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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels in New Jersey

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your New Jersey home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2020 **

The future looks bright for solar in New Jersey, but things are a bit in flux right now.

The Garden State is transitioning away from its long-term Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) incentive program, but while it chooses a successor, it's allowing new solar projects to be eligible for a new kind of Transition Renewable Energy Certificate (TREC). The program design will allow the average homeowner to earn around $800 per year in addition to their savings on electricity.

That's a pretty decent benefit just for owning a solar system, and it's enough to make us recommend you get quotes from local installers now, before the TREC program is superseded by whatever successor the Board of Public Utiliities comes up with.

In other news, The New Jersey board of public utilities also just approved landmark funding for dozens of community solar projects for low income households to make solar much more accessible. That commitment to helping folks go solar is what keeps New Jersey near the top of our annual state solar power rankings.

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in New Jersey, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in New Jersey. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in New Jersey.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Your Solar Strategy in New Jersey

Figuring out the best way to go solar in New Jersey can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in New Jersey

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in an average-sized New Jersey solar system, whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a solar loan or PPA. Because of the unique nature of New Jersey solar incentives, the average solar owner here can save more than $36,000 over the next 25 years!

To get these numbers, we looked at the average energy usage for a New Jersey home, and did some calculations to find out how many solar panels you'd need to wipe out your energy bill. The average home in New Jersey needs a 7.2-kW solar panel system to meet its energy needs

The cost of solar panels in New Jersey

For the average-sized 7.2-kW solar panel system in New Jersey, the cost comes out to about $3.20 per watt, or $23,040 before incentives. That cost comes down quickly when you consider the tax credits and other incentives available.

If you want to own your solar panels, you can choose to pay that cost with cash, or take a loan. You can also choose something called a Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA for short, which means the solar company installs the panels on your roof and charges you for the electricity they use.

The financial return of New Jersey Solar Panels

No matter how you choose to pay for solar panels in New Jersey, it's important to note that solar power will make you a lot of money. Yes, we said "make!" You see, New Jersey has a special financial incentive for encouraging homeowners to go solar, and it means thousands of extra dollars in your pocket for the next 20 years.

The incentive is called the Transition Renewable Energy Credit, or TREC. One TREC represents one megawatt of electricity generated from solar, and in New Jersey, your 7.2-kW system will earn you a little over 9 per year. On average, a homeowner makes about $91.20 from the sale of an SREC (though prices vary throughout the year), so those 9 TRECs you get equal about $840 in your pocket, every year until 2034.

Read on below to learn more about the financial returns of solar in New Jersey!

How much can solar panels on roof save you?

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

Paying for solar with cash can be a smart move if you like things uncomplicated. You'll put down about $23,000 for your home solar system, but you'll own your solar panels from day 1, and because of incentives like TRECs and tax credits, that cost is paid off in just 5 years.

Over 25 years, your system will have produced close to $39,000 in income, after the intial cost of the solar panels is paid back. one reason this works is that solar offsets your electricity costs—enough to save you $1,395 in year 1. And thos savings rise every year as your electric company raises rates.

Add in the income from a contract to sell your TRECs, and the total year 1 savings tops $2,200.

Here’s a rundown of the numbers on an average installation of solar panels in New Jersey:

  • Installing a typical 7.2-kW solar system should start at about $23,040.
  • The Federal government offers a great income tax credit of 26% of system costs. That's $5,990 you won't be paying to Uncle Sam this year, and it brings your first-year investment down to $17,050.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $1,395. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $15,655.
  • But wait, New Jersey has that excellent TREC contract we talked about above. The sale of your TRECs will net you an estimated $837 this year, bringing our final first-year cost to just $14,818. That's 36% off the starting cost, just in year 1! And here's more good news: those TREC sales will continue at the same level for 15 years, which means lots of income through 2034!
  • Those electricity savings and SREC sales will quickly make your money back, and your system will pay for itself in just 8 years. You'll see a total estimated net profit of $36,876 by the end of your panels' 25-year warranty. The internal rate of return for this investment is an amazing 14.7%. That's basically close to twice the stock market's traditional return, and it's more reliable, too!
  • And here's a nice bonus to consider: your home's value just increased by just about $15,000, too (the net present value of 20 years of electric bill savings).
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 92 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Jersey. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

You don't need $23,000 sitting around to pay for solar. As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in New Jersey, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you a tax break. You'll come out thousands ahead this year, and you'll still see a spectacular profit over the 25-year life of your system. The reason this works so well is that you're paying over time, but reaping all the benefits now. You'll get tax breaks, TRECs, and energy savings to offset the loan payments, which sounds a lot like it's too good to be true... so let's take a look at the numbers.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can qulaify for a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $23,000, with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period. Don't be put off if you're offered a higher rate. It just means a tiny bit less of the thousands of dollars you'll make with solar.
  • You love making money without much risk.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a New Jersey homeowner who purchases solar panels with a loan:

  • Installing a typical 7.2-kW solar system should start at about $23,040. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $1,395, but your annual loan payments will be $2,115, meaning you would spend a net of $720 on solar this year, but...
  • You'll also get to sell your TRECs for about $837, putting you $117 ahead for the year! But then...
  • You'll also see a huge Federal tax breaks! Uncle Sam will give you 26% of the cost of your system back as an income tax credit, which in this case means $5,990 you won't be paying the government this year.
  • All those incentives mean you'll come out $6,107 ahead after year 1, and it's clear skies from them on out. You'll continue to net over $100 per year after your loan payments, making home solar in the Garden State a $0 investment that pays from day 1.
  • By the time you've paid off your loan in 2034, you'll see yearly savings of over $1,700—even without TREC income. After 25 years, we estimate your total profit at over $28,190!
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too—97 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Jersey. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

A PPA is kind of a last-resort way to go solar. You see, the solar company owns the panels and gets all the TRECs and tax credits, leaving you benefitting the least in this whol arrangement.

