The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has just launched an incentive program for thermal solar systems, in an effort to encourage New Yorkers to swap electric hot water systems for solar-powered systems. Not only is this great news for the environment, but it’s also an excellent way to help families and businesses economically, both through tax incentives and huge savings on energy costs — electric hot water accounts for about 20 percent of the average homeowner’s monthly energy bill. The five year, $25 million program is in line with a slew of other green building laws and programs that New York City and State have recently enacted. It is the first program of its kind for the state.
According to NYSERDA, through these innovative efforts, “New York expects to displace the equivalent of 45.54 megawatts of electrical use by the end of 2015.” “New York’s first solar thermal incentive program will help homeowners and businesses reduce the use of electricity and cut energy costs,” said Francis J. Murray Jr, the President and CEO of NYSERA. “Through this program, NYSERDA is working to develop our clean energy economy, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase our energy security.”
Solar thermal collectors provide a cheaper and cleaner alternative to conventional hot water heaters. Under the program, eligible single and multi-family residences will receive up to $4,000 for construction and installation of a solar thermal system. For businesses, the incentives are up $25,000 per site for commercial and non-profit customers. To further sweeten the deal, all customers can apply for federal tax incentives as well, which will cover up to 30 percent of the cost for installation. New York State will help cover 25 percent of the installed system, or up to $5,000.