New York City Shines in A Slowing New York Solar Market

We recently released our 1Q17 New York Residential Solar Study, which includes analysis of installation and pricing trends, as well as solar penetration by region. The report is a supplement to our Solar Index, which tracks solar activities in solar markets throughout the U.S.

In 1Q17, solar installations in New York declined 25 percent from 1Q16. The primary drivers of the decline were:

  1. An exhaustion of solar rebates in certain utility regions, most notably Long Island (-65 percent)
  2. A pull-back in acquisition spend by large national solar installers

Although solar penetration in New York is low (<2 percent) compared to approximately 7 percent in California, part of the slowdown could be due to high penetration with early adopters in certain areas. New York was not the only major U.S. solar market to see a decline this year, as California has declined by an estimated 42 percent through April.

Installation Trends

Installation Trends by Region

New York City was the one bright spot in the New York solar market, as installations increased 226 percent to 1,475 in 1Q17. The study included more detailed analysis on trends and pricing in major markets including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Syracuse and Rochester.

Solar Penetration In New York

Residential solar penetration, as defined as the percentage of single family homes that have solar, exceeded 1.75 percent by the end of 2016. Certain counties, including Suffolk and Richmond, reached 3.5 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

Opportunity for Consumers

The slowdown in the residential solar market has presented a buying opportunity for consumers, as the average cost of a solar system in New York is approximately $31,830 before tax incentives or $22,281 after the federal investment tax credit. At these prices, solar can make an attractive investment in many states with cash returns exceeding 15 percent in New York, California and Massachusetts. With the S&P reaching record highs, a solar system could be a very attractive investment relative to common stocks in the next 12-18 months.

Data originally published by OhmHome and republished with permission.

Lead image credit: allenran 917 | Flickr

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Casey is a Research Analyst at Sunvago and leads the company’s collection and analysis of residential solar data. Sunvago’s mission is to be the most consumer-centric source of independent information for homeowners interested in purchasing solar.

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