Though called The Garden State, New Jersey is more famously known for its diners – often called the diner capital of the world – and rightfully so as it has the most diners worldwide! While the list is long about all of the good things New Jersey has to offer, one you might not be aware of is its incredible renewable energy incentives – especially solar energy. In fact, Environment America Research & Policy Center has called New Jersey the fifth best state in the nation for harvesting energy from the sun!
New Jersey Sun Statistics
Maybe the reason you weren’t aware of New Jersey’s stellar solar energy status is because when you think of the sunniest spots in the United States, New Jersey might not readily come to mind. Which makes sense because it’s not the sunniest place across the nation. In fact, its sun statistics are rather average. New Jersey averages about 4.5 peak sun hours per day and experiences about 56% of the year under full or partial sun. These statistics are definitely better than less sunny places, like Seattle, Washington! And with 204 sunny days per year, New Jersey boasts about 918 total sun hours on which you can harvest to convert into energy to power your home!
What Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels in New Jersey?
As far as national standards go, if you live in New Jersey and are interested in significantly cutting your energy costs per month, you are living in a great state. In the grand scheme of things, the cost to install solar energy systems in The Garden State is pretty low.
The average home in New Jersey typically will need a 5kW solar energy system for power. What’s the average cost of a system this size? $16,250. Before you get too shocked at the price tag, know that with multiple solar incentives – including federal and solar tax credits and rebates, this price will drop drastically. Also know, that in some places across the United States, New Jersey’s average sticker price is the price some pay AFTER all federal and state incentives! So, New Jersey is already starting off in a good place!
With an average of $1,200 in energy savings per year, you’ll be saving $100/month in what you would normally pay to your local utility company! The life expectancy of a traditional solar energy system is 25+ years. After you pay off your system, you’ll profit from nearly $30,000 in your pocket (pure profit) from the installation of your solar energy system. Just think – that’s money you are putting in your pocket and investing (while also doing good for the environment) – money that would have gone to your utility company instead of in your savings account.
What Kind of Money Back Are You Eligible For?
New Jersey has some of the best solar legislation around, so you’ll be able to garner some pretty great cuts off the initial price of your system. Though, the biggest cut you’ll receive comes from the federal government.
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a huge savings generator and incentive for installing a solar energy system. Under this tax credit, you get 30% off the total price of your solar energy system (that even includes installation – everything) and there is no cap on price. That means for a $16,250 system, you’ll immediately get $4,875 off, bringing your total to $11,375! It should be noted that these types of savings won’t be available forever. The 30% tax credit expires on December 31, 2019 – and your solar energy system has to be setup and operational by that date to take advantage of the tax credit.
At the state-level, New Jersey earns an “A” for solar-friendliness. And this is mainly because of the SREC market. SREC stands for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates and each time a solar energy system generates 1,000 kWh of electricity, you earn a SREC which you can sell to a buyer (usually the utility company). In order to meet a state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) electric utilities must buy SRECs. When the utility company buys your SREC, you get the money from the trade. On a 5kW energy system, you’ll get to cash in on about 6 SRECs per year. How much does that equal? Well, the trading prices vary by year – but, on average, you’ll collect at least $1,000 per year!
What are some of the other benefits of installing a solar energy system in New Jersey? By law, New Jersey cannot tax you on the additional value of your home based on the installation of a solar energy system. And, you don’t have to pay sales tax on the price of your new solar energy system – saving you 7% right off the bat!
Solar Installers in New Jersey
You’ve read about all the benefits, the costs, and the savings, and you’re ready to sign up to go solar. How do you go about finding the best installer? Shop around! Each company will provide slightly different products and services, warranties, and financial incentives. You will need to do your part and get multiple quotes to see which company is the best for you and your needs. Below is a list of some of the top solar installation companies across the state.
Rosmar Construction – Servicing the Newark area, Rosmar Construction offers solar panel installation for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. They use the latest technology to seamlessly execute your project and get right to the point, leaving the “technical lingo” in the office. Rosmar Construction prides itself on explaining solar services in ways you can understand and patiently explains the installation, maintenance, monitoring, and financial process.
Solar Home – Priding itself on customized personal service, Solar Home Co. operates in and around the Fairfield, NJ area, and is a local area, family-run solar business. They have the homeowners’ best interest at heart and forego cookie cutter solutions for personalized solutions for each customer. They’ve been in the solar business since 2007, offer the best solar equipment on the market, and have the best purchase and leasing program in the market – meaning you can install a solar energy system with $0 money down.
PV Pros – Powered by one of the nation’s top solar engineering firms, Pure Power, PV Pros provides full-service solar installations for the Hoboken area. They specialize in solar inspections, commissioning, repairs, and maintenance plans. PV Pros employs professional engineers, licensed electricians, and NABCEP technicians to maximize your solar energy system’s output and revenue generation, while ensuring operational safety.