The solar market is booming in the Northeast, as more homeowners realize that it's a great way to combat rising electricity costs.
Alex Yackery, co-founder of SunPower by Venture Solar, a SunPower Master Dealer in New York, sums up the trend: "New York is a really strong market for solar. The incentives are great, and the cost of power is so high here. It's cheaper to generate clean electricity with solar."
Yackery and his team serve Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx in New York City, and also Long Island. They've seen steady growth, as solar becomes more affordable than ever — solar prices have dropped 52 percent over the past five years.
Within the past six years, the amount of installed solar has grown by more than 1,000 percent in the state. There were 78,323 solar projects (972.2 MW) installed in New York in 2017, compared to 8,989 projects (83 MW) in 2011. SEIA projects the number of solar installations will continue growing in the region, estimating that another 4,202 MW will be added in the next five years.
Whether you own a colonial with a garden on Long Island or a modest brownstone in Williamsburg, more East Coast homeowners than ever understand the value of solar.
New York solar customers choose SunPower® panels
Pick My Solar, a third-party solar platform connecting solar shoppers to vetted contractors, recently released numbers showing that New Yorkers using their platform selected SunPower® solar panels for 47 percent of completed projects. (Learn more about New York solar here.)
Those numbers don't surprise Yackery. He says SunPower offers the best value for New Yorkers thanks to high panel efficiency and a best-in-industry 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty.
"They've been around for a long time, and they're going to perform the best over time," Yackery said.
SunPower panels are known for their ability to convert the most amount of sunlight into energy. With record-breaking 22.8 percent efficiency, SunPower's are the most efficient panels you can buy.*Based on search of datasheet values from websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of January 2018 That translates to more savings for homeowners over time, especially in the Northeast, where SunPower's high-efficiency home solar panels can make the most of the East Coast sun, even in the winter or when skies are gray.
High-efficiency panels are also helpful for another dilemma faced by East Coast big city dwellers: lack of roof space.
"Generally speaking we have constrained rooftops," Yackery said. "(New York City) in particular is a very dense area. So, a SunPower panel makes a lot of sense for our customers because it's the most efficient panel available."
Higher efficiency also means you'll need fewer panels to produce the necessary power for your home compared to conventional solar panels.
Harsh winter storms are part of life in the Northeast. SunPower panels also undergo rigorous durability and weather testing. They perform well under the harshest cold weather conditions on Earth. In fact, SunPower partnered with NASA on the Greenland GROVER project, where SunPower panels operated in high winds and extreme cold.
Incentives to go solar in the Northeast
New York isn't the only Northeastern state with a booming solar market. According to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) data, almost 700,000 homes throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are powered by solar. Here are just a few of the incentives available in the region:
New York State solar incentives include net metering, a state income tax credit of up to $5,000 for solar homeowners and other incentives under the NY-Sun initiative.
New Jersey offers an exemption from sales tax on solar equipment, a property tax exemption, and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) for solar energy you produce. These can be sold back to your utility company to help them meet the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standards and can help you generate revenue.
Connecticut has solar rebates such as the Residential Solar Investment Program, energy conservation loans, a sales tax exemption for solar equipment and net metering.
On top of these local incentives, there's also the 30 percent federal income tax credit for purchasing solar.*Tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information. With prices low and incentives in full swing, now is a smart time to go solar in the Northeast. It makes sense to take advantage of these rebates and tax breaks for as long as they're available.
Choosing a solar installer
If you decide to go solar, another advantage of choosing SunPower is its Master Dealer network of regionally-based solar installers who have experience with local neighborhoods and local solar installation permitting procedures and regulations.
"The benefit of working with a local installer backed by a national, publicly-traded company that's been around for a long time is powerful. It brings peace of mind and more value to our customers. They have the best-of-both-worlds experience," Yackery said.
Get details here for going solar in New York. Read more about Alex and SunPower by Venture Solar here or find another SunPower Master Dealer in your neighborhood. Try out our solar calculator to see whether solar makes sense for your home.