New Brunswick has a population of over 55,000 and is characterized by its high concentration of healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical company headquarters, include pharma giant Johnson & Johnson. Some of the best-known healthcare centers in the city are Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Medical School, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. New Brunswick has been nicknamed “The Healthcare City” due to the local importance of that industry.
In addition to creating the latest medicines and best hospital experiences in the nation, some of these healthcare companies have also made significant efforts to make promote clean energy. Like many other New Jersey cities, New Brunswick has seen plenty of activity in the solar power industry over recent years:
New Brunswick electricity rates are around 15% higher than the national average; PSE&G charges around 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). And while these rates are high, they are still increasing. PSE&G rates increased by 5% between 2016 and 2017. This is bad news if you purchase all your energy from the power grid, but great news if you use solar panels. Home and business owners can save $150 per 1,000 kWh of solar energy produced by their solar systems. Annual savings are also expected as increase as PSE&G electricity rates continue to rise
In New Brunswick, solar panel systems accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). Basically, owners of a solar power system are awarded one SREC each time the system generates 1,000 kWh, even if that energy is used for self-consumption. SRECs can then be sold for around $220 each. When you add the power bill savings per 1,000 kWh and the price of one SREC, there result is a total economic benefit of $370!
There are also significant tax benefits for solar panel system owners in New Brunswick:
New constructions may also be eligible for a rebate from the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions program. The program aims to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in New Jersey.
Home and business owners who want to install solar panels but are unable to pay the full price upfront have several options. For example, PSE&G offers a financing program that allows you to pay off the loan with SRECs. The advantage of this program is that you can guarantee a fixed SREC price. Some banks offer low-interest loans that require no upfront investment for those that qualify. Residents of New Brunswick can pay off their solar loans by taking advantage of energy savings, SREC income, and tax benefits.