Home Esportes Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in New Jersey

Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in New Jersey

Between federal and local incentives, it’s become more feasible and more affordable for New Jersey homeowners in the state to switch to solar energy. One of the biggest incentives is a major tax credit included within the Inflation Reduction Act, providing a 30% rebate on the cost of clean energy additions to your household once tax season arrives. To help you out, we found the best solar installers in the state.

Solar panels purchased for New Jersey homes are also exempt from sales tax and property taxes. Under the Successor Solar Incentive Program, homeowners are able to receive one Solar Renewable Energy Credit worth $90 for every megawatt-hour of energy their solar panel system produces.

Here’s a look at some of the top solar companies operating in New Jersey and how to make the most of your solar investment.

Best national solar companies in New Jersey

Palmetto Solar

Best overall

Solar panels are typically low maintenance equipment, but they’re also unfamiliar. If you want to reap the benefits of solar but will have a bit more peace of mind if someone else is making sure it’s working, Palmetto might be a good fit for you. Just remember to add the cost of Palmetto’s monitoring service in to your payback period calculations.

SunPower Solar

Best solar panels

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line solar panels, SunPower is your best choice. But don’t write it off if you’re looking for a less flashy installation that will get the job done. This year it started installing Qcells panels, which should make an installation from the longest-tenured company on our list available to more people.

Freedom Forever

Best for cash customers

Include Freedom Forever in your search if you want the backing of a national company that installs a wide variety of the most popular solar equipment available. Freedom Forever also extends a couple of products that take some of the pain and risk out of going solar, like a production guarantee and an escrow option with cash purchases. Online reviews say customer satisfaction has been low of late, though the company says that’s changing.

Tesla Solar

Most affordable

Tesla’s solar branch seems to be the least loved of Elon Musk’s ventures. Even Tesla’s Solar Roof seems to get more love.

If price is the thing you won’t budge on, consider Tesla. By all accounts, Tesla installs quality panels and makes the closest thing there is to a household name in solar storage: the Powerwall.

Where you might miss out is customer service. Discussion online seems to suggest Tesla’s service is a bit of a gamble.

Momentum Solar

All in-house installers

Momentum installs in 11 states without using subcontractors. While using in-house installers doesn’t guarantee a better experience, it does suggest you’re likely to get a more uniform experience from Momentum. The fact that Momentum backs its installations with a 25-year workmanship warranty hints at a strong belief in its crews’ ability. If Momentum is part of your search, consider the warranties against leaks that other companies offer. Momentum’s is five years, which isn’t the best.

Local solar panel installation companies in New Jersey

Since 2009, Green Power Energy has installed more than 130,000 residential solar systems in New Jersey. The company also installs battery storage systems and residential electric vehicle chargers. Green Power Energy offers a generous 25-year limited warranty for the quality of work, and most of its equipment has 25-year product and performance warranties. The company provides solar financing and leasing options to customers who can’t pay cash for a solar system. 

Founded in 2003, New Jersey Solar Power is one of the longstanding solar installers in the state. The company’s services include the installation of solar panels, solar batteries and EV chargers, real-time remote monitoring, financing, solar repair and maintenance. New Jersey Solar Power partners with large solar manufacturers like Enphase Energy, SolarEdge Technologies, Tesla, Q Cells and Generac. The company offers a 25-year quality-of-work warranty and 25-year product and performance warranties on all its solar equipment offerings. It doesn’t provide solar leases and PPAs.

How to determine which solar company in New Jersey is best for me

You’ll want to find a solar installer that has experience with the kind of solar project that you’re interested in. Make sure your installer has experience working with the type of roof that you have, and the type of solar system you want installed, like on-grid or off-grid. In states with deregulated energy markets such as New Jersey, it’s also important to consider what your rates are going to look like when you’re pulling energy from the grid.

Look for installers that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and have the right licensing and bonding for their work. Reading online reviews from multiple sources can also help you get a better understanding of an installer’s reputation. A few places to look for solar company reviews are Google, Yelp and Angi (formerly Angie’s List). Try to find companies that have at least 20 to 30 reviews. If you know someone who has solar panels for their home, you can ask them for installer recommendations too. Shop around and gather multiple quotes to get the best price possible. 

“We advise people to always get at least three bids from installers so that you’re able to make comparisons and find an installer that works best for your needs,” said Ben Delman, a communications director with Solar United Neighbors, a clean energy nonprofit.

