New York State — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today that it has increased access to solar for low- to moderate-income homeowners. The program, called Affordable Solar, supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

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.

The start of the Affordable Solar program continues to expand renewable energy at customer sites in support of REV goals. Governor Cuomo first announced the program at Capital for a Day in Central New York. The incentives are available through the NY-Sun initiative, administered by NYSERDA.

“Affordable Solar expands solar energy to households most in need of the electricity cost reductions that solar provides and enables them to participate in Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “We expect to see strong interest in this program from solar installers and residents.”

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 Governor Cuomo’s 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.

About NY-Sun
NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The growth of solar in the State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. NY-Sun web site.

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the very core of New York’s energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities.

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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