Still, if you don't have the income to take the tax credit, a PPA might be right for you. In New Jersey, getting solar panels with a PPA costs nothign up front, and saves you money from day 1.

For now, the savings from a solar PPA in New Jersey are about $.02 per kWh of energy, or around $129 in the first year. That's not a ton of cash, but you'll also be contributing to environmental sustainability! And as the cost of electricity from the power company increases, you'll save more every year. Over the course of a 25-year PPA contract, we estimate a total savings of more than $6,513 in New Jersey, just for saying "yes" to solar power!

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Jersey. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Calculate solar panel cost and savings for your specific home

New Jersey Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in New Jersey:

New Jersey's Renewable Portfolio Standard

50% by 2030

Grade: A

New Jersey's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

New Jersey used to have one of the strongest RPS goals in the nation, mandating that 22.5% of all energy must come from renewable sources by 2021. That number is looking very attainable, and, truth be told, it’s in the middle of the pack now compared to the best solar states. The one thing the RPS has going for it is a huge solar-specific target of 4.1% of all electricity, meaning that solar is vital to the state meeting its goals (more about the carve-out just below).

New Jersey’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

New Jersey's Solar carve-out and SRECs

5.1% by 2021

Grade: A

New Jersey's Solar Carve-out grade

The New Jersey RPS now includes a solar specific carve-out of 5.1% by 2021. That means for every 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity generated in the state, just over 5 have to come from the sun by 2021. That may not sound like much, but trust us, that's huge!

New Jersey mandates solar production by the utility companies, and if they don't either produce or procure that much electricity from solar, they have pay fines called "Alternative Compliance Payments" (ACPs). But planning, siting, and building huge solar facilities is hard to do, so instead of doing it themselves, the utility companies pay money to people who can prove they've generated solar electricity in their area.

This is where you come in, New Jersey homeowner. The proof of that generation is called a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC), and you get one for every megawatt-hour (MWh) your system generates. As of right now, the average New Jersey homeowner will earn more than 8 of these SRECs, which they can sell at the market price.

Read more about SREC sales in our section on New Jersey SRECs, below.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

New Jersey Electricity Prices

$0.15/kWh

Grade: B

New Jersey's Electricity cost grade

As homeowners in New Jersey, we pay about 16 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity we use. That's solidly above the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh. Paying upwards of 20% more for electricity than many other people in the country is painful.

But while you see larger bills now, you could be seeing bigger savings in the future with solar power! Higher electricity prices means greater opportunity to save money by producing your own clean, earth-friendly power with solar panels. And electricity prices will likely continue to rise in the future with new regulations on carbon pollution and decreased supplies of fossil fuels. People who switch to solar now will be patting themselves on the back in short order.

Find out why electricity prices matter

New Jersey Net Metering

Statewide

Grade: A

New Jersey's Net Metering grade

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

New Jersey’s net metering rules ensure the utility company tracks your excess power generation and credit it to your next bill at the full retail rate. If you run a surplus for an entire year, the utility will cut you a check for the surplus at the company's avoided-cost (wholesale) rate. All investor owned utilities and certain competitive municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to provide net metering.

Learn more about net metering

New Jersey Interconnection Rules

Statewide

Grade: B

New Jersey's Interconnection Standards grade

Interconnection standards are strong here as well. Regulations have created a three-tiered system for interconnection procedures, depending on the size of the energy system. Your residential system of less than 10 kW qualifies for simplified procedures with no application fees. The law actually prevents the utilities from charging small systems like yours any additional fees whatsoever to get hooked up to the grid. Nor may the utility require you to install a redundant external disconnect switch, or to purchase any additional liability insurance. There is a bit of room for improvement on standard procedures for larger generators (hence the "B" grade), but everything should be smooth sailing for your residential solar power systems.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

New Jersey Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how New Jersey measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

New Jersey Solar Power Rebates

Varies, New Construction Only

Grade: C

New Jersey's Solar Rebates grade

New Jersey's renewable energy program does offer rebates for some clean energy types. Unfortunately legislators made the decision to back solar power exclusively with the SREC market. That means the cost of solar panels in NJ may be a bit higher at the outset, but those tremendous long-term payments still more than make up for it.

BUT... there is a way to get some rebates if you're building a new home and using renewable energy to power it. New Jersey has a program called "The NJ Clean Energy Residential New Construction Program," which offers rebates to incentivize the construction of new homes that meet the New Jersey ENERGY STAR standards.

Do some reading at the link above, and you'll see that it's possible to get thousands back if you build a home that meets or exceeds those standards. Connect with our solar experts in New Jersey to find out more about this exciting program!

Learn more about solar rebates

New Jersey Solar Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

New Jersey's Solar Tax Credits grade

New Jersey also lacks any personal tax credits for solar panels. NJ's pending reduction in SREC prices means a statewide solar power rebate or tax credit (with rollover, if necessary) would be an excellent way to keep solar growth humming here. With SREC prices still providing substantial payments, even a small rebate or tax credit would be a significant boon to homeowners like you, without costing the state all that much.

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Property Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

New Jersey's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

When the property tax assessor comes a knockin’ at your front door, by law, they are not allowed to charge you any more property taxes because you’ve got a new valuable solar system on your roof. At the same time, your home WILL be worth significantly more when you sell, because, hey, what home buyer doesn't like free electricity?

Sales Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

New Jersey's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Contrary to other home improvements like a new kitchen or bathroom, with solar panels in NJ, you will not have to pay any sales taxes on your system. That's 7% you're saving right upfront, even without any statewide solar power rebates.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Low-income Solar Programs

Community solar pilot program

Grade: B

New Jersey's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

In 2019, New Jersey began a <a href=”https://www.njspotlight.com/2019/09/developers-line-up-to-take-part-in-solar-program-for-low-and-moderate-income-communities/” 3 year community solar pilot program that is aimed partly at low- and moderate-income folks

The program allocates points to project proposals including both low-medium income communities and environmental justice communities. At least 51% of approved projects for advantageous financing need to include these groups. The New Jersey community solar program has seen a huge demand, and is on pace to install over 75 MW of solar annually until 2022.

Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The consensus on New Jersey Solar Incentives and Payback

New Jersey has done just about everything right when it comes to helping homeowners go solar. The payback time here is a phenomenal 6 years, meaning you’ll have nearly 2 decades of free power under the original 25-year solar panel warranty.

If you can get solar for your New Jersey home in 2019, you should! The end of the SREC program very near and the decrease in the amount of the federal solar tax credit will have a negative effect on solar payback time after 2019.

110 thoughts on “2020 New Jersey Solar Incentives | TRECs, Tax Credits and More

  1. Avatar for Donald Pavon Donald Pavon says:

    I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

  2. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me if there is a NJ code requirement to have a DOUBLE POLE circuit with a solar panel installation (residential) versus SINGLE POLE circuit?

  3. Avatar for Cynthia Cynthia says:

    I live in NJ and I have been able to save money on solar between the savings on my electric bill and the SREC’s (http://www.goingsolarNJ.com).

  4. Avatar for Mark Mark says:

    My third party supplier has charged me every month for electric where the utility hasn’t charged me except $2.43 for rental of I guess poles.The charges ranged from 25.00 to 150.00 a month.

    1. Avatar for Mike Mike says:

      The $2.43 is known as your “Customer Service Charge” – in English, it is where your meter connects to the grid. It is necessary so that you can push electricity back out into the grid and get paid for it. It’s $2.43 for JCPL and $4.95 for PSEG. If you produce 100% of you own electricity, this would be the only remaining charge you pay. It’s their system, their wires, their poles – it’s the charge to connect to it.

  5. Avatar for Mark Mark says:

    I Have PSE&G and a third party supplier .My panels this year gave me a surplus of electric. Who buys back my extra electric that I produced if I am in the positive. Is it PSE&G who a third party supplier?

    1. Avatar for Mike Mike says:

      Your electricity is divided into supply (what you use) and delivery charges. NJ law allows for competition amongst suppliers – the delivery system is the “grid” and is owned by your utility. Your third party gets you lower “supply”, but must still use PSEG to transmit the electricity, so you still pay them “delivery”. When you go solar, the third party goes away, there is no need for them. You generate your own electricity, up to 100% of your usage. What your system can’t generate, you purchase from PSEG. In order to get paid for the excess electricity you send into the grid, that must go to PSEG, not a 3rd party, because they do not own the power grid. Net metering law forces PSEG to pay you the same retail rate for electricity that you deliver to the grid, as they charge you when you are consuming from them.

  6. Avatar for Danny Danny says:

    The pop up on your mobile site makes it impossible to use FYI

  7. Avatar for Robert Spiegel Robert Spiegel says:

    I am looking for an off the grid system and have a farm with plenty of roof space in NJ. Can you help me?

  8. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    after getting a solar systm 11.13 kwh. i’m doing the geothermal which is up to a 75% savings more on my bill and much more money coming in.not everyone can do this but my daughter will be happy knowing she has n’t any bills to worry about in the future

  9. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Does NJ allow me to install my own Solar System. I’m looking at a PlugNPlay system or Kit from a number of venders.

  10. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    What is the maximum amount of average usage that a residence can obtain from solar expressed as a % of normal electricity usage?

  11. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Tax Assessment fee coupon Home prices are falling everywhere, but homeowners hoping for lower property taxes may find themselves disappointed when the bill arrives. If you think your home’s assessed value is too high, you can appeal the tax assessor’s verdict — We will handle the grievance process for you. Most homeowners simply don’t have the time to appeal, or they become intimidated by all the paperwork involved. We will help in the appeal process typically charge a small fixed amount. If the appeal is successful, the homeowner can save hundreds of dollars in taxes. To get discount on appeal process fee, checkout here: http://www.coupontax.com

  12. Avatar for Solar Panels Video Solar Panels Video says:

    New Jersey offers some good incentives it seems, we have similar sort of deals in the UK for solar panels and green energy.

  13. Avatar for Allen G Allen G says:

    @ Best way to handle that is climbing up on your roof once a year with a leaf blower and blowing around and under the panels. http://greenpowerdevelopers.com/

  14. Avatar for dmbstitch dmbstitch says:

    I noticed a buildup of leaves and other debris under the solar panels on my roof. Any suggestions on how to clean it out so as not to have mold buildup on the roof?

  15. Avatar for Modi Modi says:

    Does solar panel installation require roof re-done if roof is two layered, 45 years old and second layer done 20 years back? If so is there any rebate on roof as it is pre-requisite for solar panel installation?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Probably, no reroofing is not going to be helped by any solar rebates, but you’re going to reroof when you need to re-roof regardless. Solar is somewhat independent. You’d like to time it, but if not, it’s not much more than a grand to pop off, reroof, and put back on. So, get a quote today :-) https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

  16. Avatar for James James says:

    if you install solar panel in my roof next month can i still get solar power rebate , tax credits, & insentives ?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Hey James, in NJ? Yes. Please fill this out and someone will help you. https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

  17. Avatar for Dan Tonkery Dan Tonkery says:

    I am researching solar power and my house has a full house generator. Can the two systems work together?

  18. Avatar for Brian Brian says:

    I am in the middle of researching solar power in NJ. One question: I was told by someone that if there is a blackout, that even homes with solar will not have power. That somehow, because the power company doesn’t want the lines to be backfed by the electricity that I am generating that my house will still be without power even if I have solar. Is that true? Is there a way to set it up, via battery for instance, that my house continues with power in case of a blackout?

  19. Avatar for Solar Solar says:

    Hey Carol! You can check out http://www.greenappleenergyusa.com for some info on what you’re looking for. we should definitely have it.

