Save with solar in Newark, New Jersey

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Newark, New Jersey

Newark has the largest population in the state of New Jersey with almost 300,000 inhabitants. It is also the second largest city of the New York metropolitan area, after NYC itself. The city is an important hub for the US transportation industry, being home to a major airport, as well as significant shipping and railroad operations. Dating back to 1666, Newark is also one of the oldest cities in the nation.

The local government and private sector are betting on solar power as a sustainable and long-term energy source. Many projects have been deployed in Newark to reduce carbon emissions, such as:

  • The local utility, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), has been equipping Newark schools with solar panels since 2010. This is part of PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program, which has the goal of installing 125 MW of solar power capacity across its service area.
  • Anheuser-Busch has equipped its Newark brewery with over 3,000 solar panels spread over an area of 65,000 square feet to power its operations with clean, renewable solar power.
  • FedEx equipped its distribution center at the Newark Liberty International Airport with nearly 9,000 solar panels, covering up to 15 percent of its energy demand.

The benefits of solar power are also available for home and small business owners, thanks to the broad range of incentives and financing options locally available.

Is Solar Power a Good Investment in Newark, NJ?

Residents of the city of Newark are served by PSE&G, and the average price of electricity is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is about 15% higher than the national average. This is bad news if you purchase all your energy from the power grid, but great news if you deploy solar panels. The energy generated by a solar panel system in Newark is very valuable, and the savings are significant. Also, keep in mind that energy rates are constantly on the rise; between 2016 and 2017, the power bills of PSE&G customers increased by around 5 percent!

In addition to saving on your utility bills, a solar panel system in New Jersey accumulates Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), at a rate of one SREC for every 1,000 kWh generated, even if the solar electricity generated is used for self-consumption. As of 2017, each SREC can be sold for around $220. This means that the total economic benefit of generating 1,000 kWh with solar panels is around $370 ($150 from energy savings and $220 for each SREC sold).

Newark also offers a broad range of incentives to make solar panels more affordable. For example:

  • If you are planning to build a new home and want to implement solar power and other clean energy measures, the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Construction Program offers attractive rebates.
  • PSE&G has a loan program for customers who deploy solar panels. They give you the option of paying off the loan with the SRECs earned by your installation, and you can negotiate a fixed long-term price with them. Even if the market price of SRECs drops, you will still get the same rate!
  • Solar panels are tax-free. Solar panel owners are exempt from the sales tax when they first purchase solar panels, and are not subject to a property tax increase even though a solar panel installation will increase property value.

The growth of solar power in Newark has been driven in large part by the statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard. Under this policy, all utilities are required to generate 22.5% of their energy from clean sources by 2021, and 4.1% of it must come from solar power by 2028.