Solar Panel Installation, Cherry Hill, NJ
How much do Solar Panels cost in Cherry Hill?
Solar panels in the garden state come in somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.68 to $2.88 per watt. Solar panels are generally sold in 250 watt sizes, which means your average solar panel will cost between $670 and $720 in New Jersey, which is a little below the national average. To be completely self-sufficient of the grid, most homes will need 20 to 30 solar panels, which means your total cost for panels should come in between $13,000 and $21,000. And while that is a lot of money, this initial investment is greatly offset by a number of incentives, credits, write-offs etc that can take many thousands of dollars off of your upfront costs.
What are the benefits of adopting solar power?
New Jersey has more incentives for going solar than almost any other state. It’s almost like they want to encourage people to adopt renewable, free energy systems- crazy, I know, but that’s the way it looks. Below are just a few of the major ones you might want to be aware of.
- The state of New Jersey has adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require all utility companies to use more renewable or green energy by a certain date or face heavy fines. Instead of having to pay these fines, most utilities realize it would be to their benefit to incentivize customers who want to switch to renewable energy forms, like solar. The state has mandated that 22.5% of all electricity produced should come from renewable sources like solar panels or wind power, and the “solar carve out” for that is 4.1%, meaning no less than 4.1% of their power can come from solar, or again they will face a fee. So many utilities are going to go out of their way to encourage customers to add solar panels and other renewable energy sources.
- New Jersey has strong net metering laws, which means that the energy produced by your solar panels will be accurately measured, and how much of that energy you feed back into “the grid” will be recorded and you will be credited for it. This makes a huge difference when it comes to your solar panels “paying” for themselves, as after a long enough time, your solar panels will have produced enough “free” electricity, for which you will be credited, that it will equal the initial cost of the system.
- Transition Renewable Energy Certificates or TRECs are the end result of the strong net metering in New Jersey. Basically, for every one megawatt hour (MwH) of power generated by your solar panels, you get one TREC, which can then be sold to utilities in New Jersey to help them reach their renewable portfolio standard goals. The end result is that you can be paid cash for the energy your solar panels produce- potentially, lots of cash if your system is big enough and produces enough energy.
- The state of New Jersey has statewide interconnection standards, meaning anywhere in the state you try to hook your solar system up to “the grid” it should work the same way. The benefit here is that your solar installer will have an easier time with it and should be able to manage the hook up easier than they would if there were not interconnection standards. Ultimately this should make their job easier and quicker, which hopefully means it will cost you less money.
- New Jersey encourages its citizens to go solar and use other green energy sources by handing out SRECs, or “Solar renewable energy credits” which are based on the number of KwH that your solar system produces. Effectively, these are credits toward future electric bills which can be applied to months when your energy usage outstrips your panels’ production.
- All purchases and installations of solar equipment and solar energy systems are exempt from the 7% state sales tax in New Jersey, meaning you’ll save around $70 for every $1,000 you spend on your panels. While that may not sound like a lot, think about it like this- if your entire installation ends up costing $20,000 or so, you’re saving something around $1,400. So yea, this is a big deal.
- The state of New Jersey further exempts you from having your property values reassessed for taxation purposes based on the addition of solar panels or any other renewable energy improvements. So effectively, the value of your property will go up, but your property taxes will not, which sounds like a win-win to me.
- The federal investment tax credit allows any homeowner to claim 26% of the total cost of a solar installation as a federal tax credit. Once again, assuming a price tag of somewhere in the $20,000 ballpark, you’re looking at a savings of something like $5,000, which obviously is no small amount of money.
- The addition of solar panels to your home can increase its value tremendously. There are different estimates out there on how much or how to figure this amount, but in general you’re looking at something like an increase in value of between $10,000 and $20,000, which of course is just about how much you’ll spend on the system. This is particularly important for those who may wish to sell their home in the next 10-20 years. A realtor can give you a better idea of how much value will be added to your home with the addition of solar panels.
How much solar power do I need to power my home?
Every individual home is going to be different based off a number of factors, but in general you’re going to need 6 to 8 kilowatts of panels to be self-sufficient. Your solar installer should be able to look at your past electric bills and give you a good idea of how much solar power you’re going to need to operate.
What is the “payback” period for solar panels in Cherry Hill, New Jersey?
So in the state of New Jersey in general, your solar panels will pay for themselves VERY quickly, thanks to the multiple incentives the state has in place for you. Current estimates suggest your solar panels will completely pay for themselves in 6-7 years, which is more than twice as fast as in some other states. Again, this is mostly based on the various credits and incentives and tax breaks your state has in place for you to encourage this. This is a tremendous benefit simply because the sooner your panels “pay” for themselves, the sooner they can start to “earn” money for you.
Grants and Loans
While not all states have loans and grants specifically for residents interested in making the switch to solar panels, New Jersey actually has quite a few. Here are links to a few:
Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) Solar Loan Program
Utility Solar Financing Programs-
Home Performance with Energy Star Program
Clean Energy Solutions ARRA CHP State Grant Program
Edison Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund- energy-grants.net/new-jersey-energy-grants-rebates-loans-incentives/
Things to Look for in a Solar Company:
So choosing the right solar company can obviously be a daunting task. You’re going to be spending a lot of money and it’s going to be a lengthy process, so you want to make sure you make the right choice. Below are a few pointers on things you might look for in a good solar company:
Time in the Industry: This one goes without saying- Companies with longer lifespans tend to be more reliable. At the end of the day, a company survives for a long time by providing a good service, so if you see a company that has been in business for 20 or more years, there’s a very good chance they’re good at what they do, and they’re honest enough with their customers that they haven’t been sued out of existence yet.
