New Jersey Solar Incentives: Tax Credits & Rebates Guide (2022)

By Jon Jachura

All states differ in the number of solar incentives they offer for home and commercial businesses. And while New Jersey isn’t the most solar-friendly state, it does offer a few exemptions when you install a solar system for your NJ home. In this detailed guide on New Jersey solar incentives, rebates, and tax credits, we cover:

  • Why a solar system makes sense
  • Rebates that can help you save on your solar energy system
  • Available tax incentives to help you pay for a solar system.

New Jersey is pushing to become more solar-friendly, and its current incentives, paired with the federal ones, can help New Jersey homeowners make solar possible.

Why Go Solar in New Jersey?

The Garden State gets plenty of sunshine most of the year, but it costs between $15,000 to $32,000 for solar panel installation. So, New Jersey homeowners are having a tough time justifying the cost of a new solar system. However, the high electric rates paired with the electricity-draining hot summers and cold winters are good reasons many New Jerseyians are going solar.

Now is the time to take full advantage of the generous federal tax incentive before it reduces at the end of 2023. Plus, if you sell your NJ home, the PV system increases your property’s value without adding extra property taxes.

Besides the electricity and money savings, solar is a great way to go green and reduce your environmental impact. Plus, making your own electricity in New Jersey puts the power in your own hands.

New Jersey Solar Cost

Solar costs in New Jersey vary depending on your home’s energy requirements, the size of the system, and the installation costs. Most New Jersey homeowners pay between $15,000 to $32,000.

New Jersey doesn’t have the best solar rebates and incentives compared to other states. However, there are a few programs like the TRECs and tax exemptions. With the New Jersey rebates, exemptions, etc., you can potentially save thousands of dollars on a solar system.

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How Much Can You Save on Solar in New Jersey?

New Jersey doesn’t have a state-level solar incentive, but you can still decrease costs with federal incentives and local rebates. Most New Jersey homeowners save several thousand on a new solar system with federal rebates, tax exemptions, and other credits. Besides federal solar programs, New Jersey residents can save with local initiatives and rebates.

The Best Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates in New Jersey

Incentive Summary End Date
Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) New Jersey residents are eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit and receive a discount of up to 26% applied to their next federal tax return. If your solar panel system costs $25,000, you can get a credit for $6,500 when you file your taxes. But, you have the pay the full price upfront. December 31st, 2023 (reduces to 22%, expires in 2024)
New Jersey Solar Tax Incentive New Jersey does not charge sales tax on the material costs and installation of PV systems. None
Net Metering Net metering lets homeowners use their excess solar energy as a credit on their next electric bill. Most New Jersey power companies offer this to homes and businesses, but it is usually a partial credit. None
TRECs Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) are solar power rebates that homeowners and businesses can receive for solar energy production. The rate is $91.20 for homes and $152 for businesses per megawatt-hour. 2035
New Jersey Property Tax Incentive Property taxes do not increase when you install solar panels. As long as you own your home, your property taxes won’t increase from the added value of a solar panel system. None

Before you purchase a renewable energy system off the cuff, do thorough research. Sometimes, you have to follow specific steps to get the full benefit of a rebate, incentive, or credit. So, you must follow all requirements to a T to save the most money.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

All 50 states, including New Jersey, are eligible for the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This program gives homeowners a significant discount on their next federal tax return. The program currently provides a 26% tax credit on the cost of your solar system installation. You pay for the solar energy system upfront and out of pocket, then the IRS pays you back 26% when you file your federal taxes. The only downside is that you have to come up with the total price upfront, but you will get it back in a little over a year or less.

New Jersey residents should know that this federal credit will drop from 26% to 22% at the end of 2023. While 4% may not seem like a lot, it could be a thousand-dollar difference in savings for you. This is an excellent reason to consider installing your solar panels before this credit lowers. Plus, you can combine the ITC with other initiatives to reduce the cost.

New Jersey Solar Sales Tax Exemption

While New Jersey does not offer a tax credit, unlike states including California, it does provide a state sales tax exemption on the purchase price of your solar system. Since New Jersey’s sales tax is normally 6.625%, you immediately save this on your installation. However, this isn’t a rebate or refund; it just isn’t charged to you at all. This sales tax exemption can save you over $1,000 as well, depending on the total solar system cost.

New Jersey Solar Property Tax Exemption

Along with the sales tax exemption, New Jersey also provides a property tax exemption. As you might expect, a solar system increases the overall value of your home. And an increase in your home’s value would normally mean an increase in your property taxes, too, since it is based on a percentage. But, in New Jersey, solar systems are exempt from property taxes. For example, if your home’s value was $500,000 before solar and $525,000 after solar, your property taxes will still be based on $500,000 (not $525,000).

New Jersey Net Metering

New Jersey has a generous net metering policy. Net metering allows you to return your excess power to the power grid. Then, you can use that surplus as a credit to lower your power bill. Let’s say your home uses 700 kWh in one month, but your solar energy system produces 1,100 kWh. In that case, the extra 400 kWh will be exported to the grid. Then, when you get your energy bill for the month, you’ll receive a credit of 400 kWh. You may only get partial credit depending on your power company, municipality, or utility company.

