2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Bernards, NJ - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Bernards.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Bernards?
Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program
Small Net-Metered Non-Residential located on Rooftop, Carport, Canopy and Floating Solar
Projects smaller than 1 MW (dc): $100/SREC-II, $120 for public entities
Projects 1 MW to 5 MW (dc): $90/SREC-II, $110 for public entities
Net Metered Non-Residential Ground Mount
Projects smaller than 1 MW (dc): $85/SREC-II, $105 for public entities
Projects 1 MW to 5 MW (dc): $80/SREC-II, $100 for public entities
Community Solar LMI: $90/SREC-II
Community Solar Non-LMI: $70/SREC-II
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Registration Program
In June 2016, SREC traded at an average price of $229.90.
PSE&G - Solar Loan Program
NJ Clean Energy- Residential New Construction Program
Single family homes: Ranges from $1,125 to - 24,250
Multi-single homes: Ranges from $1,125 to $18,188
Multifamily homes: Ranges from $625-$12,125
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program
Single family : $2,000 to $4,000
Multi-family : $500-$1,500 per unit
Rebates for single family and multi-family should not exceed 50% of the cost of the measures used to calculate total estimated savings (TES)
See table below for details
Single-family: $5,000 (Tier II) or $10,000 (Tier III) 4.99% interest loans up to $15,000 (where utility 0% financing is unavailable)
Ductless Mini Split A/C or Heat Pump: $500
Air Source Heat Pump: $300 (Tier 1), $500(Tier 2)
Geothermal Heat Pump: $500
NJ Clean Energy- WARMAdvantage Program (Electric and Gas)
Solar Hot Water Heater: $1,200
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
Geothermal Heat Pump: $500
Air-Source or Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $300- $500
Residential Gas Customers (including propane):
Gas Furnace: $250- $500
Gas Boiler: $300
Gas Water Heater: $300
Solar Hot Water Heater: $1,200
Oil Heating Customers:
Oil Furnace: $250
Oil Boiler: $300
Boiler and Water Heater Combination Rebate: $700
Furnace and Water Heater Combination Rebate: $700- $950
New Jersey Renewable Energy Incentive Program (Sustainable Biopower)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the state of New Jersey and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (usually small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Bernards utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. You may have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, accessories and equipment — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Speaking with your local Bernards solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will then decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to talk with your local Bernards solar panel installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local solar incentives may come from the New Jersey government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bernards
The nationwide use of solar energy has significantly increased in the last 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the New Jersey government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local Bernards solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you should apply for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Bernards, NJ Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives will apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
I already have solar panels. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Speaking with a representative from the company that installed your solar system, or any local Bernards solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you qualify for.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my Bernards home?
Once you add solar panels to your home in Bernards, you can expect to save approximately $701.11 per year, or approximately $13,321.13 over the next 20 years.
If I change out my appliances for ones that utilize solar energy, are there any credits that I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides a number of incentives that reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.