Save with solar in Westfield, New Jersey

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Westfield, New Jersey

With a population of over 30,000, Westfield has been ranked among the safest places to live in the United States. The Westfield Memorial Library is one of the best-known landmarks in the city, and houses a collection of more than 250,000 books. Downtown Westfield is also rich in historic architecture and has plenty of stores and restaurants.

In recent years, there has been a statewide effort to make New Jersey greener, and Westfield is no exception:

  • The Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), the local utility, has equipped more than 1,100 utility poles in Westfield with solar panels with a total generation capacity of more than 260 kilowatts (kW). This project is part of the Solar 4 All program in New Jersey.
  • In 2013, Westfield received a grant of $75,000 from the state government, intended to help the city fortify the power supply for its key facilities.
  • In 2016, the Westfield Planning Board approved a solar power project for the public schools in the city. The goal is to equip each school with solar panels, generating at least 50% of the energy consumed.

Investing in Solar Power in Westfield, NJ

PSE&G charges around 17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is 30% higher than the US average price of electricity. Therefore, home and business owners in Westfield can earn significant savings by generating their own electricity with solar panels. Additionally, PSE&G raises their electricity rates each year. For example, PSE&G customers saw their power bills increased by around 5% in 2016. This means that your annual savings from solar panels will increase year after year!

In addition to providing significant power bill savings, solar panel systems also let you accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), at a rate of one SREC per megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar electricity generated (1 MWh = 1,000 kWh). Each SREC sells for around $210 (as of mid-2017). For that same 1,000 kWh of solar energy produced, residents of Westfield can expect to save $170 on their electric bills. This means that the total economic benefit of a solar panel system is $380 per 1,000 kWh of energy produced, or $0.38 per kWh. Put another way, instead of paying $0.17 per kWh, you can earn $0.21 per kWh!

There are also several tax benefits available that make solar panel systems more affordable:

  • No sales tax: This immediately makes solar panels and their associated components cheaper. You don’t have to pay sales taxes on solar system parts.
  • No property tax increase: The average US home will increase in value by about $20,000 after installing solar panels, but your property taxes stay the same!
  • Federal tax credit: Also known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit, this is a benefit that allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar panel system from your federal taxes. It applies for both home and business owners and is valid for all solar panel systems installed before the end of 2019.

In New Jersey, solar panels installed on new constructions are also eligible to receive a rebate through the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Construction Program. The rebate applies for a wide variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in addition to solar power, but the program is only available for new homes.

If you would like to avoid the upfront cost of solar panels and pay for solar through a loan, there are many financing options available to require $0 down. PSE&G even has an attractive purchasing option through which they assume the upfront cost of your solar panel system, and you agree to pay them back with the SRECs generated by your solar panels. Although you give up on a portion of the cash flow, you can basically install solar panels for no money upfront and start saving on your energy bills immediately. Solar is a smart investment for home and business owners in Westfield!