    -Sharone Tal

  20. Avatar for Carol Carol says:

    Hello, I am doing a report on an analysis of the waste that is generated through used-up solar panels, and storage batteries that have reached their life-time capacity. However, I am really having a hard time finding this information. Can anyone suggest an article, website, or can explain? Thank You, Carol

  21. Avatar for Paul Vegvari Paul Vegvari says:

    Hello,when will you update this site things have changed a lot since 2010 and are you aware SRECs are trading for under 200 bucks per right now. There is no longer any state rebate for solar either. When will Christie sign the bill into law that will move us into the energy year 2014 so solar can move forward in this state. We are flatlining right now and solar will not rock until the SREC market can get readjusted. Update your site and get out of your cave so you can properly inform people.

  22. Avatar for Mike Mike says:

    CAn you tell me if the tax credits are refundable tax credits.

  23. Avatar for Tj Tj says:

    How many panels does it require to handle a house that has 200amp service?
    Space would be the issue.
    Definitely interested, just need to understand more.

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      As always, depends depends depends depends (wish that was not the case). Good news is that with a 200A service unless you are using CRAZy juice, you likely will not need an (expensive) electrical service upgrade. Sign up here for a quote

      https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

  24. Avatar for B B says:

    I have a question about the credit pse&g is giving me for my monthly solar generation. If I generate 400 kwh of energy, and use 800 kwh, shouldn’t I only be paying for 400 kwh? My bill just came in and I generated 452 kwh based on my solar meter. According to pse&g, I used about 800, and they reduced that by 200 kwh, not 452. Anyone know why that would be? It seems consistent every month, in that I generate much more than they reduce my usage by. .??? Help!

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      The first sentence is correct in theory, sounds like you need to talk to the people who installed your system.

  25. Avatar for Al Krisgonski Al Krisgonski says:

    I recently got 10KWH system installed on my Shed roof as did not want any thing on my house. It is about 100 ft away from my house and in open with south side facing slanted roof about 10 ft high from the ground. Its cost was little high. My installers and company I bought the system bundled all the cost into one. All I did was refinanced my house @no cost financing with my lender [email protected]. Great thing is along with all the credits and SREC’s the interest on the investment is also now tax deductible. Since, it is an equipment I can claim the depreciation too. If my calculations are right I will be even in 3 years with all the savings, credit, interests and cost of electricity. With changes in technology there is a big improvement in system every 5-6 years and lower cost. I would be very comfortable in upgrading my system in 5-6 years and selling current panels back into the market for 20C on a dollar. Extra cash. My new system would be almost free and more efficient.

  26. Avatar for patricia patricia says:

    mobile home? Is it possible for me to have it. Does it make sense?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Mobile homes are …. tough to do. They really need to be owned, and on an owned plot and immobile, which, well, means they’re not mobile homes. Sorry wish I could be more help. You can still sign up and take a shot: https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

      Cheers,
      Dave

  27. Avatar for John John says:

    can this be done on a commercial site? I have an old garage–flat roof with no trees-near an open field–a small strip mall next store want to install on garage and sell to them–is this possible??

  28. Avatar for gloria gloria says:

    I live in Jersey City. I have a flat roof and no trees around my house that are tall enough to block the use of solar. I am sick of oil cost. Can someone let me know the cost of instillation and how you go about getting it.

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Gloria,

      Fill out the form here, and that will get the ball rolling. The installation cost depends on your electricity usage and/or budget. At the least, you’ll get a free quote:

      https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

  29. Avatar for Sally Sally says:

    About how much house value is increased with solar panels?

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Sally, home value is increased 20x your annual electricity savings with solar panels!

  30. Avatar for Susan Susan says:

    I have a slate roof can solar panels be put on a slate roof?

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Susan, Indeed solar can be installed on a slate roof!

    2. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Yes, but it’s hard. It can be broken and will cost extra, and you will need to find an installer who will do it, but that is more than half of them.

  31. Avatar for Doug G. Doug G. says:

    Are there seminars available to show private owners how to sell SRECs themselves? As I understand it we can I would like to learn more.

  32. Avatar for Jude Jude says:

    Does anyone know if Solatube (solar skylights) are eligible for a rebate or credit from NJ?

  33. Avatar for Mel C. Mel C. says:

    Curious about buying a house in NJ with solar system (5 yrs old) on roof, seller wants to take SRECs with him/her, but they are moving out of state. Can they retain SRECs when no longer NJ state residents? Also, what are the risks to a buyer of house with solar if seller retains SRECS. Any assistance is appreciated.

  34. Avatar for Doug G Doug G says:

    Dan I haven’t looked at my bill. Do you know if PSE&G has such an accounting with thier bills? I did call them directly and it was installed about about 3 days however I did not get any info on how to read the meter? They are supposed to send out some sort of paperwork….

  35. Avatar for Doug Doug says:

    Thanks Dan H for your help however if I already submitted paperwork with PSE&G do you know if I can cancel it at anytime? My installer is setting this all up and am wondering… also PES&G is to install a digital meter which shows the amout of energy they are getting and once an SRECs it obtained I guess they send me a check. It’s been about a month now and they haven’t installed the meter. We already lost a 1/2 an SREC… does anyone know how long it takes for them to come out? Asking my installer and not sure if I’m getting a real answer.

    Doug

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Doug,

      While the special meter will be nice, you don’t need it to claim your SREC and you haven’t lost anything. What’s important to keep is your electric bill, where hopefully there is an accounting of how much power you are sending back to the grid from your panels and how much you are consuming. If there is not, you definitely need to hound them to get the meter in because there’s no accounting of how much power you’ve created. With any sort of accounting on your bill, you will be able to prove you are generating your SRECs and can sell them. I’m surprised PSE&G has taken this long to get back to you. I’d recommend contacting them directly for the status of their meter installation.

