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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Texas

Solar Power in Texas

It's 2020, and your prospects for powering your home with solar energy in Texas are great! That's especially the case in cities like San Antonio and Austin, which have municipal utility companies with rebates and other incentives available.

The average cost of solar panels in Texas in 2020 is $3.20 per watt of generating power, and the average cost of a 9.8-kilowatt (thousand watts) home solar panel installation is $23,000 after incentives. At that price, the initial cost of the system will be paid back by electricity bill savings in about 11 years, while the panels will keep working until they're at least 25 years old, saving you a total of nearly $40,000 over the long run.

Read more below about how much solar you need for your home and how your solar panels pay you back.

Why are some cloudy states better? Good solar policy matters! Lawmakers and regulators in some states have passed laws that support your right to own solar panels and save money! Check out the solar policy section below for more info on your state's solar laws.

Texas Solar Report Card

Okay, we know the Texas solar power report card doesn't look promising, but hear us out: Texas is a good place to install solar panels on your home... mostly.

The reason the report card looks like it does is the things it measures aren't super strong in Texas. You don't have a strong state government enacting lots of rules and regulations to encourage homeowners to go solar. But to be honest... you don't really need that. Texas gets a LOT of sun, and in the most populous places, like the Dallas area (anywhere Oncor serves your home), Austin, Houston, and San Antonio your utility company supports home solar and you'll be able to save money over the long run by installing solar panels on your home.

In other places, which are largely served by rural electric co-ops, you might not have as much success. Take a look below at our financial estimates for the average home in Texas, and if you're curious about how much solar panels can save you specifically, use our fancy new solar panel calculator to get an estimate using real-world data.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Texas Solar Power Report Card

Every home is unique. Find out how much you can save with solar in Texas

Solar power installation cost, energy production and solar savings change from home to home. Therefore, generic information about solar panel installation cost and solar savings is of little use to homeowners considering solar. This is why we provide the estimator above because it takes all of the characteristics of your roof and location into account to provide you with a very accurate and personalized solar cost an savings estimate that is likely to be 95+% accurate.

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Are Solar Panels Worth it in Texas?

Compare costs

The cost of NOT installing solar in Texas

The average homeowner in Texas is paying about $129 per month, or $1,548 per year for electricity right now. That money goes straight from your pocket to the utility company.

Unless you live in San Antonio, Austin or one of the other Texas cities with a municipal electric company, you probably have your choice of a number of Retail Electric Providers (REPs), which means you know two things: each kWh of electricity is kind of cheap from most providers in Texas, and you need a lot of those kWh to power your home.

Remember, that $129 monthly bill is an average for Texas homeowners. If you're paying more that $129 per month for electricity, you should definitely consider installing solar panels. There are REPs almost statewide that will give you credit for your excess solar energy and offer cheap rates for when the sun isn't shining, too.

The cost of your electricity over the next 25 years without solar:

*assumes average cost/kWh increase of 3.5% annually. Current cost is $0.11/kWh according to EIA data.

$60,294

Don't believe us? Here's how it works:

  • $129 per month average bill * 12 months = $1,548
  • With average annual increases of 3.5%, year 2 cost is $1,602, year 3 is $1,658...
  • By 2044, we project your annual electric cost to be $3,534
  • Add up all 25 years' cost and you get $60,294

The savings possible with solar in Texas

Wow, look at the difference solar makes! By investing some cash up front now, you guarantee yourself free energy long into the future, and it's going to save you a lot of money.

And don't be put off by the initial investment. If you have income and pay taxes, the federal government offers a solar tax credit equal to 26% of your costs to install solar, earning you a huge amount back just months after you install. On top of that, your electric bill savings will have your initial investment paid off after just 11 years, with at least 14 more years of savings after.

And if you live in a place served by Oncor (many areas around Dallas/Forth Worth), you may qualify for additional rebates that can take thousands more off the price. Get the process started by getting a personal estimate for your home.

The cost of your electricity over the next 25 years with solar:

*assumes average cost/kWh increase of 3.5% annually. Current cost is $0.11/kWh according to EIA data.