Aside from certifications and reviews, there are a few other things to look for in a solar company. A good installer, Delman said, will be able to:

  • Provide good word-of-mouth references
  • Clearly explain the project and working deadlines
  • Define technical terms in an easy-to-understand manner
  • Be transparent about pricing and how system financing works
  • Understand the local permit requirements and the process for system interconnection with the local power company
  • Understand homeowners association restrictions and help you navigate and explain that process

A reputable installer should be able to answer any questions you may have, no matter how difficult those questions might be. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on any project and pricing details.

Cost of solar panels in New Jersey

Here’s a look at the cost of an average solar panel system in New Jersey compared to the national average cost for a solar panel system before factoring in tax credits incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com.

Average cost of solar panels in New Jersey

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Typical system size (kW) Price per watt Total installed cost Cost after 30% federal tax credit
New Jersey 6 $3.53 $21,154 $14,826
National average 8.6 $3.67 $31,558 $22,091

This infographic shows the average total price, cost per watt and system size for solar panel systems across different states, according to data from FindEnergy.com. The prices shown are not final, as they do not include cuts from tax credits or state solar incentives. If FindEnergy doesn’t have solar data for a particular state, it appears grayed out on the map.  

New Jersey solar panel incentives and rebates

Despite a significant decrease in costs in residential solar, panels still cost thousands of dollars. You can reduce the price further with federal tax credits and other incentives specific to New Jersey. 

The federal Residential Clean Energy Credit (formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit) allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of a solar system from your federal tax returns after you purchase solar panels. The federal credit alone could cut more than $8,600 from the cost of the average solar system installed in New Jersey. Most solar batteries are also eligible for the federal tax credit if paired with solar panels. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, a major federal climate bill enacted in August 2022, increased and extended the solar tax credit until 2034. The credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. You can complete and submit form 5695 (PDF) to the IRS to receive the Clean Energy Credit. Follow the IRS instructions on how to complete this form. After the IRS approves your paperwork, you will get your solar savings in credit when you file your federal tax return for the year.

New Jersey also provides several residential incentives to lower the cost of solar. While you can find a complete list of incentives in the Garden State on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, here are the major ones worth noting.

New Jersey solar incentives

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Net metering Net metering law in New Jersey mandates that utilities in the state offer net-metering rates to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Solar system owners can sell excess generation back to the grid at retail.
Solar panel system sales tax exemption Solar owners in New Jersey can receive a full exemption from the state’s sales tax for all solar energy equipment. All taxpayers in the state are eligible for the exemption.
Property tax exemption for renewable energy systems Solar panel system owners in New Jersey are fully exempt from paying taxes on the added value that the system adds to their home. All taxpayers in the state are eligible for the exemption.
Successor Solar Incentive Program The SuSI program replaces New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit program. SREC is a tradeable certificate representing the positive environmental impact of your solar system. Under the SuSI program, you can receive one SREC for each megawatt-hour your solar system produces. Residential solar systems of all sizes receive a fixed $90 in SRECs for 15 years.

How to pay for solar panels in New Jersey 

As with any major purchase, you will want to think about how to finance the cost of solar panels. Keep in mind, that the money from the tax credit won’t be yours until after you’ve filed your taxes for the year the panels are installed. It’s also important to factor in the solar payback period, which is the time it takes to recoup your upfront investment and when savings begin. 

Here are some ways to pay for solar panels:

Solar loan: Your solar installer likely has a relationship with a bank or other financial institution to offer a loan designed for solar panels. This can be a great deal, but you’ll want to get multiple offers to ensure the rates and terms are the best.

Lease or power purchase agreement: Some solar companies allow you to lease your system or enter a power purchase agreement. If you choose to lease, you won’t own the solar system, you’ll just pay for the use of the equipment. Entering a power purchase agreement means you’ll buy solar energy generated from the solar company to power your home. The price you’ll pay is usually lower than the retail rate from your local utility company. Note that not all incentives are available with a lease or power purchase agreement.

Personal loan: You can also borrow money through a personal loan. The main difference between a personal loan and a home equity loan is that a personal loan is typically unsecured. That means your house isn’t at risk. The downside is they tend to have shorter terms and higher interest rates than home equity products.

Cash: This approach only works if you happen to have thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account. If you don’t have that yet but want solar panels in the future, consider saving money in a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are high right now, and this can help you save faster.

