and major rate hikes are bound to happen again. The price of natural gas will always rise and fall with supply and demand, and it’s evident that Con Ed has no plans to end its rate hikes. Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time that you’ll be left wondering why your Con Edison bill is so high.
If you’re tired of surprise bills, solar could be the solution for you!
How can New Yorkers combat high electric bills?
If you feel like electricity costs are out of your control, you’re not alone. The solutions can vary greatly depending on your home and income level. But no matter your situation, there are some things you can consider doing to help offset your energy usage and monthly bills.
1. Invest in Solar Energy
As a solar installation company, we would be remiss not to mention solar energy as a solution to combating electric bills.
If you’re a homeowner in NYC, installing solar on your roof is the single best way to cut down on your electric bill. Many of our customers’ systems produce enough energy to eliminate their electricity charges altogether, paying Con Ed nothing other than a basic service charge (see below). After your solar panel installation, your energy costs will become more predictable and you’ll be able to avoid sudden rate hikes.
See how much you could save with home solar!
But we recognize that not everyone has the ability to invest in rooftop solar. There are other ways to incorporate solar into your life. For example, our friends at Grouphug Solar created a solar panel window charger that’s perfect for that south-facing window in your apartment.
2. Use Energy Efficient Appliances
When it comes to the energy consumption of household appliances, the solution is not always clean cut. Appliances responsible for heating, cooling, refrigeration, hot water heating, and laundry are huge energy users, but they’re also necessities. So what’s the solution?
Investing in energy efficient appliances can make a big difference in your home’s energy usage and therefore, your electricity bill — especially when paired with solar. If you own a home, installing all-electric, efficient appliances like these could make a big impact:
- Air source heat pump
- Heat pump water heater
- Energy Star washing machines and refrigerators
- Energy efficient lighting, window AC units, fans, and more
3. Consider Your Everyday Usage
Regardless of home situation or budget, there’s a lot of little things we can all do to be more conscious of our energy consumption. Here’s a few small ways you can make a difference in your usage everyday:
- Turn off lights and appliances when they’re not in use and when you’re not at home.
- Be mindful of the temperature you keep your home. According to NYSERDA, each degree above 75°F that you set your air conditioner’s thermostat saves you 3 percent of the energy used to cool your home.
- Take advantage of insulation and shades to keep your home warm and cold naturally.
- Run your dishwasher in the morning or evening to avoid adding to electricity demand in the middle of the day.
- Wash your laundry in cold water, and opt to air dry your garments.
4. Consider a Payment Plan or Financial Assistance
Con Edison offers financial assistance for customers who are unable to pay their bills. Contact Con Ed to learn about the following programs:
- Level Payment Plans: allow you to spread your payments evenly over the year.
- Payment Agreement: helps you to pay down your outstanding balance.
- Energy Affordability Program: you may qualify for a discount on your bills if you receive certain government benefits.
- Payment Extensions: allows you to extend your payment due date.
Does Con Edison have sustainability initiatives?
Con Edison has been developing sustainability initiatives for several years. In 2021, it committed to 100% clean electricity by 2040. To that end, it has made progress towards the electrification of buildings and transportation, and building out numerous solar and wind projects across the country.
We’re glad that one of NYC’s main utility companies is committing to sustainability goals, as any progress towards clean energy is positive in the long run. But, these initiatives will translate to higher and higher bills from Con Ed for years to come.
You can avoid the continued volatility of Con Ed bills by installing solar on your home. By investing in your own solar energy system, you’ll be able to take advantage of clean energy right away – no waiting on Con Ed to make its system upgrades, and no unexpected rate hikes in the meantime.
Rooftop solar gives you energy independence. Why pay Con Ed for clean energy in the future, when you could produce it in your own home right now?
If You’ve Been Considering Solar, The Time is Now
The cost of energy in NYC has been on the rise for years, and will continue to grow in the future. If you own a home in NYC, installing solar on your roof will allow you to avoid increasing electric rates for decades to come – just one of the many advantages of solar energy!
Start saving with solar!