  36. Avatar for Joe Joe says:

    Hi everyone.. I’ve been reading about solar energy in NJ and would like to have one installed on my home. Can someone help me with some questions that I have about the system cost and how to pay for the system.

    Thank you

    Joe in Mechantville

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Joe (and anyone else curious in New Jersey),

      I am available any time for a phone consultation and can help you answer any questions you might have about financing, incentives, and NJ rebates. I can also get you a quote. Send me your phone number at [email protected], the best time to reach you and I’ll give you a buzz!

      – Dan

  37. Avatar for Aileen Aileen says:

    Hi
    I’d like to know the rebate policy for NJ in 2011,Thanks ,If you can ,please give s sample case of PV to let me know the finance issues of the PV project.
    Thanks a lot.

  38. Avatar for Doug Doug says:

    We just had a 3.8 KW system installed on our roof in Collingswood, NJ. We are waiting for PSE&G to switch out our meter so we can start accumulating SERCs. We were told we would get 6-7 SERCs per year with this system but finding this website it looks like we will only get 3-4 based on the system we have? Am I reading this correctly?

    My wife was speaking to the building inspector who also has solar, he said he brokerages his SERCs himself and does not go through PES&G thus selling to the highest bidder. How do I go about doing this and if I set up to start with PSE&G can I change and do this myself? Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Doug,

      First off, congratulations on installing your new solar power system. Indeed, we estimate from our experience you will probably be generating between 3 and 4 SRECs per year in New Jersey. If you are actually getting more than that, please let us know.

      In terms of selling your SRECs, it is difficult to sell small quantities directly to PSE&G because you are relatively small potatoes – even though they are interested to get their hands on all the SRECs they can.

      Therefore, we recommend using SRECtrade. They aggregate all the small potatoes together to comprise bigger SREC lots, which then get more easily gobbled up by the utilities. There are forms on the site to register, and you can always contact them for personalized help.

      Warm regards,

      – Dan @ Solar Power Rocks!

  39. Avatar for Jack Jennings Jack Jennings says:

    In 2009 I constructed a new hay barn on my farm in Sicklerville New Jersey and decided to install a 10kW photoelectric system on the roof. I used panels that are self adhering to the standing seam metal roofing installed on the South facing side of the roof. Since the solar panels were installed on the roofing before it was put in place, the roof became part of the solar system and I claimed a federal tax credit on the difference in cost between the regular barn roofing and the Standing seam. The total cost amounted to $75,377.26, which was higher than expected because all the wiring had to be explosion proof. (Example, a 200 amp electrical panel that could be picked up for $175 normally cost $850 in a dust tight version). For the first time in my life my timing was right on. The 30% Federal tax credit of $22,613 reduced the cost to $52,764.24 and the $1.75 per watt NJ rebate of $17,500 knocked it down to $35,264.26. Starting in July of 2010 I have sold 19 SRECs which has reduced the cost to $23,025 and will be selling an additional one this month for another $651. The system has reduced my power consumption by 22,291 kWh as of today which has saved me an additional $3500. I haven’t projected the pay-off date yet, but as you can see, it’s going in the right direction. I’m happy with the system. The panels produce considerable power even at lower light intensities. It was cloudy today but the were still kicking out 4000 watts when I read the production stats off the inverters at 4 PM this afternoon.

  40. Avatar for Ben Ben says:

    Jim NJ, can you post the name of your installer for me? I am in Little Silver in Monmouth County NJ. Thanks, Ben.

  41. Avatar for Sylvia Sylvia says:

    Has anyone installed solar panels on their townhome roof in NJ?

  42. Avatar for Chris Gernat Chris Gernat says:

    I have a similiar situation as the above person commented. I just submitted for a C variance that I will need to construct ground mounted solar panels. I believe my neighbors are planning to plant trees along the southerly property line to intentionally shade the proposed panels. There are 13 circles along the property line, on their property opposite to where the panels are proposed. They know where the panels are going because I notified them as part of the variance requirement and they saw the plan.

    Are there any laws in New Jersey to prevent shading of the panels. I know California has a law about this, or can anyone offer any suggestions.

  43. Avatar for Philip Philip says:

    How does one handle the problem of a tree blocking sunlight from hitting a solar panel that one wants to install on a roof in NJ? Does NJ have a law similar to California’s 1978 “Solar Shade Control Act”? That is, can a tree be legally cut down in NJ to facilitate solar energy production? If so, let me know at [email protected]

  44. Avatar for Paul P maxcy Paul P maxcy says:

    I think the solar systems are are about the greatest thing i’ve seen in my life time so far. I am a 20 year liscensed (self employed Electrician ) looking to do solar exclusively. My problem is I need a partner to wear “the tie” and do the enormus amounts of paper work as well as some design. Solar rocks and i will keep trying….Thank you

  45. Avatar for HykyrJoe HykyrJoe says:

    Hey Beth,

    I wholeheartedly agree with the insane idea of solar on the side of the home. Who will see it? Will it be visible from inside the home? If no other roof location is suitable, then I would look at a ground installation given the right sun exposure, and barring that, solar Pv panels can be engineered to mount virtually anywhere the sun shines.. and once that meter starts turning in your favor, the monthly bill will look better than the side of the house until you realize WHY that bill looks better each month. Then , perhaps that side mount solar PV array won’t look so bad in the final review. Go for it!

  46. Avatar for Beth Beth says:

    Hi,
    My husband is in the process of getting a solar system for a home unfortunately our house is not is the right location and the panels will need to be installed on the side of our house. I think this will look terrible. He wants to do this and is going forward witht project. Home depot has a company that does installs with a company they use panels from BP. Has anyone had any contact or used this system. Please let me know your thoughts.
    Thanks

  47. Avatar for HykyrJoe HykyrJoe says:

    The reason I believe SREC’s are not taxable is because they are not income but return on capital investment(ROI). The solar industry is a non taxable industry at the current time. There will be no 1099 forms coming from your aggregator for now. We went with a 5.29kWh Trina/PvPowered system to offset 6500kWh or our 12000 kWh yearly use. So far we’ve done good thru the winter averaging 16 kWh even through a gloomy December where some days we couldn’t get 2! Really wish we had more roof space!Will look at a ground system to possible get some more going.

