Located in the Essex County, East Orange has a population of over 64,000. It was first founded as a township in 1863, and received city status in 1899. A portion of the city has been designated as an Urban Enterprise Zone since 1996, and it has become a hub of economic activity where commerce is only taxed at 50% of the normal rate. The city is rich in 19th century architecture, and many buildings have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Two of the best-known landmarks in East Orange are the Ambrose-Ward Mansion and the Second Presbyterian Church.
In recent years, there have been significant sustainability efforts made by the local government, businesses, and the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) – the electric utility company serving East Orange.
PSE&G charges East Orange residents an average electricity rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is 25% higher than the national average. In addition, electricity rates in the PSE&G service territory have been on the rise, with a 5% increase in 2016 alone. However, this represents a great opportunity to save money on your energy bills with a solar panel system, as residents of East Orange can lock in high savings that will constantly increase year after year.
One major advantage of installing solar panels in East Orange is that solar panel owners can claim a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every 1,000 kWh of clean energy generated, even if the owner consumes the energy the solar system produces. Each SREC can be sold for around $220 (as of early 2017). Add that to the average expected energy savings of $150 for each 1,000 kWh of solar energy produced, and residents of East Orange can save $370 per 1,000 klWh of solar energy!
As a complement to SREC program, East Orange offers solar panel owners a full tax exemption on solar panel systems:
The tax benefits do not end there: you can then claim 30% of your project cost as a federal tax credit, as soon as you file your next declaration.
If you would like to equip your property with solar panels but are unwilling to assume the upfront cost, PSE&G offers a loan that be paid for with SRECs. Also, if you have a solid credit record and own equity in your home, you can negotiate favorable loan terms with local banks.