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Free solar government. What are New Jersey Solar Incentive Programs?

Free solar government. What are New Jersey Solar Incentive Programs?

    Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

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    Going Solar in Fairfax County

    Fairfax County encourages residents to invest in solar energy. By using renewable energy like solar instead of fossil fuels, you help reduce pollution and planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. And solar power can pay for itself in 10 to 20 years, so you’ll enjoy reduced energy bills, tax credits and other incentives, including extra protection from power loss during extreme weather when you invest in storage solutions.

    This webpage provides resources for residents interested in installing solar panels in Fairfax County. For more information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask solar professionals, refer to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.

    Solar Benefits

    Fairfax County residents are opting to install solar panels on their homes. Press play to hear from them how they made the switch and how it changed their lives for the better!

    Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun! In addition to reducing your electricity bill, using solar energy reduces your environmental impact and Fairfax County’s carbon footprint. You will also help reduce demand on the electricity grid during peak, sunny hours. Plus, installing solar panels can increase the value of your home. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every dollar that a solar panel saves you on your electrical bills increases the value of your home by 20.

    Solar Potential

    The first step in getting solar is assessing whether your home or building is a good candidate. A few questions to ask when considering going solar:

    • Is your roof shaded by trees or other obstacles? Direct sunlight for six or more hours a day is ideal.
    • Is your roof relatively new? Solar installations can last 20-25 years, so your roof should be less than five years old.
    • What direction does your roof primarily face? Solar arrays can be configured in many different ways to allow for maximum exposure to sunlight throughout the day but ideally your roof should face south or west for the most exposure.

    You can investigate your property’s solar potential by visiting the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s NOVA Solar Map. You can also estimate the performance of potential solar projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.

    Finding a Contractor

    Certified solar installers can be found through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners®. Visit the county’s Consumer Services webpage for general tips about hiring a contractor.

    By going through a solar co-op purchasing program, homeowners are granted access to a pre-qualified solar installer for a no-cost evaluation of their property and can take advantage of cost savings should they decide to pursue a solar installation. information on solar co-op purchasing programs can be found below.


    Fairfax County residents should be aware of their rights and the regulations surrounding door-to-door solicitation in the county. If a salesperson comes to your door with information about solar panels or installation, please ask to see their county-issued license before engaging with them. Never provide your personal information (birthdate, social security number, etc.) to a solicitor.

    If you encounter an unlicensed solicitor, please contact the Fairfax County Police non-emergency line at 703-691-2131. information on door-to-door solicitation can be found here.

    Cost and Financing

    Your electricity bill is based on how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you use. Most homes use between 800 kWh and 1,500 kWh each month depending on weather, home size, energy efficiency and how many electric appliances are used.

    The price of solar electricity is typically expressed in terms of dollars per watt of installed power. Typical pricing for residential systems is in the range of 5000.50 to 4.00 per watt, depending on the size and market economics. A 5 kilowatt (5 kW) solar system will produce about 8,000 kWh of electricity per year. At 3 per watt, that system would cost about 15,000 to install.

    By reducing electricity costs and taking advantage of tax incentives, the 15,000 investment can pay for itself in about 10-15 years.

    Residential solar panels can be purchased outright or financed with a loan from a solar installer, bank, or other financial institution.

    Solar Co-Op Purchasing Programs

    Solar group purchasing programs make getting solar easier and less expensive by providing information and benefits to participants. These programs typically offer:

    • A free assessment to find out whether your home is a good candidate for solar installation
    • Bulk discounts on solar systems, ranging from 10 to 15 percent off
    • Access to a qualified solar installer
    • Discounted opportunities to bundle your solar system with electric vehicle charging stations and solar battery storage

    Additionally, some programs offer participants a complimentary, virtual home energy assessment to help improve their home energy performance holistically. Those who decide to pursue solar through a co-op purchasing program typically receive a 10 to 15 percent discount off current consumer rates for solar arrays and systems.


    County Incentives

    Fairfax County offers a number of incentives to encourage residents and businesses to install solar panels. The county’s Land Development Services waives the permit fee for solar permit applications, and the county’s Department of Tax Administration provides a 5-year solar energy equipment tax exemption. To learn about the permitting and inspection process, refer to Land Development Services’ page about Residential Solar Permits.

    Federal Tax Credits

    The federal government currently offers a tax credit for solar PV system installation, to include the costs of the solar panels, contractor labor costs, balance-of-system equipment, and energy storage devices. Systems installed between 2022 and 2032 are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit. The credit will decrease to 26 percent for systems installed in 2033, to 22 percent for systems installed in 2034, and the credit will expire in 2035 unless renewed by Congress. The installation of the system must be complete during the tax year, and there is no maximum amount that can be claimed.

