Find a Contractor
Use our map to find a participating contractor in your area that can install solar in your home. Your participating contractor will:
- Inspect your location to determine the best system size and panel placement options
- Assist with incentive application paperwork, including financing options
- Install your system and submit all paperwork to NYSERDA on your behalf
Need More Information?
NY-Sun is here to help and provide the information you need to make a smart decision in finding and selecting a contractor that is right for you. We put together a step-by-step guide below with tips and pointers for finding and preparing for a contractor.
Get Solar Smart: Solar 101
The more you learn about solar, the better prepared you will be to have an informed conversation with a contractor. To learn more about the basics of solar energy, check out our FAQs and learn about your solar options.
Know Your Options: Installation Viability and Paying for Solar
- Check the condition of your property. Solar panels work best when installed on a sunny south-facing roof with little to no shade and no more than two layers of shingles. Any roof with visible damage should be avoided or repaired. Panels can also be mounted to the ground in an open location.
- Know your payment options. There are three popular way to pay for solar for your home: leasing, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. It’s important to understand the details of each as well as the pros and cons are based on your individual income and tax liability.
- Check with your local homeowners’ association. Check to see if installing a solar panel on your home meets your neighborhood association’s guidelines (if you have one).
- Confirm your options. If your home isn’t ideal for solar panels, we encourage you to see if there are community solar projects in your area.
Identify Eligible Contractors
To access incentives, you must choose one of the hundreds of available independent participating contractors.
- Check their references. Before hiring a contractor, check their references and talk to people who have previously hired the contractor. It is important that you find a contractor that is responsive to your needs and questions.
- Request proposals. Ask three contractors that work in your area for proposals. You will need to tell the contractor’s salesperson how much you are currently paying per kilowatt-hour of electricity, including all fees and taxes. You will also need to give the salesperson a year’s worth of your home’s electricity usage data. This data often appears as a chart on your most recent electricity bill.
Review Contractor Proposals
- Take time to carefully review and compare the proposals, including the financing options. The proposals may contain purchase and/or lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) options or may offer additional financing options. Discuss who is responsible for obtaining and paying for any and all permits, inspections, and approvals with your contractor before you sign.
- Verify all numbers used in the energy analysis and proposal. Have an accountant or tax professional verify that you are eligible for any tax credits.
- Determine whether installing solar will affect your property taxes. New York State Real Property Tax Law 487 provides a 15-year real property tax exemption for renewable energy systems. However, some municipalities and school districts have opted out of the exemption, meaning residents who install solar may have to pay additional property taxes. To determine if your municipality has opted out of RPTL 487, call your local tax assessor's office. See the list of municipalities that have opted out.
Complete a Project Application
After you decide on a participating contractor you want to work with, the contractor will provide you with a customer purchase/lease agreement addendum to protect you, the customer, and the project application. The contractor will file the application.
Home Energy Assessment. Residential customers can expect their contractor to complete a home energy assessment as part of the application process. Customers are encouraged, but not required, to implement energy efficiency upgrades identified by their participating contractor.
Your participating contractor will be notified directly by NY-Sun of the approval or denial of each project application and must notify you about the status of your application.
- A notice of approval will specify the amount of the incentive and the timeframe within which solar must be installed
- A notice of denial will detail deficiencies in the application, allowing you and your contractor to make corrections and resubmit
- All projects must be completed within 365 days from the date of NYSERDA approval. It is important that you, the customer, keep track of this deadline to avoid cancellation of the incentive. NYSERDA may grant extensions on a case-by-case basis.
Complete the Installation, Inspection, and Interconnection Process
Your participating contractor will set up a required municipality inspection and interconnection of your system to the electric grid. These steps may take some time due to the popularity of solar power in New York State. Once your system is up and running and all the necessary paperwork is complete, you can start lowering your electricity bill and enjoying the other benefits of clean energy.