$20,733

Here's how you save with solar power:

  • The average 9.8-kW system costs about $31,360 to install
  • Then the savings begin. First, you earn a $8,153 Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • Over 25 years, your Texas solar panels will save you an estimated $62,768 on your electric bills
  • The total net savings from solar in Texas (bill savings and incentives minus up-front cost), is $39,561

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Go up to compare costs

Solar Loans in Texas

Should you consider a solar loan in Texas?

Rather than spend $31,360 of your savings to install solar, it might be wise to choose a solar loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Banks now recognize the savings potential of solar and offer favorable terms to help you get solar now and pay over time as you save.

Is a solar loan right for you? That depends on your feelings. The way solar loans in Texas work is you can get solar panels installed with no up-front investment, then pay over time as you save money on electric bills. The net cost of the loan payments will be a bit bigger than your former electric bill, but those little additional payments are an investment in future savings.

After your loan is paid off in year 15, you really start to rack up the savings, as you can see in the chart below.

Solar Loan
25-year energy costs

Before solar loan: $60,294
After solar loan: $32,555
Solar loan savings: $27,739

Here's how you save with a solar loan:

  • The average 9.8-kW system costs about $31,360 to install. That's how big your loan should be.
  • Your monthly electric bill savings will be about $143, but your loan payments will be $239, meaning you'll spend $96 per month on solar.
  • Then at the end of the first year, you earn a $8,153 Federal Solar Tax Credit, leaving you $7,000 ahead!
  • Your solar loan will be paid off after year 15, and then the real savings start! The total net savings after 25 years from an average solar loan in Texas (bill savings and incentives minus loan cost), is $27,739.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

Texas Solar Incentives and Policy

Use the buttons below to learn about the solar incentives available to homeowners in Texas, as well as the laws and regulations your state government has put in place to help you go solar.

Texas Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Texas:

Texas's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

Texas's Renewable Portfolio Standard

3% by 2015 (exceeded) Grade: D

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Normally an RPS sets targets for a certain percentage of total energy generation to come from renewables, but in Texas, the targets are amounts of electricity produced, measured in megawatts (MW). The Texas RPS was first passed in 1999 with a target of 2,000 MW of energy from renewable resources. In 2005, the legislature increased the requirement to 5,880 MW by 2015 and set a voluntary goal of growing this capacity to 10,000 MW by 2025.

But wind power in Texas is hugely profitable, and by 2009, Texas had already surpassed their 2025 goal. As of 2015, the state has 15,635 MW of installed wind capacity. Despite wildly exceeding even their voluntary "pie-in-the-sky" 2025 goal, the state has yet to increase their RPS targets.

and while 15,635 MW of wind capacity may seem like a lot, it actually accounted for only 10.6% of total electricity generated in the state. In fact, Texas leads the country in total energy consumption, which may seem unsurprising given its size. Yet, the Lone Star State still ranks in the top five for energy consumption when distributed per capita.

For any state—especially one that is as power hungry as Texas—10.6% is far too low of a goal for renewable generation. We’ve seen other high-population, high-energy demand states like New York (30% by 2015) and California (33% by 2022) set much loftier goals, and there are even states (Hawaii) taking aim at 100% renewables by mid-century.

Texas’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards
Texas's Solar Carve-out grade

Texas's Solar carve-out and SRECs

None Grade: F

Though Texas requires at least 500 MW of their 2015 goal come from renewable resources other than wind (since about 96% of their renewable energy was sourced from wind in 2015), they do not specify that it must come from solar and this target remains largely voluntary. If the RPS contained specific carve-outs for clean and efficient technologies like solar panels, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, you’d see even stronger incentives for residential solar power.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs
Texas's Electricity cost grade

Texas Electricity Prices

$0.11/kWh Grade: D

Electricity runs about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) here, but you might pay more or less than that, because you might live in a city like San Antonio or Austin, which have their own municipal electic companies, or you might be a customer of a Retail Electric Provider who sells plans within Texas's deregulated market. As you probably know, if you want to pay cheaper per-kWh costs for electrciity, you have to sign up for special plans full of confusing restrictions on how much electricity you can use and when. It's usually just easier to pick the company that promises a set price and sticks to it.

