Solar Energy in PA & NJ: A Bargain for Ratepayers

Solar Panels Why should residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey switch to solar? To answer this question, we simply need to take a look at a new study released by the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) and the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association (PASEIA). According to the findings solar power, in both PA and NJ, delivers far more value to the electric grid than it costs consumers to harvest it, making solar energy systems a great bargain for residents.

The new study, performed by Clean Power Research consulting company, shows the value that solar energy delivers actually exceeds its cost by 50% to 100+%, which is a relief to both homeowners’ wallets and their ecofriendly consciences.

Due to both state’s initiatives for greener living, energy providers in PA and NJ are required to purchase a certain amount of solar power each year. When homeowners and local businesses use a solar energy system, they harvest the sun’s power and push extra energy that they’ve created back into the electric grid. For this power they receive credit on account from the utility company and in some cases they’ll receive Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) as well. Residents and business owners can then sell these SRECs to energy providers, which can offset their energy bills to almost nothing.

According to Dennis Wilson, President of MSEIA, this means that electric ratepayers are actually seeing a 2-to-1 return on their investment into solar power systems. Essentially, these systems begin to pay for themselves almost immediately, and that’s a good thing for budget conscious individuals.

Even more good news abounds for Pennsylvania and New Jersey in clean energy ideals. Both states have begun considering to expand their solar energy initiatives and investments. The results of the study have shown that investing in solar energy is great for both the economy and job creation as solar energy can generate more in-state jobs than other types of energy plants.

For the past few years, Pennsylvania officials have struggled to enhance their solar share programs but thanks to this study, the findings have proven that solar energy is not simply a cost to ratepayers but instead a bargain compared to other energy options. New Jersey, on the other hand, is the nation’s second largest solar market and has now become the very first state to generate 1+% of its annual electricity from solar power. By increasing its solar commitment and adding more legislation to increase the importance of solar energy, PA could easily get its solar growth back on track to match that of NJ in no time.

Another good reason residents should consider switching to solar: solar power is not sensitive to the fluctuating prices of natural gas or other fuel prices. That means the price of solar electricity is steady and predictable, and as more people go solar the price may even decrease in years to come. Not to mention that solar power reduces the amount of load on the utility systems and energy grid, which in turn reduces the amount of energy purchased on the wholesale market.

What does that mean for residents? Well, if they choose to invest in a solar energy system and are able to realize savings by selling back to the utility that will help them for sure. But if traditional utility demand is lowered, that traditionally raises prices on a service that has fixed overhead costs. Even when utilities invest in green projects the infrastructure and construction costs may offset any potential lower energy costs. Lower prices of energy would be a great goal for everyone, however that will only happen if the utility is able to reduce their overhead and expenses.

For many residents in PA and NJ, the choice is clear. It can actually pay to go green. We can hope that as more importance is put on solar energy harvesting, more states will follow suit and create green initiatives that will benefit their residents’ energy choices as well.


Contact Bowden’s Solar Store in NJ or Tall Pines Farm Solar Store in PA to find out about custom solar energy system design and installation for your home.

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