Types of Panels: Not all companies want to work with all kinds of solar panels. Some companies prefer to use cheaper, smaller, bigger, or whatever. So if you have a preference about what kind of panels you want, make sure the company you select can do what you want them to do.
Payment Options: Some solar companies will have payment plans or financing options available in-house, meaning they will help you figure out how you’re gonna pay for these things. But other companies wont, which means you’ll be expected to figure it out yourself. So make sure you know what you’re getting into and make sure you’re ready to do what you need to do to get this stuff paid for.
Warranties: Almost every company will offer some variety of warranty- But some warranties are barely worth your time. Will you be charged a service fee every time you have to call them out to get your panels working? Will you have to pay for parts and labor on repairs? Will you have to pay to replace malfunctioning panels even when it’s a manufacturer’s error? These are things you need to know ahead of time, because your solar panels will most definitely need servicing at some point or another, so you don’t want any nasty surprises when it happens.
Reviews: And probably the best tool available for anyone considering which company to go with- reviews. Every company is going to have good and bad reviews out there, but the real question is how many bad ones do they have? Do they have more good than bad? Do they have any reviews at all? You can learn a whole lot about a company based on what you can find out about them on the internet, and internet reviewers are quite often lethally honest. So while reviews aren’t the whole story, this is a key tool in figuring out just what a company has to offer.
A Word About Weather
So you’re thinking wait, New Jersey isn’t exactly known for being sunny is it? Are solar panels even going to work here? The answer is yes, they will. The fact is that as long as any sunlight is reaching your solar panels, they will produce electricity. And while no, New Jersey is not known as a “sunny” state, averaging just over 200 days of sun per year, solar panels can produce electricity even on an overcast day. Here’s a few notes about weather conditions:
- Fog / Clouds- Very foggy or cloudy conditions can reduce your solar power output, but not completely. On a very foggy or cloudy day, your solar panels may only produce 30% as much as they do on a sunny day.
- Rain- Rain itself is actually good for solar panels, cloud cover notwithstanding. This is because rain will actually wash off some of the accumulated grime and dirt and other detritus that will naturally collect on solar panels over time, thereby allowing the panels to produce more efficiently.
- Snow- Snow is bad for solar panels, no two ways about it. Snow accumulation blocks sunlight reaching your panels and thereby reduces or completely stops your energy production. It is therefore advisable to have a plan for removing heavy snow accumulations when possible.
- Temperature- In theory, the more sun the better right? Yes and no. Solar panels actually operate most efficiently at temperatures at or below 77 degrees fahrenheit. So just because it’s not hot doesn’t mean your panels aren’t producing. As long as there is sunlight, your panels are producing, and they will actually produce more efficiently at lower temperatures, as long as they are getting sun.
How do I get solar panels installed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey?
So great news, there’s more solar companies in New Jersey than is humanly possible. This is likely because solar panels in New Jersey are so economically feasible and, in some cases, profitable. Furthermore, most solar companies are very happy to travel a distance as long as the entire state of New Jersey in order to get your business, so feel free to check out any company in the state or any company in nearby cities (such as Philadelphia). Listed below are just a few of the companies available:
Company: Exact Solar
Address: 1655 Fairfield Rd, Yardley, PA 19067
Years in Business: 2
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (20 reviews), 4.9 / 5 Angi (88 reviews), 4.8 / 5 Birdseye (59 reviews), 5 / 5 Buildzoom (2 reviews), 5 / 5 Judsbook (5 reviews)
Company: NJ Solar Power LLC
Address: 90 Atlantic City Blvd, Bayville, NJ 08721
Years in Business: 18
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (9 reviews), 4.5 / 5 Solar Reviews (18 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (1 review), 4.8 / 5 Birdseye (59 reviews), 5 / 5 Energy Sage (14 reviews)
Company: Code Green Solar Energy
Address: 523 Hollywood Ave Ste 3, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Reviews: 2/5 (4 reviews) Bird Eye
Company: Amped on Solar LLC
Address: 220 E Front St, Florence, NJ 08518
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (31 reviews), 5 / 5 Angi (3 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (1 review)
Company: Reliable Solar Power
Address: 1085 US Highway 9, Howell, NJ 07731
Years in Business: More than 10 (as per their website)
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (3 reviews), 5 / 5 Home Advisor (10 reviews), 4.5 / 5 SolarReviews (18 reviews)
So in the end, here’s what you need to know- New Jersey has an outstanding program available for customers who want to go solar. Between tax breaks, energy credits and incentives, there is a very good chance your solar panels will pay for themselves very, very quickly. So if you are in a financial situation where you can afford to make the initial investment in solar panels, you will very soon find yourself in an even better situation when your panels have not only paid for themselves but begin to generate revenue for you.