New Yorkers could get tax breaks of up to $3,750 for installing solar systems, beginning next year.
New York Gov. George F. Pataki signed into law on Aug. 19 the "Solar Choice Act," aimed at encouraging solar energy system investments through income tax credits. The Act also would allow residential customers to receive the full retail value of the electric generated by their systems.
The bill requires electric utilities to connect residential solar equipment to the grid and to provide "net metering." Net metering uses a meter to measure the difference between energy supplied and energy generated. Homeowners apply the power generated against monthly energy bills.
The law applies to customers who install solar equipment with a generating capacity of 10 kilowatts or less. Availability of net energy metering is limited to 0.1 percent of the 1996 peak demand of each electric utility. This is to limit the potential loss of revenues to the utility. The tax credit is 25 percent of the cost of installing the equipment, up to the maximum of $3,750. (em LAB
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