Save with solar in Bayonne, New Jersey

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Bayonne, New Jersey

Bayonne has a population exceeding 63,000 and is part of the Port of New York and New Jersey. One of the best-known landmarks in the city, the Bayonne Bridge, is the fifth-largest steel arch bridge globally, and was the largest when it was completed in 1931. Other notable landmarks in the city include the Bayonne Truck House No. 1, the Bayonne Trust Company building, the First Reformed Dutch Church of Bergen Neck, and the Robbins Reef Light Station. All these buildings have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

In recent years, Bayonne has seen significant activity in the solar power sector, with many solar projects deployed by both local businesses and the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), the utility company:

  • The Royal Wine Corporation, a 150-year old company headquartered in Bayonne, completed a 1.15-megawatt (MW) solar panel systems for their main facility in 2011. This solar panel systems meets over 60% of their energy needs.
  • Midtown Community School is equipped with a microgrid system that combines solar panels and a diesel generator. The combined solar and generator system allows the school to operate completely off-the-grid and protects it against a grid blackout. The school was a key evacuation center during Hurricane Sandy thanks to this system.
  • The Solar 4 All program sponsored by PSE&G aims to install 125 MW of solar power capacity throughout New Jersey. Over 1,600 utility poles in Bayonne have been equipped with solar panels as part of the program. The utility has also developed a 1.75-MW solar panel system for Center Point Properties.

Solar Power in Bayonne, NJ

The average electricity price in Bayonne is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is around 15% higher than the national average electricity price, which means that solar panels offer significant savings potential. Also, PSE&G rates are constantly on the rise; PSE&G customers saw their bills increase by around 5% during 2016.

Energy savings are not the only economic benefits of installing solar panels. Home and business owners who decide to install solar also earn one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every 1,000 kWh of solar electricity generated, even if that energy is used for self-consumption. As of early 2017, each SREC can be sold for around $220. This means that every 1,000 kWh of energy produced by your solar panel system, you receive about $150 in energy savings and $220 in SREC income for a total economic benefits of $370!

If you are thinking of building a new home in Bayonne, there are additional incentives available to installing solar panels. New constructions in Bayonne that deploy energy efficiency or renewable energy are eligible for a rebate from the New Jersey Clean Energy Residential New Constructions Program. Unfortunately, the program does not apply for existing homes, but there are tax benefits owners of existing homes can claim. As a complement to the benefits above, solar panel systems in Bayonne are exempt from most taxes:

  • There is no sales tax on your upfront purchase.
  • Your property taxes stay the same, even though a solar panel system can raise your home value by over $20,000.
  • You can claim a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of the system, which is a nationwide benefit available to all solar panel owners who complete their projects before 2020.

When the benefits above are combined, powering your home with a solar panel system in Bayonne is significantly cheaper than relying on PSE&G. If you cannot pay for your solar system upfront, there are many financing options available to eligible home and business owners. For example, PSE&G offers a loan program where they assume the upfront cost of your installation if you agree to pay them back with your SRECs. The advantage of this financing method is that your SRECs are valued at a fixed price until you pay off the loan completely, even though their market value decreases year by year.