Senate Passes Bateman Bill Giving Eco-Friendly Energy Star Homeowners Incentives for Installing Solar Panels
Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s (R-Somerset) bill to provide Energy Star-certified homeowners with financial incentives to install solar panels passed the Senate. S-1413 requires the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to give preference to these homeowners when awarding financial incentives for installing solar panels. New Jersey is one of the largest and fastest growing solar energy producers in the country, producing enough solar energy to power more than 240,000 homes.
“As a national leader in solar energy, we are working diligently to develop innovative strategies to encourage more New Jersey residents to embrace this technology,” Senator Bateman said. “This legislation targets a core, environmentally-friendly audience that is ready and willing to go above and beyond, by investing in energy-efficient technology throughout their entire home.”
— Senator Kip Bateman (@KipBateman) October 22, 2015
New Jersey has a long track record of embracing renewable energy sources, ranking third in the nation in installed solar capacity. 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 in solar installations around the state in 2014 alone.
“We have a responsibility to establish a cleaner, greener future for generations of New Jerseyans to come. These incentives will ease the financial burden of investing in solar panels and other energy-efficient technologies, while securing New Jersey’s legacy as a trailblazing investor in renewable energy,” Senator Bateman added.
To be eligible for these incentives, 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; and
- 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 includes two bills sponsored by Senator Bateman exempting renewable energy systems from property taxation, and 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.