New Jersey is the most densely-populated state in the U.S. and home to a generous solar incentive package. Considering the generally flat topography of the terrain, goinging solar in the Garden State a practical and attractive option for renewable energy production. Currently, NJ stands at No.5 in the nation’s Top Ten Solar States with more than 2,164.2 MW installed as of 2017 according to Solar Energy Industries Association
One of the reasons why solar is very popular in New Jersey is because of the high cost of residential electricity. August 2017 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration ( EIA ) indicates that residential electricity rates in the state averaged over $0.158/kWh—one of the highest rates in the country.
By utilizing solar incentives for New Jersey , homeowners can avoid these high electricity rates and keep more money in their pockets. This is because a rooftop solar energy system can help reduce the use of utility electricity and lower residential electric bills by 30% or even more.
The cost range of a solar energy system in the state of New Jersey today is between $10,045 to $13,475 . There are numerous pathways to take and financing programs available to help lower the cost for New Jersey homeowners. Some can even reduce the the costs to $0 down.
One of the great facts about NJ solar incentives is that there are large numbers of solar rebate programs and financial options to make it easier for homeowners to afford the installation of a solar energy system on their home.
The solar energy market in New Jersey is driven forward by multiple financial incentive programs available to homeowners to help reduce the cost to install solar energy systems which we will cover in this article.
New Jersey’s net metering program requires native utility companies to compensate homeowners for the energy they feed into the grid at retail price. This is beneficial for homeowners because the retail rates for net metering are competitive when compared to the rates large utility power plants get paid for the electricity they provide to the New Jersey electric grid.
Net metering is an lucrative NJ solar incentive because it allows homeowners maximize the return on their solar energy investments. It lets homeowners get the full benefit from the production capacity for each kWh of electricity their system produces up to 100% of their electricity usage over the course of a year, thus not wasting this excess energy produced.
With net metering, homeowners get a electric meter that spins forward when electricity flows from the utility into the home, and backward when electricity flows from the home to the utility.
SREC credits are generated when solar panels produce electricity. An SREC credit is created for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a solar energy system, and is worth a monetary amount attributed by the NJ SREC marketplace.
It’s important to note here that SRECs are sold separately from the electricity produced by the solar energy system.
Learn more about SRECs and how to sell them here.
New Jersey participates in the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar which can help homeowners reduce the upfront cost on a solar energy system by up to 30%.
This is a personal federal tax credit only to be used for residential installations on the dwelling of the taxpayer. If the federal tax credit exceeds the tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the next taxable year. This incentive only applies to homeowners with cash or loan purchase of a solar energy system. This very generous incentive is extended till 2019 where it will steadily decrease through 2021.
Learn more about the ITC and how to apply here .
New Jersey has legislation that exempts solar energy systems that are installed to meet or offset a specific site’s electricity needs from local property taxes. This means that homeowners who have invested in an installation of a solar energy system in the state of New Jersey will not be required to pay any additional property taxes on the added value from the solar panels.
To claim this exemption, homeowners have to apply for a certificate from their local assessor which will reduce the assessed value of their property to what it would be without the solar energy system.
Learn more and apply click here .
New Jersey offers a full exemption from the state’s sales tax (currently 7%) for all solar energy equipment. This exemption is available to all taxpayers. All major types solar energy equipment, including equipment for passive solar design, are considered eligible for the exemption.
Learn more and apply click here .
It’s important to note that homeowners who choose to lease or enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to pay for their systems might not be eligible for some of these incentives. In such a case, the installing company or the original owner of the system under the PPA agreement or lease get full benefits.
The solar energy industry in New Jersey employs over 6,056 people ( SEIA ), the more than 532 companies in the state helped install over 350.3 MW of new solar energy systems in 2016, only. There are currently over 308,000 homes in the state that are powered by solar energy with a total solar investment of over $7,413.65 million of which $428.78 million occurred in 2016.
Installing a rooftop solar energy system might increase residential property value ( Berkeley Lab ). An average solar energy system size in the United States is 5 to 6-kilowatt (kW) which can contribute to an increased value of about $20,000. Also, when the extra savings from avoided utility bills are included in these cost projections, the homeowner tends to gain even more with a rooftop system. Not forgetting the added benefit that the system acts as a roof barrier—protecting the roof from solar radiation and other aggressive weather elements.
It’s almost difficult not to admire New Jersey as an unexpected success story, in solar growth due to a mixture of rebates, tax credits, price incentives and boastful renewable targets that the state has implemented to promote solar energy adoption.
These solar incentives for New Jersey make going solar more affordable than ever before. Make your move toward a lower energy bill today and rest assured knowing that Trinity will be there every step of the way – see if you qualify here. Champion your community—follow this link and for every family you help go solar through our referral program, you get cash.