When you think of solar energy, you might think of sunny places like California, Florida, or Arizona. But the Garden State is usually left out of the conversation. New Jersey is actually a solar energy powerhouse and the biggest solar producing state in the Northeast. The high cost of electricity along with aggressive renewable energy policies and lucrative incentives for homeowners helped make New Jersey 7th nationwide for solar power.
Thinking of going solar? It’s never too late to take advantage! The state government is constantly handing out rewards to homeowners and communities who decide to become energy independent. Of course, you’ll want a reputable solar company to do the solar panel installation. Luckily for you, we did all the hard work and reviewed the top ten best solar companies in the state. You should, of course, still do your own research and get quotes from multiple companies before making your final decision.
Green Power Energy
Green Power Energy installs residential, commercial, and agricultural PV systems across the Northeast. The company has been in operation since 2009, and has installed thousands of solar arrays for homes and businesses.
Green Power Energy is headquartered in New Jersey, with their corporate headquarters located in Annandale. They also have offices in Stamford, CT, and Needham, MA. They service the entire state of New Jersey, as well as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Eastern Pennsylvania.
Licensing & Certification
Green Power Energy is certified by the NABCEP. They are also licensed electrical and home improvement contractors in the state of New Jersey.
Green Power Energy was founded in 2009 by Eric Dornfeld and his team. The company got its beginnings in New Jersey but quickly spread to the rest of the Northeast. They offer solar installation for homes, businesses, and farms, and provide energy storage solutions and EV charger installation as well. In New Jersey, Green Power Energy allows for cash purchase of the solar array, as well as zero-down loans and leases.
Green Power Energy provides a 25-year warranty on all of their products and labor. They have a full-service repair and maintenance team that takes calls 24-7. They provide products from Q-Cells, SolarEdge, LG, Tesla, EnPhase, and JinkoSolar.
Green Power Energy has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from its customers. The company has a 4.8 out of 5 on Google, with about 250 reviews. They have a 5 out of 5 on Facebook with 78 reviews. Green Power Energy is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating. They have a 5 out of 5, though with very few reviews. They have 4 complaints with the BBB, two of which have been resolved. Most customer complaints revolve around lower than advertised system output.
Exact Solar provides a wide array of solar-related services across Central New Jersey and the Philadelphia metro area. From solar panels, to solar heating, to energy storage, Exact Solar can take care of your needs.
Exact Solar is headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania. They service the Philadelphia metro as well as South and Central Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
Exact Solar is certified by the NABCEP. They do not have a license for electrical contracting but are licensed for home improvement work in the state of New Jersey, though their license status is still pending. They may need to hire subcontractors to do the electrical work due to their lack of a license.
Exact Solar was founded in Pennsylvania in 2005 and offers solar panel design and installation, energy storage solutions, and solar water and pool heating systems. Their installations range in size from small residential projects to large commercial installations. Mark and Dara Bortman founded the company after studying renewable energy sources in Costa Rica.
Exact Solar provides products from Panasonic, LG, JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar, and SolarEdge. They provide warranties on all of their products.
Exact Solar is highly rated by their customer base, though they don’t have much feedback overall due to being a small company. They have a 5 out of 5 on Google with about 40 reviews. On Facebook, they are rated 4.9 out of 5, though with just 20 reviews. Exact Solar does not have a profile with the BBB.
Harvest Power LLC
Harvest Power has been installing solar arrays around the New York metropolitan area since 2008. They began as a home improvement, and construction company then took on solar energy as PV systems became more popular. Today, Harvest Power has installed thousands of installations in New York and New Jersey.
All of Harvest Power’s offices are in New York state, with their corporate headquarters located in Islip Terrace. They have three other offices in Patchogue, Long Beach, and Ronkonkoma, NY. They mainly serve the New York metro, with their service area encompassing New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and North Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
Harvest Solar is not NABCEP certified. They have a license for home improvement contracting in the state of New Jersey. They may need to hire subcontractors due to the lack of an electrical contracting license.
Harvest Power was founded in 2008 as a home improvement company whose main goal was to help homeowners save money by designing their homes to be more energy-efficient. The company eventually branched out into doing full-fledged solar installations. Harvest mainly services the New York City metro area, with most of their installations in Long Island, though they have a large presence in northern New Jersey. The company claims to have kept over 1 million pounds of coal from being burned.
