Saturday, June 9, 2018

Going Solar in New Jersey

I decided to write this blog in the hopes that it would be helpful for others to see how switching to solar in New Jersey can be paid for through a combination of solar renewable energy certificates (SREC's), the federal tax credit, and savings on your electric bill.  I provide an example of the timeline and cost required to “go solar” in New Jersey.  As of 2018, NJ homeowners will find this type of project can have both a good return on investment (ROI), as well as help the environment.


I took out a 15-year home equity loan to pay for my roof replacement and solar array.  The new roof was something I was going to have to do within the next 2 or 3 years anyway.  The portion of my monthly payment that is due to the solar project is $148.45.  Below is a table with a summary of the payments I’ve made so far.  I paid $1124.21 for electricity to JCP&L in 2017 (ave. monthly payment = $93.68).  My solar start date was February 19, 2018; therefore I started counting JCP&L payments after that date in my running total.  If after a year, I have spent less than $1124.21, I will have spent no more than I was before I had solar panels.

Date
HEL payment
JCP&L 
SREC’s
Total Solar Payments
Jan. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $148.45
Feb. 12, 2018
$148.45


       $296.90
Mar. 12, 2018
$148.45


       $445.35
Apr. 4, 2018

$17.00 (covers 2/15/18-3/15/18)

       $462.35
Apr. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $610.80
May 2, 2018

$2.90 (connection fee; 142 kWh credit)

       $613.70
May 4, 2018


–$231.00
       $382.70
May 10, 2018
$148.45


       $531.15
May 30, 2018

$2.83 (409 kWh credit)

       $533.98
June 7, 2018


–$232.00
       $301.98
June 10, 2018
$148.45


       $450.43
July 2, 2018

$2.83 (595 kWh credit)

       $453.26
July 9, 2018


–$209.00
       $244.26
July 10, 2018
$148.45


       $392.71
Aug. 1, 2018

$2.83 (709 kWh credit)

       $395.54
Aug. 6, 2018


–$203.00
       $192.54
Aug. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $340.99
Aug. 30, 2018

$2.83 (356 kWh credit)

       $343.82
Sept. 7, 2018


–$215.00
       $128.82
Sept. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $277.27
Oct. 3, 2018

$2.83 (7 kWh credit)

       $280.10
Oct. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $428.55
Nov. 1, 2018

$38.94

       $467.49
Nov. 8, 2018


–$210.50
       $256.99
Nov. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $405.44
Nov. 30, 2018

$18.24

       $423.68
Dec. 10, 2018
$148.45


       $572.13
Jan. 2, 2019

$90.11

       $662.24
Jan. 8, 2019


–$212.50
       $449.74
Jan. 10, 2019
$148.45


       $598.19
Feb. 1, 2019

$113.98

       $712.17
Feb. 11, 2019
$148.45


       $860.62
Mar. 1, 2019

$42.41(covers 1/16/19-2/13/19)

       $903.03
Mar. 7, 2019


–$217.50
       $685.53

As a point of reference, I have listed how fast I am accumulating solar renewable energy certificates (SREC’s; 1 SREC for every 1000 kWh’s generated), which are listed in the table below.  Once you establish a GATS (Generation Attribute Tracking System) account at https://www.pjm-eis.com, you log in once a month between the 1stand the 15thof the month to record the current kWh on your meter. Every time you generate 1000 kWh, you will receive one SREC on the last business day of that month.  Once you have an SREC, you can transfer it within your GATS account to one of the entities that buy SRECs (selected from a drop-down menu).  I use NJSREC.com to sell my SREC’s because of the ease of the transfer process.  The price they post on their website is the price they pay you (other sites charge a small fee).  With NJSREC.com, you do not need to create an account or login; I use their simple online instructions to transfer my SRECs to them and they use my contact information from my GATS account to send me a check.
Once I transfer an SREC, I receive an email notification from GATS.  Within two business days, I receive another notification from GATS that my transfer has been accepted.  I then receive a message from NJSREC.com when my check is mailed.  Going forward I plan to transfer SRECs to NJSREC.com as I receive them in my GATS account.


Date kWh
Observed
Date
kWh
Recorded
in GATS
Date SREC
Received
kiloWatthrs (kWh)
Total # of SREC’s
Sold price
Date SREC
check received

3/15/18

        781



3/24/18


      1031




4/13/18

      1507





4/30/18
      1969
      1
$231.00
5/4/18
5/1/18


      2009




5/12/18

      2328





5/31/18
      2753
      1
$232.00
6/7/18
6/9/18


      3001




6/11/18

      3039





6/29/18

      1
$209.00
7/9/18
7/9/18


      4008




7/10/18

      4020





7/31/18
      4670
      1
$203.00
8/6/18
8/12/18
8/12/18

      5015





8/31/18
      5523
      1
$215.00
9/7/18

9/13/18

      5764



9/27/18


      6007




10/11/18

      6234





10/31/18
      6649
      1
$210.50
11/8/18

11/11/18

      6807



11/27/18


      7003




12/11/18

      7200





12/28/18
      7382
      1
$212.50
1/8/19

1/10/19

      7500



2/9/19
2/9/19

      8009





2/28/19
      8382
      1
$217.50
3/7/19