ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has introduced its new Affordable Solar program to increase access to solar for low- to moderate-income homeowners.

Affordable Solar doubles the incentives for each solar project installed at the home of a low- to moderate-income resident. The double incentives are available for residential solar projects for households earning less than 80 percent of the area or state median income, who often lack access to sufficient up-front capital to purchase a solar installation.

Initial funding for the double incentives is expected to support between 2,500 and 4,500 new residential projects for low- to moderate-income households. Residential incentives currently range from 20 cents per watt to 60 cents per watt, depending on the area of the state. The low end will increase to 40 cents per watt under this program, and the high end to $1.20 per watt.

Eligibility requirements for the increased incentives through Affordable Solar include household income verification and completion of an electricity energy efficiency assessment at the home. If the assessment identifies a need for more efficient lighting or hot water heating, those updates will be implemented prior to the solar installation to decrease electricity consumption.

Part of the NY-Sun initiative, Affordable Solar is authorized to spend $13 million to achieve greater participation by low- to moderate-income customers in solar electric programs. The double incentives for low- to moderate-income homeowners will use approximately half of that funding. The other half will be used in the future to support shared solar projects for renters and others who do not have rooftops or who have rooftops that are unsuitable for solar.

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Publication date: 11/19/2015

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