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Are solar panels worth it in New Jersey?

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 09/18/2010 in
Updated 12/04/2017

Ok, I wasn’t expecting to see such a blatant affirmation for solar panels and solar energy in New Jersey after my visit to “the Google”. Why are they worth it?

Why, hello curious soul who visits our humble website, the best resource for all your solar energy questions you may have, EVER! Here are six reasons why solar makes sense in New Jersey:

Reason #1: SRECs

Aside from generating electricity and lowering your electric bill which you already pay, the solar panels on your roof will pump out State Renewable Energy Certificates (or SRECs). They are worth big bucks, which your utility company will purchase from you, just to prove they are sourcing their electricity from a clean source, like your rooftop.

For a medium sized solar system, your New Jersey utility company will now pay you about $3,000 a year in SREC payments for the next 15 years. That amounts to roughly $45,000! How cool is that? To learn more about how you could be earning thousands of dollars in just a few months, get hooked up here.

Reason #2: New Jersey state solar rebate

In addition to holding the utility companies accountable for sourcing a small slice of their energy from the sun, the NJ state legislature also enacted a state rebate for solar homeowners. This rebate has stepped down in value as more and more residents have gone solar, but it currently stands at a still hefty amount of $.75/watt. Next year, it may be even less value, so you’ll have to check back with them (or us) to see what the new amount will be. What does $.75/watt mean for an average sized solar system? That amounts to about $4,000. Nothing to sneeze at, more cash right back in your pocket.

Reason #3: 30% federal tax credit

The feds will give you a big bonus tax credit for putting solar panels up on your roof in New Jersey, too. On an average sized system after the state rebate, your tax credit will be about $6,000. You can see how all the bonuses are really adding up!

Reason #4: The electricity savings and the environment!

Your new electric bill will probably be something like $15 instead of $120. That makes those monthly living expenses a little easier to deal with, no? Aside from that, just having solar on your roof is the equivalent of planting 70 trees, or eliminating the CO2 from driving across the country 75 times over the life of the system.

Reason #5: Awesome solar loan program

There are concerns out there from reasonable people who think that an investment in solar is only for the rich. Yes, even after the bonuses in year 1, an average size solar energy system still will cost about $15,000 (For an example on payback details for a 5kW system, check out our New Jersey solar info page).

But no, the solar door is not slammed in your face if you don’t have stacks of cash lying around your home. Reason being, if you are a PSE&G customer, they will finance your solar system for you which will be repaid by those SREC payments we just mentioned in Reason #1. Therefore, not much out of pocket at all, and you still can make money from the SREC credits down the road. Even if your loan is paid off by the SRECs prior to the 15 year payment window expiration, you’ll still get money from selling your SRECs over to PSE&G for financing purposes. You can request more info about the solar loan program here, or simply sign up with us and an expert will get in touch with you in a jiffy to share all the details with you.

Last modified: December 4, 2017

14 thoughts on “Are solar panels worth it in New Jersey?

  1. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I’m starting a self-installed solar project. I’m going to try to qualify for SREC program, but they clearly say that all electrical work must be perfomed by a licenced electrical contractor. I have also read elsewhere that a homeowner doing a self-install on their own home is exempt from that rule. Not very clear.

    1. Avatar for Patrick Kilhoffer Patrick Kilhoffer says:

      If selling SRECS is an important part of your plan, then you should get clarification from the SREC broker or other sales agent in writing, in advance of installation. But here’s the deal, the tax credits and other goodies will require that you have a licensed installer do the work. You might come out ahead by doing it yourself, but you also might accidentally kill yourself, or burn down your house, or create a leaky roof that causes a mold issue, etc etc etc. And because you won’t get the tax credit and other possible incentives, you probably won’t come out ahead by very much, if at all.

  2. Avatar for Bob Bob says:

    Hey Erik, Did you need to add a second meter for your electric provider or did they use the existing one or replace the existing one with an update meter to do net metering???

  3. Avatar for Erik Erik says:

    For those of you thinking about doing a self install…Don’t worry about the planning, the mounting, the wiring, the layout…concern yourself with the MOUNTAIN of paperwork and the absolute LACK of direction you get from the State and the utility company. RANT OVER.
    Modules and micro-inverters going up this weekend.

  4. Avatar for Erik Erik says:

    I’m happy to report that work is under way on my system!
    I received approval for the state rebate, and my construction permit was approved.
    I re-roofed.
    Materials were ordered and delivered.
    So far I have PV Quickmounts and L-feet installed for 2 of the 3 arrays. Not bad for 2 days work!

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Fantastic Erik!

      Thanks for the update.

      – Dan

  5. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Hi Erik,

    Wrangling with engineering teams over at state permitting is one reason why going with a solid installation outfit can make a lot of sense, especially with the rapid payback in New Jersey. Good luck with your self install, perhaps someone else out there can give you some tips!

  6. Avatar for Erik Erik says:

    I just wish there were more helpful resources for a self-install. I submitted my permit application and it was immediately kicked back because the electrical line drawing was not adequate. The inspector said I needed 1 disconnect and a combiner box. I’m using micro-inverters and I have 3 arrays. I thought I needed a disconnect for each array!
    UGH. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  7. Avatar for Erik Erik says:

    Waiting for approval of my application…submitted on September 1!
    I’m doing a self install with help from a friend who is an installer. Here’s his web site:

    Great website, keep up the great work!

    BTW, my calculations have a return on investment time of just over 3 years!

  8. Avatar for T.R. T.R. says:

    Awesome! Solar power DOES rock in NJ!

  9. Avatar for T.R. T.R. says:

    If they connect me with other installers will I still qualify for the group discount?

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hey T.R.,

      Of course, if you choose to go with 1BOG after checking out other installers, you’ll still get the group discount.

  10. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Hey T.R.,

    While 1BOG indeed works with 1 installer, they conduct a vetting process for each campaign they run. They’ll also be happy to connect you to other installers to get your own quotes if you want to go that route.

  11. Avatar for T.R. T.R. says:

    Agreed that 1BOG is great, however they cannot get you multiple quotes because they are only working with 1 installer in NJ.

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