Home equity: You don’t have to use a loan from your solar company. Financial institutions offer home equity loans and lines of credit (or HELOCs) that are commonly used for home improvement projects. These loans can be used for basically any purpose, and they may be a good fit for your solar project. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Installation factors to keep in mind

Going solar isn’t cheap. It’s worth considering all the factors when deciding your home’s solar viability, including:

  • Your roof’s condition and pitch: Your roof should be in good condition before you install solar panels. Putting up a new solar system on an older roof could cost you more in the long run because you will need to remove the panels and wiring if you need to replace or repair the roof. A roofing expert will examine your roof’s condition before solar installation. Also, theroof’s pitch will affect your solar panels’ productivity. The Department of Energy determined that solar panels operate most efficiently with an angle between 15 and 40 degrees. 
  • HOA and neighborhood rules: New Jersey bans homeowners associations from blocking solar panel installations for their members. The state’s Solar Easements Act gives residents the right to negotiate solar easements with neighbors to receive optimal exposure to sunlight for their solar systems.
  • Insurance coverage: It’s a good idea to include your solar panels in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most homeowner’s policies cover rooftop solar panels, but you’ll need to check with your insurance company for the specific details of your policy.
  • Climate: New Jersey gets plenty of snow in the winter. While solar generation in the winter is less than in the summer due to shorter days, your solar panels will convert sunlight photons into electricity as long as the sun reaches the surface of the panels. Solar panels also can reach top efficiency levels in cold weather because their optimal internal temperature is between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While heavy snow may temporarily decrease solar generation, solar panels are typically installed at an angle to allow snow to slide off and resume generation.
  • Cost and time: Going solar is a significant investment for most people. Before you commit to a solar loan, lease or PPA, you should consider how long you plan to live in your house. You won’t reap the long-term cost savings from solar generation if you have to move in a few years. Yet solar panels can be the right choice if you plan to remain in your home for a long time. The average payback period for solar panels is between six and nine years, but it varies from state to state.

How we found the best solar companies 

The companies we listed above as “the best” are curated from CNET’s best solar companies list. Companies making the best list are scored on the equipment, warranties and customer service they offer. Then, we make sure these recommendations are available in your state. You can read a full breakdown of how we review solar companies here.

Companies listed under the local installers were chosen in a less rigorous way. We chose them because they offered something unique or notable to customers in the state, they seemed well-regarded by internet reviewers or because they were one of the few installers we could find information on in the state.

Whether we’ve completed a full review on a company or not, it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes from different installers before choosing a company.


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New Jersey solar power FAQs

How did New Jersey become a top solar producer in the US?

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program is a big reason. Established in 2001, it incorporates robust solar energy growth elements, like an annual incremental increase of solar generation in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards and the development of the SREC program. Additionally, it includes net metering standards to incentivize residential solar investments. These measures created a robust solar market where investors get compensation for generating clean and renewable energy.


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Is it worth installing solar panels in New Jersey?

Depending on your energy goals, it can be worth installing solar in many states. Solar panels can help save you money on your electric bill, reduce your carbon footprint and potentially earn you money by selling your excess solar energy to the power grid. New Jersey also provides several incentives to make solar more accessible. 


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What are renewable portfolio standards?

Renewable portfolio standards, or RPS, are state mandates requiring that utilities generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. The RPS aims to increase the share of renewables in electricity generation and diversify energy sources. One of 31 states with RPS goals, New Jersey has the most ambitious RPS in the US. It requires 35% of energy sales to come from qualified renewable resources by 2025 and 50% by 2030. New Jersey’s RPS should expand clean energy technologies in the state and provide economic and environmental benefits. 


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You can sell your SRECs to electric suppliers and providers seeking to meet their state RPS requirements. Because SREC is an electronic certificate specifying name, location, fuel type, SREC quantity and SREC price, you can sell it through the GATS Bulletin Board (free to use) or through a broker or aggregator (fees apply) like Sol Systems. 


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What happens to my SRECs if I sell my house?

If you sell your home, you can transfer the ownership of your solar system and SRECs to a new owner. You and the new owner must download and complete paperwork through the PJM-EIS Generation Attribution Tracking System to transfer the title for the solar system and SRECs.


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Can I install solar panels myself in New Jersey?

You can, but it’s not recommended. It can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Installing a solar panel system is a complex process that involves specific tools and immense electrical knowledge. You’ll also be handling all the permitting and paperwork on your own. A solar installer will make sure your solar system is installed safely and correctly. Your installer will also handle all the pesky paperwork.


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How many solar panels do I need?

The number of solar panels you need depends on your home’s energy usage, the type of panels you want, the amount of sunlight your home receives and your overall budget. Your installer will perform an on-site inspection to help determine how many solar panels you’ll need.


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