Solar Panels NJ Guide

New Jersey is currently one of the best states in which to get solar panels for your home.

Good incentives, low prices on panels and high electricity costs combine to make solar a great, money-saving option for many NJ homeowners. (Not to mention the environmental benefits and, when the panels are paired with battery storage, being energy independent.)

However, the window for big savings may be coming to an end. In our “Solar Panels NJ Guide” below you’ll find the latest on solar costs, rebates, incentives and more in The Garden State and why now may be the ideal time to act.

Cost of Solar Panels in NJ

You’ll see a wide range of estimates of what the average cost for solar is in NJ.

The average cost per watt for a system ranges from around $2.70 to almost $5. And the average total cost for a solar installation typically ranges from $11,500 to $25,000.

Why such a big range? Because every situation is different. Your goals for solar, how many panels you need, what solar company you use, the efficiency of the panels you choose and other factors determine how much you will end up paying.

The only way to get a good idea of how much solar panels will cost you and how much you can save is to get a quote from a local installer. (Better yet, get multiple quotes so you can compare the cost and savings numbers!)

Bottom line here is you can expect the average installation in NJ to cost between $13,000 and $15,000. And with the savings you’ll have on electricity, the solar installation can pay for itself in an average of around 5 years in New Jersey. After that, all the savings your system makes you is just extra money in your pocket.

NJ Solar Incentives

One of the reasons NJ is such a great market for solar right now is the tax credits and incentives NJ residents get. In fact, it’s generally considered that New Jersey offers some of the best solar benefits in the country.

Here’s an overview of the current NJ solar incentives available to Garden State residents:

Net Metering

If you’re not familiar with net metering, it’s an amazing thing for solar panel owners. With net metering, if your solar panels produce more electricity than your home uses, you can sell that excess power to your local utility company.

It’s not available in every state, but it is in New Jersey. Not only that, but the net metering rates in the state are really good. As a NJ resident, you’ll get paid for the FULL retail rate of any power you send back to the electric grid.

The money the utility owes you will show up as a credit on your next bill. Or, if you produce more electricity than you use over the course of a year, the electric company will cut you a check.

This great net metering deal helps many NJ residents pay for their solar panels more quickly than in most parts of the US.

The Successor Solar Incentive Program (SuSI)

This program was approved in the summer of 2021. It replaces Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) which paid homeowners a variable amount for each TREC their solar panels earned them (you got one TREC for each MWh (megawatt hours) your system produced.

The SuSI program has 2 parts. The Administratively Determined Incentive (ADI) is the one that affects residential solar customers. It’s very similar to the TREC program except the credits have a fixed value now.

Bottom line here is that, with this program, for every MWh your solar panels generate, you’ll earn one New Jersey Solar Renewable Energy Certificate-II (NJ SREC-II). Each one of those is worth $90 for residential solar customers. So if you have a system that generates 6MWh per year, that’s another $540 in your pocket every year thanks to solar.

Solar Sales Tax Exemption

The sales tax in New Jersey is 6.625%. And that can add a good chunk of change onto the price of everything you buy in the state. But not for solar panels. Because, in NJ, solar panels are exempt from sales tax. So the cost of the panels are the cost of the panels. No sales tax to worry about here!

Property Tax Exemption

One of the benefits of adding solar panels to a home is that it increases the value of the home. (It’s also been shown that homes with solar panels sell faster.)

The potential downside of that is, with an increase in home value, comes an increase in property taxes. And property taxes in NJ aren’t exactly cheap.

Fortunately, adding solar panels to your roof won’t increase your property tax burden in NJ. This is because the panels (and the increase in home value they create) are exempt from property taxes.

New Jersey Solar Tax Credits

Some states have solar tax credits or rebates for homeowners that get solar panels and/or battery storage for their homes. Unfortunately, NJ is not one of them. There are no NJ solar tax credits available for residents. (Though the incentives above still help make solar more attractive to NJ residents than those who live in many other states!)

However, NJ residents CAN take advantage of the current Federal tax credits for solar. For 2021 and 2022, you can get a 26% tax credit for installing solar on your home. That includes the cost of the panels, labor, batteries and anything else that’s a part of your system.

