The Benefits of Solar
The primary benefits of solar energy are:
- Value: Solar will help you stabilize or reduce your energy costs by replacing the electricity you now buy from your local utility with lower-cost power.
- Cleanliness: A solar system produces electricity with no emissions, no greenhouse gases, no pollution and no waste products.
- Sustainability: There is an endless supply of sunlight as a fuel source – and it’s free.
- Independence: You’re generating your own electricity and using it at the location where it’s being produced, avoiding the need for costly electric infrastructure.
- Employment: The growth of solar energy in New Jersey has created thousands of jobs in sales, installation, manufacturing and financing.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step towards installing a solar energy system is finding an installer. The trade ally database includes a list of renewable energy installers that have completed at least one project in New Jersey. It's recommended that customers interview at least three installers to discuss design and cost considerations before choosing an installer and discussing financing options.
The installer will likely want to visit your home or business as part of the interview process to determine if the building is a good candidate for solar. He or she will see if there is sufficient roof space for the size of the system you will need, whether the roof is properly oriented (south-facing roofs are best, but roofs oriented east or west are also usable) and how old the roof is (you wouldn't want to install a system on a roof that will need replacing in a few years). The installer will also determine if any trees or other tall structures nearby will create shade that would limit the effectiveness of your solar system.
Once you have selected an installer, you will want to learn more about the SREC Registration Program, which is used to register all solar projects in New Jersey.
Before you install a solar system, incorporate energy efficiency measures into the home, business or government building on which the system is being installed. By implementing energy efficiency measures first, you not only reduce your overall energy use, but you may also reduce the size of the solar system you need, saving you money for years to come.
Visit Home Performance with ENERGY STAR on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home and the Commercial and Industrial sections on how you can improve the energy efficiency of businesses and government buildings.