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Solar Panel Tax Abatement
Photo Credit: CUNY
Solar Panel Tax Abatement

New York City is one of 25 major U.S. cities designated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a Solar America City. Leading the nation in adopting solar technology, New Yorkers are recognizing the environmental and economic benefits of harnessing energy from the sun. In addition to cool roofs and green roofs, solar panels are among technologies becoming more common in green building. The information below provides details on the numerous advantages, as well as information on a tax abatement program to help interested building owners finance installations.

Reliable and Clean Energy
Solar panels generate electricity from an unlimited, renewable source: the sun. This process allows for a reliable alternative energy source to be available during peak hours and power outages. Similar to green roofs' ability to reduce the strain on the City's water infrastructure, solar panels can help lower the demand for energy from the City's electrical grid by offsetting peak usage. Additionally, solar energy does not emit greenhouse gas emissions, an important advantage that will help lower overall citywide emissions, a key PlaNYC goal. And less energy being produced by traditional combustion of fossil fuels means less air pollution and cleaner air.

Potential Savings
New Yorkers can expect to benefit from immediate savings in their energy bills and overall maintenance costs. Because a portion of energy consumption is offset by free electricity generated from solar energy, building owners and tenants will use less energy from the electrical grid and therefore pay less. Furthermore, solar panels act as a protective cover for rooftop surfaces and building equipment, limiting excessive exposure to solar heat and UV radiation and reducing the frequency of costly repairs.

Tax Abatement
Recognizing these benefits, the City of New York passed legislation in 2008 to provide a four-year tax abatement, or tax relief, of 5 to 8 ¾ percent of solar panel-related expenditures (up to $62,500 or the building's tax liability, whichever is less). Tax abatement applications will be accepted until March 15, 2013. For more information, visit Solar Panel Tax Abatement.
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