If you're lucky enough to pay 11 cents per kWh, you should know that's quite a bit lower than the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh, but by our standards that national average is far too cheap. Energy is cheap because it’s generated from dirty-burning fossil fuels, at giant power plants that emit greenhouse gases by the billions of tons. Texas has great REP companies like Green Mountain Power who are willing to both sell you electricity and buy back any extra energy your solar panels make. So why not ditch the hassle, and get solar information from experts in your area.

Find out why electricity prices matter
Texas's Net Metering grade

Texas Net Metering

Many utilities offer Grade: C

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Net metering in Texas is… lacking. There is no statewide net metering law here. That said, in most populated places in the state, you can find either a municipal electic company that offers net metering, or a Retail Electic Provider (REP) like Green Mountain Energy, that will buy your extra solar output for retail price, or close to it.

The "C" grade we give Texas on Net Metering reflects the uncertainty of that arrangement. If Green Mountain Energy decided they no longer wanted to buy back your excees kWh, you'd be left with a solar system that would save you less moey in the long run. Not a ton less, but enough that it might extend the payback time of your system for a few years.

Long story short, whether you're looking to install solar panels in Houston, or sign up for some Dallas solar power, you're covered for now. Green Mountain Energy offers full reatil-rate credit for excess solar energy, rolled over to your next month's bill. Furthermore, the cities of Austin, Brenham, El Paso (El Paso Electric), and San Antonio (CPS Energy), all have some form of net metering available to residential solar power systems, and some of them even offer rebates, to boot.

Learn more about net metering
Texas's Interconnection Standards grade

Texas Interconnection Rules

Statewide with caveats Grade: D

While most of Texas does not ensure that you can have your energy consumption and production monitored for potential surplus, the state does have regulations designed to help ensure that you can get connected to the grid. Texas provides for standard interconnection procedures for all systems up to 10 MW. The regulations prohibit the utilities from requiring pre-interconnection studies, set 4-6 week time limits on how long the utilities can take to consider your application for interconnection, and offers fast-track pre-certification procedures to speed up the interconnection process.

That’s not too shabby. We’d like to see a prohibition on the requirement of redundant external disconnect switches and separate liability insurance, but compared to the rest of the state’s legislation, interconnection is a big step in the right direction.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Texas Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Texas measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.
Texas's Solar Rebates grade

Texas Solar Rebates

Varies Grade: C

As we mentioned earlier, Texas lacks any statewide rebate program. Given that most folks outside of big cities have their choice of electric company through the state's open energy marketplace.

Those of you lucky enough to live in a place with a municipal electric company may have good options. For example, San Antonio's CPS Energy has good solar rebates. Here's a run-down of all the solar rebates we've found in the Lone Star state:

UtilityAmountNotes
AEP Texas Central Company$500/kW, up to $5,000Subject to additional requirements
AEP Texas North Company$500/kW, up to $5,000Subject to additional requirements
Austin Energy$2,500 per installation greater than 3-kWRebate earned by taking and passing online solar class. More about Austin Energy Solar rebates
City of Denton$800/kW AC, $1,200/kW with batteriesMaximum of $30,000, not to exceed 50% of total costs. Additional $750/kW available if installation includes battery storage
City of San Marcos$1,000/kW, $2,500 max.Subject to additional requirements.
City of Sunset Valley$1,000/kW, $3,000 maxMust be eligible for Austin Energy rebate. Sunset Valley rebate offered in addition to Austin Energy rebate.
CoServ Electric Cooperative$310/kW, $3,100 maxSubject to additional requirements.
CPS Energy in San Antonio$2,500 per projectRead more about CPS Energy solar rebates
Farmer's Electric Co-op$500 maxMust meet all program criteria.
Oncor Electric Delivery$538.53/kW + $0.2519/kWh in 1 yearSubject to additional requirements. Calculations for kWh per year are based on expected production. For example, a 5-kW array might produce 7,020 kWh in one year, and its owner would therefore be awarded $1,768.34 in addition to the initial $2,692.65 rebate.

Since our last update, many rebates have come and gone, but there is still a lot of opportunity for solar savings in Texas thanks to these utility-based incentives. You can check your utility’s website for the most recent information on program status and application procedures. Or you can relax and connect with our expert partner installers in Texas, who'll make sure you get all the rebates and savings available.

