Solar energy has been a big success in New Jersey. With 205 sunny to partly sunny days a year and a rigorous Renewable Portfolio Standard, the state is primed to continue its push for growth in the renewable energy industry, particularly where solar is involved. See how residential solar panels stack up in New Jersey.

New Jersey’s Solar
Panel Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

New Jersey Electricity Rates

The high cost of electricity is a major factor contributing to solar energy’s success in New Jersey. Residential customers pay an average of $0.16 cents/kWh for electricity. These rates and other factors have caused New Jersey to be one of just three states with more than 1-GW of solar power installed as of 2014. With the addition of 240-MW of capacity, New Jersey has enough solar energy to power 248,000 homes.

Cost of Residential Electricity in N.J.

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

New Jersey
Library of Resources

New Jersey Solar Panel Incentives

New Jersey offers 72 different federal, state and local policies, programs and incentives to encourage residents to invest in solar energy. Besides the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), programs such as utility-bill PACE financing enhance returns and lower the cost of investing in residential solar installation. New Jersey plans to double the percentage of solar energy used to meet the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 2.05 percent in 2014 to 4.1 percent by 2028.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

NJ Clean Energy – Residential New Construction Program:

Several financial incentives are offered depending on how energy efficient a newly constructed home is. Single-family homes can receive up to $24,250. Multi-family homes can receive up to $2,250 per unit.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Registration Program:

Solar projects that are installed and registered with the Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program are able to generate SRECs during their first 15 years. SRECs are sought by energy suppliers who use them to meet the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, so they can be sold in a competitive market. Each SREC generated and sold means revenue for the solar project’s owner.

None for residential specifically

Edison Innovation Green Growth Fund Loans:

Loans are available for for-profit companies that are developing solar PV technologies and products. To qualify, the product must have proof of concept, successful results in beta testing and already generate revenues. Loans range from $250,000 to $2 million.

Edison Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund – Grants and Loans:

Grants and loans are available to assist with the manufacturing of products that will help solar PV energy technologies compete with traditional electric generation sources. Grants as high as $300,000 and loans as high as $3 million are available.

POLICIES

Net Metering:

Net metering allows New Jersey residents with solar energy systems to get a credit on their utility bill for each unused kWh of electricity their systems produce. The credit can’t exceed 100 percent of the homeowner’s electricity usage in a year, but any solar PV system is eligible.

Solar Permitting Laws:

Facilities that produce electricity via solar energy are allowed on industrial-zoned land, as long the land is at least 20 connecting acres that are owned by the same person or entity.

Societal Benefits Charge:

State legislation led to the creation of a societal benefits charge for supporting investments in solar PV energy. The total public benefits fund was $344 million for the fiscal year of 2014.

Solar Easements:

Agreements can be made allowing solar energy systems to cross into land not owned by the owner of the solar system if it’s for the purpose of accessing direct sunlight. Easement agreements must include specific information about the nature of the solar equipment, like its size and angles, how the equipment will affect the property in question and what compensation will be made to the property owner.

Interconnection Standards:

New Jersey electric companies must allow solar energy systems to connect to the grid without a fee.

Residential Solar Rights:

Homeowners associations cannot prohibit homeowners from installing rooftop solar energy systems on their houses.

Solar Energy Option Requirement for Residential Developments:

Residential developers whose developments have at least 25 units must offer PV installation to prospective buyers. The buyer has to pay for the solar energy system but is eligible for any applicable credits and incentives.

None for commercial specifically

TAX CREDITS

None for residential/commercial specifically

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX EXEMPTIONS

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems:

Solar energy systems that are used for meeting on-site general energy/electricity needs are exempt from local property taxes. The incentive caps at 100 percent of the value added by the solar PV system.

Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption:

All state taxpayers can take advantage of a 100 percent exemption from New Jersey’s sales tax (currently at 7 percent) for any solar PV equipment.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

New Jersey: Solar Panel Contractors & Installers

Nearly $600 million was invested in solar energy installations and 528 solar companies were operating in New Jersey in 2014, including more than 300 solar contractors and installers. Below is a short list that can help you narrow down your search for a solar contractor or installer in New Jersey.

