Save with solar in Plainfield, New Jersey

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Plainfield, New Jersey

Plainfield has a long history, dating back to 1684 when the region was settled by Quakers. It became a city in 1869 and now has a population of over 50,000. Originally Plainfield was mostly a residential city, and a large fraction of the population worked in New York. However, the city is now a hub of industrial development, including chemicals, electronics, and auto parts.

Plainfield is rich in colonial architecture and historic legacy, and many landmark buildings have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Nathaniel Drake House, which served as headquarters for George Washington during the Battle of Short Hills in 1777, is one such landmark. The building is now a museum and is preserved by the Historical Society of Plainfield.

In recent years, the municipal government has been working on making Plainfield more energy efficient and green. The Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), the local utility, has also taken steps to deploy more renewable energy resources:

  • The Plainfield Schools Energy Savings Program aims to reduce energy costs for local schools with a combination of building upgrades and energy-conscious habits. The program saves thousands of dollars each year.
  • PSE&G installed solar panels on utility poles throughout many cities in New Jersey. So far, more than 1,500 utility poles with a total generation capacity exceeding 340 kilowatts have been deployed in Plainfield.
  • The Comprehensive Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) provides funding to upgrade residential buildings’ electricity and heating systems. CHAP hopes to eliminate unsafe conditions and improving building energy performance.

Is Solar Power a Good Investment in Plainfield, NJ?

Plainfield is served by PSE&G, which has an average electricity price of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). PSE&G’s rate in Plainfield is around 15% higher than the national average. This makes solar power an attractive alternative for PSE&G customers. Keep in mind that while utility rates are constantly increasing (PSE&G rates increased by 5% in 2016), you can lock in your electricity rate with solar.

Saving money on your power bill is not the only economic benefit of installing solar panels in Plainfield. You can also accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) at a rate of one SREC for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean energy generated.

  • One MWh of solar energy produced is equivalent to $150 in energy savings.
  • Each SREC sells for around $220 as of 2017.
  • Therefore, each MWh generated with solar panels provides an economic benefit of $370.

There are also many tax benefits available. These tax benefits make solar panel systems much more affordable. Here’s a list of all the tax incentives residents of Plainfield are eligible for:

  • Solar panels are fully exempt from a sales tax, which provides immediate upfront savings.
  • There is no property tax increase after installing solar panels, even though a solar panel system is expected to increase home value significantly – typically by more than $20,000!
  • If you purchase solar panels, you can deduct 30% of the total cost from your federal tax burden. This applies to all solar panel systems deployed before the end of 2019.

Additionally, if you are considering a solar panel system for a home that hasn’t been built yet, you may be eligible for a rebate through the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions Program. This program hopes to promote clean energy generation on all new home constructions. Unfortunately, this program does not apply to existing buildings, but the above incentives still make solar power a great investment in Plainfield, New Jersey.