New York state recently passed a bill exempting the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems from the state’s four percent sales tax.
This move – coupled with federal incentives and falling panel prices – is expected to make commercial solar systems more attractive for businesses in the state this year.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, noted that the added sales tax on the cost of the solar installation could discourage businesses from purchasing installations; incentives must be provided to encourage businesses to install solar systems – just as with homeowners – if the state is to achieve its goal of obtaining 45 percent of its electricity through renewable energy by 2015.
In a separate move, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would invest $150 million toward solar funding year year for the next decade, to increase jobs in the PV industry and help increase solar panel installations for homes and business in the state.
NY Governor Cuomo. Credit: AP
This annual investment is part of the NY-Sun Initiative, which aims to double the state’s customer-sited solar PV capacity added in 2011 and quadruple it this year. When the project began back in January 2012, Gov. Cuomo said that a total of $800 million would be invested in solar energy in the state of New York by 2015.
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for advancing policies that promote clean energy innovation, create jobs, protect the environment, and help ensure our nation’s energy security and independence,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president for state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“The NY-Sun Initiative has put New York State at the forefront of new solar deployment, creating clean economy jobs while containing energy costs for consumers.”