The New Jersey Solar Energy Program provides rebates of up to $15,000 to businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that purchase or install solar technology. The Solar Energy Program is administered by the New Jersey Partnership for Affordable Solar Energy (NJ-PA SE), an agency that promotes renewable energy in New Jersey via various means.
To be eligible for a rebate, a business or government agency must apply for one of the 25 available contracts through the Solar Energy Program’s website. Once a contract is signed, the applicant must then install a solar-power system with an 8-kilowatt (kW) or larger capacity, which is guaranteed for three years. To receive the full rebate of up to $15,000, a business must either install a 10 kW system or have one that is operable (with at least 3 hours of generated power per day).
This incentive will help grow the solar market in New Jersey, which currently has a low installed capacity compared to other states. For example, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Jersey only has about 12 MW of installed solar capacity, compared to Pennsylvania’s 111 MW and Delaware’s 41.5 MW. However, New Jersey’s per capita electricity consumption is the fourth-highest in the country. With the increase in residential solar power systems and more people using electricity at home, the time is ripe for growth in the solar market.
Why Are Businesses And Government Agencies Taking Up Solar Energy?
Solar energy provides many benefits, both environmentally and financially. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that solar energy is 100% renewable, which means it can be replenished whenever needed. It also says that solar energy systems reduce a business’ carbon footprint by cutting down on its energy costs. These systems typically last for years before they need to be replaced, which makes them an investment that will pay for itself.
The New Jersey Solar Energy Program promotes the adoption of solar energy systems within the state. One of the key drivers for this initiative is the high cost of electricity. The NJ-PA SE website states that the cost of electricity is one of the state’s biggest expenses, amounting to about 12% of its overall budget. The organization offers these rebates in an effort to reduce the cost of electricity for its members. However, the savings will be minimal, as the cost of electricity is determined by many factors beyond the scope of this program. For instance, the cost of electricity will be the same whether you use solar energy or fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, or oil) to generate it.
How Does The New Jersey Solar Energy Program Work?
The New Jersey Solar Energy Program is an excellent example of a state-based program designed to promote the adoption of renewable energy sources. As the name implies, the goal of this program is to provide financial incentives for businesses and government agencies to adopt solar energy technology. To achieve this goal, the Solar Energy Program offers various contracts with different terms and conditions, as well as 25 different rebates ranging from $1,200 to $15,000. The contract terms range from six months to five years, with the majority lasting for three years. These contracts are available for both commercial and residential customers.
To be eligible, applicants must purchase or install a solar-power system with an 8-kW (or larger) capacity. To receive the full $15,000 rebate, a business must either install a 10-kW system or have one that is operable (with at least three hours of generated power per day).
This money can be used for anything the business or government agency decides, so long as it has not already been spent on a similar product. For example, the NJ-PA SE website lists a number of possible purchases that a business or government agency might make with the money, including:
- A new LED light bulb
- An energy efficient washing machine
- A refrigerator that utilizes less power
- Reduced electric bills
- A water heater that provides greater efficiency
- Or any appliance or system that saves energy
The beauty of this program is its flexibility. Not only can businesses and government agencies utilize the funds for any purpose, but they can also choose from a variety of solar products, rebates, and contracts to fit their needs and budgets. This type of innovation and industry-specific expertise makes the New Jersey Solar Energy Program a true standout in the state of New Jersey and in the U.S. energy industry.