  48. Avatar for lkesten lkesten says:

    To Jim of NJ, who was your installer? I spoke to two and they did vary in product, type of installation and cost.

  49. Avatar for NS NS says:

    Is there a disadvantage to have ground mount system vs. roof mount? I have large backyard and plan to install 11KWH system.

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Hi NS,

      Ground mounted systems typically will cost you a little more since they require a racking system underneath the panels. Also, depending on how far away you place them from your home will determine more cost, especially if additional trenching is required. You’ll probably be interested to check out these other adders to system cost. And, as always since you’re in New Jersey you should definitely check out the group pricing discounts available to you.

  50. Avatar for Stan Stan says:

    Jim.NJ
    Who was your installer?

  51. Avatar for Tom Tom says:

    I think this just a temporary situation with the credits we have run into this same problem in Arizona.

  52. Avatar for Jim.NJ Jim.NJ says:

    I finished my 10K system in June and … did my research. I went with the highest efficency panels (Sunpower). The panel over produce there 10K rating. I also took advantage of the state rebate which for my system was $13,500. (that rebate has since been reduced) I expect to pay little or nothing for electric ever again. From $260 a month to zero. I did professional air sealing and had an expert evaluate my energy usage. The items which were not efficient Fridg/Old central air unit etc. were replaced. So I generated a lot of my electricty and now use less. I will get back about $20,000. on my fed. Tax. I borrowed this amount at zero interest thru my installer. I produced 4K in power in my first 3 months. Yes thats 4 X 650.00 so far. My electric bill this summer was all zeros. My system will pay for its self in approximately 3 years. Leaving me 12 more years to collect SRECs (15 year program) and pay nothing for electric. I highly recommend my solar installer and more importantly starting the process by interviewing 4 or 5 installers in your home. Its a 6 month to a 1 year process, but if your willing to put in the time its well worth it.

  53. Avatar for James James says:

    From my calculations and my bill I need 1530KWH as monthly average. I would like to go at 125% to take advantage of reverse metering and have room for heated pool and others later……
    I have a cleared 1 acre lot beside the house so instead of roof mounts as it is a Tudor home with cedar shingles I was thinking of stand mounts on the extra acre – Any thought and pricing adjustments I would need to makes

  54. Avatar for Jim Jim says:

    Hi, Interested in installing solar panels on my Bergen County Home. Can anyone recommend a installer . What would I expect the cost to be for a 5 to 7 killorwatt system ? Does NJ still offer any rebates , sale tax other incentives ?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      The economics in NJ are possibly the best in the Country. Each home is different, I would need much more information. Fill this out and One Block Off the Grid can make you a quote using satellite photos, all over the phone, no need to come over to your home unless you decide to do it. https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

      Cheers,
      Dave

  55. Avatar for mdancicco mdancicco says:

    I want a free estamate and free install

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Well, we can do the free estimate part! https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/

      :-)

  56. Avatar for hillary hillary says:

    Can anyone recommend a company/bank willing to finance a commercial 174KW commercial install?

  57. Avatar for Hillary Hillary says:

    I am looking for a company willing to finance a commercial install in NJ for a 174KW system. Does anyone know which banks or any private entities that may help the owners finance this project?

  58. Avatar for ritewinger ritewinger says:

    SF, hopefully that will indeed be true, because I think there is an order that NJ electric companies must produce 20% of their total energy via clean energy by 2020. I’m starting a solar panel installation business and would hate to see the rebates disappear, UNLESS panel pricing would drop by a significant amount to make the rebate system unnecessary. I think the rebates hurt the industry in that people think of solar as a “gimmick” industry and a fad, as opposed to a long term solution. Can you imagine if 20, 30, 50% of Americans installed panels on their property??? AMAZING!!!

  59. Avatar for ritewinger ritewinger says:

    FYI, Gov. Christie froze all the rebates on NJ Clean Energy last week. So every NJ state rebate is in limbo right now. These rebates are a substantial reduction in the cost of your new solar system, so if they go by-by, then solar in NJ will suffer a MAJOR setback.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Thanks, Ritewinger for the news. Our understanding is these cuts may not apply to these particular NJCE funds, as they were already dedicated. But let’s see how that plays out.

  60. Avatar for Susan Susan says:

    In response to owning solar panels, we hooked up about a year ago, our electric bill in the summer months is about $3.00. We are able to sell our SREC (each time you accumulate 1000kw it equals 1 SREC, sells for approx $500.00-$670.00. You can make around $8,000.00 a year. Winter months you don’t make as much, understandably. We are quite happy with the system.. HOWEVER… Has anyone determined if we claim the sales? Are we exempt because the money comes from us doing our part to preserve the planet? We still have to pay off the remaining balance of the system, although we were fortunate enough to get a good deal… Any answers???

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Susan, I’m sorry, but we’re very limited on our tax advice here, since we’re mainly solar geeks, not tax geeks. My guess is that this would be treated as income but not sure about that. I would check with a tax advisor or your utility….who would be issuing that MISC 1099, I believe. If you haven’t gotten one, then perhaps it is indeed exempt…for now.

  61. Avatar for glen glen says:

    i am considering getting solar panels on my roof. The only thing stopping me is that i don’t know anyone who has it. the installation company has told me i can get approx 1 srec credit per month, about a $600.00 value currently. I just would love to hear from someone who has this installed and the results they are getting as far as srec payments.

  62. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

    Hey, Brian. I agree, but many companies do offer some kind of financing. In some states like Hawaii, the state also offers 0% financing for solar hot water. Then there’s the new trend in PACE financing, where you finance solar through a special tax assessment on your property.

