Save with solar in New Brunswick, New Jersey

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New Brunswick, New Jersey

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:

  • Saint Peter’s University Hospital has a 2.1-megawatt (MW) solar panel system that has been operational since 2012. The facility is saving over $250,000 per year with the energy generated.
  • The local utility provider, the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), launched the Solar 4 All program to deploy 125 MW of solar power capacity throughout its service area in New Jersey. Over 1,600 utility poles in New Brunswick have been equipped with solar panels as part of the program.
  • In early 2016, solar panel systems were installed for the McKinley, Redshaw, and Woodrow Wilson public schools. Together, the three installations add up 760 kilowatts of capacity.
  • The Fellowship Village Retirement Community has been using solar power since 2009, when 40% of the rooftops in the community where equipped with solar panels.

Solar Power in New Brunswick, NJ

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:

  • Photovoltaic systems are exempt from the sales tax, which represents immediate upfront savings.
  • Even though solar panels are expected to increase your home value by over $20,000, you are exempt from a property tax increase.
  • These benefits are complemented with the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit – If you purchase a solar panel system, you can claim 30% of the cost as a deduction from your federal tax burden. The benefit applies for all solar panel systems installed before the end of 2019.

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.