Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Systems

Lease or Purchase. Which is right for me?

That’s the big question. There are numerous factors to consider. Call us at (732) 864-0001 and a representative will go over all your specific options and the associated benefits to help you make this decision. Either way going solar is always better than doing nothing.

Will I be taxed on my new solar system?

Solar systems in New Jersey are exempt from both sales and property tax. Even though the appraised value of your home will increase with the installation of a solar PV system your taxes will not increase.

How do New Jersey’s program participants justify the cost of installing a solar system?

Program participants rely on a combination of electricity cost savings through net metering, selling SREC’s through the RPS marketplace, federal tax credits or grants and depreciation benefits to reduce the total cost of installation and drive their investment in solar.

What is a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC)?

SREC stands for Solar Renewable Energy Certificate and is a type of clean energy credit in the form of a tradable certificate used to demonstrate compliance in state RPS markets. In New Jersey’s RPS rules a SREC is issued each time a solar facility has generated 1,000 kWh (1MWh) through either estimated or actual metered production. The SREC represents all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from a solar electric system. SREC’s can be sold or traded separately from the power, thus providing solar system owners a source of revenue to help offset the cost of installation.

How do SREC's help finance solar development?

New Jersey’s RPS requires that electric suppliers and providers retire SREC’s in scale with their retail electricity sales in increasing amounts each year through 2026 and beyond. This long term demand for SREC’s provides owners a predictable source of additional revenue that can facilitate long term financing for solar installations.

Who owns the SREC's produced by a solar generator?

SREC’s are owned by the owner of the solar generating facility, unless sold or granted by the owner to another entity. The value of a SREC is determined by the market subject to demand and supply.

How long will my system generate SREC's?

Solar electric generation facilities that are accepted and installed in accordance with all requirements of the SREC Registration Program are eligible to generate NJ SREC’s for a period of 15 years. This period is known as the SREC Qualification Life which begins on the date on which the facility was interconnected to the local electric distribution system and ending on the first May 31 that is at least 15 years after the date of completion of the interconnection.

What is “Net Metering”?

In New Jersey, Electric Distribution Companies and third party electric suppliers are required to credit customers with solar systems or other renewable energy generators for each kilowatt-hour produced on an annual basis. The customer-generator reduces consumption for electricity with their renewable energy system during a monthly billing cycle with any excess generation being credited at retail rates on the following month’s bill. Should excess generation accrue to the end of an annual period, the customer-generator is compensated for any remaining credits at the wholesale power rate by the Electric Distribution Company or their third party electric supplier.
In New Jersey, all BPU-regulated Electric Distribution Companies and electricity suppliers offer net metering to their residential and commercial customers that generate electricity on the customer’s side of the meter, using Class I renewable energy sources, provided that the generating capacity of the customer-generator’s facility does not exceed the customer’s annual electric consumption.
Together, our interconnection and net metering rules ensure solar generators are compensated for the clean, renewable energy they are generating, and that New Jersey ratepayers share in the benefits of solar and other small renewable energy generation.

If I sell my property, what effect does solar have on the sale price?

Energy conservation and renewable generation adds value to a home. Surveys have shown that for every $1,000.00 saved per year, $20,000.00 is added to a home’s value. Solar energy can be one of the best home improvement investments you make.

How long does it take to install a solar system?

Typical residential systems take from 2 to 5 days to install. Systems mounted on the ground and systems with batteries are more complex, and may take longer. Most of this time is spent outside your house, so there is little disturbance to you. Commercial systems take several weeks to months to install depending upon the size and type of installation.

What should I look for when choosing a company to design and install a solar system for my home?

Your solar system is a 30+ year investment, so it is important to choose a company that provides a quality design and installation, and who will also be around to service your system in the years to come.

Here are a few questions that homeowners should consider asking potential companies:

  • How many years have they been in business?
  • Is the company local who will stand behind their installation or are they here because of the programs for solar in New Jersey now?
  • Do they have installations in your area you can drive by and see how they look? Do they have references you can talk to?
  • Do they use their own employees for installations or do they subcontract the work?
  • Do they guarantee the kilowatt hour production of your system?
  • Do they have licensed electricians on staff or do they subcontract or work under someone else’s license?
  • What equipment am I getting?
  • There are many types of panels, inverters and racking systems available from different manufacturers, so be sure to find out the exact model being offered. Be very careful when anyone tells you that you shouldn’t care or says things like a watt is a watt.
  • What does the racking system that mounts the panels to your roof look like?
  • How do they seal the penetrations into your roof (flashing vs. caulking)? Caulking does not hold up as well as flashing over the 30+ year life of the system.
  • Do they belong to the Better Business Bureau and what is their rating.
How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?

A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 25 years. The basic PV module has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.

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