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Bill Strengthening NJ's Community Solar Program Signed by Governor Murphy

As part of the permanent Community Solar Energy Program (CSEP), 51 percent of the program’s capacity is devoted to serving low- to moderate-income (LMI) subscribers. In addition, subscribers will see a minimum bill credit of 15%, resulting in meaningful guaranteed savings for the communities across the state that stand to benefit the most.

The legislation, A4782/S3123, accomplishes three key things:

  • Streamlining Eligibility Verification

This legislation puts self-attestation, a key equity provision within New Jersey’s permanent Community Solar Energy Program, into law. Previously, qualifying for low- and moderate-income (LMI) community solar required extensive documentation of income. This can be frustrating, embarrassing, and decrease overall adoption.

  • Allowing municipalities to facilitate access for low income subscribers

This bill allows the sharing of necessary information so that municipalities can identify and subscribe eligible community members to automatically receive energy bill savings. This change ensures that the benefits of clean energy flow to those who need them the most, since at least 80% of municipally aggregated subscribers will be low and moderate income.

  • Updating the community solar program’s size

This legislation increases the amount of community solar that NJ will enjoy. The need for community solar, and the public enthusiasm for it, currently outstrips the size of the program. This December, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) announced that it had received enough applications for the Community Solar Energy Program to generate more than 300 megawatts of new solar. By modestly increasing the program’s capacity, the bill accelerates the state’s clean energy transition and expands access to clean energy for more New Jersey residents, regardless of income or housing type.

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