If you live in New Jersey, you should really consider installing a solar electric system. A survey by the Global Solar Center has confirmed that the Garden State has the fastest payback period of all 50 states for solar installations. The payback period is a measure of the time it takes for a home or business owner to recoup in energy savings their total solar system investment. From then on, the real savings kick in.
In New Jersey, that wait time is 1.5 years for residential systems. New York and Delaware are next in line with payback in 3-6 years, and California, Maryland, Massachusetts and Wisconsin all tied for fourth at seven years.
This tells us two key things about New Jersey and the other leading states. Firstly, they have progressive government incentives. And secondly, they pay their utility companies top rates. Yet there is a third, more general deduction to be made here: solar panel prices have dropped a lot in recent years. Just two to three years ago, it was considered special to get a payback period of under 10 years. Of course, federal tax incentives are much more generous for residential systems this year, but the difference is astounding nonetheless.
For commercial systems, Colorado, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Ohio and Oregon all lead with 1.5 year payback periods. In the solar hot water system category, the winners are southern Texas and Florida with paybacks of only one year.