As one of a handful of states to have installed more than one gigawatt of solar capacity, New Jersey is one of the country’s solar powerhouses. In fact, the Garden State has installed enough solar energy to power over a quarter of a million homes.
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NJ solar programs
The state’s solar success has been based on two core programs, one that compensates you for the electricity you produce, and one that rewards you for that electricity’s clean characteristics:
New Jersey net metering
This policy allows you to sell excess electricity back to the grid at the retail rate. This is great because the retail rate of NJ net metering is significantly higher than the wholesale rate that large power plants receive for the electricity they sell to the utility. Additionally, the ability to both buy and sell electricity from the grid allows you to balance your consumption and production, instead of letting any excess electricity you produce go to waste.
Check out the top utility net metering programs in New Jersey:
Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) program
New Jersey’s original solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program was such a hit, they decided to implement a successor! Under the SuSI, or SREC-II program, you can generate one SREC-II for every megawatt-hour (MWh) your solar panel system generates. The value of a SREC-II varies depending on the type of system you install; for residential systems, with each SREC-II you generate, you earn a fixed $90 payment for 15 years. That means if you install an average 8-kilowatt (kW) system that generates 8 MWh per year, you could make an extra $730 each year by selling your certificates.
New Jersey solar panel tax credits
On top of these revenue streams, New Jersey has also granted residential solar a couple tax breaks to help keep the costs down.
Solar sales tax exemption
When you purchase your home solar system, you will be 100 percent exempt from any sales tax, due to the PV energy sales tax exemption. That means you’ll spend 7 percent less on your solar equipment.
Property tax exemption
Similarly, thanks to the property tax exemption for renewable energy systems, New Jersey resident that invest in a solar energy system will not have to pay any additional property taxes on the value that their solar panels are adding to their homes.
The federal solar tax credit
Don’t forget about federal solar incentives! With the investment tax credit (ITC), now referred to as the Residential Clean Energy Credit for residential systems, you can reduce the cost of your PV solar energy system by 30 percent. Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or a solar loan), and that you must have enough income for the tax credit to be meaningful (unless you’re a tax-exempt entity, in which case you might be eligible for a direct payment).