Cost of Solar Panels in New York: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in New York:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.95
  • Cost of Average System: $14,190*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $43,562
  • Payback Period: 10 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $24,387

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/17/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in New York

As a homeowner in New York, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

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New York is among the states with the highest electricity prices, but this also means you can achieve major savings on your power bill by going solar. In this article, we’ll analyze the cost of solar panels in New York and provide an overview of the incentive programs locally available.

We discuss average New York solar costs below, but pricing can change significantly based on your individual home and your energy needs.

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New York?

Based on market research and data from top solar brands, we have found that the average cost of solar panels in New York is $2.95 per watt, which is far above the national average of $2.66 per watt. Although solar panel costs in New York are above the U.S. average, the corresponding savings are also increased due to the high electricity prices.

The Energy Information Administration reports an average electricity cost of 20.46 cents/kWh for residential consumers in New York, 44% above the national average of 14.19 cents/kWh. This is bad news if you get all your electricity from the grid, but great news for those looking to switch to solar power. Since electricity is expensive, the cost savings when generating your own power is also higher.

When installing a 5-kW home solar system in New York, you can expect a cost of $10,927 after the 26% federal solar tax credit is applied. New York also offers a 25% state tax credit that reduces the net cost to $8,048. In the following table we have summarized the typical prices of some popular system sizes before and after the federal incentive:

Size of Solar Panel System Cost of Solar Panels in New York  Cost After Federal Tax Credit
5kW $14,767 $10,927
6kW $17,720 $13,113
7kW $20,673 $15,298
8kW $23,627 $17,484
9kW $26,580 $19,669
10kW $29,533 $21,855

These average solar costs are useful as reference, but keep in mind prices vary depending on roof conditions and the specific solar brands used in your project. You can also cut installation costs if you qualify for other incentives beyond the 26% federal tax credit.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in New York?

We have provided the average cost of going solar in New York, considering several system sizes that are most common. However, an accurate quote is only possible with a professional assessment of your specific roof conditions and electricity bills. In general, homes with higher energy consumption need larger systems, which come with an increased price tag.

Aside from energy consumption habits, some key factors that determine solar costs include the equipment chosen, the solar installer hired and how the system is financed. Also, keep in mind that a basic installation with only solar panels is more affordable than a larger system with panels and a solar battery.

Solar Equipment

Solar panels tend to look similar from brand to brand, but their costs vary depending on the features offered. In general, monocrystalline panels are the most efficient solar panels, but this comes at a higher price. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels are more affordable, but they generate less electricity per square foot covered. You can identify the type of solar panel by its color: mono solar cells are black, while poly solar cells are blue.

Photovoltaic panels are the most visible part of a home solar system, but other components are necessary to connect them with your home appliances. For example, the inverter converts the direct current (DC) power generated by solar panels into the alternating current (AC) power needed by your home’s appliances, and the inverter brand chosen also affects the final price. The same can be said of other components such as the racking system and electrical protections.

There are also optional features for solar power systems, which increase the final price if you include them. For example, if you want a battery system to store solar electricity for use at night, it can add more than $10,000 to your total investment.

Solar Financing

The cost of a solar panel system also depends on how you decide to pay for it. The three most common options are paying in cash, getting a solar loan, and signing a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA).

  • Paying in cash for a home solar system results in the lowest possible cost, since you avoid interest and other monthly payments. However, this option is only possible if you have the funds available. A 5-kW solar system will cost you around $14,767 in New York, although you can claim $3,840 back on your next tax declaration.
  • With a solar loan, you can split the investment into smaller and more manageable payments. This means you can use power bill savings to cover loan payments, and you’re essentially going solar with no out-of-pocket costs. However, the total amount paid for your solar system will be higher once you factor in interest payments.
  • A solar lease or PPA consists of using panels that are owned by a solar provider but are installed in your property. The provider is responsible for installation and maintenance costs, and you pay a monthly fee to use the system for an agreed length of time. A lease typically charges you a fixed fee, while a PPA charges you a variable fee based on electricity output. Homeowners who choose this option typically pay a power bill as well, so if you’re signing a lease or PPA, double check that your monthly total will actually be less than your current utility bills.

When deciding how to pay for your solar power system, keep in mind that all incentives go to the legal owner. The system belongs directly to you when paying in cash or using a loan, but it belongs to the provider when signing a lease or PPA, so you won’t be able to claim any tax credits or rebates if you go this route.

Installation Company

Other than equipment and financing costs, the installed price of a solar power system also includes skilled labor. As a result, the price depends on the solar company hired for the job. To ensure professional workmanship, you should look for an installer that has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Most of the best solar companies will fit this bill.

We also recommend comparing several solar quotes instead of signing a contract with the first company you contact. You may find lower prices, higher-quality solar equipment, a longer warranty or other benefits. Also, keep in mind that choosing a local installer rather than a national brand can provide technical support more easily if you need it in the future.

New York Solar Incentives

New York offers several incentive programs for solar power systems, and many owners can achieve a solar payback period under five years as a result. We have another article with a detailed explanation of solar incentives in New York, but you can check the following table for a quick summary:

New York Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in New York
Solar Energy System Equipment Credit New York offers a state tax credit when going solar that’s equivalent to 25% of your system costs, up to a maximum of $5,000. This benefit is calculated before the federal tax credit is applied. After both are applied, you’ll see a combined savings of 45.5%.
NY-Sun Megawatt (MW) Block Incentive Depending on their location in the state of New York and the type of building, solar power systems can qualify for upfront cash rebates from the NY-Sun incentive program.
New York Solar Sales Tax Exemption When purchasing a solar panel system in New York, you aren’t charged the sales and use tax.
Net Metering in New York New York requires net metering by law, which means power companies give you full credit for surplus solar generation that is sent to the grid.
Local solar incentives Other than the statewide incentives, additional benefits may be available from your city, county or utility company. Make sure you do some quick research about local incentives before installing solar panels.
Federal solar tax credit Solar power systems in the U.S. are eligible for a 26% tax credit, which can be combined with local incentives. In the case of New York, there is also a 25% state tax credit. Learn more.

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FAQ: Cost of Solar Panels in New York

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.