NEW YORK CITY (March 7, 2024) –Today, a coalition of clean energy advocates, policymakers, and local residents convened for a Brooklyn rooftop rally to support affordable solar power initiatives proposed for this year’s state budget. 

Solar One, Vote Solar, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) led the coalition advocating for legislation to expand the New York State Solar Energy System Equipment Tax Credit (residential solar tax credit) by raising the per-household cap and adding a direct-pay provision for low-income New Yorkers.

Currently, the credit is equal to 25 percent of a qualified solar energy system, but it is limited to $5,000 and cannot be taken by those who don’t pay income taxes, like seniors, veterans, or low-income homeowners.

“The expanded tax credit will ignite economic growth, creating good-paying jobs in the booming solar industry,” said Stephen Levin, CEO of Solar One.

“But perhaps most importantly, this expansion will make solar energy more accessible than ever for low- and moderate-income families and communities who stand to benefit the most from energy affordability and environmental justice. We urge lawmakers to seize this opportunity and invest in a brighter, more sustainable future for New York,” he said.

The event featured a rooftop solar tour of a HDFC income-restricted co-op and brief remarks highlighting the importance of S3596C/A6739A, the proposed budget amendment co-sponsored by NYS Assemblymember Latrice Walker and Senator Peter Harckham.

The bill’s goal is to modernize the current tax credit by raising the per-household cap, include energy storage as an eligible expense; and secure a direct-pay provision for low-and moderate-income (LMI) households and residents of disadvantaged communities, thus improving accessibility for all New Yorkers regardless of income.

“Expanding the tax credit offers a triple win for our state; addressing the climate crisis, supporting good jobs, and bringing solar within reach for low-wealth New Yorkers,” said Elena Weissmann, northeast regional director at Vote Solar.

“New York is far behind on meeting the decarbonization goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). To meet these climate goals, New York needs to more than triple its renewable energy capacity between now and 2030, expanding the NYS Solar Tax Credit so that it works for more New Yorkers is a small but significant part of moving this effort forward,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “New York State must pass meaningful legislation that will benefit the health of New York’s environment for years to come,” he said.

“Lack of financial resources and incentives are a barrier for low-income co-ops we work with whose owners are excited about the financial benefits of solar and its environmental impacts. The proposed changes to the state tax credit would go a long way in ensuring that the benefits

of rooftop solar are reaped by communities that have been historically underserved,” said Emily Ng, director of member services at UHAB.

The homeowners and advocates are optimistic about this bill’s inclusion in the state budget, and are asking voters to call Gov. Hochul to support its passage. Later this month the coalition is planning to travel to Albany to make their case in person.

For further information, please contact:

Alonza Robertson, Solar One Communications Manager

Mobile: 212.920.1679.