Bateman Bill Providing Energy Star Compliant Homes With Financial Incentives for Installing Solar Panels Advances
Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman requiring the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to give preference to Energy Star compliant homes when awarding financial incentives for installing solar panels (S-1413) has cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“By first awarding financial incentives to Energy Star compliant homes, we are encouraging New Jerseyans interested in purchasing solar panels to go above and beyond by investing in energy-efficient technology throughout their entire home,” Senator Bateman said. “These incentives help justify the cost of installing solar panels while advancing our state’s efforts to invest in renewable energy sources, securing a cleaner, greener future for generations of New Jersey residents to come.”
— Senator Kip Bateman (@KipBateman) September 21, 2015
New Jersey is one of the largest and fastest growing solar energy producers in the country, ranking third in the nation in installed solar capacity, producing enough solar energy to power more than 240,000 homes. New Jersey’s solar energy also enriches the state’s economy, employing 7,200 people at 519 solar companies statewide. More than $591 million was invested on solar installations around the state in 2014 alone.
Energy Star compliant homes must pass an inspection certifying that the home meets strict guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) including:
• The use of a complete thermal enclosure system featuring air sealing, properly installed insulation and high performance windows.
• A high efficiency cooling and heating system.
• A comprehensive water management system to protect the home for water damage and reduce air quality problems.
• Energy efficient lighting, appliances and fans.
S-1413 contributes to a long history of vital legislation encouraging businesses and private citizens to invest in solar energy. This legislation includes a 2008 bill sponsored by Senator Bateman exempting renewable energy systems from property taxation, as well as a 2010 bill sponsored by Senators Bateman and Jennifer Beck clarifying zoning and environmental regulations in order to ease the installation process. New Jersey is also home to the largest rooftop solar array in North America, which is located on the roof of the Gloucester Marine Terminal warehouse.