Learn more about solar rebates
Texas's Solar Tax Credits grade

Texas Solar Tax Credits

No State Income Tax Grade: C

Since Texas doesn’t have any income tax, there aren’t any solar tax credits to redeem! Luckily, you will still benefit from the Federal Solar Tax Credit.

Learn more about state solar tax credits
Texas's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

Property Tax Exemption

100% Grade: A

Finally! Score one for the Texas lawmakers -- coming through with a solid property tax exemption. When you install that shiny new solar power system, the resulting increase in home value (details on how much later) is exempt from 100% of the resulting property tax increase.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar
Texas's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Sales Tax Exemption

None Grade: F

Now if only we could get a matching sales tax exemption. Sales tax ranges from 6.25% to 8.25% here, depending on the local tax rate. You may not notice it in small purchases, but that sales tax adds up for big-ticket items. A sales tax exemption is a simple and efficient way to save you a couple thousand bucks on those solar panels. No checks, no mess. Just discounts for you right off the top. Let’s get on that, lawmakers!

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar
Texas's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Low-income Solar Programs

None Grade: F

As you might imagine in a state without a renewable portfolio starndard, Texas doesn't have any laws or incentives meant to specificailly help low- and middle-income people get solar for their homes. We hope that some day this will change, but for now, it's where we're at.

Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The final word on Texas solar power incentives and policy

Are solar panels worth it in Texas? Yes, but it depends on a few factors. If you live in the right area and can choose a Retail Electric Provider like Green Mountain Energy, you can get solar rebates and send all your excess electricity back to the grid for full credit. In those situations, installing a home solar system in Texas is a no-brainer.

But for many people who live outside of the major metropolitan areas, going solar doesn’t always pencil out, financially-speaking. Texas could go a long way toward fixing that by passing a statewide net metering law, and adding a solid Renewable Portfolio Standard with a solar carve out would bring Texas’s solar policy grade from a D up to a B.

With the right mix of policy and the ever-decreasing cost of solar, we could see Texas solar as an A+ investment in short order.

87 thoughts on “2020 Guide to Solar Panels for Homes in Texas | Solar Incentives & More

  1. Avatar for BrandonBuysdallas BrandonBuysdallas says:

    thanks for this , now we know which state or city is best to be on and transfer to , planning to sell my house

  2. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    Have any of you worked with http://www.solarcellstx.com ?

  3. Avatar for David David says:

    One great solar installer in Dallas, TX is Sunfinity Solar. Right now they are located in Dallas, TX but I am hearing that they will be expanding into all areas of TX very shortly.

  4. Avatar for David David says:

    It’s 2017. Enough said. With elec. co-ops out here we have no access to subsidies. That is why the solar industry is not booming the way it should with our sun exposure. The leases are strange to those who are not in the know. Metering is still problematic, with some elec. providers not using net metering at all. If you are still coming here to read and educate yourself, take ONE minute to compose an email to your state rep and request more solar friendly legislation be enacted before our state congress disbands again later this year. Short state legislative window for opportunities. Just do it. You will feel better after you are done.

  5. Avatar for jash jash says:

    I am wondering if houston light compny will buy excess power produced by indivual home owners?

    1. Avatar for Ben Zientara Ben Zientara says:

      Hi Jash-

      Houston is largely served by CenterPoint energy, which allows you to connect your solar panels to the grid, but you’ll have to sign up for a solar buyback program with one of the retail electric providers that serves your area. Check out our Guide to installing solar panels in Houston for more information.

  6. Avatar for jc jc says:

    if you want solar, check out the guys from Third Rock Solar and Water. They weren’t pushy when it came to getting solar and they were super down to earth. based out of austin but service texas and louisiana. saveourrock.com is their website.

