December 9, 2020

Know Your Rooftop Leasing Options in New Jersey

Real estate owners have two distinct paths to create additional income from their rooftops. Which one is right for your property?

There’s a lot of buzz going on in New Jersey right now about solar energy, especially a new program called Community Solar. Before property owners jump at the opportunity to lease their rooftop for a Community Solar project, they should know their options to ensure that money isn’t being left on the table.

In New Jersey, the state has a goal to supply 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2050, including 17 gigawatts of solar energy by 2035. These targets are supported by a rich incentive program that, combined with the federal investment tax credit, makes now the best time to adopt solar energy.

Property owners have several options to consider when putting solar energy on their rooftops. Each option can certainly provide value, but some will provide more than others. Let’s take a look at the leading options.

Option 1: Roof Lease for Community Solar

Property owners can lease their roof space for a solar energy project that will provide energy to selected local households and businesses. Under this model, a solar developer pays you a lease rate for usage of your roof space while the energy is fully exported to the grid instead of being consumed on-site.

Community Solar is unique because property taxes are assessed on the added value, unlike solar projects where the energy is consumed on-site.

While a roof lease for Community Solar can provide additional income, the state policy is new so participation is limited, not guaranteed, and requires a longer time frame.

Option 2: Roof Lease + Energy

With Nessel Energy’s Rooftop Revenue ProgramSM, you can actually reap the benefit of rooftop lease income while also receiving solar energy from the system on your building for a lower rate than you pay the utility.

Nessel pays all system costs in addition to paying a guaranteed lease rate. Nessel owns the system while you simply pay a predictable per kilowatt-hour rate below the current utility rate for the electricity. This results in stable, guaranteed income and energy savings.

Simply put, the Nessel model provides the benefits of a roof lease, like for Community Solar, but it also provides the benefit of low-cost renewable electricity for you and your tenants. The table below compares these two options in more detail.

At-a-glance Comparison: Community Solar versus Roof Lease + Energy
BenefitRooftop Lease for Community SolarRooftop Revenue ProgramSM
(Roof Lease + Energy)
No Upfront Cost
The solar company pays for all project expenses and you reap benefits from the first day of operation.
Yes Yes 
Fast Track Development*
Solar projects designed to be consumed on-site have incentive certainty and can be implemented quickly.
 Yes
Increased Operating Income
You earn annual lease income for your rooftop space used for solar, just like you may earn from another tenant.
YesYes
Offset Energy Costs (OPEX Savings)
Solar lowers your energy usage from the utility, providing immediate savings via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
 Yes
Included Roof Management
Roof repairs, coatings, and maintenance can be included as part of a lease offer.
YesYes
Increased Property Value
Lower operating costs and higher income directly translates to property value appreciation.
YesYes
Property Tax Exemption for Solar
Behind-the-meter solar energy projects are exempt from state property tax assessment, unlike Community Solar.
 Yes
Sustainability Benefits
You are supporting clean energy by offsetting your building’s usage with clean, renewable electricity.
 Yes

*New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program offers limited capacity so not all projects will be accepted. In Program Year 1, 252 applications were submitted and only 45 were approved.

Act Quickly to Maximize Your Benefit

A combination of Federal and state-level incentives is creating a unique opportunity for property owners to earn high lease rates for solar while enjoying the benefits of lower priced electricity.

Nessel Energy is not a solar company, but rather a real estate company that offers energy solutions to help owners realize immediate benefits, including helping people and planet.

Contact us today to see if our Rooftop Revenue ProgramSM might be a good fit for your property.

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Now is the time to add solar as a tenant.

A combination of Federal and state-level incentives is creating a unique opportunity to earn high lease rates for solar on your property. Learn how Nessel Energy’s Rooftop Revenue Program℠ can benefit your organization.

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Nessel Energy provides sustainable energy solutions for real estate owners and developers through our unique Rooftop Revenue Program℠. We leverage over 20 years of real estate experience across commercial, multifamily, and industrial properties to provide unparalleled energy advising and services.

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