Prices for solar are going down as quality is going up. Predictions are that solar energy will be the least expensive form of generating energy by the year 2020. Solar also makes an outstanding contribution, via reduction of emissions, to making New York a healthier, greener city. And government is doing its part in encouraging the solar movement.
What could have been, if not the doom, but certainly a huge setbackin the growth of solar was circumvented in December 2015 when the federal 30% corporate Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was extended through the end of 2019.
Closer to home, solar in New York State grew 575% between 2011-2014. Invested, literally and figuratively, in supporting solar installation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has integrated all of its solar programs under one umbrella: NY-Sun. A commitment of $1 billion was made to propel and motivate the marketplace with an abundance of incentives, including financial support for public and private building installations. (NY-SUN.NY.GOV)
New York City has deferred to the state with regard to providing detailed information and incentives for installing solar in the city.
The City University of New York has, however, taken up a leadership position with its Sustainable CUNY program. Having launched its NYC Solar Map back in 2011, last month at the NY Solar Summit, they announced the design/build of a “comprehensive interactive website” (nysolarmap.com) that provides in-depth technical and financial feasibility information statewide.
Put in your address and the site will show you solar system size, payback period, yearly energy savings, total cost and net cost after incentives and taxes. You can “Get a Quote” or download a report. Can we say brilliant? Sustainable CUNY was supported by both the aforementioned NY-Sun program as well as the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, a nationwide collaborative effort with the goal of reducing the cost of solar electricity. The Solarmap even outlines opportunities for renters, investors and those without a roof that can sustain solar installation.
We do a lot of research for these articles and early on in doing so for this one, we came across a New York Times’ article from January 2008 entitled “(Solar) Power to the People Is Not So Easily Achieved.” It’s a wonderfully and amusingly written piece about the trials and tribulations of installing solar in a Washington Heights apartment building. Written only 8 years ago, it seems almost quaint based on the tremendous strides of the solar industry.
We believe there’s a solar installation heading your way. And with the help of government, institutions and your solar installation company/consultant, we also believe you’re going to be surprised about how much easier and less costly it’s going to be.
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By Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD + C strong> President, Metropolitan Valuation Services