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December 05, 2016
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There’s a better way

For homeowners and business owners, the options are to purchase solar electric systems or to lease. Purchase yields the most savings in the long run, and generous incentives available through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), combined with state and federal tax breaks (which depend on your income bracket and tax liability), can reduce the purchase cost by as much as two thirds. Lease arrangements for residential installations involve no money up front and can reduce the homeowner’s electricity bill by 15% to 30%, depending on which utility provides your service. At the end of the lease period, the property owner can purchase the system, renegotiate the lease, or have the installer remove the system.

Municipalities and schools have similar options, and are eligible for NYSERDA incentives. The main difference is that, since these entities cannot take advantage of state and federal tax credits, they may work through Power Purchase Agreements with system developers who assemble investors who can benefit from the tax reductions.These are real ways to reduce electricity costs and do something for the environment at the same time.

For information on NYSERDA incentives and certified installers, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/Energy-Efficiency-and-Renewable-Programs.aspx and www.nyserda.ny.gov/Contractors/Find-a-Contractor/Photovoltaic-Installers....