Since 2012, the state of New York has introduced a variety of programs to re-orient its energy production towards sustainable sources. As a clean, renewable means of generating electricity, solar energy has assumed a lead role in the state’s efforts, which include a nearly $1 billion commitment from the governor’s office to stimulate market growth and rapidly multiply the number of solar systems in place today.
That’s great news for homeowners, because it means that solar has never been more affordable or accessible. If you’ve been considering adding an array to your home to decrease your utility bills, there’s no time like the present!
How to Pay for Your Home Solar System
Solar financing through NY-Sun includes low-interest loans as well as on-bill recovery options. Residential customers can secure up to $13,000 ($25,000 with higher cost-effectiveness standards), with repayment on a 5, 10 or 15-year basis.
With the On-Bill Recovery repayment option, you can pay for your solar system through a monthly installment charge on your utility bill. The best part is that your monthly payments cannot exceed the estimated energy cost savings from the energy upgrades, which means the energy savings might cover most—if not all—of your loan payment. Interest rates are based on your credit qualification and are subject to change.
Alternatively, NY-Sun also offers a Residential Smart Energy Loan as a more traditional option. This loan features affordable interest rates based on your credit score, flexible terms and simple repayment options.
Small Commercial and Not-For-Profit Solar Loans
If you own a small commercial building that houses a business or non-profit, you can also qualify for NY-Sun loans. Again, there are low-interest (known as Participation Loans in this case) and On-Bill Recovery options.
The terms of a Small Commercial Participation loan are only slightly more complicated than for the residential equivalent. In this case, NYSERDA works with private lenders to make up to $100,000 in funding available. NYSERDA offers 50% of the project cost—up to $50,000—at 2% interest. The remainder is covered by the private lender at the market interest rate.
For Small Business/Not-for Profit On-Bill Recovery Loans, the current interest rate is 2.5%, which is subject to change. Repayment functions just as it does for residential projects—payments are made via a monthly charge on your utility bills.
For small businesses, there is another option: the Energize NY Finance commercial program, which offers low-cost, long-term financing primarily for small businesses, for up to the full cost of energy improvements that reduce energy consumption or generate renewable energy. The program uses an innovative form of financing called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). Unlike traditional financing, Energize NY’s PACE program focuses on the project’s potential for energy savings. It is repaid through an annual tax charge on the property (like water or sewer charges) over the term of the financing. If the property is sold, the energy savings and financing automatically transfers to the new owner.