2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Amherst, NY - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Amherst.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Amherst?
State of NY Commercial PACE Financing Program
Residential Solar Tax Credit
Refundable Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit (Corporate)
NY-Sun Loan Program
Small Business and Not-for-Profit Organizations:
Participation Loans: up to $100,000 (at low interest rate)
On-Bill Recovery loans: $50,000 at 2%
Residential Wood Heating Fuel Exemption
Local Option - Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Local Option - Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings
Energy Conservation Improvements Property Tax Exemption
Local Option - Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption
NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)
Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.30/W
Upstate Region: $0.35/W
Low-to-Moderate income customers: $0.80/W (up to 10 kW)
Small Commercial (Non-Residential): Long Island Region: $0.00/W (MW blocks have been fully subscribed)
Con Edison Region: $0.60/W
Up State Region: $0.45/W
Multifamily Affordable Housing Adder: additional $0.40/W (up to 50 kW)
Ground Source Heat Pump Rebate Program
Large Systems (> 10 cooling tons): $1,200/cooling ton
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
NY Green Bank
Refundable Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit (Personal)
On-Site Wind Incentive Program
Tier II: 10,000 kWh - 125,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $1.00/annual kWh
Tier III: 125,000 kWh - 1,000,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $0.30/ annual kWh
Tier IV: Greater than 1,000,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $0.15/ annual kWh
These incentives are additive.
Anaerobic Digester Gas-to-Electricity Rebate and Performance Incentive
- Capacity Incentive: Varies on the construction and design of the system
- Performance Incentive: $0.025/kWh production payment for new systems for up to 10 years (estimated using a capacity factor of 75%)
- Interconnection Incentive: up to 75% of the costs exceeding $5,000
- Project Enhancement Incentives: Available for Black Start Capability, Hydrogen Sulfide reduction, design for accepting food waste and others
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are provided by the New York government or your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are typically applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Amherst utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive many people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specified percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to be eligible for the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all costs (panels, labor, accessories and equipment), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To best understand how the ITC will apply to your situation, call your local Amherst solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Homeowners can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This new credit will then decrease annually until the date of expiration. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Amherst solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives might come from the New York government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Amherst
Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the past 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from the federal government, the New York government or your local utility company. Getting in touch with your local Amherst solar panel installation expert is a great first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Amherst, NY Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the New York government or by your county/municipality, might have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Amherst solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
My home already has solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Talking to the company that installed your system, or any local Amherst solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you might want to apply for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Amherst's top solar panel companies.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I claim incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money possible.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.