Realtor Allison Ziefert Discusses Solar Panels and Latest SOMA Market Reports

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From The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group:

Finally some sunny and warmer days are here. Which may have you thinking about installing solar panels at your Maplewood or South Orange home.

New Jersey has some of the highest electricity rates in the country and some of the most generous incentives for residential solar. When combined with the 30% federal tax credit for solar, you don’t even need optimal roof conditions for solar to make sense financially.  

Our team has a great connection who lives right here in South Orange/Maplewood who can help you weigh your options, Adam Joseph of Power Solutions. Adam’s mission is to help people really understand the benefits of solar – both financial and environmental – and to make the most informed decisions possible and here’s how he breaks it down…

There are really only a few deal breakers that will rule out solar for your home. First would be if your roof shingles are made of slate or wood, as very few installers will work on those surfaces. Second would be if your house is heavily shaded on all sides. Even if your house is only unshaded on one side, solar may still make sense. 

Let’s look at a typical local home that uses 15,000 kWh/year of electricity and gets its power from PSEG. This home will pay about $2,700/year for power. Assuming the home has average solar characteristics, it can probably generate 100% of its power usage with a solar system that would cost about $35,000 before all incentives. 

The homeowner would then be eligible for the 30% federal tax credit which is worth $10,500. Assuming the homeowner chooses to finance the net cost of the project with $0 down at today’s going rate for a 15-year solar loan, the annual  loan payment would be about $2,800, or about $100 more than the cost of sticking with PSEG. But the homeowner will also receive about $1,300/year from the State of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, thus reducing the net cost of solar to about $1,500, or $1,200 less than sticking with PSEG. Moreover, the loan payment is fixed for 15 years, while the cost of power from PSEG will likely rise over time, meaning that the annual savings from solar will likely increase over time. 

Homeowners choosing to pay cash for the project instead of financing it would generate a cash-on-cash ROI of about 13% once the bill savings, tax credits and NJ incentives are figured in. Not bad for a very low risk investment! 

Many solar installers will give you a free, detailed proposal that includes an in depth survey of your home. You might as well get one – you’ve got nothing to lose but your electric bill! 

Our spring market has been bonkers for buyers. Homes selling for 30-50% over the list price are not outliers and I have been saying that $2 million is the new $1 million in South Orange and Maplewood with that ceiling having been broken with a few recent sales. Questions? Please reach out!

Here is our latest market report for South Orange:


Here is our latest market report for Maplewood:

Have you thought about moving lately? Maybe to a sunnier climate? Or one with a sunnier tax outlook? We have many trusted agent partners around the country who can help you explore a market you are interested in. Reach out if we can help you make sense of the many moving pieces in your real estate plan at

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, New Jersey. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair/Glen Ridge, West Orange, Morristown and the surrounding New Jersey towns. We’ve also got you covered coast to coast with the best connections to top agents around the country in any market you are exploring. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. 


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