New Jersey Considering New Solar Power Legislation

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New Jersey has already been widely lauded for its friendliness to renewable energy industries as they have grown and expanded. And if new legislation that’s currently being reviewed by the lawmakers is passed, things could get even better in the future.

State Senators Bob Smith and Christopher “Kip” Bateman have recently submitted bill No. 592, which seeks to overhaul the state’s clean energy portfolio. Senators Greenstein and Gopal have co-sponsored the bill, which changes a number of different provisions in existing laws as well as seeks to start the process of developing new sets of solar and renewable energy standards that will control the next generation of solar power.

According to the SEIA, the bills would also establish a community solar program in the state, which would seek to help lower and moderate-income individuals and those in multi-family living situations to switch over to renewable energy, using even more friendly and incentivizing programs.

Brandon Smithwood, the policy director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access, described the bills as important for solar in the state, particularly with recent tariffs on solar cells and panels produced overseas. He stated “New Jersey has historically been one of the leading solar markets in the country; however, with over a third of households renting their homes, nearly half of homes being multifamily, and numerous small businesses, non-profits and other organizations lacking adequate roofs for solar systems, the vast majority of New Jerseyans have not yet been able to realize the benefits of solar energy," Smithwood said.

Bill 593 does several things. For starters, the legislation overhauls a number of the terms in existing legislation to make it friendlier to residential customers. However, it goes further than that. The bill would also modify a previous schedule for electrical power suppliers to start producing a certain percentage of their power via solar energy, with the schedule increasing by a certain amount every year until a target goal is reached. The bill actually accelerates the schedule, increasing the production by 5.3 percent per year until the year 2033.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you purchase your energy from a public utility, this bill means that you’re about to experience some changes. Over the next several years, utilities will be required to slowly start to convert their energy production method over to renewable sources, notably solar power. This means even if you aren’t a solar customer, more and more of the energy you’re drawing will actually be generated through solar means. If you are a solar customer who still draws from a municipal grid during down times, odds are you probably will also start to draw on more and more power that was generated through solar means, which means the entire state as a whole will be moving further and further away from fossil fuels for electricity generation over the next several years. This means a greener and more renewable future for everyone!

If you’re interested in switching your home over to clean, renewable solar power, contact Sunpower® by Sea Bright Solar today at (732) 253-4052 to request a solar consultation!

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