  7. Avatar for Bailey Cale Bailey Cale says:

    Hello my name is Bailey Cale.  I’m currently seeking employment, not just a job but a career. I have been in the oil and gas industry for 7 years now. I’m looking for a dependable and stable career. I’m very interested in a career in the new future, solar power and going green. I’m very interested in applying and getting a job in this industry. I’m a dependable worker and work as a team player. I’m just looking for a opportunity to get my foot in the door and work my way up. I was just wondering if yall might have some entry level positions open? Where can I send my resume ? I look forward to speaking with yall and hopefully one day having a career with this company.  Thank you Bailey Cale  254-300-2785

  8. Avatar for Denise Denise says:

    We live in Texas and are considering solar. However, in the covenants and bylaws, it states we can not have solar panels on our roofs. Someone told me that the courts passed a

  9. Avatar for gary klucken gary klucken says:

    Six homes on our residential street are wanting solar. Can we expect a price break by using the same installer/equipment provider?

  10. Avatar for Alex Saracay Alex Saracay says:

    SolarCity is dominating DFW

  11. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I use the VA hospital in Shreveport LA. This summer they installed big solar panels over thier big parking lot. Do you know how that is working out?

  12. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed reading this page about the different regulations in different states. It is written in an amusing, easy-to-understand style. Apparently, people who are switching to solar energy are taking away the profits of the coal-fired energy plants, forcing the Big Guys to discourage solar power. It is the lobbyists for the old-guard who are convincing state governments to withdraw incentives to switch to solar. Here is an article I read today in which some experts proclaim that “old energy” is in a death spiral. “Old Energy Is Doing Everything It Can To Stop The Rise Of Solar” http://www.businessinsider.com/r-taxes-fees-the-worldwide-battle-between-utilities-and-solar–2014-9 I would rather buy than lease solar panels. Thanks for this webpage, however. I learned a lot from it.

  13. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Are you smoking crack dude?! If I had ten or twenty thousand in the bank I’d drop half of it to buy stock in this company! Why? Because unless they go under from really horrible management it is as close to a ‘sure thing’ investment as you can get. similar to buying electric company stock, only BETTER because I unlike the electric company, the growth rate of a company like this has the ability to go through the roof because of a virtually untapped market! They literally can’t lose because you WILL pay your electric bill, you WILL save money and your neighbors WILL want in on this, so their business goes up again! outside of faulty equipment costs and related maint., its like their a bank giving you a car loan, just less likelihood of you defaulting! Government/state rebates etc reduces polution which means less health related problems nationwide. I could go on, but you get the point. QUOTE__Anyone asking for government “rebates” to buy and install what amounts to private property is asking a for a handout from someone else. Government has no money except what it steal from individuals under threat of loss of their home if they don’t pay. It’s a SCAM! See if you let this truth through, moderator. I suspect not because it conflicts with your agenda.__UNQUOTE

    1. Avatar for Patrick Kilhoffer Patrick Kilhoffer says:

      The government subsidizes things it thinks are in the best interests of the country. We give tax breaks to home buyers because we are all better off when we have more home owners. We give tax credits to movie makers because we are all better off when they film movies in the United States, generating billions of dollars in economic activity. And we give tax credits for solar installations because it not only creates jobs and reduces household expenses, it reduces health care costs by reducing air pollution, etc. But soon, the tax credits for solar will expire and given the current political situation, it probably isn’t wise to assume that congress will be able to function well enough to renew them, so now is the time to get a solar system installed.

  14. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    fyi, 10kw wouldn’t be wasteful, your home will suck all of the electricity up from those panels and still be using power from your utility company! p.s. website admin, I tried to reply to the author of the quoted comment using thr reply function but it FAILED to work using two different browsers on my tablet! QUOTE__Credits seem to be limited value if you aren’t using them up by the time they try and expire them. Like to do a 10kw on new home, though will do 5kw if no way to make sure excess isn’t wasted since battery storage is still too expensive.__UNQUOTE

    1. Avatar for Patrick Kilhoffer Patrick Kilhoffer says:

      Your installer will use software tools to project what your system output will be for each month of the year and compare that to your historic electric bills for those months and ensure that your system isn’t sized too large for your needs. Depending on your utility, you might be able to roll over your credits for one month, one year, or forever, and that will also help determine the best size of your system. The best approach is work with your installer to determine the best system size.

  15. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Who can do Solar Leases in McAllen, Texas?

    1. Avatar for Patrick Kilhoffer Patrick Kilhoffer says:

      The easiest way to get a quote on a solar lease in Texas is to go to https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/see-your-solar-savings/ and fill out the short form there.

