New Jersey Customer-Sited Renewable Energy Rebates

March 18, 2009

Last DSIRE Review: 02/02/2009  

Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Tribal Government, Fed. Government, Institutional
Incentive Amount: $0.15 – $5/W DC (varies by technology, capacity and applicant type); bonus rebate of $0.25/W is available for New Jersey sourced systems and equipment.
Maximum Incentive: Determined by capacity and rebate amounts for PV;
60% of eligible costs for sustainable biomass and fuel cell systems up to 10 kW;
30% for sustainable biomass and fuel cell systems greater than 10 kW;
For wind energy systems, 120% of estimated system performance at a reference wind speed of 11.4 mph
Eligible System Size: Residential PV: 10 kW DC maximum
Non-residential PV: 50 kW DC maximum
Fuel Cells and Sustainable Biomass: 1 MW AC maximum
Wind: 750,000 kWh annual energy production maximum
Output should not exceed 100% of the historical or expected (if new construction) consumption.
Equipment Requirements: Systems must be new, UL-listed (PV), in compliance with all applicable performance and safety standards, and must carry a minimum 5-year warranty on all equipment.
Installation Requirements: Installation must comply with all federal, state and local codes; must meet detailed siting criteria specified in program guidelines
Program Budget: $47,297,167 (new 2009 funding for all technologies)
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner
Funding Source: New Jersey Societal Benefits Charge
Expiration Date 2009 Program Opening Date: 02/03/2009
Closing Date, First Cycle: 04/30/2009 (funding cycles only apply to PV)
Project Review/Certification OCE has a right to inspect all systems prior to issuing rebate
Authority 1: N.J. Stat. § 48:3-60 (2008)
Date Enacted: 1999
Effective Date: March 2001 (for rebate program)



  Note: The incentive amounts listed below are available for 2009 program year applications. Systems that are not eligible to receive rebates remain eligible to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) and may be eligible for specialized programs based in the SREC market.  
New Jersey’s 1999 electric restructuring legislation provides for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy through a “Societal Benefits Charge” (SBC) collected from all customers of electric public utilities. In March 2001, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved funding for renewable-energy programs, including a customer-sited renewables rebate program for homes, businesses, institutions and non-profits.  
Eligible technologies include fuel cells, photovoltaic (PV) systems, small wind-energy systems and/or sustainable biomass-energy technologies. Systems must have at least a five-year, all-inclusive warranty. Eligible systems should be sized to produce no more than 100% of the historical or expected (if new construction) amount of electricity consumed at a system’s site. It is important to note that system capacity limits and rebate amounts (including those for system additions) are calculated on a “per site” basis. In other words, for program purposes multiple systems on the same parcel or located on adjacent or contiguous properties under common ownership are aggregated together as a single system.  
In addition, effective January 28, 2008, all agricultural, commercial, industrial, non-profit and SUNLIT customers must apply for a receive a Tax Clearance Certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation in order to be eligible for financial assistance under this program. The objective of this new requirement is to ensure that all recipients of taxpayer funded support are in full compliance with their state tax obligations. This mandate does not affect residential customers.  
PV Systems  
PV systems (also known as solar-electric systems) are eligible for incentives based on the rated DC capacity of the system installed and the applicable sector. Under the 2009 program residential systems up to 10 kW and non-residential systems up to 50 kW are are eligible for incentives. In the past rebates have been reduced by 15% for owner-installed systems, although this distinction does not appear on the 2009 applications. Residential customers that participate in the OCE Home Performance with Energy Star or the Residential New Home Construction programs are eligible for slightly higher incentives.  
Beginning in 2009, incentive levels will be decreased as certain installed capacity benchmarks (6 MW per block) are reached. The standard incentive decline is expected to be $0.20/W at the end of each capacity block, although this may be adjusted based on how rapidly the capacity benchmarks are reached. In order to avoid the creation of lengthy application queues, the program will operate using 4-month funding cycles. Applicants that do not make it into a funding cycle must reapply once the next cycle opens. Below are the initial rebate levels for new 2009 applications:

  • Standard Residential (10 kW maximum): $1.55 per watt  
  • Residential w/energy audit (10 kW maximum): $1.75 per watt  
  • Non-residential (50 kW maximum): $1.00 per watt  
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

Sustainable Biomass and Fuel Cell Systems  
These systems are currently eligible for incentive levels beginning at $5 per watt (up to 60% of a system’s cost) for systems up to 10 kW in capacity. Larger systems receive incrementally lower rebate amounts, with a 30% maximum. (Single-family rebate applications are limited to the first 10 kW of project capacity.) The rebate schedule is as follows:

  • $3.00 per watt for the first 10 kW for systems greater than 10 kW  
  • $2.00 per watt for the next 90 kW of system size  
  • $1.50 per watt for the next 400 kW of system size  
  • $0.15 per watt for system capacity in excess of 500 kW, up to 1 MW  
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

Wind Energy Systems  
Effective beginning with the 2008 calendar year, wind energy systems will receive rebates based on expected performance rather than nameplate capacity. The Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) rebate will be calculated according to the estimated first-year annual energy output, which itself is based on the estimated 50 meter wind speed at the site, the proposed tower height, and the performance curve of the proposed turbine. The per kilowatt-hour ($ per kWh) value of the rebate is determined by the estimated output as follows:

  • $3.20 per annual kWh for the first 16,000 kWh of estimated energy production.  
  • $0.50 per annual kWh for estimated energy production between 16,000 kWh and 750,000 kWh.
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

The incentive is capped at 120% of the of the estimated system specific performance at a reference speed of 11.4 mph. A performance calculator tool and a list of eligible wind energy systems will be available shortly on the program website.  
The New Jersey Clean Energy Program web site provides all application materials, complete funding schedule and information about current incentive levels. Click here for the latest statistics on the number and types of projects supported through this incentive program.



  Public Information – Renewable Energy Program
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Office of Clean Energy
c/o Conservation Services Group
75 Lincoln Highway
Iselin, NJ 08830
Phone: (866) 657-6278
Web site:

Should you want to know more about how to incorporate Federal and State incentives into a viable alternative energy solution for your organization or business; contact Hutchinson Business Solutions.  You may email

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