New Jersey Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs)

Along with its tax exemptions, New Jersey offers residents and businesses additional incentive programs on solar systems with Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs). TRECs replaced SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate) in May 2020 and are based on how much electricity your home’s solar system generates. Here are the basics of how TRECs work:

  • For every megawatt-hour (1 mWh = 1,000 kWh) of solar power you make, you get one TREC.
  • Electric companies and utilities are legally obligated to purchase TRECs due to compliance efforts.
  • Each residential TREC sells for $91.20 and is a flat price for 15 years.

If your New Jersey home produces 10 megawatt-hours (10,000 kWh) of solar generation in a year, you will receive 10 renewable energy credits or TRECs with a value of $912.00.

Commercial New Jersey Solar Incentives

It is often less difficult for large businesses in New Jersey to get energy savings incentives and set up a net metering policy. Geothermal, PV systems, and other energy efficiency improvements/additions have significant installation costs, leaving quite the potential for savings.

Solar Incentives for Nonprofits and Businesses in New Jersey

There are no specific solar incentives for nonprofit organizations in New Jersey. However, the state offers a 100% subsidized energy audit for nonprofit agencies to help them become more energy efficient. However, it is important to note that nonprofits and businesses are still eligible for the Federal tax incentive.

USDA REAP Grant

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) from the United States Department of Agriculture assists agricultural producers in converting to renewable energy sources. It helps businesses secure loans for clean energy sources, including solar. The business has to supply its contact information to the USDA to get help with loan financing.

Besides agricultural producers, small rural businesses are also eligible for REAP’s resources for installing or upgrading renewable energy sources. Businesses that qualify for REAP don’t have to negotiate their own funding. Instead, the business just supplies its solar project plan to the USDA, and it provides the available grants.

Federal Solar Tax Credit for Businesses in New Jersey

Businesses in New Jersey that install a solar panel system receive a 30% federal tax credit when they file their taxes. If the business invests in a large solar system, this tax incentive can result in tens of thousands in savings.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit is the best way for homeowners and businesses to save money on solar power. However, this program will expire before the end of 2024 (unless the government extends it). Plus, the corporate credit will reduce from 30% to 10% in 2023, making a swift investment in solar necessary to receive the most savings.

New Jersey Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) Commercial

As with residents, New Jersey also offers businesses savings on solar systems with TRECs. Like residential solar systems, TRECs for commercial solar systems are based on how much electricity the business creates. However, the credit is higher at $152 per megawatt-hour or energy. Since businesses can generally support more solar capacity, these TRECs can stack up quickly.

Key Takeaways: The Best New Jersey Solar Incentives

Compared to some other states, New Jersey has some catching up to do with the solar incentives it offers. But, installing a photovoltaic system is a major decision that will keep providing savings yearly. And with solar power becoming more affordable in the United States, there is hope that new incentives will make it even more appealing to New Jerseyans. However, to get full advantage of the federal tax incentives, you must install a system before it expires.

New Jersey Solar FAQ

Is solar worth it in New Jersey?

Yes, solar is worth it in New Jersey. The state has many solar incentives that make going solar a smart investment. Plus, a home solar system can drastically reduce your electricity bill, but coming up with the upfront capital to pay for one can be challenging. In that case, solar loans, tax exemptions, rebates, net metering programs, and the ITC can be helpful.

How much will my electricity bill go down with solar in New Jersey?

How much your electricity bill will go down with solar in New Jersey depends on the size of your solar system, how much sunlight your location gets, and your current electricity rates. However, most homeowners see an average electric bill savings of at least 50%. Some homes can even offset their electricity usage completely in the summer months.

How much does it cost for solar panels in New Jersey?

Solar panel system prices in New Jersey vary widely depending on the size of your home, how much sunlight your location gets, and the type of solar panels you choose. However, the average cost of a 5kW solar panel system in New Jersey is around $18,000 before any incentives.

Can you get solar panels for free in New Jersey?

No, you cannot get solar panels for free in New Jersey. However, several solar incentives can make going solar much more affordable. The most popular incentive is the Federal Solar Tax Credit, which offers a 26% tax credit for solar panel systems for homeowners and a 30% tax credit for businesses.

What solar rebates are available in New Jersey?

The solar rebates available in New Jersey include the Federal ITC rebate (26% of the purchase price) and TRECs. TRECs are based on how much electricity your solar system produces and are currently worth $91.20 and $152 per megawatt-hour for homes and businesses, respectively.

How many homes in New Jersey have solar panels?

As of 2022, there are over 157,000 individual solar installations in New Jersey. However, it is impossible to determine what percentage of this is homes versus businesses and solar facilities.  However, this number has been snowballing in recent years as solar costs have fallen, and more people are aware of the environmental and financial benefits of going solar.

Do solar panels increase property taxes in New Jersey?

No, solar panels don’t increase property taxes in New Jersey. This is because the state offers a Property Tax Exemption for solar panel systems. The solar system will increase the value of your home, but the additional value will be exempt from your property tax calculation.

How much can you write off for solar panels on taxes in New Jersey?

The amount you can write off for solar panels on your taxes in New Jersey depends on the solar incentive you are eligible for. The most common incentive is the Federal Solar Tax Credit, which offers a 26% tax credit for solar panel systems for homeowners and a 30% tax credit for businesses.

House Method’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.

Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.

Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.

Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.

Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.

Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.

Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

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