    States to join NJ in national community solar program

    Solar Rights

    Under Virginia state law (§56-594), residential customers may install systems up to 20 kilowatts and non-residential customers may install systems up to 500 kilowatts. Electric utilities must credit solar panel owners for excess electricity generated through something called net metering. Your solar contractor should coordinate with your electric utility to replace your standard meter with a net meter after your panels are installed. The net meter is bi-directional, tracking electrons flowing both out of and into the grid.

    Solar Eligibility Requirements

    Great news. If you meet all solar eligibility requirements you could also qualify for no cost roofing and/or electrical panel repair/replacement.

    Call (559) 263-1576 for more information.

    Limited funding available through a partnership with the City of Fresno.

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    Renters May Qualify for Weatherization Services

    If you are a renter, you may qualify for free Weatherization measure to help your home become energy efficient. We will look at weather stripping, lighting, some appliances,


    TRECs stand for transition renewable energy certificates. These are solar power rebates that homeowners and businesses receive for solar energy production. Homes are offered a rate of 91.20 dollars and businesses are offered 152 dollars per megawatt-hours. This rebate is set to expire in 2035.

    This provision property taxes do not increase when you install solar panels. If you own the home then the property tax won’t increase from the value added by the installation of a solar panel system.

    It is not just homeowners that benefit from such provisions, NJ also has certain incentives that take care of businesses and nonprofits and they are:

    USDA REAP Grant

    The Rural Energy for America Program from the United States Department of Agriculture helps agricultural producers to make the shift to renewable energy sources. They help them get loans for clean energy such as solar and more. These businesses just have to give their contact to USDA if they want to get their help.

    Certain small rural businesses also qualify for this grant. You don’t negotiate for any funding all you have to do is supply your solar project plan to USDA and they will provide you with the available grant.

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    Federal Solar Credit Tax for Businesses

    We learned that there is no way you can get a solar panel for free when we answered the question of how to get free solar panels in NJ. However, you can get a tax credit of 30% when you install a solar panel system at your business place and then file your tax returns. You can save a lot of money by doing so. The program will go on till 2032.

    As a business, you can create electricity and get paid for it. While a homeowner gets paid just 91.2 dollars per megawatt hour of energy, as a business you get paid 152 dollars for the same. Since a business supports more solar capacity, the TRECs can be accumulated quicker.

    What Kinds Of Incentives Are Available In My State?

    The good news is that every state in the US offers some kind of incentive scheme that helps you save money on your solar system. The bad news is that it is complicated, and incentives differ from state to state.

    Fortunately, there is an excellent resource that lets you find out what deals are on offer where you live quickly and easily. The DSIREUSA website is operated by N.C. Clean Energy Technology Centre at North Carolina State University.

    This website has a very user-friendly setup to help you figure out what incentives are available to you. You can click on a map of your state to find out all of the incentives offered there. Even better, you can enter your ZIP Code and see what’s available in your neighborhood.

    You can be confident that the DSIREUSA offers good information since they receive funding from the US Department of energy. The website gives a brief summary of each of the incentive programs and then directs you to somewhere where you can find out about it in more detail.

    It’s Not All About The Purchase Cost

    Now that we’ve taken a look at all the different ways to enjoy financial incentives for purchasing a solar system, you’ll see that the situation isn’t just about how to get free solar panels from the government.

    What’s most important is to make sure you know about all of the different incentives that are available to you. These may be tax rebates, loans, grants, or bonuses for selling back the electricity they produce.

    You also need to consider the money you’ll save from generating your electricity through a solar system.

    The next thing to do is shop around and decide on what solar system would best suit you. Then you can use the cost of that system as a starting point.

    Next, apply all of the incentives that are available to you in your area. You should be able to figure out how much money you’ll need to put down on your system and then how much you will save per year in electricity costs and ongoing incentives.

    Going through the steps will let you work out how long it will take you to pay off the cost of your solar system through reduced energy bills. You can expect a pleasant surprise when you look at the price of a good solar system after incentives and how quickly you will have paid everything off through savings. Related article: How Long Does It Take for Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?

    Solar Energy Solutions for New Jersey Homes: Exploring the Possibilities

    What To Do Next

    So, while the government won’t actually buy your solar system for you, there are some excellent incentives and other benefits that can help you achieve impressive reductions in the cost of your solar system.

    And it really isn’t too hard to get detailed information on just what is available to you in your area. Here’s what you do;

    • Enter your Zip code at the DSIREUSA website and see what incentives are available to you.
    • Follow up and get all the details on the incentives that you find.
    • Figure out what budget you have. Make sure to consider your savings in electricity costs and work out when you will pay off your initial investment.
    • Only then start looking at solar systems, pick the right one for you (here’s a handy guide), and start enjoying free power!

    If you have any thoughts or questions about solar incentive schemes, please share them in the comment.

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