2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Athens, NY - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Athens.
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 May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Athens?
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
The term "solar incentives" includes a wide range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. The incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the state of New York and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak to your Athens utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when paying property tax on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels have to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, equipment, labor and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To find out exactly how much money the ITC could save you, talk to your local Athens solar panel installer.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 might qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to speak with your local Athens solar panel installers directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. These incentives may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the New York government. Some incentives may be ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Athens
The expanding number of available solar incentives has enormously increased the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the federal government, the New York government or from your local utility company. Call your local solar panel installation expert today to discover more about the various programs and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Athens home.
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EcoWatch's Athens, NY Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for different solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Athens solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those given by the state of New York, may have additional requirements.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 100 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to around 2,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is set 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 apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but in most cases yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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.