Harvest provides a 25-year warranty for power output and a 10 to 25 year warranty on solar inverters. They provide solar panels and equipment from LG, Tesla, and EnPhase.
Harvest Power has been well-received by its customer base. They have a 4.6 out of 5 on Google, with over 130 reviews. The company is rated 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook with around 30 reviews. Harvest Power is BBB accredited and has an A+ rating. They have very few customer reviews, but score a 5 out of 5. They’ve had five complaints in the past three years, one of which has been resolved. Bad reviews for Harvest Power indicate pushy sales tactics and an occasional lack of customer service.
GenRenew was founded by Chris Sabin in 2016 and has grown to cover the entire state of New Jersey. In addition to solar panels, GenRenew also does roofing, electrical contracting, and provides generators.
GenRenew is headquartered in Freehold, New Jersey. They service the entire state and even have a handful of installations in New York City.
Licensing & Certification
GenRenew is certified by the NABCEP. They also have electrical and home improvement contracting licenses in the state of New Jersey.
Chris Sabin founded GenRenew in 2016 after spending over a decade working in some of the country’s largest solar contracting and utility companies. GenRenew installs PV systems for residential and commercial clients and provides energy storage solutions as well. They also do general electrical contracting, roofing and provide generators.
GenRenew primarily installs LG panels, and they also sell equipment from EnPhase and battery systems from Sonnen. Their solar arrays come with a 25 year complete system warranty.
GenRenew has good reviews from their customer base, though they don’t have many reviews overall. The company has a 4.6 out of 5 on Google, with about 50 reviews. They have a 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook with around 15 reviews. They are not accredited by the BBB, though they do have an A+ rating. They’ve only gotten two reviews and are rated a 5 out of 5. They have no complaints with the BBB. Bad reviews for GenRenew are mostly based on instances of poor workmanship.
Green House Solar
Green House Solar was founded in 2015 by Frank Curran. They install PV systems for residential and commercial clients and provide maintenance and repair for existing solar arrays. Green House Solar prides themselves in being locally owned and family operated.
Green House Solar is headquartered in Madison, but serves most of northern New Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
Green House Solar is certified by the NABCEP. They are also licensed electrical and home improvement contractors in the state of New Jersey.
Frank Curran founded Green House Solar in 2017 after he spent four years in Colorado in the solar and electrical contracting business. After becoming certified by the NABCEP, Frank moved back to his home state of New Jersey and decided to go into business for himself. Green House prides themselves on being a small, locally owned business and claims to have the lowest prices in the region. They provide in-house turnkey solutions, from system design and installation, to repair and maintenance. They also provide energy storage solutions, generators, electrical upgrades, power monitoring, and LED retrofits.
Green House Solar primarily installs Sunpower solar panels and batteries, and provides equipment from SMA and Sonnen. They also provide the service and maintenance for their product warranties.
Green House Solar is still a small company, so they don’t have many reviews, but they are well-received by their customers. On Google, they score a 4.8 out of 5, though with just 12 reviews. On Facebook, they are rated 5 out of 5 with about 10 reviews. They have yet to be accredited by the BBB, though they do have an A+ rating. They have no reviews or complaints with the BBB. Their bad reviews indicate an occasional lag in customer service.
New Jersey Solar Power
New Jersey Solar Power builds solar arrays for residential, commercial, and government clients. Founded in 2003, the company got a head start in New Jersey’s solar revolution.
New Jersey Solar Power is headquartered in Bayville, and serves much of Central and South Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
New Jersey Solar is not certified by the NABCEP, but they are licensed to do electrical and home improvement contracting in the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey Solar Power was founded in 2003 and was bringing solar energy to the Garden State long before it became a solar powerhouse. The company boasts some impressive accolades, with over 1,250 PV systems installed and over 62,000 solar panels mounted. NJ solar power markets themselves as a complete turnkey solar solution, covering site assessment, system design, installation, permitting, energy storage, and system repair and maintenance. They also provide remote monitoring services to ensure that your panels are producing enough power.
New Jersey Solar works almost exclusively with Panasonic solar panels and solar batteries. Their products come with a 25-year warranty.
