What Do Solar Panels Cost in Long Island?

The cost of solar panels in Nassau & Suffolk county Long Island is typically a $0 up front cost through leasing or financing options.

If solar doesn’t cost anything in Long Island, how is the solar panel system paid for? 

The cost of solar panels in Long Island doesn’t cost $0. Installers build the costs into leases and financing options which yields a $0 upfront cost and ultimately a monthly savings of 20-40%.

Long Island Solar Lease: $0 out of Pocket 

The cost of solar in Long Island when a customer leases is typically $0. The customer’s solar energy system is paid for and installed by a third party who sells power from the system to the customer at a discounted rate during a 20-25 year lease term. The leasing company will typically charge the customer between .13-.175/kwh for power generated from the solar panels which is cheaper than the current cost of utility generated power from PSEG.  The system is owned and maintained by the leasing company who guarantees performance of the system and insures it against any harm or failure. In exchange, the leasing company collects all tax and rebate incentives which help pay for the system. Leases can also be referred to as PPA’s (Power Purchase Agreements), and/or Solar Service Contracts. 

Long Island Solar Financing: $0 out of Pocket

The cost of solar in Long Island with financing solar energy systems is similar to the lease except the system is owned by the customer rather then a third party leasing company. Rather than a the cost of solar being incurred by a third party leasing company, a financing customer will buy the solar panels for 0 out of pocket through state run or third party financing platforms. The customer will also leverage various federal and state tax/rebate incentives to help pay for half the system and drive down the amount being financed. For example, if a solar system in Long Island costs $30,000, Rebates and tax credits will pay for about half of the system cost leaving the customer with a “true cost” of $15,000. The customer can choose to either pay cash out of pocket for the $15,000 at the completion of installation or finance that amount at low interest for a term period of their choice. $15,000 financed at low interest may provide for a cash flow positive monthly savings. If the monthly cost for the solar energy system is lower than the original bill paid to the utility, then the customer is saving money by producing power more cost effectively. This helps the customer realize a savings. Once the system is paid off, the system belongs to the customer and with it, the entire benefit of its production value. 

Whether to choose leasing or financing when going solar will depend on a few factors:

  1. Does the customer have the financial where with all to go into debt for the chance of getting rid of electric bill in the long term?
  2. Is the customer eligible for the various tax incentives?

If the answer to 1 and 2 are both yes, then the customer will typically choose a 0 out of pocket financing solution. If the answer to 1 and 2 are no, then the customer will typically choose a 0 out of pocket leasing solution. 

In sum, the cost of solar in Long Island is usually 0 out of pocket and saves the customer anywhere between 20-40% either through a lower cost of power through a lease or through a low interest finance payment. The exact amount or percentage savings will be a factor of the materials chosen for the installation, the orientation/shading factors present at the sight, system size, and the complexity of each installation. When leasing, customers should try to find a provider who will give them the lowest cost of power over the term of the lease. When financing, the customer should find the most reliable provider who will offer them the best equipment, quality of installation, and warranty for the lowest price. Lease customers typically want a savings with the least amount of risk and debt with the downside of less savings over the course of the system’s life. Financing customers care most about savings over the long term, and choose to maximize financial gain through financing and ownership.

cost of solar long island

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