Following major changes to California’s net metering program, you may be wondering if the current net metering system could be going away in New York too. At a time when major solar states like California are making policy decisions that devalue home solar, New York’s policies could be brought into question too.
Read to learn about what happened in California and what it means for Con Edison’s net metering program in New York City.
What is net metering?
Simply put, net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar owners for electricity that they export into the grid.
As a residential solar owner in NYC, you remain connected to the grid. After your solar PV system is installed, Con Edison will keep track how much energy is flowing in and out of your home.
During the daytime, your solar system will likely produce a lot more energy than your home actually needs. All of that excess energy feeds back into the grid, and you’ll receive credits for it on your future Con Ed bills. These credits are then used up at times when your home needs more energy than your solar system is currently supplying, like at night or on a very rainy day.
What are the financial benefits of net metering?
Through this program, NYC solar owners are able to bank a ton of credits during the summertime and see their bills drastically reduced all year-round. The current system in NYC values solar at the retail rate, meaning your solar power is just as valuable as grid electricity and will increase in value over time as retail rates rise.
Net metering in its current form could be considered a virtual battery – it allows you to utilize the full value of your solar production even when the sun isn’t shining. This is important because FDNY currently does not allow solar batteries in residential settings. Net metering ensures New Yorkers benefit financially from all of the energy their solar systems produce.
Is net metering the same for all states?
Net metering programs differ across the country, as they’re determined by states and utility companies. In some arrangements, like here in New York City, Con Edison values solar at the retail rate. Other programs, however, value solar at less than retail or at a predetermined amount.
Unfortunately, as interest in home solar grows across the US, net metering policies from state to state have been under scrutiny.
What happened to California’s net metering program?
For a long time, special interests and opponents to solar have been attempting to enact changes to California’s net metering program. Previously, there was a proposal to implement a monthly charge of up to $50 for solar owners – essentially a solar tax.
While that proposal was not approved, in December of 2022, California’s Public Utilities Commission approved a plan to reduce the value of solar exported into the power grid by an average of 75% (!). This new policy will affect customers who install solar systems starting in April 2023 in the service areas of CA’s three investor-owned utility companies – 75% of the state’s population.
Under the new policy, Californians won’t be able to reap the benefits of net metering – instead, they’ll be subject to “net billing.” Net billing compensates solar owners on an avoided-cost basis, meaning the utility decides how valuable the power export is based on when and where it’s produced.
Needless to say, this policy change is a major blow to California’s solar industry. It drastically reduces the immediate savings that families receive from installing solar, and increases the payback period by several years. As a result, home solar will be far less affordable and accessible to California residents – at a time when climate-related natural disasters continue to escalate and energy costs continue to rise.
What does this mean for New York’s net metering policies?
Policy changes like California’s represent a growing trend of efforts to reduce the growth of solar in the US, often influenced by political opponents and utility and fossil fuel interests. In recent years, states such as Nevada, Hawaii, Florida, and North Carolina have all seen similar proposals and bills meant to undermine solar.
New York is no stranger to uncertain solar policy either. The state’s utilities have sought to change net metering here too – most recently, a monthly solar tax from Con Edison was implemented for new solar owners as of January 2022.
For now, net metering in New York City is safe. But there have been changes, and there will likely be more. If California – the largest solar market in the country – can enact anti-solar policies like this one, it’s not implausible that it could happen here too.
Go Solar Now to Lock in 20 Years of Savings
It’s not all bad news though! If you’re considering solar for your home in NYC, the benefits of net metering are still available to you. If you go solar now, you’ll be locked into Con Ed’s current net metering arrangement for the next 20 years. So, even if there’s a chance that net metering could go away in New York, your savings will be safe.
Get ahead of the uncertainty and go solar now! Schedule your free consultation & learn if your home qualifies for solar.
If you’re a resident of New York City, you’re likely a customer of Con Edison. And you most likely didn’t have a choice in the matter! We won’t sugarcoat it – if you’re looking for alternatives to Con Edison in NYC, there’s unfortunately not many. Read on to learn about why this is, and why solar is the key to energy independence for New Yorkers.
