provides clean and inexhaustable energy. Solar energy can be used
in homes, businesses and municipal buildings to create electricity
with solar photovoltaic (solar PV) panels, or to heat water. With
passive solar design, homes can also be designed maximize the
light and warmth they capture from the sun in the winter, while
avoiding being overheated by sunlight in the summer.
Island, electricity demand peaks in the summer when air conditioners
are in use, so solar PV can reduce the need for more fossil fuel
burning plants to be built to meet peak demand.
County Eliminates Sales Tax on Solar PV Systems
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of
Renewable Energy Long Island; Steve Levy, Suffolk County
Executive; Chris Castro, owner of Solymar, a LIPA-certified
solar installer, and Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the
Neighborhood Network at Suffolk County's announcement of
the solar sales tax exemption.
23, 2005, the Suffolk County Legislature voted to eliminate the
County sales tax on solar PV systems. New York State had already
enacted a law that removes the State portion of the sales tax
on solar PV effective September 1, and allows municipalities to
"opt in" and exempt solar pv from sales tax entirely.
Suffolk is the first county in the State to opt in, the County
law becomes effective December 1, 2005. A similar bill has been
introduced in the Nassau Legislature.
PV systems can significantly reduce a home's electricity bills,
however the up-front cost of the systems discourages many homeowners
from installing them. In combination with LIPA rebates, and income
tax credits from New York State and the Federal government, this
sales tax exemption makes the initial investment in solar PV more
economically viable for many homeowners.
1st, 2005, you can take a self guided tour to see solar power
in use on Long Island, and speak with homeowners who have installed
solar systems. The National
Solar Tour and Green Buildings Open House is organized locally
on Long Island by Renewable
Energy Long Island (RELI) and the LIPA
Clean Energy Initiative.
Island Power Authority's Solar
Pioneer Program offers homeowners and businesses a rebate
of $4.00 per watt on solar PV systems up to 10 kilowatts. Typical
home solar PV systems are approximately 3 to 7 kilowatts, and
the LIPA rebate covers roughly half the cost of such systems.
Municipalities, schools and not-for-profit organizations are offered
a $5.00 per watt rebate.
State offers an income tax credit of 25% of the purchace cost
of solar PV systems, up to a maximum credit of $3,750. Tax credits
are subtracted from tax due, not from taxable income as deduction
are. Recent legislation extends the tax credit to solar hot water
systems as of January 1, 2006, and increases the credit ceiling
to $5,000 as of September 1, 2006.
adopted Federal Energy Bill gives a 30% Federal income tax credit
on the purchase of both solar pv and solar hot water systems installed
in 2006 and 2007. The maximum federal credit is $2,000.