  16. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Quick Note about Sales Tax Credit in Texas. Although we do not have a sales tax credit in Texas, we can tax the Federal Sales Tax credit because we do not have a state income tax. So it’s a Federal tax credit for sales tax paid in Texas.

  17. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Quick Note about Sales Tax Credit in Texas

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  19. Avatar for Dilip Dilip says:

    So are the options in Houston area(CenterPoint) limited to getting credit thru the 3 utilities listed on http://www.powertochoose.org/en-us/Plan/Offers for my area? No one is paying cash? Credits seem to be limited value if you aren’t using them up by the time they try and expire them. Like to do a 10kw on new home, though will do 5kw if no way to make sure excess isn’t wasted since battery storage is still too expensive.

  20. Avatar for TateRehmet TateRehmet says:

    very interesting article, I may try to contact oncor about the rebate program in Dallas.

  21. Avatar for Marcus Joo Marcus Joo says:

    This needs to be updated.
    Oncor’s Take a Load Off Texas Rebate program is back online and people in the DALLAS-FORT WORTH area can take advantage of great solar prices now.

  22. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I’m in Melbourne Australia. Igot a1.5system installed for 3 grand and in the first year I payed 95 bucks for elctrisity

  23. Avatar for Roy Roy says:

    I do wish Texas would get more on the bandwagon with green energy..I truly do envy the folks living in Austin. They have a good deal going down there.

  24. Avatar for enphase m215 enphase m215 says:

    Lets go GREEN Texas. The rebates are getting better. Payoff in ten years is pretty awesome. Plus saving our planet for our CHILDREN is pretty awesome.

  25. Avatar for Alejandro Grande (@alejandro_gr101) Alejandro Grande (@alejandro_gr101) says:

    There should not be any payment to be made if someone uses solar unless it is for public use. I prefer solar Perth to be installed by myself. I am choosing solar powered systems because I don’t want to think of the costly electricity bill so these extra charges are really confusing because it defeats the purpose of installing a solar.

  26. Avatar for PJ PJ says:

    Reading all of this makes things sound really good and I would love to jump on board and have panels on my roof..I’ve been looking at a lot of sites regarding solar energy for a couple of years but the cost to do it is out of my reach …I also am seeing east texas is not included in the ares served

  27. Avatar for Mike Mike says:

    Can this be used on a commercial basis? And do the same rebates apply?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Mike, solar is different everywhere, sometimes all the way down to the neighborhood level. In general, yes, solar is worth exploring for commercial entities. Some places they look better than a home, financially, others, the opposite. Fill out the form to get a quote and if there is someone who can quote you commercial in the area the will give you a buzz.

      Cheers,
      Dave

  28. Avatar for harvey harvey says:

    The Austin lady sounded like she received a great deal from her utility company. What about someone from College Station Texas?

  29. Avatar for Tom O Tom O'Donnell says:

    Hi, is the $2000 per kw still available in Texas, great forum thanks

  30. Avatar for Dave Dave says:

    Anyone asking for government “rebates” to buy and install what amounts to private property is asking a for a handout from someone else. Government has no money except what it steal from individuals under threat of loss of their home if they don’t pay. It’s a SCAM! See if you let this truth through, moderator. I suspect not because it conflicts with your agenda.

  31. Avatar for ktp ktp says:

    Just wanted to add my recent experiences installing PV system through Austin Energy. Systems have gone down significantly in price compared to just a few years ago. We got our 6.2KW system through Longhorn solar for just $20K, no battery system though, just 26 panels and the inverter box plus hookups and meters to the grid for selling excess back. With the Austin rebate of $15K and the tax credit, it came down to $3.5K out of pocket, which is very reasonable. With a saving of about $900 a year on electricity, everything should be paid off after 4 years and start earning money. That’s a pretty good deal.

  32. Avatar for kev kev says:

    What amount of energy kW’s does a 3000 sq foot house use a year or say a 5k sq foot house?
    How much would a system described above generate?
    Then I can calculate after rebates how long the net cost takes me to earn back in savings?
    Do the prices include install, and all other equipment required i.e. 100% full system?