    Since every area and utility are different, I urge you to take the time to get a quote and your installer will tell you about the different types of financing available in your area.

    Thanks for commenting.

  63. Avatar for Brian Brian says:

    All this requires is low cost financing, if an individual has to tap his own resources not everyone has the credit to add 15k to 20k on top of their current credit needs. Guarantee financing at 5% for 10 years and the energy savings makes this an easy choice. Make people figure out their own financing options and it limits the number of people this will be viable.

  64. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

    James, excellent questions for a tax geek. We are solar geeks here, so please don’t take our advice without double checking with your specialist.

    First, the answer to many of your questions will depend on whether you are a business or a residence. If you are a resident, our understanding is that your state rebate is not taxable as income from the Feds or the state.

    The income from RECs, on the other hand, I have no guidance on that. I suspect that it would be income because you have the option to sell them or not to sell them.

    I’m not sure about the depreciation factor in New Jersey. However, I can tell you that solar systems in NJ are exempt from sales tax and any property tax increase.

    Hope that helps. Please double check with your tax expert.

  65. Avatar for James J Kovalcin James J Kovalcin says:

    Here is a question I have not seen addressed anywhere on the web!
    What are the tax consequences of the “profits” generated from a solar installation in New Jersey?
    Are the SREC’s taxable at either the federal or state levels?
    If so, can the solar photo voltaic system be depreciated over the lifetime of the installation?
    Is the New Jersey state rebate taxable on the federal level?

  66. Avatar for dave conifer dave conifer says:

    My system (9.12 kw) is going to pay itself off in no more than four years, and that is without figuring in any rate increases for electrical power.

    I can’t see how the solar panels would increase (or decrease) the risk of fire. The panels, even at peak sunlight, are no hotter than the shingles already on a roof. It’s not like they generate an open flame or anything.

    It is a serious structural commitment to install the panels, which are bolted through the shingles and plywood right into the support structure of the roof. I’m not worried about it since I re-shingled before the panels went on but someday, somebody might need to do a new roof. It’ll be their problem (to have the panels removed and then reinstalled).

  67. Avatar for Artstacks Artstacks says:

    Is there any increased risk of fire when installing a solar or other green energy system?

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Artstacks,

      I can only speak to solar installations on this. Solar panels will keep your roof slightly more dry, so if you’re depending on a nice wet roof all the time to retard fires in your attic, you’re out of luck. That scenario being very unlikely, no, there is not any increased fire risk since all the conduit is protected and you won’t be seeing any sparks fly out of it. Would be more eye catching if it did spark up though, no?

  68. Avatar for Kevin Kevin says:

    I have a large southern facing field on a 3 acre residential lot in clinton twp. i was thinking of trying to put a large solar system in that exceeds my residential needs but i was told that Nj may limit what I can sell back to the grid. Any resources that i can check out to verify? Thanks

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hey, Kevin,

      Not sure of the fine print, but check out this NJ program website for the “guidebook download.”

      http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/programs/renewable-energy-incentive-program

      I do know that the size of a residential system is limited to 10kW, so can’t go more than that. Net metering rules apparently allow you to go above your annual usage and be compensated for that at the “wholesale’ rate, but I’m not sure if there’s a cap on how much you can exceed.

      There’s some contact info on this site as well to ask more specific questions:

      http://www.dsireusa.org/solar/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=NJ03R&re=1&ee=1

      Hope that helps.

  69. Avatar for Bill Bugge Bill Bugge says:

    I have trouble understanding the sale of SRECs.

    One is generated for every 1000KW of solar electricity your system produces, correct?

    It seems you can sell them for an amount based on the current market (ranging between $100 and $700 over the past few years). I currently am charged about 15 cents per KW by my electric company. That’s $150 per SREC. How can they sell for $650? The law of supply and demand?

    So you not only don’t pay for electricity, you are paid to produce it, sometimes exorbitantly? Doesn’t make economic sense.

    Something else doesn’t make sense. If you are paid to produce electricity, isn’t that an incentive to waste it? If you keep all your appliances on 24 hours, all lights etc, you earn more!

    Correct me where I’m wrong, please.

    Bill

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Bill, did you read this post and the comments below?

      https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/affordable-solar/solar-fred-info-recs-green-tags-oh-my/

      There’s an explanation of the price in the comments.

      As to being paid to waste energy, I think you’re misunderstanding the concept of an SREC. It’s not that you’re paid for the energy you USE, but the energy your solar panels PRODUCE. Your panels produce energy, whether you use it or not. Any excess is sent to the grid, and you get credited through net metering at night.

      So, by buying your SRECS-which you don’t have to sell, by the way– the utility is complying with the law. It’s saying to the NJ legislator, “Hey, see Bill’s solar panels? I just bought his SRECs. You’ve made me buy 20% of my power from green sources, and, well, shoot, we don’t own many green sources right now. But Bill, he’s got 4kW of green solar energy. So if I buy his “SRECs” then you’ll credit me for producing green energy, not coal fired, and you won’t penalize me for not complying with the law to produce so much green energy by a certain time.”

      So an SREC is like a gold star for utilities. They need to pay for them on the open market unless they own their own by building solar or wind farms. The price for an SREC is going to go up or down, depending on how many are for sale, but it’s more complicated on that. Read that post above.

      Hope that helps!

  70. Avatar for Peter Peter says:

    I am not sure if this is still the case – does anyone know if do-it-yourself installation can get NJ rebate?
    Installing panels on the roof is very simple and all would need do is hire an electician to make nessesary connections to the grid (less then $1000). It looks to me that about 30% of the installation cost is going into someones pocket. If I could get NJ rabate myself that would lower my cost and it would only take 3 years to recuperate costs.

