Tax Abatement 2019 Governor Cuomo

Tax Abatement to 2019

Governor Cuomo signed legislation that will extend the solar property tax abatement until 2019. This wonderful news from Albany hit the Greenlight office yesterday, and we are loving the fact that NY State is saying yes to a solar-powered future.

This is also great news for our customers as the State of New York is reaffirming their belief that solar the way to power its citizens.

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New York Energy & Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, “I’m thrilled to see Long Island demonstrate what is possible through Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to democratize the production of power and make clean, resilient energy affordable for all New Yorkers. The growth of solar on Long Island is a testament to the role of New York State in building a self-sustaining solar industry to support job growth and protect the environment.”

Studies have indicated Long Island avoids 200,000 tons of carbon emissions annually as a result of all the homes and businesses that have gone solar.

In a previous post, we discussed the possible termination of the tax abatement by the end of the year. This brings renewed confidence to what we’re doing at Greenlight, and we are more inspired than ever to continue to deliver cost-effective, high-quality Green products and services to our customers.

To learn more about the tax abatement, please, read here →

Cost of Solar Going Down

Cost of Solar Going Down

We’ve heard a lot lately about the cost of solar going down. We’ve also seen it first-hand. Last week I read a article discussing how in the last five months alone the price has come down nearly 25% for solar hardware and installation.

At Greenlight, we find that the number one reason our customers look at and install solar systems is the economics. The article I tweeted out to the world discussed global costs going down. This will only translate into more savings for our customers in the long run. Pair that with the tax credits and government incentives, and it really does make sense now more than ever to go solar.

“It seems that we have truly entered a new era in energy production—in renewable energy production, that is. Over the past few months, the cost of solar power has plummeted, and it seems that things are going to stay this way…there’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again,” former Masdar Clean Energy director Frank Wouters noted in a recent interview with Electrek. If governments and innovators continue to invest in these energy sources the way that they have been, Wouters statements are easy to believe.

In just 5 months, prices have dropped some 25%. This development is shown in the recent, and staggeringly low, construction bids on solar projects in China ($0.46/W for 500MW of solar power) and Dubai ($0.023/kWh for 1.2GW of solar power).

Several factors have driven these relatively inexpensive bids. In China, solar power is incentivized. To that end, decreasing hardware prices have largely fueled the drastic drop—solar panel costs, for instance, have declined remarkably since the first quarter of this year. And in Abu Dhabi, solar panels produce more power than usual because the city enjoys some of the best sunlight exposure in the world.

We can take a look at the long term approach to our supply customers as well. With the cost of solar on the whole going down, this savings will likely also funnel to our renewable electricity consumers. In Nevada, a 100MW solar project is expected to deliver electricity at $0.04/kWh. Chile and India are also experiencing similar efficiency.

The key is now to make sure the grid itself can distribute and store this cheap and limitless power. We look forward to continuing to see great changes and benefits for all of our Greenlight Energy customers.

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Green energy New York City

Open Doors Cost More

I was walking last night in Jackson Heights, a vibrant and diverse community in Queens, NYC. It was a warm night, and as I walked past every storefront, I was greeted by a frosty cold blast.  While it felt nice, I thought to myself, “Why do stores leave their front doors wide open? Do they know how much energy they’re wasting? Do they know open doors cost more?”

Starting this summer, nearly all shops and restaurants in New York City are required to keep front doors and windows shut while their air-conditioners and cooling systems are operating.  This practice seems like common sense, but the law seems rarely enforced.

It’s in the business owner’s interest to practice this rule put in place by the de Blasio administration.  First, if and when the law is actually enforced, shop owners who violate the rules would face fines, ranging from $250 for a first offense to as much as $1,000 for an egregious violation.  Second, the real reason any business owner should not do this is because it costs more in energy—much more.  A report by the Long Island Power Authority found that stores that leave their doors open while cooling systems are on can use up to 25 percent more electricity during the summer months.

Last year, the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs started the Shut the Front Door! Campaign, launched in an effort to educate business owners of the benefits of keeping their doors closed while cooling.  This is part of an effort to help them reach the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

NYC Shut the Front Door Campaign Greenlight Energy Open Doors Cost More Image

When a business leaves its doors open with a cooling system running, large amounts of cool air escape, forcing the system to expend more energy and produce more emissions to maintain the temperature.  According to Con Edison, if just one business closes its doors during the summer, it can prevent the unnecessary release of more than 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide, save five barrels of oil, and save more than $1,000 on electricity bills.

