New Jersey Solar Panels [Cost & Installation Pricing Guide 2022]
In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in New Jersey, you’ll learn:
- What the average cost of going solar in New Jersey is
- How solar system sizes affect installation costs in New Jersey
- How New Jerseyans can save money when going solar
- Which local installation companies have the best prices
This guide has helped thousands of New Jerseyan homeowners save time and money when going solar by teaching them exactly what affects installation costs in the Garden State. Let’s get started!
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in New Jersey?
As with much of the cost of living in New Jersey, the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in the state are also above the U.S. average, but only slightly so. Based on EcoWatch’s market research and data from top solar brands, the cost of solar panels in NJ is about $2.77 per watt. This is about 4% higher than the national average cost of $2.66 per watt.
To put that cost in practical terms for a solar project on an average sized home, a 5-kilowatt (kW) solar system can be expected to cost about $10,249 (after the federal solar tax credit is applied). Based on the local electric rates, the average payback period is around 10 years.
Here are estimates for other common solar system sizes:
|Size of Solar Panel System||New Jersey Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Note that the prices above are simply estimated averages based on market data. The actual all-in cost for any individual solar project can and will vary due to factors including those discussed below.
Related Article: How to Get the Best Electricity Rates in New Jersey?
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in New Jersey?
Most homeowners in New Jersey pay around $14,349 for their solar panel systems after the federal tax credit. However, typical prices can fall anywhere between $8,199 and $20,498, depending on a few primary factors that affect costs. We’ll take you through these factors below.
As with any other equipment purchase for your home, the type of equipment you choose for your solar installation will play a major role in the total tab for your system.
Solar panel brands vary in efficiency, with higher-efficiency options typically costing more. New Jersey homeowners usually don’t need to choose the highest-efficiency brands because the state gets sufficient sunlight on average (206 days per year) to offset energy consumption even with moderate-efficiency panels. This is just one reason why overall costs for solar in NJ tend to be lower than average.
Generally speaking, most of New Jersey isn’t prone to much extreme weather, with the exception of nor’easters that can bring heavy snowfall and strong winds.
The risk of power outages is far lower than in states that experience more intense weather conditions, so relatively few NJ homeowners opt for solar batteries. Batteries are add-on products that raise the overall price for your system, so this is another reason why solar equipment costs in NJ are generally quite low.
Solar Financing in New Jersey
Solar panels are expensive, but most homeowners have options when it comes to financing them.
A cash purchase means you pay the entire cost of the panels up front, but you won’t have interest charges, minimizing your total cost. A solar loan reduces or eliminates your up-front payment, but you’ll pay interest which will raise the long-term cost of your system. Solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are also options for putting no money down, but these tend to cost even more than solar loans.
Homeowners in NJ have access to plenty of solar financing options. Unfortunately, there is no Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for residential customers — although a C-PACE program does exist for commercial customers — nor is there any dedicated financing option to make solar more accessible to low-income households.
New Jersey Solar Installation Company
The installer you choose for your solar project can have a significant impact on what you pay for your system as well. Every company charges different rates for labor and equipment, and each company only offers specific panel brands, which can have an effect on the overall price as well.
When you’re comparing the cost of different solar installers in NJ, it’s helpful to compare the quality of the brands they offer.
For example, SunPower is one of the best national solar companies that serves NJ, and it installs only panels from its sister company, Maxeon. These panels are some of the most expensive and efficient in the industry, so SunPower’s pricing will naturally be higher than that of other companies. However, you’ll also get higher efficiency, a better warranty and better overall performance.
On the other hand, Green Power Energy and New Jersey Solar Power — two local solar companies in NJ — install brands like SolarEdge, Tesla and JinkoSolar. These panels are more affordable but have a lower efficiency and a less appealing warranty. The cost will be lower, but the value will also be lower.
Additional Considerations and Costs in New Jersey
The cost factors above are crucial to consider when choosing a solar installer in New Jersey, but there are some other considerations to include which we’ll discuss below.
- Permits: The State of New Jersey requires all solar panel systems to be permitted then inspected by your local municipality after installation. Your solar installer should take care of this process for you, but you might be called on to coordinate the inspection and pay for the permit.
- Licenses: New Jersey mandates that solar panel installers carry a general contractor license and an electrical contractor license. While there are no specific solar installer licenses, before you sign any agreements you should make sure your company has the licenses that are required.
- Warranties: It’s important to consider the warranty included with your solar panels and installation. Warranties that cover the equipment, installation and performance are the best, and the longer the warranty, the better.
- HOAs: New Jersey has legislation in place to protect the solar rights of all residents. The state prevents homeowners’ associations and other private entities from prohibiting solar installation and from obstructing installed solar panels.
- Environmental zoning: Zoning laws in New Jersey can be quite strict, but the regulations generally don’t interfere with rooftop solar systems, so you shouldn’t run into any problems.
