NY Launches Solar Thermal Incentive Program

Aims to Spur Replacement of Electric Hot Water Systems with Solar Systems

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced on April 5, 2011 that it has launched the state’s first incentive program for solar thermal systems, which produce hot water from solar power.

The 5-year, $25 million program will provide incentives of up to $4,000 per site for eligible single- and multi-family residences and up to $25,000 per site for eligible commercial and nonprofit customers who currently use electricity to produce hot water.

The state’s solar thermal target is the displacement of about 46 megawatts of electrical use by the end of 2015.

To qualify for incentives, equipment and systems must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.

Incentives will be available only on approved solar thermal systems installed by NYSERDA-approved solar thermal installers.

Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015 or until the funds are fully committed.

In addition to the NYSERDA incentives, customers can apply for federal tax incentives, which cover 30% of the cost of an installed solar thermal system, and New York State tax incentives, which cover 25% of the installed system up to $5,000.

Electric hot water generally makes up 17 to 20% of a homeowner’s monthly electric bill and less than 10% of the monthly bill for the average commercial building. Solar thermal systems can provide approximately 50 to 80% of a homeowner’s hot water needs.

Program specifics include:

  • Incentives are calculated based on the estimated amount of electricity saved by installing solar thermal equipment.
  • On average, incentives for a typical residential or commercial system are expected to cover approximately 15 to 20 percent of the installed cost of a solar thermal system. The incentives are paid directly to the eligible installer and must be passed on, in full, to customers.
  • To qualify for incentives, equipment and systems must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. Incentives will be available only on approved solar thermal systems installed by NYSERDA-approved solar thermal installers. Solar thermal installer applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2015.

Incentives will be granted first-come, first served, and applications will be accepted through December 31, 2015 or until the funds are fully committed, whichever comes first.

As part of New York???s renewable energy goals, the state???s solar thermal target is to displace the equivalent of 45.54 megawatts of electrical use by the end of 2015.

Funding for this incentive program has been allocated by the New York State Public Service Commission through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program.

Incentives are available to electricity distribution customers of Central Hudson Gas a& Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc., New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation who contribute to the RPS/Systems Benefits Charge (sometimes referred to as RPS/SBC on utility electric bills).

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. A public benefit corporation, NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
17 Columbia Circle,
Albany, NY 12203-6399
Toll-Free: 1-866-NYSERDA or Local: 518-862-1090
Fax: 518-862-1091

New York City and Buffalo Regional Offices