Residential PV Installations Cheaper in the Garden State than in California? Go Figure…

A recent AP report had some interesting comparisons of the price of installing a 5kW residential PV system in different states. (According to information on the website of MC Engineering, a California-based solar installer, a 5kW Solar PV System reliably powers a 2,500-square-foot home, producing an estimated 8,880 kWh of electric power per year).

The price for that 5kW system varies wildly depending on local utility rebates and state financing programs and tax rebates. For instance, according to the AP article, a New Jersey homeowner would only pay $2,625 for that PV system (original sticker price of $37,500), factoring in a state tax rebate of $8,750 from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' Clean Energy Program, a federal tax credit of $8,625, and a loan program through the Public Service Enterprise Group that's worth up to $17,500 for customers with excellent credit, according to Rumson, N.J.-based installer Gaurav Naik.

In contrast, a homeowner in Arkansas would pay $35,000, after he or she factors in a $15,000 federal tax credit into the $50,000 price, according to Bob Moore, a solar panel dealer in Ft. Smith, Ark. In California, that same system would cost $22,610. The AP article said according to Foster City, Calif.-based installer Solar City, the original $40,000 sticker price would be cut after applying a federal tax credit of $9,690 and a rebate through Southern California Edison.

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