Solar Energy: Costs, Incentives and Tax Credits

The cost of a standard home solar electric system can be anywhere from $15,000 to $60,000 depending on these factors.  This works out to usually between $7 and $9 per DC watt before incentives and tax credits. After incentives and credits, the final cost can be as little as 35% of the gross cost.

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The cost of a solar system is primarily determined by system size, with solar panels comprising the largest single cost item. Here’s a typical breakdown:

Solar Panels - usually about 65% of the total cost as they are constructed mostly of pure silicon, which is expensive and time consuming to make.

Inverter - the inverter, which converts DC electricity to AC electricity for use in the home usually makes up about 10% of the cost.

Wiring, racking and other parts - generally about 10-15% of the cost.

Labor and Permitting - this part of the system installation comprises the remaining 10-15% of the total cost.

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New York State offers very significant rebates.  The New York solar rebate program is funded by electricity ratepayers and administered by NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research Development and Authority.  The rebate for most homeowners is $2.50/watt up to 4 kW and $1.50/watt thereafter.  CVM Solar will apply for the state incentive on your behalf.  We will take care of all of the application and permitting processes.  We even will give you credit for the state rebate on your system immediately.

This incentive program is design in such a way that the rebate level drops as more consumers take advantage of the program.  So, if you are considering installing a solar system, contact us today so that we can make your rebate reservation and secure for you the highest rebate possible.

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Tax Credits

New York State residents can take advantage of 25% of net (post-incentive) cost up to $5,000 that can be applied as a tax credit towards their New York State income taxes.

Residents do not have to pay any sales tax on your solar systems, including solar hot water.

In addition to the state rebate, a Federal tax credit of 30% is offered to any homeowner who installs a solar system. This tax credit applies to your tax liability— not merely a tax deduction—for the year the system was installed.

Because tax credits can be complicated, homeowners may need to hire a CPA to help them file their taxes with the credit.

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System Cost Example

The Smith Family of Orchard Park contracted CVM Solar to install a 5kW system on their roof.  This system covered 93% of the family’s total annual electricity needs. The gross cost of the system was $35,000. Yet the final price that Mr. Smith paid was 37% of the gross cost:

Cost Item Amount
Gross Cost (including all permits) $35,000
NYSERDA Rebate ($11,500)
New York State Tax Cre ($5,000)
Federal Tax Credit ($5,550)
Net Cost $12,950

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