New Jersey solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
in New Jersey
4.67 hours of peak sunlight
New Jersey is a reasonably sunny state – a PV system can substantially cut your electricity bills
2 years payback period
A solar power system in New Jersey pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Save money with Net Metering
The electricity you can’t consume can be put to good use. The utility will pay for it if you export it to the grid
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Earn more than $1,000 selling TRECs
TRECs are like a currency your PV system prints as a subproduct. They can be sold for extra profit
New Jersey #32 in the US
- $51 155/year Average savings from going solar in New Jersey
- 7 956 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 311 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in New Jersey
- 16 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in New Jersey
- 34 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.83/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in New Jersey you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented, and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
Solar laws in New Jersey allow customers of investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to join Net Metering programs that can help offset their future bills. Annually you will receive credit on your utility bill at wholesale value from any excess generation. Then, your balance will be zeroed out and a new cycle will begin.
There are four main electric utilities regulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which offer net metering by state mandate:
- Jersey Central Power & Light
- Atlantic City Electric
- Rockland Electric
They are all pretty similar to each other, including the same application fees. The interconnection fee is not charged if your solar system size is not more than 10kW (otherwise, you’ll have to pay $50, plus $1/kW of system capacity or $100, plus $2/kW if connection to the grid will require special equipment). They also all have restricted areas for net metering, so some jurisdictions may not be able to connect to the grid. Find contacts of the utilities above and their latest interconnection forms here.
Save more than $1,000 a year trading TRECs
Installing a solar energy system also gives you the possibility to gain Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) for each MWh of generated solar power. Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. There is one platform in New Jersey that allows you to store and sell them: GATS. You have to create an account on its website to be able to transfer TRECs to the TREC Administrator. Homeowners installing residential rooftop or ground-mounted solar panel systems can earn $ 91.20 per TREC. That means if you install a 10kW system that generates 12 MWh each year, you can make about $1,000 yearly by selling your TRECs. Take a look at these detailed FAQs for further information.
Raise your property value but not your taxes
New Jersey residents invested in a solar energy system will not have to pay any additional property taxes on the added value they bring to their homes. New Jersey Revised Statutes ensure any new PV system installed will not be part of your property tax. However, any such home improvement will definitely make it about 4% more valuable on the property market, says the 2019 Zillow report. In order to claim the exemption, property owners must apply for a certificate from their local assessor which is able to reduce the assessed value of their property to what it would be without the renewable energy system.
Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements
A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure that your PV system will always have adequate sun exposure, protecting you from potential obstacles. It is voluntary, but can not be canceled unless a specific clause is included in the document. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. Any such agreement must be created in written form and must meet the general requirements for legal contracts.
Install your solar panels in New Jersey with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in New Jersey. There is statewide legislation that makes it unlawful to restrict the installation of solar PV systems, but it’s best to contact your homeowner’s association (HOAs) to be certain of any regulations that may be in your area. You may have to submit your project for approval before changing the exterior of your house.
Solar panels help New Jerseyans survive hurricanes
Located right on the east coast, New Jersey residents should always be prepared for a hurricane. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy left over 2 million households without power across New Jersey. Utilities were only restored 10 days after the outages leaving 95% of customers without power. Solar panels are manufactured to withstand most hurricanes, so those who had PV systems installed were on the safer side. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency our climate is changing and natural disasters are becoming more frequent. It means that by powering your home with solar energy, you will no longer have to worry about blackouts.