Although New Jersey is one of the nation’s smallest states, its commitment to solar energy is enormous; the Garden State is on track to reach an ambitious statewide goal of 100% clean energy by the year 2050.
New Jersey is ranked seventh in the nation for cumulative solar energy capacity, running not far behind sunshine states like Florida, Arizona, and California. Thanks to decreasing prices paired with generous tax credits and incentives, the idea of solar energy is becoming a reality for more N.J. homeowners. This is the perfect time to go solar!
Solar Energy 101: How it Works
Solar panels are the most practical, reliable, and effective way to convert sunlight into electricity. Panels consist of connected rows of photovoltaic cells, each made of two thin layers of a semiconductive material. Silicon is the most commonly used material because it is efficient, inexpensive, and available in abundance.
When the sun shines on the semiconductive material, it releases electrons that create a flow of electricity. The electricity is routed through wires to an inverter, where it is converted from direct current (DC) electricity to alternating current (AC). The electricity powers your home, and any surplus is sent (or is sold) to the electric grid.
Solar panels can be connected to create a solar array. The more extensive the rooftop installation, the more electricity is produced.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in New Jersey
A solar panel installation in New Jersey costs homeowners an average of around $17,000 for a 6 kW system, dropping to an estimated $12,500 after figuring in tax credits and incentives. Typically, homeowners can expect that a solar array will pay for itself in five to seven years.
The exact cost of solar power in New Jersey is difficult to nail down as several factors affect the cost, including:
- Peak sunlight hours in your area
- Choice of panel
- Financing costs, if applicable
- Your average energy usage
- Roof type and age
- Available roof space
- Labor costs in your area
Why Solar Panels Make Sense in New Jersey
Installing solar panels is a smart investment for NJ homeowners. Here’s why:
Sunny Days: New Jersey receives an average of 205 sunny or partly sunny days per year, which pencils out to about 4.75 hours of sun per day, approximately equal to the national average. There is ample sunlight to justify installing solar panels in NJ.
October sees the most sunny days at about 20 days per month, with February coming in last with 15 sunny days. Energy produced during sunny seasons can be used to offset power needed on cloudy winter days.
George Washington University’s Solar Institute notes that northern states have an advantage over hot climates because photovoltaic systems work more efficiently when summer temperatures are lower.
Average electricity costs: Electricity costs in New Jersey run about $0.20 per kilowatt hour, substantially higher than the national average of $0.14 per kWh, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The high cost of electricity is one reason more New Jersey homeowners are switching to solar energy.
Boost your home’s value: Energy.gov reports that homebuyers across the U.S. are willing to pay about $15,000 more for a home with a mid-sized solar installation, and homes tend to sell faster. Actual prices depend on factors such as the home’s location and the age of the solar array.
Affordability: The price of solar energy has dropped significantly in the last couple of decades thanks to new technology, increased competition, and generous incentives. The trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, making solar energy practical and affordable for New Jersey homeowners.
NJ Solar Tax Credits
Photovoltaic Energy Tax Exemption
New Jersey homeowners who go solar benefit from a 100% tax exemption on all equipment that generates solar power, including passive solar energy, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaics, and devices for storage of solar-generated energy. The exemption saves homeowners about 7 percent right off the top. To claim the credit, you’ll need to complete an exempt use certificate, Form ST-4. Solar Energy World helps ensure all New Jersey homeowners get the most savings possible, so we take care of all the paperwork for you!
NJ Solar Property Tax Exemption
Installing solar energy on your home raises your property’s value, which would typically generate higher property taxes. The good news is that homeowners in New Jersey are exempt from any tax increase resulting from a solar panel installation.
In other words, you’ll pay the same amount of property taxes you would pay if you had not installed solar panels. To qualify, begin by completing this application, developed by the NJ Division of Taxation. Your local assessor can answer questions about the exemption – plus Solar Energy World is trusted experts to help you make sure you maximize your savings throughout the solar installation process.
Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Also known as the Federal Solar Tax Credit, this valuable federal incentive provides a dollar for dollar rebate for homeowners who install solar power. The current solar tax credit, 26%, has been extended through 2023, when the credit will drop to 22%. To qualify, you must own your home. The solar panels must be yours as well, via cash or financing, and the panels must be in service.
Other New Jersey Programs and Incentives
New Jersey is one of several states that allow utilities to offer net metering,which is an effective way homeowners can use solar energy to reduce their electric bills. Essentially, if you generate more power than you use, the excess flows into the energy grid for use by other consumers. The surplus shows up as a credit on your monthly electric bill.
Transition Incentive Program
The Transition Incentive Program replaces New Jersey’s SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate). The two programs are similar, except the newer, temporary program offers payments based on a fixed rate rather than current market value.
Homeowners generate one Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) worth $91.20 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy produced. The program, devised to encourage the development of solar energy in New Jersey, is available in counties that allow net metering.
Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM)
Also known as green mortgages, Energy-Efficient Mortgages, including conventional and FHA programs, help finance the cost of solar heating and cooling systems on new or existing homes. Approval is based on your credit history, and you’ll also need an energy audit and rating by a home energy assessor. If you’re a veteran, you may be eligible for a VA Energy Efficient Mortgage.
New Construction Rebates Available
The NJ Clean Energy Residential New Construction Program offers a range of incentives, including the New Jersey Zero Energy Ready Home and the New Jersey Energy Star Home. In the form of cash rebates, the incentives offset the higher cost of building high quality, durable, energy-efficient homes.
Make the Switch to a More Sustainable Lifestyle
At Solar Energy World, we’ve been helping people switch to clean, green solar energy since 2009. We’ll take time to help you determine which custom-tailored solar panels are right for you, and we’ll guide you through the entire process. Going solar has never been easier or more affordable.
Purchase With Cash/Credit/Traditional Financing
Those who own their solar systems see an average of 50-100% savings on their monthly utility bill.
We also offer $0 down financing options to homeowners who wish to own their system, based on creditworthiness.
Purchasing a solar panel system in Maryland can also generate income; homeowners can sell their SRECs for hundreds of dollars a year.
Lease or choose our RateGuardian™ PPA to Pay $0
One of the most popular ways to acquire residential solar is to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement or Solar Lease. Pending a credit approval, our PPAs and Leases enable homeowners to put down $0 in up front costs for solar panels and installation. With our Solar PPA, residents pay nothing for the solar panels and installation, and are able to lock in a lower rate than their utility’s rate. The reduced rate lower their utility bill by up to 30%.
In layman’s terms, Solar Energy World owns the solar panels and installs them at no cost to you. We then sell you the electricity the panels produce, at a locked in rate lower than the variable rate your utility company charges.
Same Top Service and Quality No Matter Which Option you Choose
Whether you purchase or lease or choose our RateGuardian™ PPA, solar panels increase your home’s value. Plus, with Maryland solar panels from Solar Energy World, we guarantee a 20 -25 year warranty depending upon panel brand, plus 24/7 live monitoring and diagnostics support. We also offer solar battery backup for those who want power during outages.
If you’re thinking about investing in solar panels for your Maryland home, give us a shout today. Feel free to call us at 866.856.4580 and speak with one of our local solar experts, or get started right away with our free, customized solar estimate: