Solar Panel Cost Guide in New York City, NY (May 2022)

  • New York City Solar Installation Cost: $8,492
  • 25-Year Savings: $24,327
  • Payback Period: 6.5 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 5/26/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in New York City

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in New York City.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in New York City typically cost about $3. The average solar panel system size in New York City is around 3.9 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $8,492 for a solar installation, or $6,284 after the federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy needs, the type of equipment you want, your solar contractor and more. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average New York City homeowners see about $32,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

To calculate your potential savings and connect with a local solar expert, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in New York City

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-7,179
3 years $-4,554
5 years $-1,928
7 years $698
9 years $3,323
11 years $5,949
13 years $8,574
15 years $11,200
17 years $13,825
19 years $16,451
21 years $19,076
23 years $21,702
25 years $24,327

Top Solar Installers in New York City

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel installer since figuring out how to install solar panels on your own can be challenging. The payback period on an investment in solar panels will vary based on factors like your location and energy consumption, but going with a solar installer can shorten that period. Your provider will be able to help you identify incentives available in your area.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. Here are our suggestions:

Best National Provider

SunPower

5.0

  • Pros iconMost efficient panels on the market
  • Pros iconNational coverage
  • Pros iconCradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Con iconExpensive
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

4.5

  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Pros iconRepresentatives are experts on local policies
  • Pros iconConcierge service ensures steady communication
  • Con iconSlightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

4.5

  • Pros iconPrice-match guarantee
  • Pros iconSleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Pros iconBest solar battery on the market
  • Con iconSome reported issues with customer service
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in New York City

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in New York City

There are many factors that can influence your solar panel installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment Size

The size of the solar panel system you need is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by about $2,950. The brand and type of equipment you choose for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often have a higher price tag than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Plus, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in New York City offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing solar panels. However, the interest on solar loans also increase your all-in costs, so it's crucial to include that in your estimate as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to evaluate the cost of solar for your home or business in New York City is the company you hire to install your PV system. As with choosing a company to renovate your kitchen, for example, there are plenty of solar installers that provide a range of services for different budgets. Additionally, some companies in New York City are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you more money in the long run.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $3.07 $13,622 $36,937 6.7 years
8 kW $3.01 $17,813 $49,599 6.6 years
10 kW $2.95 $21,830 $62,435 6.5 years
12 kW $2.89 $25,672 $75,446 6.3 years
14 kW $2.83 $29,340 $88,631 6.2 years
16 kW $2.77 $32,832 $101,991 6.1 years
18 kW $2.71 $36,150 $115,526 6.0 years
20 kW $2.66 $39,294 $129,235 5.8 years

Solar Incentives in New York City

Name Residential Solar Tax Credit
Incentive Amount 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
Incentive Max $5,000 for solar-energy systems
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Real Property Tax Exemption for Green Buildings
Incentive Amount Upon local adoption, 20% - 100% of real property taxes owed; varies by year and certification level
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name New York City - Property Tax Abatement for Photovoltaic (PV) and Energy Storage equipment
Incentive Amount Installed from August 5, 2008 to December 31, 2010: 8.75% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 35%);
Installed from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012: 5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 20%);
Installed from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013: 2.5% of system expenditures per year for 4 years (total of 10%)
Installed from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Installed from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018: 5% of the system expenditures per year for 4 years
Incentive Max $62,500 annually or the amount of real property taxes owed during a year
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name ITC
Type Tax Incentive
Incentive Amount 26% of installation cost
Website Visit here

Name NY-Sun PV Incentive Program (Residential, Low-Income, and Small Business)
Incentive Amount 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)
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NY Green Bank
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount Upon local authorization, 100% exemption from local sales tax
More Info Click here

Name New York City - Residential Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% local sales tax exemption
More Info Click here

Name Energy Conservation Improvements Property Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% of the value added to the residence by the improvements
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption from state sales tax
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name NY-Sun Loan Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Solar, Wind & Biomass Energy Systems Exemption
Incentive Amount 100% exemption for 15 years (unless local jurisdiction has opted out)
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you go with will be a major factor in determining not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are some important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Reputation: Make sure your solar installer has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking its number of years in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their roof configurations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which brand of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of options before deciding.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the overall cost, completion timeline rebates and warranties.

Best National Provider

SunPower

5.0

  • Pros iconMost efficient panels on the market
  • Pros iconNational coverage
  • Pros iconCradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Con iconExpensive
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

4.5

  • Pros iconGreat warranty coverage
  • Pros iconRepresentatives are experts on local policies
  • Pros iconConcierge service ensures steady communication
  • Con iconSlightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

4.5

  • Pros iconPrice-match guarantee
  • Pros iconSleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Pros iconBest solar battery on the market
  • Con iconSome reported issues with customer service
  • Con iconCustomer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's New York City, NY Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in New York City?

The average cost of solar panels in New York City is about $14,750 for a 5-kW system and $29,500 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Are solar panels free in New York City?

You can't get solar panels for free in New York City. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on a variety of factors like how much you pay for electricity and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home will need 20 to 35 panels.

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.

Company 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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