Save with solar in Paramus, New Jersey

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Paramus, New Jersey

A prominent suburb of New York City, Paramus boasts a population of over 26,000. The city has been ranked among the best places for entrepreneurship in New Jersey by several state magazines, and is one of the most visited shopping destinations in the entire US. The success of the retail sector has been due in large part to a sales tax exemption for all footwear and clothing items. The city has also used a sales tax exemption on solar panels to spark the solar industry in Paramus. This incentive, along with other state and federal incentives, makes solar power in Paramus a great investment.

In recent years, both municipal authorities and private companies have been deploying solar panel systems in Paramus:

  • In 2012, IKEA completed a rooftop solar panel system for its store in Paramus. The installation covers an area of 132,000 square feet with an installed capacity of 1,063 kilowatts (kW).
  • The Paramus school district invested $1 million to deploy a solar panel system at Paramus High School, which generates 240,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year.
  • The local utility, the Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), has been installing solar panels on utility poles throughout its service area in New Jersey. More than 700 utility poles in Paramus now have solar panels, adding over 160 kW of capacity.

Investing in Solar Power in Paramus, NJ

PSE&G charges around 17 cents per kWh, which is more than 4 cents higher than the national average price of electricity. PSE&G also increases its power rates every year. For example, PSE&G customers are paying 5% more for electricity in 2017 than they did in 2016. Given that electricity is expensive in Paramus and its price is expected to increase each year, solar panels are one of the best investments available to home and business owners.

In addition to reducing your power bills, solar panels also allow you to accumulate and sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). You earn one SREC for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy generated. Why are SRECs valuable? State law requires utility companies in New Jersey to acquire a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. PSE&G has developed some solar projects of its own, such as the utility pole program described above, but it cannot meet its entire renewable energy goal through its own projects. Therefore, PSE&G can either pay a hefty fine for not meeting its goal, or it can buy SRECs from home and business owners. SRECs are cheaper than potential fines, but you can still sell your SRECs to a utility for around $220 each (as of mid-2017). Keep in mind that SRECs are awarded for generating solar energy, so you can sell the credit even if you use the electricity your solar panels provide! Put another way, each time your solar panels generate 1,000 kWh of electricity, you save $170 on your power bills and earn an SREC that can be sold for $220!

If energy bill savings and SREC sales weren’t enough of an incentive, home and business owners in Paramus can also take advantage of several tax incentives:

  • No sales tax: You don’t have to pay an extra 7% when you purchase solar panels.
  • Property tax hike exemption: Installing solar is expected to increase your home value by $20,000 or more, but you are exempt from a corresponding increase in property taxes.
  • Federal tax credit: The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar panel system from federal taxes, as soon as you file your next declaration. This benefit expires at the end of 2019, making now the best time to go solar..
  • NJ Residential New Constructions Program: You can get a cash rebate from this program if you are planning to install solar panels on a home that hasn’t been built yet. Unfortunately, existing properties are not eligible for this incentive.

If you would like to avoid paying the full price of a solar panel system upfront, there are many financing options available that require little or no money down. PSE&G even has a financing program available for residents of Paramus. They offer a low-interest rate loan to cover the upfront cost of your solar panel system if you agree to pay them back with the SRECs your system generates. You don’t have to worry about selling your SRECs on the open market and get a locked in price for your future SRECs. However, there are many option available, and we suggest shopping around for the best financing option, but there are many ways to start saving money with solar immediately with $0 down. Installing solar can be a very lucrative investment for home and business owners in Paramus!