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Before You Go Solar, These Are the Essential Solutions That Need Answers

Last updated on: November 16, 2020
Solar energy is probably one of the most popular questions we are asked about in real estate. It’s a great way to save money, and help the environment. Often, however, we still are unsure how it exactly works to help our clients.
We recently spoke to Jerry Donovan of Direct Energy Solar, https://www.directenergysolar.com.
Jerry was kind to field some frequently asked questions. We highly recommend taking a look at this so you can make your decisions about this very important aspect for your home.

1. What are the financial incentives and how do I benefit?

In New Jersey, there are two main financial incentives that you will be able to take advantage of outside of the savings from your electric bill. First, you will receive a 30% tax credit on the total cost of the system in your following year’s taxes. For example, if you system costs $10,000, you will take a $3,000 tax credit. The second incentive are SRECs, or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. Think of SRECs like a stock. The value rises and falls on a daily basis. In New Jersey, the value generally stays between $300 at the high end and $200 at the low end. For every 1000 kWh your system produces, you earn an SREC. Once you earn an SREC, you are able to sell it for  market value. This is also a service the Direct Energy Solar provides at no charge. You will also earn SRECs from your system for 15 years! Not only is your solar system saving you money off your electric bill, it is also an income generator.

2. What is net metering why I need to know?

Net metering is what makes residential solar cost effective. Just after your solar system is installed, your utility will install a bi-directional, or net meter. In the standard meter, only electricity coming from the grid into your home is measured. With the net meter, both incoming and outgoing electricity is measured. Your meter is constantly moving forward and backward. As you overproduce in the Spring and Summer, you earn credits. In the Fall and Winter when production is smaller, you will exhaust those earned credits. You will not pay for a watt of electricity to the utility until all of your solar electricity is exhausted.

3. The bottom line – What is in the contract?

The major items to look for are equipment warranty, workmanship guarantee, and production guarantee. Just about every company will offer the 25 year manufacturers warranty. The next two are where the solar companies differ.

Workmanship guarantees protect from labor costs in the future if there are any issues. Typically, a company will offer 10 years of workmanship. Direct Energy Solar offers 20 years.

The production guarantee is also very important, as it speaks to the credibility of a company. The company not only stands behind it’s work, but it will compensate you if the production falls short. Direct Energy Solar offers a 20 year production guarantee!

4. The final question – You are making a major financial investment in your home. What is the strength of the company and questions you should ask?

  • What does the final price include, and what it does not?
  • Can you give me local referrals?
  • How are you set up to service my system in the future?
  • Where do you get your financing from?

With Direct Energy Solar, our price includes all, labor, equipment, warranties, guarantees, approvals, and permits. An example of something not included would be tree removal.

As the 8th largest residential solar installer in the nation, multiple referrals are always available.

Direct Energy Solar has a warehouse in Pennsauken, New Jersey, where all of the needed equipment is kept in stock. There are also multiple trucks dedicated to service ready to move whenever and wherever needed.   

Direct Energy Solar is owned by Centrica, which is one of the world’s largest energy companies in the world with revenue in the billions.

Next Steps

You have done a bit of research and now you want to see how solar works for you. All you have to do is let me know your address and what your electric bill averages. With this information, I can put together a proposal with a computer rendered design that will show you how much solar can save you!


(609) 410-5419


Christine Matus

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Christine Matus

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