Researching the cost of solar energy conversions in New Jersey can be overwhelming. And when gathering quotes from different installation companies, you realize that it is hard to come up with an exact figure. Things become more complex when you start to factor in incentives, rebates, and tax credits.
In this article, we present to you all the necessary details on the cost of solar energy conversions and some tips to get the best deal possible. If you require further information, visit us on the web at gosolarnewjersey.org.
Most homeowners would like to install solar panels that can produce enough energy to meet all their electrical needs and remove their utility bills. So, a good place to start is to determine the energy needs of your home. Going by the national average in the U.S., every year, each household consumes about 10,400 kWh (kilowatt-hour). To produce this amount of energy, a consumer will need to invest between 28 and 34 of the popular 250-watt solar panels. The amount of sunlight you get will also determine the exact number of panels you need. New Jersey enjoys about 2500 total hours of sunlight every year.
You need the following equipment for a solar system:
Solar Panels: As far as solar panels are concerned, monocrystalline and polycrystalline are the two technologies currently dominating the market. Although these two technologies work the same way, the efficiency rate of the monocrystalline is higher. However, they vary in cost and appearance.
Inverters: Most homes are wired to use AC power. However, solar power is received as Direct Current (DC). The work of inverters is to help convert the DC to AC power.
Solar batteries: During times of low intensity of sunlight such as on cloudy days or at night, solar batteries enable homeowners to use the solar energy that their home has generated.
Performance monitoring system: With the help of this system, you can know how well your system is running, giving details of the hourly electricity being produced by your solar system. They also make it easy to know if and when there is an issue with your solar system.
Racking: Solar panels are not just mounted directly to the roof of your home; they are first mounted on a racking system which is then installed onto your roof. With the racking system, the solar panels are placed to get optimum energy from the sun, and also prevent damage to the roof of your home. If you are looking to get a ground mount solar or a solar carport, you should find a mounting system that is appropriate for your needs.
You are likely to get varying quotes from different solar installation companies. Some of them may charge more either because they spend more on advertising, or they invest in equipment of higher quality.
Take some time to research solar installers in your area. You can ask neighbors who have installed their solar panels about which installation company they used, and how happy they are with the company’s service.
Be sure to get quotes from multiple installation companies. Compare their customer reviews and what equipment they used. A good resource to read customer reviews of different installation companies is the Better Business Bureau. In the end, you will most likely receive quite a wide range of quotes from all these companies because of the difference in overhead fees that each installation company might charge you.
With diligent research, you could be saving yourself a lot of money on installation, sometimes in thousands of dollars. Because of their reputation and a long time of being established, big-name companies can charge you more without worrying about competition from small businesses.
New Jersey homeowners who invest in solar are offered a good selection of solar incentives. For example, with the Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program, you are rewarded for every 1000 kWh of solar that is produced by your system. These extra kilowatts can be sold to local utility companies.
At the moment, homeowners are offered a savings of 26% tax credit on the cost of their solar system through the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Note that after 2022, these savings will be reduced to 22%, and will be completely stopped by 2024. Now is the best time to take advantage of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit.
Also, New Jersey homeowners are offered full tax exemption of all solar energy equipment purchases, including racking and inverters.
Finally, in New Jersey, there is a property tax exemption for homeowners with renewable energy systems such as solar panels. To qualify for this exemption, all that you need is to apply for a certificate from your local tax assessor. With this, not only will you benefit from an increased property value, but your property tax will also not increase.
The initial cost of installing solar panels is one of the major deterrents that homeowners often face. In New Jersey, it could cost an average of $10,000 to $20,000 for a solar project of 5-10 kW. However, there are many solar financing opportunities to help homeowners manage these expenses.
The three main financial options that you can explore are: paying cash, securing a solar loan, or through a solar lease or power purchase agreement. Depending on the financing option you choose, you can pay lower upfront costs, but you should expect the overall lifetime cost to increase accordingly.
As a New Jersey homeowner, calculating the cost of solar energy conversion from your home is not a straightforward process. However, with all the factors that have been discussed in this article, you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $20,000 for your solar energy conversion. However, it is important that you take action now especially before the New Jersey rebates and incentives are reviewed such as the Federal Solar Investment Tax credit that is going down to 22% after 2022, and eventually stopped by 2024.
Solar energy conversion is not a DIY procedure. Therefore, ensure that you get a solar installation company to help you with the process, and give you exact figures on how much it would cost to install a solar system that meets our needs.