Are Solar Panels a Sound Investment for New Jersey Churches?

church solar

In Trenton, New Jersey, a local church chose to save money, save the environment, and break free from the power companies by installing solar panels on the church roof.

A series of solar panel installations have taken place on church rooftops across New Jersey.  Is such an investment a smart choice for a house of worship?  Churches obviously don’t have the amount of roof space as compared with massive New Jersey solar panel projects such as Gloucester Marine Terminal in Gloucester City – the largest in North America – or even Macy’s.  But evidence shows that solar panels are cost effective for smaller projects, as well, including homes, small businesses and churches.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) led to the installation of a 50,000-watt solar panel system on the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Medford, New Jersey.  Many other churches followed suit, and reasons given included addressing the reality of tight finances and meeting a spiritual obligation to be responsible stewards of the environment.

This trend was hottest – and not just for churches – when federal and state incentives were a bit more substantial.  Part of the appeal of installing solar panels was that power companies were paying approximately $500 for Solar Renewable Energy Credits, or SRECs.  Once solar panel ownership soared in New Jersey, the value of SRECs dropped to below $100, which put the solar industry in jeopardy of serious decline.

The New Jersey solar market has recently received a nice boost from state government, since the amount of solar credits that power companies are required to purchase has been significantly increased.  Thanks to Senate bill S1925, there is at least temporary relief from instability in the solar market.

But installing solar panels is not dependent upon SRECs to qualify as a practical investment for churches and homeowners.

Solar Panels are Durable

Did you know that many solar panel retailers now guarantee 25 years of power output in which capacity for output will remain at a level of at least 80%?  This kind of guarantee can buy a lot of peace of mind in knowing that a solar panel is a long-term investment which will provide long-term results.  Such durability is especially appealing considering speculations about the future and steadily rising costs of the energy provided by power companies.

solar sustainable

Solar can take the place of harmful fossil fuels, as a completely sustainable and renewable source of power.

Solar panels are valuable for those with only limited roof area as well. Homeowners save money on energy costs using the roof space they have.  Even a few panels will save money for the long term, particularly if they are used to heat water, which accounts for 30% of most energy bills.

There IS Enough Sun Where You Live!

People often have the misconception that only sunny places like California and Florida have the right conditions for use of solar panels.  That’s not the case at all.  When the sun is shining in cold locations like Alaska, the solar PV panels actually produce solar energy more efficiently.  Anyplace the sun is shining can benefit from solar panels and the energy from the sun.

There is an Environmental Impact

Every bit of solar power that displaces energy created with fossil fuels reduces the carbon footprint and contributes to a cleaner planet.

Compared with other counties, such as Germany, solar power has been a bit late in being implemented in the U.S.A., but even so, solar power is quickly gaining in popularity and becoming more commonplace. There are plenty of reasons to be assured that it’s here to stay and is a worthwhile investment for all types of homeowners, small businesses and religious institutions.

Solar Store in Hamilton, NJ 

Bowden’s offers sales and installations of residential and small business Solar PV Electric and Solar Hot Water systems. Bowden’s is a well established and trusted business that has provided energy solutions since 1904!

Photo Credit: AP/Mel Evans

Share Button