2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Buffalo, NY - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Buffalo.

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Buffalo solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated March 14, 2023

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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Buffalo?

State of NY Commercial PACE Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Residential Solar Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
25% for solar-electric (PV) and solar-thermal systems; for third-party owned systems this is in reference to the aggregate amount owed under the contract rather than the amount owed in any single year

Refundable Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit (Corporate)

Incentive Type:
Corporate Tax Credit
$0.01/gallon for each percent of biodiesel

NY-Sun Loan Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Residential Customers: $1,500 - $25,000

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

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% exemption

Local Option - Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
Upon local authorization, 100% exemption from local sales tax

Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% exemption from state sales tax

Local Option - Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Upon local adoption, 20% - 100% of real property taxes owed; varies by year and certification level

Energy Conservation Improvements Property Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of the value added to the residence by the improvements

Local Option - Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% exemption for 15 years (unless local jurisdiction has opted out)

NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Incentive rates step down over time as MW goals are met. Incentive rates as of 11/27/2019 are:

Residential:
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)
Learn more:

Ground Source Heat Pump Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Small Systems (≤ 10 cooling tons): $1,500/cooling ton
Large Systems (> 10 cooling tons): $1,200/cooling ton

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

Incentive Type:
Loan Program

NY Green Bank

Incentive Type:
Other Incentive

Refundable Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit (Personal)

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
$0.01/gallon for each percent of biodiesel

On-Site Wind Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Tier I: 10,000 kWh of expected annual energy production: $3.50/annual kWh
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

Incentive Type:
Performance-Based 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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. These financial incentives are intended to encourage more Americans to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. You might qualify for several types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the New York government and others from the federal government. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from the total price before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Buffalo utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar system may qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your house.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, accessories and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.

Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Contact your local Buffalo solar panel installation expert to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The credit will then see a slight annual decrease until its expiration. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Buffalo solar installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Incentives might be given by your county or municipality, or by the New York government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Buffalo

You can receive solar incentives from the New York government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. The growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, talking to your local Buffalo solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
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  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Buffalo, NY Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Broadly, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on property you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the New York government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Buffalo solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called 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 claim 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 eligible for but generally yes, you can claim 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 possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.

Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?

Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of solar and wind power. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Buffalo solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types of incentives you may or may not qualify for.

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.

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