West New York is one of the most densely populated municipalities in the world, with more than 50,000 people within an area slightly larger than one square mile. Residential and commercial buildings make up most of the city, and high-rise condominiums are very common. West New York was incorporated as an independent town in 1898. The population growth in West New York was driven by the success of the textile industry in neighboring cities during the 19th century and early in the 20th century. Union City, a neighboring municipality, was once called “The Embroidery Capital of the United States”.
Like many cities in New Jersey, West New York has taken significant steps to become more energy efficiency and produce more renewable energy. Some of the largest projects include:
PSE&G is the local utility servicing the city of West New York, and PSE&G electricity rates are around 15% more expensive than the US average, with an average rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Being an investor-owned utility, PSE&G also tends to increase its rates on a yearly basis; PSE&G customers saw their power bills increase by around 5% in 2016 alone. Therefore, home and business owners who decide to install solar can expect to see significant energy savings.
In West New York, each time your solar panel system generates 1,000 kWh of solar electricity you achieve power bill savings of around $150, but you also earn a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC). The price of a SREC has remained at around $220 for most of 2016 and 2017, which means the total economic value of producing 1,000 kWh with your solar panel system is $370, or 37 cents per kWh. When you add energy savings and SREC sales, the economic benefits of solar become quite significant!
There are also significant tax benefits available for those who invest in solar power in West New York. Solar panel owners are not charged any sales tax when they first purchase their solar panel systems, and system owners are exempt from any property tax increase despite the fact that solar panels are expected to increase property value significantly. In addition to these two tax exemptions, you can claim 30% of the cost of your solar panel system as a federal tax credit, as soon as you file your next declaration. This benefit is available nationwide through the end of 2019.
If you are unable to assume the full cost of a solar panel system upfront, PSE&G offers a financing option with favorable terms for those who agree to pay for the loan with SREC income. This product, along with other solar financing options, allows you to start saving with solar immediately and doesn’t require any upfront investment. We recommend comparing multiple financing options before making a decision.
For those building a new home, New Jersey offers residents a rebate through the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions program. This benefit only applies to new homes that deploy energy efficiency and renewable generation measures.