  71. Avatar for dave dave says:

    Tom, check out my blog. It’s got lots of information on some contractors and what rebates and grants are available.

    Also check out the New Jersey Clean Energy Program website:

    http://www.njcleanenergy.com

    You’ll have to find a way to put down a chunk of money but you can minimize it by taking the federal tax credit (now completely uncapped), the NJ rebate which goes directly from the state to the contractor (not from your pocket).

    After you’re producing energy you can sell your SRECs. You’ll earn one SREC for every 1,000 KWH you generate (for me that will be about every four weeks). Right now SRECs are selling for about 600 bucks.

    Of course, you’ll also get to watch your meter spin backwards and get credited for all the energy you put out onto the grid if you don’t need it.

  72. Avatar for dave dave says:

    “The return on a typical residential system takes about 15-20 years depending on the size and configuration of the system. The system itself has a life or 20-25 years. Do you see the problem here?”

    These numbers just aren’t right. My 9.12 KW system is going to pay itself off in 4-5 years max (federal tax credit, NJ rebate, reduced/eliminated electric bill, SREC sales). The NJ rebate has shrunk since I received mine but I think the payback period in years is still single digits. Heck, I’ll rake in 6 grand a year in SREC sales alone (conservative estimate).

    There’s no reason to think the system will last only 20-25 years. In fact, the manufacturers and installers warranties are usually for that time period which tells me that they they think the system life is longer. It’s really a simple system with no moving parts. Many panels from the seventies are still operating at 80% capacity or better.

  73. Avatar for garrett garrett says:

    i am looking to start a career in the solar industry i have no experience and would like to join a company to train me in the industry.how do i find the right one?

  74. Avatar for Tom Tom says:

    I am looking into installing Solar Power System on my home. can anyone point me in the right direction for a grant or low financing?

  75. Avatar for les les says:

    I recently purchased Solar panels for my house i live in NJ and since 1980 there has been a law that exempts these purchases from Sales Tax, but they charged me Sales tax anyway, saying a need some tax exempt status,what forms if any do i need to get a refund from the dealer?

  76. Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    I have had my system since 2005 and the only time I have noticed it needed cleaning (decreased output) was during pollen season when we had not had rain for some time. A quick spray of the hose took care of washing it off. Unless you live near the shore (salt buildup can be an issue) normal rainfall should be fine. Most systems shouldn’t get leaves on them as trees need to be far enough from your roof to not cast any shadows. We added a squirel guard after installation to protect the wiring from nest builders so you may want to have that done during install.

  77. Avatar for Janice Janice says:

    I am adding a room to my home and reconstructing the roof to accomodate it. I’m out of money but would like to incorporate solar energy into the construction. Are there grants out there that would give me enough to put it into my new construction without significant extra cost?

  78. Avatar for David Llorens David Llorens says:

    Hi d,

    You should try to rinse the panels off about twice a year. If you never rinse them off and let the rain do most of the work, it will not kill your system. Grime is not so awful, the killers are like big maple leaves, bird poop, anything that blocks a large section.

    you can get away with never cleaning them if you have no large debris, if you do, you need to regularly clean that stuff off.

  79. Avatar for d d says:

    can anyone enlighten me on yearly maintenance costs to a grid-tied photovoltaic system on a two-story house? i pressume the panels have to be cleaned of dust and debris?

  80. Avatar for Alice Diane Celebre Alice Diane Celebre says:

    Regional: Green Buildings Open House, October 4th
    On Saturday, October 4, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association is welcoming the public to visit local sustainable homes and buildings throughout New Jersey and the Northeast to see clean renewable energy at work. Visitors to these buildings will be able to see how their neighbors and businesses are reducing their carbon footprint and cutting their energy bills through the power of the sun, wind, and smart building design.

    The Green Buildings Open House operates in conjunction with the National Solar Tour. Homeowners and facility managers across all 50 states will be showing visitors the latest in recycling, renewable energy technologies, sustainable building materials, and energy efficient appliances.

    Take a local tour to learn how you, too, can save by going green.

    To find the Green Buildings Open House sites nearest you, visit http://www.nesea.org

    Regional businesses, Basil Bandwagon Natural Market, 908-788-5737 (basilbandwagon.com) and Basil Brook Organic Pharm 908-788-6864, will participate in the open house again this year and provide information on Energy Star rated products, solar electric, Solatubes, Solar Star attic fans, passive solar design, solar pool heating, solar hot water, kickbikes, and an all electric car “charged by the sun.”
    Posted by Michael Shapiro, Editor at 12:30 AM

  81. Avatar for rich rich says:

    were can i buy them direct ,the pannels ,?? i am overqualifyied to do the work but i am not aposed to saving money

  82. Avatar for Quong Lew Quong Lew says:

    With the price of energy going up and with no end in site. I would like to install solar panels, but with the cost and life of the photovotaic cells at 25 years, it doesn’t make any sense at this time.

  83. Avatar for earthbru earthbru says:

    So what is actually available today? The rebates are all used up and are not being renewed and the State legislature does not seem to be able to pass a law regarding the SRECS. Perhaps if they could find a way to use this to enable them to borrow another billion dollars against the taxpayers wishes they would be more inclined to do it.

  84. Avatar for headshot zod headshot zod says:

    I must correct myself. I wound up looking into this after I posted. Supposedly in NJ adding solar panels will not give the local municipality the ability to increase your property taxes.

  85. Avatar for headshot zod headshot zod says:

    Raising property values in NJ usually leads to higher property taxes so you may never recoup your investment.

  86. Avatar for B. Killpatrick B. Killpatrick says:

    Thought I just heard on the news about a special financial incentive program to help farmers / agricultural producers in NJ install solar. Can’t be part of the residential incentive program that was defunded in 2007 … Any idea what this is?

  87. Avatar for Vincent Nestore Vincent Nestore says:

    Is there and if so a tax credit for solar heating my pool instead of gas or electric? Thanks

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