2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Scotch Plains, NJ - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Scotch Plains.
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 March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Scotch Plains?
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 help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. Financial incentives like these are designed to encourage more homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy. You might qualify for several kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of New Jersey and others from the federal government. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Scotch Plains utility company, the company 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 areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives might be available to you if the solar system on your home produces over a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are generally handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you likely think of federal incentives first. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To best understand how the ITC could apply to you, contact your local Scotch Plains solar panel installer and request more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Scotch Plains solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these can include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the New Jersey government. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Scotch Plains
The expanding number of solar incentives available has enormously increased the use of solar power nationwide over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the New Jersey government, the federal government or your local utility company. Talking to your local Scotch Plains solar panel installation expert is an excellent first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Scotch Plains, NJ Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 300 pounds of CO2 a year when you install solar panels. This adds up to roughly 6,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any benefits that I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. You should discuss the details of your plan with your local Scotch Plains solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what kinds of incentives you will or won't qualify for.
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.