New York Energy Rates
Compared to the rest of the country, New Yorkers are very energy efficient. Yet, New York energy rates are some of the highest electricity rates anywhere in the US. Why is that?
New York City uses the majority of the state’s electricity in a small, densely populated area. Demand for energy is very high in an area that cannot supply it through local power plants, meaning power must come from further upstate. On top of that, NYC’s energy infrastructure is complex and largely outdated, meaning Con Ed is continually making upgrades – the costs of which are passed onto consumers.
Combine that with the fact that the majority of the state’s electricity is powered by fossil fuels, you’re going to get high Con Ed bills (that only continue to get higher).
Why Shop NYC Energy Suppliers?
When it comes to electricity rates, there’s two different factors to keep in mind: delivery and supply. Con Edison is responsible for delivering New York City’s electricity, meaning they transport it to your home and maintain the city’s energy infrastructure to keep power flowing. On the other hand, supply refers to where your power actually comes from.
Con Ed has control over delivery charges: the costs associated with transporting your electricity. However, it does not have control over supply costs, which was the main driver behind the most recent Con Ed bill increases – as the war in Ukraine threatened US energy supply, consumers saw the price of energy rise across the board.
Con Ed may not have control over supply costs, but you do. Rather than purchasing your energy supply from Con Edison, you can choose to use an energy service company (ESCO) or produce it yourself by installing solar panels on your home.
The benefits of looking into these Con Ed alternatives are clear:
- Cut down on monthly electricity bills
- Gain energy independence
- Power your home with clean energy
Con Ed Alternatives for NYC
If you’re shopping around for alternative utility companies in NYC, you may come across the name PSEG. Be advised: this is the utility responsible for delivering electricity to Long Island and parts of the Rockaways. By and large, it is not available as an alternative option for New Yorkers.
You might come across the name National Grid if you’re shopping around, or may even be a customer already. National Grid is a supplier of gas, not electricity. Depending on where you live in the city, your home or building’s heating system and appliances may be powered by gas from National Grid. But it is not an option as an electric utility.
Energy Service Company (ESCO)
One of your main alternatives to Con Edison is choosing to use an ESCO. ESCOs are companies that supply electricity and natural gas to residences in New York, often offering lower rates, fixed costs, or clean energy options. If you search for ESCOs in Brooklyn, you’ll see an extensive list of providers with various offers.
ESCOs often seem like an attractive option to Con Ed customers who want to cut costs and reduce their use of fossil fuels. But if you’re looking for an ESCO, it’s important to be discerning about the arrangement you’re getting into. Be aware that they can often be more expensive than retail rates, and may not guarantee fixed rates. They may entice you with the possibility of using clean energy, but may not be upfront about where their energy actually comes from.
If you choose to use an ESCO, you’ll still receive bills from Con Edison. ESCOs only change where you get your energy from, not how it’s delivered. ESCOs are an alternative if you’d like to change your power source, but don’t give you a ton of independence.
If you’re a homeowner in NYC, the best alternative to Con Edison is home solar. When you install solar on your home, you become your own energy provider. No fees, no contracts – just clean energy from the sun, powering your home for decades.
Through a program called net metering, you can export excess electricity that your solar system produces back into the grid and Con Ed will compensate you through retail credits on your monthly energy bills. This way, the average residential customer in NYC can not only completely cover their energy needs, but also bank credits that are usable for 20 years (!).
We’ve helped over 1,500 homes in NYC switch to solar and unlock decades of energy savings. Want to know if your home is right for solar? Schedule your free consultation & home assessment today.
Benefits of Renewable Energy
At the end of the day, a major factor in rising energy costs is the volatility of fossil fuel prices. Around 70 percent of NYC’s energy supply comes from natural gas, and until that changes, utility costs will continue to get more expensive and fluctuate with energy market conditions.