This dollar-for-dollar tax credit can save you thousands off the cost of your installation. Here’s how it works…

Say you get an average size solar installation and it costs $15,000. Your tax credit for that will be $3,900 (26% of $15,000). At the end of the year, if you were to owe $4,000 in taxes to the IRS, then you would only have to pay $100 due to your solar tax credit.

Not a bad deal at all! But it’s not going to last forever. That tax credit drops to 22% in 2023 and goes away completely in 2024.

Is Solar Worth It In NJ?

There’s a lot of information here to take in. But it all boils down to this question… Is solar worth it in NJ?

If you factor in…

  • The available incentives highlighted above
  • High electricity prices (NJ residents pay about 33% more for electricity than the US average, and rates are only going up)
  • The 26% Federal tax credit, and
  • Low solar panel prices (prices have dropped almost 50% in the last 5 years)…

… the answer for many NJ residents is absolutely YES!

Solar panel systems take an average of 5 or so years to pay for themselves in NJ. And, over 25 years, the average NJ homeowner can save well over $50,000 on electricity costs by having solar power their home.

When It’s a No-Brainer

If you own your home, have a monthly electric bill above $150 and your roof gets a decent amount of sunlight, getting solar panels in NJ is quite likely a no-brainer for you.

And all this doesn’t even factor in the environmental benefits, increased home value and being energy independent (if you include batteries with your system).

But It Doesn’t Make Sense For Everyone

But solar won’t make sense for all homeowners in NJ. How much electricity you use, how much sunlight your roof gets, the number of panels you can fit on your roof and other factors all come into play here.

The Only Way To Get an Accurate Estimate of Your Costs and Savings

The only way to get a true understanding of how much the upfront costs will be and how much you’ll save is to get an estimate from a trusted, local installer. And, as we already mentioned earlier, we highly recommend you get multiple estimates. Your costs and savings can vary quite a bit from company to company.

We recommend you get one of those estimates through the good people at UnderstandSolar. They’ve been around a long time and are the #1 Solar Advisor in the US. They have partnerships with the largest, and most trustworthy, solar installers in NJ so you’ll deal with reputable solar companies.

You can get a solar savings estimate from them in under 30 seconds. Just enter your zip code below to get started, then fill out the form on the UnderstandSolar site to get your savings estimate.

Why NOW Is The Time To Find Out If Solar Makes Sense For You

If you’re even considering getting solar panels for your home, now is the time to do it. This because it looks like we are currently in a really good window for those who want to save with solar.

However, this window for savings may not last much longer for a few reasons:

  • Yes, solar panels cost a lot less than they did just a few years ago. However, costs look be on the rise. Because of material shortages, tariffs on imported panels and supply chain issues, many are expecting prices to soon rise quite a bit.
  • The 26% Federal solar tax rebate drops to 22% in 2023 and goes away completely in 2024 so the time to take advantage of the thousands in savings thanks to Uncle Sam is drawing to a close soon
  • More extreme weather coupled with aging power grid problems have led to more frequent and prolonged power outages all over the US. This is increasing demand for solar and batteries and wait times for installation are going up.
  • The longer you hold off, the more you miss out on saving money on your monthly electric bill

Don’t Miss Out!

To make sure you don’t miss out on the current low costs and incentives, it’s worth at least getting an estimate or two now. Have an expert assess your situation, run the numbers for you and see how much you can save.

Again, we highly recommend you get at least one of your quotes from the #1 Solar Advisor in the U.S., UnderstandSolar. They have relationships with the largest, most trusted solar installers to provide homeowners with free, accurate, no-obligation solar savings estimates.

To get started, just enter your zip code below and fill out the form on UnderstandSolar’s site to get an accurate savings estimate from a trustworthy local NJ solar installer.

The representative that contacts you won’t bite (we promise!) and, if you’re not ready to go solar or you find another company with a better offer, that’s totally okay. But at least you’ll do so know knowing you’ve made an informed decision.

And, by taking this first step now, you may just end up saving yourself a HUGE amount on your electric bills in the years and decades to come. So get a savings estimate now while you can still take advantage of low solar panel costs and fat tax credit from the government.

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