New York REV Initiative is Shaping the Future of Power

blog_solar in NYRenewable sources of energy are not only changing where we get our power from, but also how the fundamental economics of getting power work. This shift is creating challenges for utilities across the country, but New York is investigating using a system where utilities do a different job and it might be the next step. Continue reading

The History and Future of the Solar ITC

ITC graphicWhere did the Solar ITC Come From?

With the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, during the George W. Bush administration, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was created. It allowed people getting a solar energy system installed to recoup 30 percent of the total cost of a solar energy system, but residential systems were capped at a $2,000 return. The ITC was scheduled to expire only a few years after it was passed, but in 2008 an extension was passed as part of the Cantwell-Ensign Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008 which was part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (sometimes called the TARP for the section that included the Troubled Assets Relief Program). At that point the $2,000 residential cap on the ITC was removed. Now the ITC is set to expire completely for residential projects at the end of 2016, for commercial projects it will shrink to covering 10 percent of the costs. Continue reading

What the end of the Solar ITC means for you

ITC graphicThe Solar ITC essentially gives you a 30 percent discount on the price of your solar investment, but it’s scheduled to expire at the end of 2016. If your system is installed by December 31, 2016 you’ll be able to take advantage of it. It is possible for the ITC to be extended, but as with the previous extension, it will have to go through the legislative system and be approved by congress. Continue reading

EnergySage Launches Local Solar Energy Marketplace for New York State

NY_funfact 2 EnergySage announced today that it is expanding its presence to New York State to help consumers make well-informed and profitable decisions about solar energy adoption. Backed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the EnergySage marketplace will enable residents to quickly research and compare solar options and obtain multiple price quotes from pre-screened solar installers. The marketplace will also provide New York’s solar installers access to a large pool of knowledgeable prospective clients, giving them the ability to reduce customer acquisition costs and efficiently grow their businesses. Continue reading

Solar Power Storage: The Next Step

5.01.15_HowDoYouStoreSolar (1)Can you draw power from your solar system when the sun isn’t shining? If you have a way of storing the electricity the system has produced you can. Batteries have long been used for solar power storage, but haven’t been popular until recently. With Tesla Motors announcement of a new battery for residential solar storage, it may be within the reach of many solar system users soon. Continue reading

The Best Solar Energy System Size for New York State

NY_3More and more New York State residents are making the decision to go solar to save money on their electricity bills. According to data from the New York Solar Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), most homes choose a system with a capacity of around 8 kilowatts (kW). What size solar energy system is right for you and your home? Continue reading

The ABCs of Utilities

join solar revolutionMost of the time your relationship with your electrical utility is pretty straightforward, but what happens when that relationship changes because you’ve installed solar on your property? The type of utility you have has a big impact on how your solar energy production is measured and accounted for when you have a solar electric  system installed. The first step in understanding your relationship to your utility is understanding what kind of utility you have. Continue reading