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Here's the Scoop on What New Jersey Residents Need to Know About Solar Panels

Want to save money on your energy costs? Discover solar alternatives available to Garden State residents.

Aerial view of Newark, NJ with a bright sun in the sky and the Manhattan skyline in the distance.
The sun rises over Newark, New Jersey, with the Manhattan skyline in the distance.
Howard Kingsnorth/Getty Images

New Jersey is a leading solar state with more than 4 gigawatts of total installed solar photovoltaic capacity. The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks New Jersey eighth in the nation for total installed PV capacity. Nearly 7% of the state's electricity comes from solar generation, which will increase in the coming years. 

According to CNET's corporate partner SaveOnEnergy, the Garden State ranks 12th in consumer electricity costs in the country. The average October residential electric bill in New Jersey was $112.81, or $1,353.72 per year. Investing in solar panels could save a resident more than $1,353.72 each year since New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities unanimously adopted electricity rate hikes in September 2022 due to high fuel prices. Rising electricity rates make solar an attractive alternative for New Jersey consumers trying to lower energy costs. 

Going solar is more feasible and affordable for many Americans than just a decade ago. According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, the cost of residential solar panels has dropped by 64% since 2010. Federal, state and local rebates can significantly cut the initial cost of solar panels. Solar panels help you save on electric bills, cut household carbon emissions and boost your home's value.

New Jersey solar panel costs

The cost of a residential solar system will depend on the number and types of panels used, component options, installation fees and local permitting costs. The price differs between states due to varying local quotes, system sizes and incentives. The average size of a residential solar energy system in New Jersey is around 8 kilowatts -- slightly higher than the national average of 6 kW. Here's a breakdown of New Jersey solar panel costs and median system size based on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory data.

Typical solar installation costs in New Jersey


System size (kW) Price per watt Total cost
High 11.9 $4.31 $51,323
Median 8.1 $3.54 $28,908
Low 5.4 $2.82 $15,352

New Jersey vs. the US


System size (kW) Price per watt Total cost
New Jersey 8.1  $3.54 $28,908
US 6.5  $3.82 $24,742

If you are interested in installing solar panels on your property, they will cost you thousands of dollars upfront. While the simplest way to purchase them is with cash, not all homeowners have the money to pay upfront for a solar system. Other ways you can get solar panels include solar financing or entering a solar lease or power purchase agreement. All these options are available in New Jersey. But it's worth noting that signing a solar lease agreement or a PPA will make you ineligible for any tax credits and other financial incentives since you won't own the system.


Advertiser Disclosure: CNET's corporate partner, SaveOnEnergy, can help you find the right energy fit for your home. The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy fit for your home -- all for free. If you're interested in solar, answer a few questions to get an exact price quote from our solar advisors.


New Jersey solar panel incentives and rebates

Despite a significant decrease in costs since 2010, solar panels still cost thousands of dollars. You can reduce the price further with federal tax credits and other incentives specific to New Jersey. 

The federal Residential Clean Energy Credit (formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit) allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of a solar system from your federal tax returns after you purchase solar panels. The federal credit alone could cut more than $8,600 from the cost of the average solar system installed in New Jersey. Most solar batteries are also eligible for the federal tax credit if paired with solar panels. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, a major federal climate bill enacted in August 2022, increased and extended the solar tax credit until 2034. The credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. You can complete and submit form 5695 (PDF) to the IRS to receive the Clean Energy Credit. Follow the IRS instructions on how to complete this form. After the IRS approves your paperwork, you will get your solar savings in a credit when you file your federal tax return for the year.

New Jersey also provides several residential incentives to lower the cost of solar. While you can find a complete list of incentives in the Garden State on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, here are the major ones worth noting.

Program Description
Net Metering Net metering law in New Jersey mandates that utilities in the state offer net-metering rates to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Solar system owners can sell excess generation back to the grid at retail.
Solar Investment Property Tax Exemption In 2008, New Jersey adopted a law exempting on-site solar systems from property taxes. Solar owners must obtain a certificate from a local assessor to receive the exemption. The incentive amount is 100% of the value added by a solar system.
Solar Panel System Sales Tax Exemption Solar owners in New Jersey can receive a full exemption from the state's sales tax for all solar energy equipment. All taxpayers in the state are eligible for the exemption.
Successor Solar Incentive Program The SuSI program replaces New Jersey's Solar Renewable Energy Credit program. SREC is a tradeable certificate representing the positive environmental impact of your solar system. Under the SuSI program, you can receive one SREC for each megawatt-hour your solar system produces. Residential solar systems of all sizes receive a fixed $90 in SRECs for 15 years.

New Jersey solar panel companies

According to the SEIA, 370 solar companies are operating in New Jersey. It can be hard to narrow down the options from so many choices. Here is a list of some of the top solar installers in New Jersey. 

Green Power Energy

Since 2009, Green Power Energy has installed more than 130,000 residential solar systems in New Jersey. The company also installs battery storage systems and residential electric vehicle chargers. Green Power Energy offers a generous 25-year limited warranty for the quality of work, and most of its equipment has 25-year product and performance warranties. The company provides solar financing and leasing options to customers who can't pay cash for a solar system. 

Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing solar companies and is based in New Jersey, with services in 10 other states. The company uses in-house professionals who manage the sale, design, permitting, installation and interconnection of solar systems for residential and commercial customers. Momentum Solar also installs battery storage systems, which are currently limited to five states, including New Jersey. The company provides a 25-year quality-of-work warranty and a 25-year product warranty. Momentum Solar customers can buy outright, finance their solar panels, or enter a lease agreement or a PPA.

New Jersey Solar Power

Founded in 2003, New Jersey Solar Power is one of the longstanding solar installers in the state. The company's services include the installation of solar panels, solar batteries and EV chargers, real-time remote monitoring, financing, solar repair and maintenance. New Jersey Solar Power partners with large solar manufacturers like Enphase Energy, SolarEdge Technologies, Tesla, Q Cells and Generac. The company offers a 25-year quality-of-work warranty and 25-year product and performance warranties on all its solar equipment offerings. It doesn't provide solar leases and PPAs.

Palmetto Solar

Palmetto Solar is one of the country's largest solar panel and battery installers. Palmetto has built a strong customer support service since its founding in 2010. The company answers all your solar questions through phone, 24/7 online chat, and email options. It also offers post-sale support, like an optional Palmetto Peace of Mind Plan, which includes monitoring your solar system and discounts on maintenance, repairs, and solar panel cleaning. It promises a 25-year quality-of-work warranty, a 25-year performance warranty and a 12-year product warranty. If you can't buy a solar system with cash, Palmetto provides solar loan, leasing and PPA options for its residential customers. 

SunPower

Founded in 1985, SunPower is one of the top solar companies in the world. As one of the leading solar panel manufacturers, SunPower Maxeon solar panels have the highest efficiency level commercially available of nearly 23%. The company also provides solar installation services through an extensive network of certified installers in the US who handle the entire customer lifecycle, including design, permitting, installation, interconnection and maintenance. SunPower offers a 25-year Complete Confidence product warranty, a 25-year performance warranty and a 25-year warranty for the quality of work. SunPower provides solar financing, leasing and PPA options for its customers. In 2021, SunPower created an in-house financing institution called SunPower Financial, which offers attractive solar loans for underserved communities.

Installation factors to keep in mind

Going solar isn't cheap. It's worth considering all the factors when deciding your home's solar viability, including:

  • Your roof's condition and pitch: Your roof should be in good condition before you install solar panels. Putting up a new solar system on an older roof could cost you more in the long run because you will need to remove the panels and wiring if you need to replace or repair the roof. A roofing expert will examine your roof's condition before solar installation. Also, the roof's pitch will affect your solar panels' productivity. The Department of Energy determined that solar panels operate most efficiently with an angle between 15 and 40 degrees. 
  • HOA and neighborhood rules: New Jersey bans homeowners associations from blocking solar panel installations for their members. The state's Solar Easements Act gives residents the right to negotiate solar easements with neighbors to receive optimal exposure to sunlight for their solar systems.
  • Insurance coverage: It's a good idea to include your solar panels in your homeowner's insurance policy. Most homeowner's policies cover rooftop solar panels, but you'll need to check with your insurance company for the specific details of your policy.
  • Climate: New Jersey gets plenty of snow in the winter. While solar generation in the winter is less than in the summer due to shorter days, your solar panels will convert sunlight photons into electricity as long as the sun reaches the surface of the panels. Solar panels also can reach top efficiency levels in cold weather because their optimal internal temperature is between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While heavy snow may temporarily decrease solar generation, solar panels are typically installed at an angle to allow snow to slide off and resume generation.
  • Cost and time: Going solar is a significant investment for most people. But before you commit to a solar loan, lease, or PPA, you should consider how long you plan to live in your house. You won't reap the long-term cost savings from solar generation if you have to move in a few years. Yet solar panels can be the right choice if you plan to remain in your home for a long time. The average payback period for solar panels is between six and nine years, but it varies from state to state.

New Jersey solar power FAQs

How did New Jersey become a top solar producer in the US?

New Jersey's Clean Energy Program is a big reason. Established in 2001, it incorporates robust solar energy growth elements, like an annual incremental increase of solar generation in the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards and the development of the SREC program. Additionally, it includes net metering standards to incentivize residential solar investments. These measures created a robust solar market where investors get compensation for generating clean and renewable energy. 

What are Renewable Portfolio Standards?

Renewable Portfolio Standards, or RPS, are state mandates requiring that utilities generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. The RPS aims to increase the share of renewables in electricity generation and diversify energy sources. One of 31 states with RPS goals, New Jersey has the most ambitious RPS in the US. It requires 35% of energy sales to come from qualified renewable resources by 2025 and 50% by 2030. New Jersey's RPS should expand clean energy technologies in the state and provide economic and environmental benefits. 

Who can buy my SRECs?

You can sell your SRECs to electric suppliers and providers seeking to meet their state RPS requirements. Because SREC is an electronic certificate specifying name, location, fuel type, SREC quantity and SREC price, you can sell it through the GATS Bulletin Board (free to use) or through a broker or aggregator (fees apply) like Sol Systems. 

What happens to my SRECs if I sell my house?

If you sell your home, you can transfer the ownership of your solar system and SRECs to a new owner. You and the new owner must download and complete paperwork through PJM-EIS Generation Attribution Tracking System to transfer the title for the solar system and SRECs.