New Jersey solar panels: The complete guide in 2024

Data updated Jun 11, 2024

Written by: Emily Walker

Interested in going solar? You'll need to install a 11.3 kW solar panel system to cover the average electric bill in New Jersey, which will cost you about $22,646 after the federal tax credit.

Cost for an average system in New Jersey


Out of pocket cost, cash
$32,351
Federal tax credit (30%)
- $9,705
Price post tax credit
$22,646

20-year savings $41,393
Payback period 7 Years
Electricity offset 87%
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As long as your federal tax bill is high enough, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

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Going solar in New Jersey

New Jersey’s above-average electricity prices and solid net metering and SREC programs make solar panels a good investment for pretty much anyone in the Garden State. 

Factor in the federal solar tax credit and New Jerseyans can cut the cost of solar by thousands of dollars, speeding up their payback periods and increasing the value of their investments. 

Here's what you should know about going solar in New Jersey.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost in New Jersey?

Solar panels will save you a lot of money over time, but the upfront costs aren't cheap. The average New Jersey homeowner needs a 11.3 kW solar panel system to cover their electricity needs, which comes out to $32,351 before incentives. Prices range from $27,498 to $37,204, but after the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%. 

New Jersey has some local incentives as well, like the Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program, New Jersey’s solar renewable energy credit (SREC) program. Under this program, you can earn $85 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean electricity your panels produce. For example, if you produce 10 MWh of electricity annually, you’ll earn $850 a year. 

These great incentives mean that going solar pays off in New Jersey. That's why over 26,000 New Jersey homeowners have used EnergySage to receive and compare quotes for solar installations. You can expect to earn back your initial solar investment through electricity savings in about 6.96 years, while most systems last at least 25 years. You'll often see this number referenced as your solar payback period.

There are a few ways to finance your solar panel system so you don't have to provide all that money upfront. 

  • Cash purchase: You'll own the system and pay for it upfront. This provides the best long-term savings. 

  • Solar loan: Allows you to retain ownership of your system, while owing little to no money upfront. Solar loans aren't all created equal: If you have access to subsidized clean energy loans through local incentive programs, that's usually your best bet. A home equity loan or a personal loan are often your next best options – private solar loans typically come with higher interest rates or upfront fees.

  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A third-party company owns your system and either leases you the solar panels (solar lease) or allows you to purchase the electricity they generate (PPA). These generally provide the lowest savings and generate the most negative press about solar. If you choose this financing option, read the fine print: You can get trapped in them for longer than you'd like.

Solar panels on a house

Incentives

What are the best solar rebates and incentives in New Jersey?

Incentives help bring solar's price tag down considerably in New Jersey. Here are the major ones to know about:

Incentive
Average savings in New Jersey
Description

Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

$9,705

Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) program

$850

Allows you to generate and sell SRECs to utilities

New Jersey solar sales tax exemption

6.625% of your system’s cost

You don't need to pay any sales tax on solar energy equipment in New Jersey

New Jersey solar property tax exemption

2.23% of your system's value, annually on average

If you use solar energy as a source of power, you won't need to pay for the value your solar panels add to your property.

Is net metering available in New Jersey?

In some states, you'll earn bill credits from your utility company when your solar panel system generates excess electricity and sends it to the grid. This incentive is known as net metering—basically a solar buyback program—and makes it so you will owe very little, or even nothing, on your electric bills with solar panels. 

Under New Jersey’s net metering program, you’ll earn credits at the retail rate of electricity for each kWh of electricity your system produces, up to 100% of your annual utility electricity demand. If you send more electricity to the grid than you demand over the course of a year, you’ll be credited at the wholesale rate for your excess generation––which is much lower. 

All major utilities in New Jersey offer net metering, so make sure to cash in on it while it's still available. Get the details on net metering in New Jersey or see program specifics below:

A house with rooftop solar panels connected to the grid

Equipment

Equipment quality

Each year, solar panels get more and more efficient—that is, they produce more power per square foot. As of 2024, the most popular solar panels can produce about 400 watts of electricity when they’re in full sunlight. If you want to make the most of your roof’s solar potential, get panels with at least that much power output.  

You should also make sure to select a solar inverter setup that makes sense for your roof’s layout. 

And if you want or need a solar battery, be sure to pick one that can integrate cleanly with that inverter. 

Premium equipment can come with a high price tag, but it will often save you more money in the long run. The best equipment tends to have the best warranty terms, often guaranteed to 25 years (sometimes even 40!), so you’re covered in case you need repairs or replacements. The highest-quality panels also degrade more slowly, so they’ll maintain more of their power output further into the future. 

See our list of the best solar panels

resources

Top solar resources for New Jersey

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