Are Solar Panels Worth It in Newark, New Jersey?
Newark isn’t the sunniest place in the US by a long shot, yet it consistently ranks in the top 20 cities for Watts of solar capacity per capita. So, what makes solar panels so worth it in Newark?
While solar panels are typically associated with clean energy, they’re also a means to energy cost savings, energy independence, and increased home value. In this article, we’ll explore the five top reasons that solar panels are worth it in Newark, Jersey City, and the greater Tri-State Area.
Let’s dive right in with our first reason: New Jersey’s robust solar and battery incentives.
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1. Solar and battery incentives in Newark, New Jersey
What Newark lacks in sunshine, it makes up for with state and federal solar incentives. The incentives available in the Newark-Jersey City metro include:
- 30% federal solar tax credit
- The New Jersey Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) program
- Sales and property tax exemptions for solar panels
- A strong net metering policy
Here’s an example of how the incentives available in Newark would reduce the cost of a 7 kW solar system with a gross price of $35,000.
|Contract price (cash purchase)||$35,000|
|30% federal tax credit||-$10,500|
|15 years of SuSI program compensation||-$11,475|
Worth $85 per 1,000 kWh of solar production, the SuSI program is one of the most valuable solar incentives in the country — and it’s only available in New Jersey. Learn more about how SuSI works and how to claim this incentive here.
2. Newark’s high utility electricity rates fuel solar savings
In addition to robust incentives, Newark has another main ingredient for substantial solar savings: High grid electricity prices.
In February 2023, the average electricity price for the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area rose 20% year-over-year to reach 23.7 cents per kWh. For comparison, the 7 kW solar system in the example above would produce electricity at just under 6 cents per kWh. Here’s how that looks over the 25-year warrantied life of the system.
Thanks to high grid prices and incentives, Newarkers powering their homes with solar panels can expect to save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs.
- Paying cash maximizes the overall savings, but comes with a 7-8 year payback period
- Taking out a loan can produce Day 1 savings, but the interest payments eat into the overall savings
Either way, solar panels are well-worth it in Newark for the energy cost savings alone.
3. Home solar can clean up Newark’s electricity grid
In addition to being more affordable, solar panels produce electricity that is much cleaner than the local utility grid. In 2022, natural gas and petroleum-fired power plants generated over 45% of New Jersey’s electricity.
Electricity generated form natural gas has a carbon footprint around 12 times greater than electricity generated by rooftop solar. So, by installing solar panels, homeowners in Newark can substantially reduce the cost and carbon emissions of their electricity usage.
4. Solar and battery storage can provide backup power for grid outages
Another advantage of solar panels is that they can be paired with solar batteries to provide backup power for grid outages. Nationwide, power outages increased by 80% from 2000 to 2021, and are expected to continue increasing in frequency.
In 2020, New Jersey ranked 6th in the US for total power outage duration hours, with a total of 317 blackout hours. The state experienced two outages that lasted longer than 36 hours each and affected a total of 250,000 utility customers.
Together, solar panels and battery storage can typically power essential electrical systems like refrigeration, hot water, device charging, and Wi-fi for three days.
5. Solar panels increase home value
With the benefits of cost savings, emissions reductions, and backup power, it’s no surprise that solar panels also increase home value in Newark and across the US.
In fact, several studies have shown that homes with solar panels sell for more money the comparable homes without them. And, according to Zillow, the New York metro area (which includes Jersey City and Newark) is among that top locations to increase your home value by going solar.
This trend is likely to continue as grid electricity prices rise and younger, sustainably motivated generations make up a greater share of the housing market, which makes solar panels worth it even if you don’t plan to be in your home for the full life of the system.
Are solar panels worth it in Newark?
Solar panels are clearly worth it in Newark, NJ for energy costs savings alone. But the great thing about home solar is it doesn’t matter if your primary concern is cost savings, climate change, or power outages — solar panels can address all of these things at once.
Better yet, the robust solar incentives available in Newark significantly lower the cost barrier to enjoy these benefits.
Connect with an Energy Advisor to design a custom solar solution for your home.