New Jersey Solar Power is highly rated by their customers, though they don’t have much feedback. They are rated 4.8 out of 5 on Google with about 50 reviews. On Facebook, they have just seven reviews, but score a 5 out of 5. They are accredited by the BBB and have an A+ rating, though they have yet to receive any customer reviews. They have had 3 complaints in the past three years. Their bad reviews are mainly based on instances of bad customer service.
SunnyMac has been installing solar panels in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 10 years. They design and install PV systems of various sizes, from small 2 kW residential systems to large 1 MW commercial installations. After being an installation-only subcontractor for many of the larger solar companies, they later became a standalone solar energy solutions company.
SunnyMac is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, but has a satellite office in Clementon, New Jersey. They serve most of the Mid-Atlantic states, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Licensing & Certification
SunnyMac is certified by the NABCEP. They also have a license for electrical contracting in the state of New Jersey.
SunnyMac was founded in 2009 and originally served as an installation-only company that partnered with corporate manufacturers. In 2017, they decided to separate from the manufacturers and become a turnkey solar contractor. They now offer system design, installation, repair, maintenance, and energy storage without being attached to their corporate sponsors. SunnyMac has quite a record; they’ve installed over 5,500 PV systems since their founding in 2009. They are also a member of the SEIA.
SunnyMac installs solar panels and equipment from REC and SunPower. They offer a 25 year warranty on the entire PV system. SunnyMac also installs ground-based solar arrays for those who have the space. They include 25 years of free remote energy monitoring.
SunnyMac doesn’t have much in the way of reviews, but they are highly regarded by their customer base. With just about 15 reviews on Google, they score a 4.7 out of 5. They have yet to achieve a rating on Facebook, but they do have a handful of recommendations. They have an A rating with the BBB but aren’t yet accredited. They have a 5 out of 5 on their customer reviews, though they only have three reviews. They’ve received two complaints with the BBB in the last three years. The few bad reviews they have stem from faulty product installations.
Rob Warren founded impact Solar in 2015. The company aims to make solar energy affordable and accessible to the people of Southern New Jersey. Impact Solar provides solar energy solutions for both residential and commercial customers.
Impact Solar is headquartered in Pennsauken Township. They primarily serve Southwestern New Jersey, specifically Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, and Mercer counties.
Licensing & Certification
Impact Solar is certified by the NABCEP. They also have licenses to do electrical and home improvement contracting in the state of New Jersey.
Rob Warren founded Impact Solar in 2015. While Warren himself is certified by the NABCEP, so are many of his licensed electricians. Impact Solar markets themselves as an affordable solar installer, beating out the prices of other competitors in southern New Jersey. In addition to solar installation and design, Impact also provides energy storage solutions and installs snow guard and squirrel guard protection systems.
Impact installs equipment from LG, Panasonic, Solaria, JinkoSolar, and SolarEdge. They also provide a 25 year manufacturing warranty on the entire PV system and 10 year warranties on workmanship and leaky roofs.
Impact Solar has outstanding reviews by its small but loyal customer base. They score a 5 out of 5 on Google, with just over 50 reviews. On Facebook, they also score a 5 out of 5, though with just 15 reviews. Impact Solar is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating, though they have no customer reviews nor any complaints.
Evoke Solar is a Pennsylvania-based solar installer that provides quality solar installations and energy storage across the Mid-Atlantic. Founder Wes Checkeye has worked in the solar industry for over 15 years, and his experience helped make Evoke Solar one of the best-rated SunPower installers in the country.
Evoke Solar is headquartered in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. They service the entirety of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
Evoke Solar is accredited by the NABCEP. They are also licensed home improvement contractors in the state of New Jersey. They may need to hire subcontractors to complete the electrical work, as they do not have an electrical contracting license for the state of New Jersey.
Evoke Solar was founded in 2013 by Wes Checkeye. Wes spent over 15 years working under one of Pennsylvania’s first solar companies, helping to pioneer the solar industry in the state while learning the ins and outs of the trade. Today, Evoke Solar is a SunPower Elite dealer, forging a close relationship with one of the best solar panel manufacturers in the industry. Evoke designs and installs PV systems for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers and provides energy storage solutions as well.
Evoke Solar installs panels and equipment from SunPower, LG, Canadian Solar, and SolarEdge. They service the warranties on all of their products. They also provide ground mounts for customers who wish to install ground-based arrays.
