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Solar battery incentives in New York

If you’re a New Yorker considering your solar battery options, you’re not alone: energy storage has become an increasingly popular purchase for homeowners interested in keeping their homes running during a grid outage. Fortunately, due to declining costs, federal tax credits, and–for Long Island homeowners–state incentives, solar batteries are more affordable than ever before. Here’s a quick rundown of the battery incentives currently available in New York:

New York’s energy storage target

New York State has one of the most ambitious energy storage targets in the country – the state aims to install 1,500 megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2025–and double that by 2030! In an effort to spur the development of these projects, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) incentivizes different types of energy storage systems. Unfortunately for homeowners in New York, as of June 2020, most of NYSERDA’s battery storage incentives only apply to commercial projects. However, if you live in Long Island, you’re in luck: this is the only area in the state currently eligible for residential battery incentives.

PSEG LI’s solar plus energy storage incentive

NYSERDA and PSEG LI’s solar plus energy storage incentive pays customers an upfront incentive for pairing a home solar panel system with a battery. Much like the State’s Megawatt solar rebate, this incentive works under a block structure: as more homeowners in Long Island take advantage and fill up the blocks, the program advances in blocks and the incentive decreases in value.

As of Jun 2020, the incentive is still in the first block, meaning you can claim $250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of storage capacity. For the average battery, this means an average of $2,300 to $3,300 in savings. (Editor’s note: this is among the best incentives in the country, as it’s on par with what’s currently offered in California’s SGIP program, which is in block 5 at the time of publishing.)

You can confirm the current status of the program on NYSERDA’s incentive dashboard. Once the program reaches block 2, the incentive will decline to $200 per kWh of capacity. As a heads up: in order to be eligible for the incentive, you need to work with a participating NY-Sun contractor–a lot of whom quote on EnergySage!

Federal solar tax credit

If you live in any part of New York and plan on adding a battery to your solar panel system, your battery purchase is also eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). In 2020, the solar tax credit allows you to claim up to 26 percent of the cost of your solar battery as a credit towards your federal taxes.

Importantly, standalone storage is not currently eligible for this tax credit: to claim this incentive for your battery purchase, you need to charge the battery with an on-site renewable energy resource (like rooftop solar). If you have a residential solar panel system and you charge your battery with electricity from the grid, you cannot take advantage of this credit.

However, commercial solar-plus-storage systems have a bit more leeway: if you’re installing energy storage on a commercial property, you can claim the tax credit so long as your storage system is charged by your solar panel system more than 75 percent of the time, and the exact value of the credit depends on how frequently you charge your battery with renewable energy. For example, if you charge your battery with solar 80 percent of the time, it is eligible for only 80 percent of the 26 percent ITC – equivalent to a 20.8% percent credit (80% x 26% = 20.8%).

For most homeowners, the ITC can help decrease the cost of a battery by an additional $3,000 to $4,000. You can learn more about the federal investment tax credit here.

Compare battery options on EnergySage

Looking to benefit from these solar incentives (and others)? EnergySage is here to help – sign up on the EnergySage Marketplace to receive up to seven custom solar-plus-storage quotes from installers located in the Bay State. If you’re interested in a particular battery system, simply note it in your account so that they can quote according to your preferences.

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