New Jersey’s aggressive clean energy program is working – you just have to know where to look.
As the most northeastern state in the country and one of the most densely populated as well, it’s no surprise that New Jersey is at the forefront of the clean energy movement. In response to the global climate change crisis and rising energy prices, New Jersey passed a law in June 2016 requiring utilities to consider renewable energy sources like solar energy for their power grid. The law mandated that utilities provide financial incentives to encourage homeowners and businesses to install solar panels on their roofs. It also mandated that the utilities purchase clean energy from small solar installations, which it defined as installations using rooftop panels that generate up to 5 megawatts (MW) of electricity – enough to power 500 homes).
If you’re looking to invest in a home energy system in New Jersey, your best chances of finding very cheap financing is through a solar rebate program offered by your local utility company. If you own a home or plan on purchasing one in the near future in New Jersey, then it’s worth your while to explore the possibilities of taking advantage of a solar rebate program. There are four main utilities in New Jersey that offer solar rebates, along with the New Jersey Green Bank, a state-backed lending agency. The following will discuss the details of each program and how you can apply for a rebate.
Solar Panel Installation
New Jersey’s mandate that utilities provide financial incentives to homeowners for solar energy installation means that rebates of up to $5,000 are available for residential solar panel installation. The rebate is designed to cover the cost of purchasing and installing solar panels, along with any professional fees associated with getting the system installed. For example, a five-year-depletion period applies to both federal and state rebates, so you’ll need to install your system no later than 2021.
The solar panels must be manufactured in America, and registered in New Jersey no later than January 1, 2022. As a result, they’ll be covered by the state’s Buy American stipulation. The exact amount of the rebate will be determined based on the following factors:
- The property tax rate for the property;
- The property’s age;
- The size of the property;
- Whether the property is renovated or new construction;
- Whether the property is a residential property or a commercial property; and
- The address of the property.
Commercial Property With Solar Panels
For commercial properties, such as offices, warehouses, and factories, the amount of the rebate is based on the amount of energy saved by the facility per year. To be eligible for a rebate on a commercial property, the following conditions must be met:
- The building’s tenant must sign a lease agreement promising to be energy efficient;
- The building’s owner must agree to participate in New Jersey’s energy efficiency program;
- The building’s energy use must be measured with a digital energy meter; and
- The amount of energy saved annually must be greater than or equal to 25,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). (The energy use and savings figures for this category of rebate are based on the amount of energy used by a medium-sized business.)
Rooftop Tiled Heat Pipes
For rooftop tiled heat pipes, the amount of the rebate is calculated based on the property’s annual heating costs. The following conditions apply:
- The property’s roof must be tiled;
- The roof’s surface area must be greater than or equal to 10,000 square feet;
- The amount of the rebate must be $5 per thousand dollars (up to a maximum of $5,000) paid to the property’s owner; and
- The system must be registered in New Jersey no later than January 1, 2024.
Residential Roofing System
For residential roofing systems, the rebate is based on the property’s annual cooling costs, as well as the type of cooling system used, the property’s size, and whether the system is on a terrace or not. The following conditions apply:
- The roof of the building must be covered with seamless tile or asphalt shingles;
- The roof must be built at least five years ago;
- The amount of the rebate must be between $5,000 and $7,500; and
- The system must be registered in New Jersey no later than January 1, 2023.
The benefits of having solar panels on your roof go beyond saving you money on your monthly power bill. By generating your own electricity and reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, you cut out the middleman and save money in the long run. You can buy appliances that are solar powered, such as kettles and hot-tubs, which will save you money in winter and summer, respectively. You can even install solar panels to charge batteries for your car, which will let you travel freely without worrying about your energy supply.
The Least You Need to Know
With the above information, you should have a good idea of what kinds of rebates may be available for solar energy in New Jersey. By investing in a residential or commercial solar energy system, you can start saving money right away – even if you decide to wait until 2021 to install your system.