Evoke Solar is well-regarded by its customer base. The company is rated 5 out of 5 on Google, with over 70 reviews. They also have a 5 out of 5 on Facebook, with about 40 reviews. They are not accredited or rated by the BBB and haven’t received any customer reviews or complaints.
SolarMe has been installing solar power for New Jersey’s residents since 2014. They’ve grown from a two-person operation to a company that installs over 100 PV systems annually. In addition to installing solar arrays for residential and commercial clients, they also do roofing and general electrical contracting.
SolarMe is headquartered in South Amboy, and serves most of northern New Jersey.
Licensing & Certification
SolarMe is certified by the NABCEP. They also have a license for home improvement contracting in New Jersey. They may have to hire subcontractors for a portion of their work because they lack an electrical contracting license.
SolarMe was founded in 2014 with the aim to make solar energy more affordable for the people of New Jersey. They install PV systems and energy storage solutions for residential and commercial clients and also do roofing and electrical contracting as well. Today, SolarMe installs well over 100 solar systems a year and is on track to grow even further.
SolarMe offers solar panels and equipment from QCell, Panasonic, EnPhase, LG, Hanwha, and SolarEdge. They offer a 25 year warranty on the entire PV system, including any roofing improvements that were done. SolarMe does the warranty service and maintenance for their products.
SolarMe is highly regarded by their customers. They score a 4.9 out of 5 on Google, with over 100 reviews. They have only a handful of reviews on Facebook, though they scored a 5 out of 5. They are accredited by the BBB and are rated an A+. They scored a rating of 5 out of 5 with just under 20 reviews. They have had no complaints with the BBB in the past three years. They have no outright bad reviews, though customers have had some minor mishaps that were quickly resolved.
There are quite a few great companies on this list, but Green Power Energy is the best, hands down. For one, they’ve got experience in the solar industry. They’ve been in business for over ten years and serve the entire state of New Jersey, not to mention most of the Northeast. Green Power Energy also provides a wide range of manufacturers to choose from, and they’re all well-known, high-quality brands. They also offer agricultural PV installations, which sets them apart from their competitors. In addition to being NABCEP certified, they’ve also got solar and home improvement licenses for the state, so there’s no need to hire a subcontractor. Green Power Energy also receives great reviews from their customers.
Solar Energy in New Jersey
You might not expect it, but New Jersey is one of the best states for residential solar systems. High electricity costs, along with loads of incentives and tax breaks, have pushed many in the Garden State to install PV arrays to power their homes. New Jersey is 7th in solar capacity in the US and number 1 in the Northeast. In 2010, New Jersey became the second state in the country, after California, to install over 100 MW in a single year. At one point, New Jersey was second in the country for total installed solar capacity. In 2020, the state had a total of 3.6 GW of solar power, enough to power nearly 600,000 homes. Just over 6% of the state’s electricity comes from solar power, and the largest rooftop solar plant in North America is located in the Port of Camden. New Jersey isn’t slowing down either. Experts predict that the state will add over 2 GW of solar in the next five years.
Laws and Regulations
New Jersey has some of the most ambitious laws in the country in terms of promoting renewable energy. The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electrical suppliers providing retail customers to generate 22.5% of the electricity it sells from renewable sources by 2021. The state government later added an extra requirement for solar, stating that at least 4.1% of the state’s electricity sales must come from qualified solar energy sources by 2028, a milestone that has already been surpassed.
In 2012, New Jersey passed Assembly Bill A2966, which accelerated and incentivized the implementation of solar energy in the state. The declining cost of solar energy allowed the government to make several changes to its solar energy policy, such as raising the RPS requirement and lowering the Solar Alternative Compliance Payment for suppliers. The law also promoted the installations of solar farms on brownfields and landfills, areas that would otherwise be unusable.
In 2018, the state government signed the Clean Energy Act, which raised the state’s solar requirement to 5.1%, which has already been surpassed. The law also closed the state’s previous Solar Renewable Energy Credit incentive program to new applicants and laid out plans to create a new set of incentives.
Licensing & Certifications
New Jersey has regulations governing solar installers. About 245 solar installation companies were in business in New Jersey in 2020. According to New Jersey law, solar panel installations are considered electrical work. Any person or entity installing, repairing, or erecting a PV system must be a licensed electrical contractor by the New Jersey Board of Electrical Contractors. The Program Manager must take the name and license number from the license holder and make sure that the license is still valid.