Read More: Current State of Solar in New Jersey
New Jersey Solar Incentives
Installing solar and promoting clean energy generation is a benefit to any community, which is why local governments offer direct incentives and rebates to help lower the cost of solar panels in New Jersey.
See a breakdown of New Jersey’s solar rebates and tax incentive programs below.
|New Jersey Solar Incentives||Description|
|New Jersey Net Metering Programs||Through net metering, you can receive credits for any surplus solar energy you produce and export to the grid. These credits can be used to pay electric bills. Not every state has a net metering mandate, but New Jersey does.|
|Transition Renewable Energy Certificates||You earn one TREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by your solar panels, and these can be sold to companies that are legally obligated to meet renewable energy goals. Residential TRECs sell for $91.20 per credit (as of December 2021). These replaced the former Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).|
|New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions||Solar panels are exempt from the 7% sales tax in New Jersey. You will also receive a property tax exemption to avoid paying more in taxes due to your home value increasing after installing solar.|
|Local Incentives||Additional incentives and low-interest financing programs may be available depending on where you live in New Jersey.|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of a solar power system turned on before the end of 2022.|
Watch Below for a further explanation of New Jersey’s TREC program.
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in New Jersey
New Jersey is home to many solar installers that carry a variety of equipment brands. The table below includes a side-by-side cost comparison of some of the best solar panels available in NJ. This should help you decide which brands will fit into your budget and which might be prohibitively expensive.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
Ready to see what your solar system will cost? Select one of our recommended solar providers below and we’ll have a local installer provide you with a free quote for a system that could eliminate your energy bills.
Is New Jersey a Good State For Solar Panels?
New Jersey is considered a good state for solar installation, and it’s ranked eighth in the country for solar adoption by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).1
Residents enjoy around the national average number of sunny days per year, so there is ample sunlight for most homeowners to eliminate energy bills provided they get an appropriately-sized system for their homes. Additionally, the state isn’t prone to severe weather, so solar batteries aren’t prevalent — meaning overall costs for solar systems are lower.
New Jersey also has some favorable solar laws and regulations, including solar rights and easement laws to guarantee access to solar panels, a favorable net metering program, a Transition Renewable Energy Certificate (TREC) program to help maximize long-term savings, a property tax exemption and a sales tax exemption.
All of these programs and incentives make solar more affordable and more appealing in the Garden State.
How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in New Jersey?
It’s difficult to say how much energy your solar energy system will produce in New Jersey because there are many things that affect your rate of power generation. These include the direction your roof faces, the number and efficiency of the panels you have installed, shading on your property and more.
Most New Jersey homeowners need to install a 7 kW system to offset energy consumption. With the average monthly electricity usage in NJ hovering around 683 kilowatt-hours per month, it’s safe to assume that the typical 7 kW system will generate a little more than 700 kWh monthly. This would offset electric consumption, thereby eliminating energy bills.
Solar Policy History in New Jersey
New Jersey’s pro-solar laws began back in 1978, when the solar rights and easement laws mentioned above were established. The sales tax exemption to reduce the upfront cost of solar equipment was established two years later in 1980.
In 1999, New Jersey took one of the biggest steps to promote solar adoption, setting a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of producing 22.5% of the state’s energy via renewable sources by 2021. NJ later increased this to 35% by 2025 and set another goal of 50% by 2030, making its RPS one of the most aggressive in the country.
The Societal Benefits Charge (SBC) was also initiated in 1999, and this collected funds from electric ratepayers to promote renewable energy throughout the state. New Jersey also established a net metering program, which, by 2012, would become one of the most advantageous policies in the country.
Additionally, in 2004, New Jersey created its Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) market and system, which further incentivized solar conversion by allowing customers to sell overproduction for profit. The solar industry in NJ is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with the SEIA estimating that an additional 1,900-plus megawatts will be installed over the next five years.2
- Should You Go Solar In New Jersey?
- The College of New Jersey is Installing Parking Lot Solar Arrays
- Green grid goal is practical for New Jersey, Princeton’s Jenkins tells lawmakers
FAQs: Cost of Solar Panels in New Jersey
At EcoWatch, we’re happy to get questions about the process and costs of getting rooftop solar from New Jersey residents. Below are some of the questions we see most often, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of solar panels in New Jersey will vary based on a number of factors, including the specific equipment chosen, the installation company used, the size of the system, the financing method used, and how many incentives are utilized. That said, an average-sized solar system of 5 kilowatts will typically cost $10,249, while a larger system of 10 kilowatts would cost about $20,498 (after the federal tax credit is applied).
No, solar panels are not free in New Jersey. That said, solar panels will end up paying for themselves in energy bill savings. Further, the state of New Jersey offers incentives to make solar installations cost less upfront and be more profitable in the long run.
On average, 1,500-square-foot home will require about a 6-kilowatt solar system to meet its energy demands. According to our research, a 6-kilowatt installation in New Jersey will cost about $12,299 after the federal tax credit.