New York launches automatic solar, storage credits for some low-income customers

By Marie J. French | 05/17/2024 06:51 AM EDT

About 800,000 customers will get monthly credits of about $3.30 per month, the state said.

Workers install a solar panel on the roof of a home.

New York is moving forward with new incentives to encourage the use of solar energy. Michael Conroy/AP

ALBANY, New York — Low-income households receiving assistance with their utility bills who live in state-designated areas historically impacted by pollution will next year automatically get additional credits on their bill from solar and storage projects.

The state Public Service Commission on Thursday approved a “Statewide Solar for All” program that allows utilities to procure community solar projects and pass the credits for energy generated on to certain low-income customers. Currently, the program requires most residents to proactively sign up for the type of credit, but the new program would require no action unless eligible customers opt out.

Policymakers hope this vastly expands the number of low-income households receiving benefits from the state’s focus on clean energy and promotion of solar. It’s been a challenge to increase participation, and previous efforts have shown minimal progress.


“We are ensuring more New Yorkers than ever before will have access to clean, solar energy so we can build a healthy future,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “The Statewide Solar for All program will generate significant benefits for our health, our environment, our economy, and for the thousands of New Yorkers who will see lower electric bills.”