In New Jersey, solar contractors are allowed to buy solar energy credits from the customer to lower the cost of financing.
New Jersey’s net metering policy is one of the best in the country. The state requires that utilities buy electricity from energy-producing customers at the full retail rate. They set no limits on the size of the system, or how much electricity can be sold to the grid, as long as the generation doesn’t exceed annual demand. If the customer still has a surplus at the end of the year, the customer is paid for excess credits at the avoided-cost rate.
Tax Credits and Incentives
The Federal Solar Tax Credit applies in New Jersey. The tax credit will cover 26% of the cost of a PV system until December 2022, after which it will be reduced to 22%.
The state government has also created numerous incentives which reduce the cost of installing a solar array. Solar arrays and PV systems, along with the associated equipment, are exempt from sales tax in New Jersey. This applies to energy storage and passive solar heating equipment as well. The sales tax exemption doesn’t apply to associated equipment if it’s required, no matter the energy source being utilized.
New Jersey also has a property tax exemption on renewable energy equipment used to provide electricity, heating, or cooling. The exemption applies to residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use buildings. This means that any added value to a property due to an installed PV system is not taxable once the system is certified by the NJ Department of Taxation and the home’s value assessed by a local appraiser.
SREC & TREC
Up until 2018, New Jersey used an incentive model based on SRECs, or Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Under the SREC model, energy companies bought electricity from solar generating customers to satisfy the renewable energy requirement set forth by the state’s RPS. This provided an incentive for homeowners to build PV systems as homeowners received extra monetary benefits in addition to net metering. This also lowered the cost to procure solar energy as building and maintaining solar farms is much more expensive than outright buying it from customers. An SREC certificate is created once a customer produces a set amount of electricity. The utility company then buys the SREC from the customer to diversify its energy portfolio. The value of an SREC depends on the availability of solar energy; in other words, it’s set by the market. When solar energy adoption is slow, SREC values remain high, encouraging more customers to install solar panels. When the supply of solar energy increases rapidly, the SREC value decreases, lowering the incentive for solar installations. The goal is to find a balance between the cost of producing solar electricity and other forms of energy. SRECs in New Jersey have traded as high as $600 per MWh, while the retail price of electricity fluctuated between $50 and $180 per MWh.
After the SREC program was closed to new applicants, the state introduced a new temporary model as a placeholder until another program is designed. The TREC model, or Transitional Renewable Energy Credits, was implemented in December of 2019. Where the free market determined the price of an SREC, the price of a TREC is set by the government. TRECs have a base price of $152 per MWh, which is modified based on the type of customer and solar installation. Most residential customers will receive about $92 per MWh. Community solar projects will receive about $129 per MW, and commercial and industrial arrays will receive the full TREC price. These prices will be standard for the next 15 years.
Community Solar and Low-Income Solar Projects
The New Jersey solar boom has been a phenomenon mainly seen in more affluent areas of the state, so the state government designed a program to incentivize solar in low and moderate income neighborhoods. The three-year pilot program was created to bring community solar to low income neighborhoods. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities intended to limit the program to 75 MW of total capacity in its first year, and received over 250 applications to participate. The Board ended up approving 45 projects with a total of 77 MW at the end of 2019.
Only 6% of solar energy funding nationwide goes to low-income neighborhoods. Poor communities often pay higher electricity bills as a total percentage of their income due to dilapidated housing structures and outdated electric and HVAC systems. Landlords also see little incentive to install PV systems, as the aging infrastructure of the home or building often can’t support solar panel installations.
Solar energy is booming in New Jersey. The state government provides numerous incentives to make solar affordable and accessible for residents of the Garden State. The state expects to grow its solar portfolio by over 2 GW within the next five years, so there are plenty of opportunities to get in on the action. New Jersey’s net metering laws are also some of the best in the country, meaning that your solar array will have a shorter payback period than those in other states. If you’re looking to install a PV system for your home or business, don’t take our list at face value. Use this as a starting point and do your own research. Talk to the companies directly and get a feel for what you need. Solar panels are a long-term investment, and you want to make sure you’re making the right choice before you spend your hard-earned money.
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