While it does seem enticing for businesses to greet their customers with the cool taste of a respite from the high temperatures outside, it’s still better for a business’s bottom line to keep the doors closed while operating in the summer.

Long Island Sound Solar Beach Image

Long Island, King of New York Solar

Long Island residents can stand proud as leaders in New York Solar!  After tremendous growth since 2012, Long Island residents have shown the rest of the state that Solar works and Solar saves. Savvy Long Islanders have quickly learned to take advantage of state and federal rebates leading to millions of dollars saved.

Long Island’s Solar Market Has Grown 320% Since 2012

“The tremendous growth of Solar on Long Island under Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative has greatly expanded the use of clean, sustainable energy in the region,” says John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Long Island’s Solar industry is strong and actively serving the growing clean energy market, and we know this momentum will continue.”

In total, New York Solar initiatives have led to a 575% increase in development from 2012 thru 2015. This is not just good news for the environment and homeowners, but also to the 8,250 energy industry employees making it happen.
  • Long Island Growth 575% 2012-15
  • Long Island Solar before 2012

Better Options for Homeowners

The outlook for 2016 is looking even brighter for Long Island homeowners. For the average home, a 7.9KW systems saves roughly $2,000 on electricity costs per year. More efficient Solar equipment and more accessible and favorable financing options continue to facilitate the switch to Solar and guarantee savings for consumers.

See also: Which financing option is best for you?

Dizzying Array of Solar Options

See All of Your Options

Before making the switch to solar, know your options and make a decision based on objective 3rd party information. At Greenlight Solar, we partner with only local installers who know your neighborhood, because they’re a part of it. Our Solar specialists can conveniently walk you through the entire process and show you all of the available financing, hardware, and savings opportunities in order for you to make the best choice for your family and home. If it’s not good for your wallet, we won’t install it. Our core belief is that transparency brings trust, and it’s through this trust that we’ve grown our family business across a broad range of communities.

To see your options, request a free consultation today.

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Cost-effective Electricity Is Not the Norm in New York

Thanks to a flood of natural gas supply into the market, the price of power has fallen by two-thirds since 2008, according to Bloomberg News.  So why do utility bills keep increasing?

When your utility bill arrives each month, you can’t help but think how much cheaper it was 5 or 10 years ago. Unlike other commodities, energy has many costly factors.  For New Yorkers and residents of most other large cities, old infrastructure is a big reason for the price hike. The cost of replacing old lines is time-consuming and expensive.  Most were built before 1980, and an astonishing 42% will need to be replaced within the next 30 years.  By then, the rest will need replacing as well.  After the decade long waiting period for approvals and signatures, the costs to prevent outages will keep coming.

New Yorkers additionally pay about 60% more for electricity than most other Americans, with at least a quarter of those costs going directly to taxes and fees.  In short, when it comes to our energy future, the writing is on the wall.  We will continue to see utility prices rise for the next 30 years plus.

What Can Homeowners Do

Thankfully, many states—including Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York—have de-regulated energy programs.  Homeowners are now given the freedom to choose where their electricity comes from and at what price.  New advancements in technology have also brought benefits like fixed-rate pricing and renewable sources, both distinct advantages versus your local utility company. Hidden fees such as peak usage charges are eliminated when you switch, and you can rest easy knowing exactly what your rate will be each month.

Beat the Market

Finally, for homeowners with an eye towards the future, there’s no better way to cut down on energy expenses than making the switch to solar.  With the potential to offset college tuition, new cars, home improvements, and even vacations, solar is the smart way to plan ahead.  Not only does solar require zero upfront investment; it actually earns you money in savings each month for 20+ years.  Switching to solar is simple and requires virtually no effort to reap the benefits.  The panels installed on your roof will guarantee you a lower monthly bill than your utility rate, at a fixed rate, for the entire life of the system.

With options like purchase, loan, or lease, you decide how much money you want to save.  Like all technological progress, advancements in solar have dropped the cost of panels and installation while increasing efficiency and reliability. Incentives like state and federal tax credits make going solar even easier and more cost-effective, so you can put those earnings towards family, leisure, or any other investments.

Get a free custom solar proposal today, see what panels look like on your roof, and learn how much you can save!