  33. Avatar for Kim Kim says:

    I live in Dallas Texas, another city that is suffering through this horrible heat wave and drought. We are starting to see rolling blackouts. I just bought my first home a month ago, but adding solar panels seems like it should be a first upgrade investment. I am looking through databases and am shocked that I don’t see a city as big as Dallas on any of the incentive lists for grants or tax rebates. Is there something out there that I am missing, or are we really not being incented to go green with power in Dallas or am I just missing us on the lists?? If I install now, without incentives, will I be eligible to be grandfathered in for a rebate at a later date?

  34. Avatar for Debbie Debbie says:

    Iv’e had solar going on 12 years now and i’m sick of replacing these expensive batteries that are way to heavy for me to move.Is there not a easier,simpler way to store energy? I don’t recommend solar if your a woman and live alone and don”t understand electricity dc/ac no electric available where i live unless I can come up with $175K upfront. help any solutions to my problem???

  35. Avatar for Georgia Georgia says:

    don’t see on PEC’s website that they off any type of incentive program. Was wondering if anyone out there knew if they did but just did not advertise it? I am going to email them, looks like with all the hill country customers they have it would be a cinch. We are leaning hard on the lease programs…..anyone out there tried it yet?

  36. Avatar for Joe Joe says:

    I might have missed this in the above answers.I have txu and use about 2kwh per month and I would like to know as of now is it worth the expense to install solar on my home in Houston. Also how long would it take to pay off

  37. Avatar for Maria Maria says:

    Thanks for the info, living in Houston seems to be creating issues, but with as much sun as we get and with the grid going down so often, they should be paying us to put panels on our roofs!!! I’m still searching for the right fix for me. My contract with Reliant ends in 2 weeks and I’m looking at leasing solar panels (new options), but that isn’t even truly available in Houston yet (mostly in California only). Why is the Houston energy market so darn difficult? It can’t be ERCOT, b/c look at Austin and San Antonio! TXU might be my best bet with their contract with SolarCity, but still seems cost prohibitive…..HELP!

  38. Avatar for Phillip Kearn Phillip Kearn says:

    San Antonio offers the best rebate through CPS Energy (solar panels). For Commercial projects, they pay $3.00 per watt for up to $100,000. Residential is the same with a cap of $30,000. Most of the companies there are “mom and pops” so do your research. Uptown Solar and 1BG are the larger companies I recommend.

  39. Avatar for edgar edgar says:

    Were can i get info on who to sell energy from my solar panels in Laredo TX?

  40. Avatar for tim tim says:

    I am looking to ease into the Solar Business and am looking for eduactional / training resources in Texas. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Tim,

      I’m not familiar with anything in Texas, but check out Solar Energy International based in Colorado, a very reputable place. They have some on line courses that would help you on your way and then perhaps you get some hands-on experience nearby. Hope that helps. Also, check out Solar Living Institute if you want to take a trip to California.

  41. Avatar for Rose Rose says:

    My only option in East (less than 15 minutes from down town Dallas) Texas is to be vitimized by my electric co-op. My co-op not only has numerous complaints against them according to PEC (not like PEC can do anything to them)but they also have some of the highest rates in any Texas co-op. They are NOT on any rebate lists that I can find & according to complaints I have heard/read from others, there is so much red tape bullcrap with HOAs & wind turbines, ‘good luck!’ Our co-op ‘claims’ they offer green energy incentives BUT only if your not in any kind of HOA violations?!?!?! Not too mention other ‘rules & regulations’ to qualify. Since when did the co-op & the HOA take over my rights to be green? The co-op ‘board’ still houses the same ‘good o’le boys’ from years past. As I know fully they will NEVER vote for deregulation, how can I make my one voice heard above the ‘good o’le boys’ on the co-op board? I would host functions, pass out flyers, makes calls ect, to do whatever it would take to push the co-op OUT! Can someone advise me as to where to start? I have checked Right To Choose, ERCOT, Americans For Prosperity & several others but the message seems to be the same. I’m moreless at the mercy of my co-op. Someone PLEASE help me!

