Gone are the days in which solar was just for hippes or environmentalist. Energy from solar photovoltaic technology is becoming a powerful force in our world’s energy production portfolio. Owning a solar PV (photovoltaic) energy system is a means to take your energy production into your own hands. Instead of relying on utility companies to provide energy, who jack up your costs at will. Many property owners have decided to produce their own energy. You can use that energy yourself or you can sell that energy back to the utility companies. Like a farmers milking his/her cow, photovoltaic system owners pump energy into the energy grid to reap the benefits.
Solar has lots of room for growth in New York. All you need is roof space with access to direct sunlight. There is no shortage of multi-unit buildings in New York that meet this requirement. Many of these multi-unit buildings have large, un-shaded, viable rooftop space for solar photovoltaics systems. This gives New Yorker’s have a prime opportunity to embrace the clean energy revolution unfolding!
As electricity cost continue to rise, more and more property owners are beginning to see the benefits of solar. Cost use to be a big deterrent from going solar early on. A 70 percent drop in installation costs has prompted the mainstream adoption of photovoltaic technology in recent years. Government policies have also played an important role. In states like New York, a streamlining of government incentives makes owning a photovoltaic system a very attractive proposition.
At first glance the cost of a photovoltaic system is comparable to buying a new car. (~$35,000) After you take into account the federal and state incentives that come with owning solar, these cost come down significantly. The most significant incentive is typically ITC tax credits issued by the federal government. These federal tax credits give you back 30% of your total system cost back in tax credits. For example, a $35,000 dollar system will earn you $10,500 in tax credits. So the after tax system cost of this project is $24,500. With project financing these costs can be split into monthly payments. These monthly payments to finance your solar system are usually less than your current monthly electric bill.
Another major incentive for solar PV owners is an SREC. An SREC is a solar renewable energy credit issued by state governments. One is created for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a solar generator. Keep in mind that SRECs are sold separately from the electricity they produce. This means a customer with a solar array on their roof can use the electricity on-site and then sell the SRECs off to another buyer. The buyers are the utilities. Utility companies buy SRECs to meet renewable energy mandates set by each state. Depending on the size of your system an owner can make anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 dollars a year by selling its SRECs on the market to utility companies.
By taking control of your energy production you can position yourself to completely eliminate an expense all together and improve your bottom line year over year. Specifically in New York, many properties can certainly benefit from producing their own energy and taking advantage of policies in the state. The energy use of common areas often leads to a substantial energy needs. The resulting economies of scale associated with installing solar on such a building can significantly reduce the cost of the installation.
Solar adds value to building owners. As with any other energy upgrade that improves a building’s energy performance, a solar installation can improve a building’s attractiveness to tenants or condo owners, increase its property value, and reduce exposure to the risks of rising energy costs and building obsolescence, benefitting the owner’s triple bottom line. Going solar provides great value to owners and occupants alike. It’s never been a better time to go solar.