Code Green Solar

Code Green Solar is a full-service solar energy company operating in three states. They offer consultation, design, installation, inspection and net metering services.

Where it operatesSomerdale

Year of opening1994

Direct Energy Solar

Direct Energy Solar is a full-service solar installer that provides fast, custom-built PV systems according to customers’ budgets and energy needs. They guarantee system performance and offer lifetime systems support.

Where it operatesBased in Maryland; serves New Jersey statewide and the Northeast United States

Year of opening2008

Green Sun Energy Services

Green Sun Energy Services offers a variety of energy efficiency products and services including solar PV installation, emergency generators, roofing, meter installation and retrofit, insulation and air leak sealing, appliance and lighting upgrades, windows and more. Services clients throughout Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer and Union Counties.

Where it operatesMiddletown, NJ

Year of opening2010

Jersey Solar

Jersey Solar is a SunPower Authorized Dealer that specializes in installing PV systems.

Where it operatesLambertville

Year of opening1983

New Jersey Solar Power

Founded in conjunction with New Jersey’s Clean Energy Rebate Program, New Jersey Solar Power provides full-service, high-quality solar energy installation and services.

Where it operatesBayville

Year of opening2003

RGS Energy

One of the most experienced solar energy businesses in the U.S., RGS takes pride in providing economic and aesthetic solar and sustainable energy solutions for residences, communities and businesses. Services encompass financing, systems design, engineering, installation, monitoring and maintenance.

Where it operatesBased in California; serves New Jersey statewide

Year of opening1978

SolarCity New Jersey

Specializing in financing, installing and maintaining third-party-owned grid-connected solar PV systems, parent company SolarCity is the largest solar installation and finance company in the nation.

Where it operatesBased in California; serves New Jersey statewide

Year of opening2012

Sunrun New Jersey

The New Jersey arm of Sunrun, one of the U.S.’ leading third-party residential solar companies, offers a comprehensive turnkey PV systems solution.

Where it operatesBased in California; serves New Jersey statewide

Year of opening2011

N.J. Solar Panel Resources

There is a lot of information on solar energy in New Jersey. Below is a short list to help you get started or refine your search.

Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA)

MSEIA is public education, outreach and advocacy group for solar energy policies that remove market and access barriers, promote local job creation, manufacturing and R&D across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

This is the state agency responsible for oversight of regulated utilities that provide electricity, natural gas, water, telecoms and cable TV. It’s charged with ensuring public services are safe, efficient and affordable.

New Jersey Clean Energy Program

New Jersey Clean Energy is a state program that promotes increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy to foster a stronger economy and a healthier, more sustainable society.

PSE&G Solar 4 All

Learn about the state’s utilities program to develop 125-MW of grid-connected solar power capacity – enough to meet the electricity needs of some 20,000 average sized homes per year.

PSE&G Solar Loan Program

The 13th solicitation for the utility’s Solar Loan III Program opens April 1, 2016. Residential and commercial customers can apply.

Solar New Jersey

Solar New Jersey’s stated mission is to connect New Jersey homeowners and businesses with certified state solar installers by creating a more efficient solar marketplace.

SolarReviews

This resource offers consumer reviews of solar companies, panels, inverters and equipment across U.S. states, including summaries of state solar power installation requirements.

DSIRE

DSIRE is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) online database of solar policies and programs by state, including information on federal, state and local solar policies, programs and incentives.

Clean Energy in My State

This is a valuable state-by-state reference source from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). It provides data and information including renewable and energy efficiency projects, activities, statistics, maps, news and policies.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The DOE’s flagship national solar and renewable energy R&D center, NREL’s website is a prime source of information for those interested in the latest developments in solar policies and economics, as well as technology, news and developments.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

EIA serves as the DOE’s official source of national energy statistics. For anyone interested in energy in the U.S., EIA’s website is an essential and popular source of data and information.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

National solar industry trade association, SEIA, and its website are valuable sources of news, opinion, data, information regarding solar energy. The site includes state fact sheets that highlight and summarize recent developments.