Solar power is one of the fastest growing new energy sources worldwide. It is now the #3 source of renewable electricity in the US. There is growing international concern about environmental issues. People are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power is an attractive way for homeowners to help the environment. Installing a solar power system will not only reduce your electricity bill but it also has the potential to earn money for your family.
Today you can get state of the art solar systems designed specifically to fit your home and energy needs. Advancements in technology and investment in renewable energy have helped the industry grow. The costs associated with installing a solar system for your home have dropped dramatically in recent years.
In many states such as New Jersey, there are even incentive programs to encourage the use of solar energy. The environmental benefits of solar energy and the potential financial return can make it worthwhile for homeowners to switch to solar. There are several New Jersey Solar Companies. They can help you select and install the right system to take advantage of the many benefits.
Solar Power Incentives in New Jersey
New Jersey is a national leader in solar energy. Solar power is the main source of renewable energy generated in the state.
“At the end of 2016, New Jersey ranked fifth among the states in installed solar PV capacity, and fourth in net solar generation.” – U.S. Energy Information Administration
Since 1999, the state has implemented several policies to meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). According to the RPS 15% of the energy generated by utilities should be provided by renewable energy sources. Also, the ‘Solar Carve Out’ requires that 3.2% of the states electricity sales need to come from solar power.
To meet these requirements the state offers incentives to encourage homeowners to set up their own solar systems. These generate clean energy for the home and any extra energy can be sold back to utility companies. This helps the utilities reach their clean energy goals.
Incentives include tax credits for the homeowner. If you buy your solar system outright you may be eligible to apply for:
- Solar energy sales tax exemption
- Property tax exemption for renewable energy systems
- ITC – Investment Tax Credit which can be 30%
As well as gaining potential income from selling electricity back at retail rates, in New Jersey, you can also earn and sell SREC’s.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
SRECs make it even more appealing for homeowners in New Jersey to invest in a solar energy system. Once your solar system is installed, you can earn one SREC for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity that it generates.
The SREC tracking system tracks the SREC’s from all the suppliers. Utilities need to meet certain clean energy requirements and to do this they can purchase SRECs. So you can sell the SRECs that you earn from your home system and generate more income. You can use the current SREC program to earn extra income for the first 10 to 15 years.
How to Invest in Solar Energy in New Jersey
A solar power system for your home can require a large financial investment. There is great potential for long-term return on this. However, the initial cost can be daunting. There are 3 main options to help you get started and finance your solar system. You can either buy it outright or spread the payments over time.
If you have the money available you may prefer to buy the solar system outright. In New Jersey, this will likely cost $16,250 or more depending on the system you buy. The tax credits and reduction in your energy bills will help you recoup some of the investment within the first year.
If your finances will not stretch that far, taking out a loan can be a viable option. This allows you to pay off the amount in installments over time. Many New Jersey Solar Companies offer financing options. Or you could take out a home-equity line of credit. It is best to look at all your options to see which is most suitable for your situation.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
If you do not have money readily available and do not want a loan, there is still a way to use solar power. Using a PPA you can buy electricity from the solar company. The company owns and maintains the solar panels, you just benefit from the clean energy rates. This way you will still likely make savings on your electricity bill.
How New Jersey Solar Companies Can Help
So you have decided you want to invest in solar energy and have worked out how to finance it. Now is the time to get your system installed and up and running. Deciding which system is best for your home and setting everything up can be complicated. That’s where professional solar companies can help.
Getting expert advice will help you get the most appropriate system and make the whole process easier. There are several companies to choose from. Companies such as NJ Solar Power can guide you through the process and design a custom solution for your energy needs. You can request an audit or quote at njsolarpower.com. It is a good idea to speak with a few companies and compare quotes to find the right one for you.
Working with a trusted solar company can give you peace of mind. They will ensure you get the right solar panels, they are installed correctly and give advice on operation and maintenance. They can also help with tax rebates and your SRECs.
Using solar power is not only good for the environment but can also be beneficial financially. The financial gains can be very lucrative, especially with the tax credits and SREC program available in New Jersey. Now is the perfect time to invest in this clean, renewable energy.
Author Bio: Jean Francia is NJ Solar Power’s chief development officer. She advocates the awareness of the the benefits of getting solar panels for everyone’s home.