As a homeowner, making investments in renewable energy isn’t just good for the environment – it’s a smart financial move too. Benefits include:
- Cutting down on monthly electricity bills
- Reducing your personal carbon footprint
- Gaining energy independence
- Collecting government tax credits
- Raising your home value
Learn More About Solar Energy
Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives to Con Edison in NYC. But if you’re a homeowner looking to cut costs and make your home more sustainable, look no further than solar energy.
Interested in learning about what solar power could do for your home? Schedule your free consultation & home assessment today.
Not only does going solar benefit the planet, it benefits your wallet too. It will drastically reduce 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 entire solar panel installation process, so that they can get the savings and credit they deserve for switching to clean energy. That’s why we believe it’s important that we let our customers know what to expect, even after the installation. We’re here for you and your new flat roof solar system!
Read on for what you can expect in the weeks and months post solar panel installation.
What happens after your solar panels are installed?
The Brooklyn SolarWorks crew has just left your home after completing your solar installation. You might be thinking: what’s next?
The next step in the solar process is receiving final approval from the various entities that issued permits for the installation. This involves inspections and a meter swap, all of which Brooklyn SolarWorks will schedule and facilitate – all you need to do is grant us access to your home on the scheduled dates.
The Department of Buildings requires that each installation is inspected to ensure compliance with building and electrical codes. In this inspection, a representative will check over your installer’s work to make sure, for example, that the panels were mounted securely and that the electrical wiring was done correctly.
Once your solar panel system is installed, Con Edison will also pay a visit to your home to do a final inspection and swap out your old meter for a net meter. This device enables net metering to take place, ensuring that you receive the proper credit for the amount of energy your system exports to the grid.
Once Con Edison issues a final acceptance letter, your system will be given permission to operate (PTO). This means the system is registered in their billing system and it’s ready to be activated in your home’s electrical system. This is done by turning on the AC disconnect switch or dedicated solar breaker in your electrical panel. We’ll provide instructions or stop by to assist.
How to Read Your Electric Bill from Your Utility Company
Getting your first ConEd bill after your solar panel 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 installing solar panels. The following is a quick breakdown of each section on your new bill and what it all means.
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 credits (if any) you have stored up through their net metering program.
Your Electricity Usage
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.
How to Read Your Net Meter Summary
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.
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).
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 email@example.com or 212-780-6600. Remember, they cannot see how much energy your system has produced.
Claiming Your Solar Tax Credits
The final step in the solar process is an exciting one: collecting your tax credits! When tax season arrives, there are a few different tax credits your system may be eligible for. We can provide some basic information and resources on these credits, but because we are not financial professionals, be sure to look to an accountant or tax expert for guidance on filing.
For filing purposes, your installation date and signed contract are available in your customer portal.
You May Be Eligible for These Solar Tax Credits:
- The Federal Solar Income Tax Credit: an income tax credit worth up to 30% of your installation costs.
- The New York State Solar Income Tax Credit: a state income tax credit worth up to $5,000.
- The NYC Property Tax Abatement: allows NYC homeowners to claim 20% of solar energy system costs as a property tax abatement over a 4 year period.
- NYS Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Credit: If you live in a qualifying historic neighborhood, your solar installation may be eligible for an additional 20% tax credit.
Learn more about the solar tax incentives available to New Yorkers.
Monitoring Your System with Your Solar Company
When your solar PV system is installed, the solar system’s inverter will be connected to your home’s WiFi. This connection enables your new solar panels’ production data to be collected in your Sunny Portal. This allows you to track your system’s energy production and determine your offset, if you feel so inclined.
Connecting your system to WiFi also allows us, your solar installer, to monitor your system remotely. As part of our insurance package, we provide all of our customers with 24/7 real-time monitoring in the event that there are any issues with your system at any point in the future.
Enjoy the Many Benefits of Your New Solar System
The use of solar energy is important for a number of reasons, and it’s an exciting moment to finally have your rooftop solar system installed. Once your system is installed, you have access to clean energy produced right in your own home.
Because switching to solar power is such a meaningful decision, it’s important to us that all of our customers fully understand the solar panel installation process, from contract signing through post solar panel installation.
Ready to make the switch to solar for your NYC home? Trust an expert. Talk with us today!
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.
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.