Solar Energy Option Requirement for Residential Developments (New Jersey)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place New Jersey
Name Solar Energy Option Requirement for Residential Developments
Incentive Type Building Energy Code
Applicable Sector Construction, Residential
Eligible Technologies Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Residential Code Developers of residential developments with 25 or more dwelling units must offer prospective purchasers the option to install a solar energy system on the dwelling during purchase negotiations

Date added to DSIRE 2009-04-01
Last DSIRE Review 2013-01-28
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


In March 2009 New Jersey enacted legislation (A.B. 1558) designed to support the integration of solar energy systems into new residential developments. The law requires that, whenever "technically feasible", developers of residential developments with 25 or more dwelling units (i.e., single-family residences) offer to install or provide for the installation of a solar energy system on the unit during negotiations with a prospective purchaser. Solar energy systems are defined to include systems that use solar energy to provide "all or a portion of the heating, cooling, or general energy needs of a dwelling unit, including, but not limited to, nocturnal heat radiation, flat plate or focusing solar collectors, or photovoltaic solar cells." It appears that this broad definition could include passive as well as active solar elements. Developers are required to disclose this option in their advertising materials, which must include information on installation costs, environmental benefits, energy cost savings, and incentive programs for which the installation may qualify.

The law took effect immediately upon enactment; however, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in cooperation with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), must develop rules and standards for its implementation. The law notably does not provide a time frame for the adoption of regulations and as of February 2012 no such rules have been established. Covered dwellings with construction permits issued on or after the 90th day after these standards are adopted will be required to comply with the law. The rules and standards to be adopted by the DCA and BPU must define the criteria for "technical feasibility" and include a variety of elements related to ensuring the technical sufficiency of solar energy systems. Among these standards are requirements that the solar energy system:

  • be designed to primarily offset on-site energy consumption
  • use new components
  • have at least a 10-year manufacturer's warranty
  • be equipped with monitoring and performance measuring equipment.

The DCA and BPU are required to create educational materials for developers to demonstrate how solar energy and energy efficiency may be incorporated during building construction, and provide information on incentives which may be available. In cases where a homeowner's association or similar membership association will be responsible for maintenance, repair, or replacement of property upon which a solar energy system is installed, the owner of the dwelling unit may be responsible for certain additional costs if the system affects the performance of these activities.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Darren Port
Department New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Division Division of Codes and Standards
Address 101 South Broad Street
Address 2 P.O. Box 802
Place Trenton, New Jersey
Zip/Postal Code 08625-0802
Phone (609) 984-7607


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: N.J. Stat. § 52:27D-141.1 et seq.
Date Effective 2009-03-31
Date Enacted 2009-03-31

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"