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Nest Featured Image

3 Ways to Shrink Your Energy Bills

As New Yorkers, we all know what summer feels like: hot, humid, and muggy. The only sanctuary is the nearest air-conditioned room. In fact, all seasons more or less begin and end with complaints. It’s too hot in the summer; it’s too cold in the winter, etc. As time wears on, and the complaints become redundant, we move on to electricity costs. This is the state of our planet, and according to New Scientist, it is not changing anytime soon. So what can we do about it?

Simple Solutions

Sure, we might adjust thermostats to 80 and invest thousands in energy-efficient appliances, but that’s not ideal for a number of reasons. It is costly, which is the opposite of our objective, and it’s just plain uncomfortable. Simple steps like using heat-generating appliances at night or washing laundry in cold water are more realistic. Thanks to modern technology, your new fancy washer can get the job done with cold water AND save you up to $152 per year!

Light Home Improvement

Let’s take slightly bigger steps in our search for savings. Consider your light bulbs. We all know we can save money by turning off the lights when we leave a room. A more prudent move would be to change your inefficient fluorescent lightbulbs to LED bulbs and save about $300 per year! The same way we wouldn’t fry bacon in sweltering heat to save on our AC costs, we shouldn’t live in the dark to save a few dollars. Since 2008, the cost of LED bulbs has fallen 85%, making it simple and accessible for anyone to switch. Most applications don’t require retrofitting or special fixtures of any kind.

Change a Few Habits

The biggest energy hogs for most people are obviously air-conditioning and heating. Could it be that we’re just unwilling to adapt to the seasons? Countless buildings are so frigid in the summer that a sweater or jacket is required to stay comfortable. Adjusting your thermostat to comfortable, but not freezing, temperatures is the simple solution. Smart thermostat’s like NEST allow you to program your home to monitor usage and automatically save energy when you’re out. Its useful interface also monitors carbon monoxide and smoke levels from your smartphone.

Nest Thermostat Page Image

Get a free NEST thermostat when you request a free customer solar proposal by entering the rebate code GLNEST today!

These simple ideas and others will save you hundreds per year and are the easiest way to achieve short term savings. In the long term, however, Solar Power is by far the best option. Utility rates will continue to increase each year, just as they have for the past 20 years, and we’ll only have more electronic devices in our homes in the future. That’s why homeowners who want to save $10,000-$39,000 over the next 20 years have made the switch to solar. With $0 installation costs, sizable tax credits, and guaranteed fixed rates, you can beat the market by saying one word: Yes. Greenlight Solar gives you a guaranteed rate that is lower than your current bill and is fixed for the next 20 years. We take care of all the work; you enjoy all the savings.

Request your free custom proposal today to see what panels look like on your roof and discover how much you can save:

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New York Solar Panels

How New Yorkers Are Being Paid to Switch to Solar

New York is one of the most generous states when it comes to Solar Energy. There are a number of incentives that make going Solar a can’t miss opportunity for New Yorkers:

  • The Megawatt Block Incentive Structure: a direct, generous incentive for solar energy available under New York’s ambitious NY-Sun Initiative.
  • Net energy metering: ensure that you get paid a fair price for the solar electricity that you send into the grid. Any credits for excess solar power that you accrue in a ‘credit bank’ and can be used in future months (usually winter) if your solar energy system produces less electricity.
  • New York State’s Solar Equipment Tax Credit: reduce your state tax payments by up to $5,000 or 25% off your total solar energy expenses (whichever is lower). The great advantages of the Solar Equipment Tax Credit are: 1) You don’t have to purchase your system to claim the credit (i.e. it applies to you even if you went solar with a lease or PPA), and 2) if your tax liability isn’t large enough to claim the entire credit in the first year, you can roll it over into the next year.
  • The NY-Sun Initiative: an umbrella program for a number of solar industry support mechanisms in New York State, including (but not limited to) the Megawatt Block Incentive Structure. NY-Sun, in conjunction with NYPA, also provides the backbone for the state’s Community Solar and K-Solar programs.
  • The REV Initiative: reinvent New York State’s energy systems with a focus on ‘distributed energy’ technologies like rooftop solar panels and energy storage. Although it does not directly subsidize rooftop solar power, its ultimate aim is to level the playing field for distributed energy vs centralized power plants (like coal, gas, and nuclear) through market reforms.

Whether you live on Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Upstate, or anywhere else in NY, don’t let these incentives pass you by.

Start today with your free solar proposal.

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