Save with solar in Fort Lee, New Jersey

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Fort Lee, New Jersey

Nicknamed the “sixth borough” of New York City, Fort Lee gets its name from one of the key military camps used by George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Known as the birthplace of the US film industry, Fort Lee was home to the headquarters of many film companies in the early 20th century, becoming an economic pillar of the city. Although most companies moved west to Hollywood, television and filmmaking are still an important industry in present-day New Jersey.

In recent years, energy efficiency and renewable generation have gained traction in Fort Lee. Here are some of the largest projects:

  • The Northbridge Park Housing Cooperative, a luxury 14-story building in Fort Lee, has reduced its power bills by 16% with energy efficiency upgrades for its chiller plant.
  • The Holiday Inn at the GW Bridge also carried out energy efficiency upgrades in 2012, reducing yearly energy expenses by more than $12,000.
  • Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), the local utility company, is equipping utility poles with solar panels as part of its Solar 4 All program. More than 600 utility poles have been upgraded in Fort Lee, and the total solar power capacity exceeds 150 kilowatts (kW).

Investing in Solar Power in Fort Lee, NJ

PSE&G charges around 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is 3 cents above the national average. Additionally, PSE&G tends to increase their electricity rates each year. For example, PSE&G customers saw their power bills increase by 5% from 2016 to 2017. While this is not good news for PSE&G customers, it does mean that residents of Fort Lee can save a lot of money on their power bills by switching to solar.

New Jersey also has strong incentives that promote the adoption of solar panels, such as the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program. Each time your solar panels generate 1,000 kWh of electricity, you earn an SREC which can be sold for around $220 each as of early 2017. Keep in mind that for those 1,000 kWh of solar electricity generated, you will also save about $150 on your energy bills in addition to earning $220 from the sale of an SREC. SRECs are awarded even if the energy from solar panels is used for self-consumption!

If you install a solar panel system in Fort Lee, you also get various tax benefits that reduce ownership costs significantly:

  • No sales tax, which provides you with immediate upfront savings.
  • No property tax: A solar panel system increases your home’s value by around $20,000, but your property taxes will not increase.
  • Solar Investment Tax Credit: This is a federal incentive that applies for all solar panels installed before the end of 2019. When you purchase a solar panel system for your home or business, 30% of the cost of the system is deductible from your federal taxes.

If you are considering solar panels for a new construction, there is an additional benefit available; you can apply for a rebate through the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions Program. This program provides rebates for new constructions that employ energy efficiency and renewable generation measures.

PSE&G offers an attractive financing option if you are interested in a solar panel system but would like to avoid the upfront cost. They install the system for you, and you agree to repay them with the SRECs generated by your installation. Alternatively, you can consider a home-equity line of credit (HELOC), which typically comes with a single-digit interest rate and a repayment period of up to 15 years. This will allow you to start saving money with solar immediately without having to invest any money upfront. Installing solar panels is a smart investment for home and business owners in Fort Lee, NJ!