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2022 New Jersey Solar Tax Credits, Incentives & Rebates

See what kind of financial incentives are available for Garden State homeowners who go solar.

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Solar panels installed atop a suburban house in New Jersey
Robert D. Barnes / Getty Images

If you're looking for information about New Jersey solar tax credit and incentive programs, you've come to the right place. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity prices in New Jersey are about 30% higher than the U.S. average. However, this also means that the kilowatt-hours produced by solar panels will save you about 30% more, and the state offers many financial incentives that improve your return on investment.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that by the end of Q2 2021, New Jersey had an installed solar capacity of 3,739 MW, which is enough to meet the electricity needs of over 579,000 homes. The NJ solar industry has already received over $11 billion in total investment, and there are 470 solar companies providing more than 5,300 jobs in the state.

New Jersey gets modest sunshine compared to states like Texas and California, but it has favorable laws and incentives for solar power. This has helped the Garden State become one of the best states for solar in the nation.

In this article, we'll take a look at the full array of New Jersey solar incentives. If you'd like to see right away how much a solar installation would cost for your home, you can use this tool or fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a pre-screened New Jersey installer.

New Jersey Solar Tax Credits and Solar Rebates

When you consider New Jersey solar incentives and electricity prices, it's possible to get a solar payback period of less than six years. This is great for an investment that has a service life of 25 years or more and is covered by manufacturer warranties for the majority of that period. The following chart summarizes all the benefits available when going solar in New Jersey:

New Jersey Solar Incentive

Program Overview

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is required by law in NJ, which means you get credits for surplus solar energy that gets exported to the grid. These credits can be used to pay power bills.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

You earn one TREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by your solar panels, and each TREC sells for $91.20 (as of November 2021).

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

Solar panels are exempt from the 7% sales tax in NJ, and your home value increase after installing solar is exempt from property taxes.

Local Incentives

Additional incentives and low-interest financing programs may be available, depending on where you live in New Jersey.

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is a simple concept, and it makes solar power much more valuable for homes. When your solar panels are producing more electricity than what your home is consuming, the difference gets fed back into the grid. Thanks to New Jersey's net metering regulations, electricity providers must give you full retail value credit for surplus solar energy, which gets subtracted from your electric bills.

  • As a quick example, assume your solar panel system produces 1,000 kWh of energy during a month, but you only consume 600 kWh. The other 400 kWh is exported to the grid.
  • Thanks to net metering, you'll receive the full value of that 400 kWh. In states without this benefit, electricity companies decide how to compensate you for surplus solar power, and many of them only give partial credit.

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and PSE&G currently have the two largest net metering programs in New Jersey. If there is a month where your solar generation is higher than your electricity consumption, credits are rolled over to the next billing period. Once per year, accumulated credits in your favor are compensated at wholesale price (not retail price) and the balance resets to zero.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

In New Jersey, solar panels not only give you power bill savings. You can also accumulate Transition Renewable Energy Certificates based on how much electricity is generated.

  • For every megawatt-hour (1,000 kWh) of solar generation, you get one TREC.
  • Electric utilities and other companies with a legal obligation to support renewable energy will purchase TRECs as part of their compliance efforts.
  • As of November 2021, each TREC sells for $91.20.

If a solar energy system in New Jersey produces over 10,000 kWh per year, you get an additional 10 TRECs. With an electricity tariff of 16 cents/kWh, you would save $1,600 per year. However, you also get $912 for the 10 TRECs, and your total economic benefit is $2,512 per year.

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

There are two main tax incentives for New Jersey homeowners going solar: a property tax exemption and state sales tax exemption.

  • Solar panels are exempt from increased property taxes. If a home has an assessed property value of $400,000, and solar panels increase this to $420,000, the owner will still be taxed on $400,000.
  • Solar panels are exempt from New Jersey's 7% sales tax, which immediately makes them more affordable. For example, if the sales price of your home solar system is $15,000, you're saving $1,050 right away.

Solar Rebates and Other Local Incentives

In addition to the incentive programs described above, additional benefits such as solar rebates may be available in some New Jersey municipalities. Before installing solar panels, make sure you're not missing out on any incentives available in your area.

New Jersey has also enacted laws that enable PACE financing in the state. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, and these programs give you low-interest loans for solar panels and other clean energy upgrades. As of the end of 2021, there are a few PACE programs under development in New Jersey, but the options are still limited.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The 26% federal solar tax credit is a nationwide benefit, and you can combine it with New Jersey solar incentives to improve your ROI. The official name of this incentive is the Investment Tax Credit or ITC. The credit is set to reduce to 22% in 2023 and will not be continued thereafter unless Congress approves an extension.

You can read our federal solar tax credit guide for more information on how this credit works.

Any top solar company will be able to help you identify and apply for financial incentives available in your area. To get connected to a certified installer near you, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

FAQ: New Jersey Solar Incentives

Is solar really free in NJ?

No, New Jersey doesn't have any official programs that offer free solar panels. However, solar panels can achieve a payback period of fewer than six years in the state, while lasting for 25 years or more. In other words, you have free electricity for many years after recovering your initial investment.

With a low-interest loan, you can go solar for $0 upfront, then use electricity savings to pay off the loan. Strictly speaking, this doesn't make solar panels free, but they are essentially paying for themselves.

Is solar good in New Jersey?

Yes, solar is good in New Jersey. New Jersey has above-average electricity prices and many incentive programs for solar power, and this improves your return on investment when going solar. Although there are sunnier places in the U.S., New Jersey gets enough sunshine to make solar panels cost-effective.

Can you sell power back to the grid in NJ?

Yes, you sell power back to the grid in NJ. New Jersey has one of the best net metering programs in the U.S., where you get full credit for solar electricity that gets exported to the grid. Unused credit can be rolled over to the next month, and you get paid for accumulated credit once per year.

All electricity sent to the grid is credited at retail price, except for accumulated annual credits, which are paid at wholesale prices (the price paid by electricity providers when purchasing energy from power generators).

Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, fast food, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.
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