Do home solar panels make sense in Smithtown, New York?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Smithtown is about  $6,694.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,559 worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a  30% federal tax credit. In New York, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least  20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Learn more

Table of Contents:



How much do solar panels cost in Smithtown, NY?

The average cost per watt of residential solar in New York is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.

Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.

The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Smithtown will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Smithtown, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:

• 572 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average New York home uses every month.
• 4.76 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 12 to 18 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.

Gross system price$18,581This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.
Federal tax credit of 30%$5,574The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more
New York state income tax credit: 25% off system costs up to $5,000$4,645The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance offers a significant tax credit worth 25% off your cost of a home solar system, up to a maximum credit of $5,000.
NYSERDA NY-Sun rebate ($0.35 per Watt; max 25 kW)$1,667The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) operates the NY-Sun program, which includes significant rebates for the home solar. These are on top of New York state and federal tax credits, so going solar in New York is a smart move. Read more about New York incentives.
Net system price:$6,694

This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.



Can you save money with solar panels in Smithtown, NY?

Every year, that hypothetical Smithtown home solar system described above would produce about $1,559 worth of electricity. This is based on the New York state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

This estimate assumes that your home uses an average amount of electricity, but your needs may be different. In addition, if you have some shade on your panels during the day, that can drop your production by a lot and require more panels to make up the difference.



Houses in Smithtown with solar panels

In Smithtown, our data shows that there are at least 449 houses with solar photovoltaic panels installed. This means that a lot of neighbors in your city are interested in solar, and have already made the leap. Added up, the total generating capacity of all these home solar systems equals 3,278 kilowatts. That’s a lot of clean energy being generated by your neighbors.

If you’re on the fence about going solar and trying to research whether solar is viable in the Smithtown area, this is good news. It means many of your neighbors have made the calculation and decided that solar is a smart move for them in the long term. Next time you’re driving or walking around, take a look at the roofs in your neighborhood. You might find a surprising number of solar panels. Try talking to your neighbors with solar, and see how it’s worked out for them.



Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. This means that the more sunlight, the better. However, one misconception is that solar panels only work in very sunny climates. While it’s true that you will generate more electricity in a sunny state like Arizona, you might be surprised to learn that solar can generate plenty of electricity in most places in the United States - even cloudier places like New England or the Northwest.



Smithtown solar energy potential

To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.

The DNI for Smithtown is 4.56, which means that it has a good amount of sunshine - about average for the United States.

4.56

Averaged over the full year, a Smithtown home solar panel system will be generate a lot of solar electricity, although expect diminished production in the winter.

In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.

A higher DNI is better, but even if your city is average or even below average for the US, it’s still possible for solar panels to generate plenty of power. For example, solar is very popular in Germany, where the DNI is only around 2.5.

This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary satellite data and NREL climate models.

Smithtown
US low
US high

In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter. These charts show you what to expect in Smithtown.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Smithtown.

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


The seasonal variation in solar electricity production in Smithtown is quite small. In the peak month, a home photovoltaic system would produce 199% more electricity than in the lowest production month in winter. This is less of a variation than in many other climates in the US, and it means that even in the winter, you might not need to draw much electricity from the grid, and have less excess electricity to send into the grid in summer.



Smithtown, NY solar companies

This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits of Smithtown, NY.

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Smithtown area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Smithtown.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Smithtown. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
Installer# of homesTotal kW installedYear of most recent install
ALLIED BUILDING PRODUCT CORP91842014
AMERICAN SOLAR PARTNERS4422016
BLUE SKIES SOLAR,LLC162013
BUILT WELL SOLAR172015
CANTIAGUE ELECTRIC CORP.172016
COOPER ELECTRIC2182013
COOPER FRIEDMAN ELECTRIC SUPPLY CO. INC.1122014
DIRECT ENERGY SOLAR (FORMERLY ASTRUM)8702017
EASTERN ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.1152015
EMPIRE CLEAN ENERGY SUPPLY2122013
EMPOWER CES, LLC4392017
ENERGY BY CHOICE, LTD.3202016
FJC3372015
GO SOLAR GRID TIE SYSTEMS, INC.1102011
GREEN LOGIC LLC141422016
GREENLEAF SOLAR8732016
GRID CITY ELECTRIC CORP1132016
HARVEST POWER11902016
HORIZON SOLAR LLC1102015
INNOVATED ENERGY SOLUTIONS6562015
JOYCE MILILLO3242014
KPS SOLAR INC2122015
LEVEL SOLAR312502016
LONG ISLAND POWER SOLUTIONS252212017
MAJESTIC SON & SONS, INC.3212015
MERCURY SOLAR SYSTEMS, INC.2102011
MOUND SOLAR OWNER V, LLC292013
NEWGRANGE ELECTRIC INC2222013
NRG RESIDENTIAL SOLAR SOLUTIONS17992016
PAFCO INVESTMENTS LLC292012
SAVE ON SOLAR LLC3342016
SELF INSTALL172013
SMITTY ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING152011
SOLAR DAD AND SONS INC1102013
SOLAR WINDEPENDENCE2232016
SOLARCITY CORPORATION614702017
SOLARHOUSE 1, LLC1112014
SUN ENERGY INC. (DBA SUN ENERGY GROUP)172016
SUNATION SOLAR SYSTEMS, INC.333362017
SUNGEVITY INC3162016
SUNPOWER CAPITAL LLC1142016
SUNPOWER CAPITAL, LLC C/O RESIDENTIAL LEASING2252014
SUNPOWER REBATE PROGRAM141222014
SUNRUN INC.131052016
SUNSHINE PLUS1132013
SUNWIZE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.6542013
TRINITY SOLAR (DBA FOR TRINITY HEATING AND AIR)3202017
UR SOLAR POWER LLC192011
VISIGOTH SOLAR 1, LLC142014
VIVINT SOLAR554072015
VIVINT SOLAR DEVELOPMENT LLC2262016
WESCO DISTRIBUTION, INC2202013

