Natural gas surpassed nuclear as New Jersey's primary electricity source in 2015. These two fuels account for about nine-tenths of New Jersey's electricity production. Solar energy has exploded in popularity recently due to government policies and falling solar panel prices. As of 2016, solar provided two-thirds of the state's renewable energy. Coming in at 1,991 MW, New Jersey has the 5th most installed solar capacity in the country. In 2016 rooftop solar panels and other distributed solar facilities produced about 62% of the solar energy in New Jersey. The remainder was produced at one of New Jersey's many solar farms.
New Jersey adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard in 1999, and has updated it several times since then. The current version (as of March 2017) requires that all New Jersey utilities use at least 25% renewable sources by the year 2021. This is one of the most ambitious standards in the country, and has led to the construction of several new solar farms. New Jersey also has a law that requires utilities to offer net metering, which allows residential customers to produce their own energy and sell it back to the utility. This has motivated thousands of New Jersey homeowners to install solar panels on their rooftop.
New Jersey Electricity Prices
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity for New Jersey residents in December 2016 was 15.32¢ per kWh, a whopping 3.11¢ above the average U.S. electricity price of 12.21¢ per kWh.
In 2016 New Jersey residents had the 11th most expensive electricity in the country! This has motivated many New Jersey homeowners to switch to renewable energy (i.e. go solar) to save money.
New Jersey Energy Mix
Net Electricity Generation By Source:
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2016
Electricity Production from natural gas has risen 73% over the past 5 year in New Jersey. Over the same period, electricity production from coal has fallen 68%.
New Jersey Energy Sector Employment
According to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census, the New Jersey solar industry employs more than 6,056 people, which is the 9th most in the nation. There are two main ways solar energy creates jobs in New Jersey. Rooftop solar has exploded in popularity recently, and employs thousands of installers, engineers, salespeople, etc. Utility scale solar farms are also a major source of jobs in New Jersey. In 2015, construction was completed on the Pilesgrove Solar Project, which has enough capacity to power more than 2,800 homes. This project created over 100 temporary construction jobs, and several full-time jobs that will last for the lifetime of the panels.
Fun fact: more Americans are employed by renewable energy than coal, oil, and gas combined, despite wind and solar energy only making up 5% of the total U.S. energy mix. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, solar energy creates over 7 times more jobs than coal or oil per MWh produced. The employment estimates for wind power differ from source to source, but most agree that it also produces more jobs than fossil fuels.
New Jersey Utility Companies
The largest utility companies in New Jersey are Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), Orange & Rockland Utilities, and Atlantic City Energy. Previously in New Jersey, one utility company controlled the entire flow of electricity, from production to distribution. However, the New Jersey energy market has since been “deregulated,” meaning that some elements of the service, such as electricity prices, can be set by other companies. This gives New Jersey businesses and homeowners the power to choose their electricity supplier.
Your local utility is still responsible for distributing electricity to every home in your area. In return, they send you a monthly bill, which you must pay to keep the electricity flowing. By default, they also produce or purchase your electricity. However, New Jersey’s deregulated energy market allows you to switch electricity suppliers to take advantage of lower electricity prices.
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G)
- New Jersey's oldest and largest publicly owned utility
- Serves approximately 2.2 million electric customers
- Headquartered in Newark, NJ
- Principal subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)
Orange & Rockland Utilities
- Serves approximately 305,000 electric customers
- Subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ConEd)
- Headquartered in Pearl River, NY
Atlantic City Energy
- Serves approximately 547,000 electric customers
- Incorporated in 1924
- Headquartered in Atlantic City, NJ
Arcadia's New Jersey Renewable Energy Services
With Arcadia’s clean energy offerings, homeowners and renters across the state can now sign up to reduce their impact, be more energy efficient, and save on their energy bills while keeping their same utility company. Here are three programs currently available to New Jersey residents:
As a New Jersey utility customer, you can reduce your impact by matching your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from wind farms. You can sign up for our 50% Wind Energy plan for free, and begin service with your next utility bill. All you need is your local utility login to link up with Arcadia’s platform and start supporting wind farms each month at no extra cost to you.
We offer a community solar-savings program to homeowners and renters in New Jersey. No matter where you live, you can subscribe to community solar projects across the country and start saving on your utility bill each month. There aren’t any installations, site visits, or equipment necessary, and if you move, your savings will even move with you.
Zero-down Energy Efficient Products
Our pay-as-you-save energy program enables New Jersey utility customers to access energy efficient products for $0 down. We will offer LED light bulbs, Wiser Air Smart Thermostats, and other home energy products to help you be more efficient and save on your utility bills. As an Arcadia customer, you can simply pay for your efficient products over time using the energy savings you’ll start seeing each month.