Solar panel lease companies in Smithtown

If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.

That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:

CompanyOperates in New York ?
SungevityYES
SunnovaYES
SunrunYES
Vivint SolarYES

Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Smithtown?

If you’re trying to find a local company that specializes in cleaning solar panels, you should know that it’s probably not worth the cost. Trying to get the maximum number of watts out of your solar array by keeping your panels squeaky clean isn’t worth it if you’re paying $100 or more per visit from a cleaning company. What should most people do? Just let the rain keep your panels clean. If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.

Contact solar companies in Smithtown

Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Smithtown solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Smithtown



Average New York electricity prices


Right now in New York, the average price of residential electricity is about 18.03 cents per kilowatt hour. In comparison, the average price of electricity in the United States is about 13.34 cents per kWh.

This means that you are paying 35% more for electricity than the national average. That’s pretty expensive.

Higher than average prices like this are a good argument for going solar.

Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.

Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in New York state. For current rates, check with your utility.

Company# CustomersAvg Price (¢/kWh)
Central Hudson Gas & Elec Corp222,18917.04
City of Salamanca - (NY)3,0674.83
City of Plattsburgh - (NY)8,7014.59
Consolidated Edison Co-NY Inc2,211,23525.34
Jamestown Board of Public Util16,2717.78
Lake Placid Village, Inc - (NY)4,0115.22
Fishers Island Utility Co Inc65340.12
Long Island Power Authority1,008,45219.77
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.1,243,10012.61
North Shore Towers Apts Inc1,84028.64
New York State Elec & Gas Corp622,55811.93
Orange & Rockland Utils Inc132,67522.24
Pennsylvania Electric Co3,06610.76
Rochester Gas & Electric Corp279,18313.51
Steuben Rural Elec Coop, Inc6,08112.35
Village of Fairport - (NY)15,7735.19
Town of Massena - (NY)8,2096.46
Village of Arcade - (NY)3,6195.20
Village of Freeport - (NY)12,92812.49
Village of Rockville Centre - (NY)9,64912.02
Village of Solvay - (NY)4,6555.14
Village of Rouses Point - (NY)1,1243.31

Historical New York electricity prices, 2008 to 2017


The average price of residential electricity in New York, over the past ten years, is 18.34 cents per Kilowatt hour. This is 52% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.

Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning home solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.


Historical New York electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)

NY prices
US prices
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
NY prices18.31¢17.50¢18.74¢18.26¢17.62¢18.79¢20.07¢18.54¢17.58¢18.03¢
US prices11.26¢11.51¢11.54¢11.72¢11.88¢12.13¢12.52¢12.65¢12.55¢12.89¢


One of the big financial advantages of going solar is that you basically lock in your price of electricity for the next 20 to 30 years (because most solar panels come with 25 year power warranties). When you look at the graphs above and see the historical trend of electricity prices in the United States, you’ll notice that prices steadily increase over time. While prices from your utility may bounce up and down, the cost of electricity eventually increases over time. Going solar will protect you from those increases.



Environmental report for New York electricity

Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.

For every mWh of electricity generated, New York power plants produce on average:

  • 200 kilograms of CO2, which is 56% less than the US average of 459 kg.
  • 118 grams of SO2, which is 71% less than the US average of 411 g.
  • 223 grams of NOx, which is 40% less than the US average of 373 g.

In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 8,644 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 1,729 kilograms of CO2, 1,020 grams of SO2, and 1,928 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 101 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)

NY state average electricity emissions
NY
US
Glossary:
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It damages the human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.


Calculate your home solar incentives for Smithtown

Use our calculator to determine the financial payback of a home solar systemand to get a solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.



Ready to go solar in Smithtown?

Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.

Home solar quotes in Smithtown
Sources:
This report was prepared with data from the good people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.