  42. Avatar for Murray Murray says:

    Texas has probably one of the best Solar Environments in the Country. AEP just started offering last week a 2.50 a DC Watt rebate. See http://www.cleanenergyassociates.com/txreincentives.php

    When combined with the programs recently announced by TNMP, Entergy and Xcel a vast majority of the state has very lucrative incentives. Much better than many other states though it is fragmented. Problem areas are the COOPS, El Paso and the Houston Market.

  43. Avatar for ray eytcheson ray eytcheson says:

    I found the thread very informative. It’s sad that Texas is so backward in having a unified policy regardless of provider. But the solar client is more interested in cost containment, than revenue generation anyway. We invest, we save!

  44. Avatar for ray eytcheson ray eytcheson says:

    Since there is no true correlation between watts and amps, how do we correctly determine the size of system that is necessary to assure a minimum of 100 amp availability via solar

  45. Avatar for Murray Murray says:

    Kevin, we have structured a tax lease for non-profits so other entities (usually us) can use the tax benefits which can then be passed along to the non-profit in the form of a lower priced unit at purchase option time. If you wish to know more about how this works contact me.

  46. Avatar for Murray Murray says:

    Dave, Txu through its Oncor subsidiary offers a 2.46 per watt grant. Since February we have been installing systems all over the Oncor system as an Oncor certified installer. Give us a call and we will walk you through the steps.

  47. Avatar for Harrison Harrison says:

    Say, using the example at the beginning of this thread, I would like to install a 3 kW system that would be about $27,000 ($9.00/Watt x 3,000 Watts). In this example I wouldd be in line to receive the maximum incentive of $13,500. The Fed offers a 30% incentive in the form of a tax credit with no cap. Assuming you have the tax liability, you’re in line to deduct another $8,100 (30% x $27,000).

    Assuming that the above price is applying for a grid-tie system (no batteries). Now, I want an off grid system with batteries installed. Does the incentive apply to the initial batteries cost too ? When you say “system”, is it referring to the entire system or just the solar panel ?

    Dan Hahn mentioned that solar panels are guaranteed to be producing at at least 80% of their capacity at year 25. How often the batteries need to be replace within these 25 years. Will the batteries replacement cost is getting incentive too?

    David mentioned : “If your system is grid-tied, it will go down if the grid goes down”. Why ? Technically, I think even it’s a grid-tied system, solar panels generate their own power, why we can’t use it. Assuming this is something that the monopoly wants to control, we probably need a system that automatically tie (to sell) and untie (to use). It would be nice.

    Think about someday, every single house has its own solar power system, we maybe able to share electricity through the network…just like the internet…

  48. Avatar for kevin kevin says:

    Does anyone know if churches qualify for the 30% tax credit or are there any other incentives for churches?

  49. Avatar for Dave Dave says:

    Looking to install a 5 KWH system in Plano, but I’m wondering what effect coming (maybe) federal laws might have or if I’m looking at only the IRS “30%” thing. TXU utilities seems to be totally ignorant on the subject..

  50. Avatar for Murray Murray says:

    Kevin;

    There will continue to be much confusion on this issue until the IRS finally issues their REG’s on this matter. This may take a while as some states have gotten to be very creative in their promotion of Solar with Paid-In-Tariff’s, Grants, State Rebates, State Credits over multiple years. I have discussed this matter with a couple of my contacts at the DOE and it could be several months before all these issues have finally been addressed in the first draft with probable multiple clarifications to follow because of the complexity of the law / issue itself.

    I advise our dealers to provide clients with this background when explaining the 30% Federal Credit and to be on the conservative side until the IRS regulatons finally come out.

  51. Avatar for kevin kevin says:

    There seems to be much confusion about how the federal and utility rebates are applied. Some web sites show the federal tax rebate as (cost – utility rebate) * .3, while others show it as cost * .3. Which is correct?

  52. Avatar for MINS MINS says:

    do any of you know any websites with people who had tried unsuccessfully to use ‘green power’ or solar power if know plz comment.

  53. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Murray,

    Thanks for the link, we’ll be on it once this bill gets signed and we get a little more info!

    – Dan

  54. Avatar for Murray Murray says:

    Our company has installers in many Texas Markets.

    Texas is about to move up to at least a 4 star if not a 5 star once this bill is signed by Gov Perry. As a 30% rebate, 500 million will install alot of solar systems in Texas.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Texas-Senate-passes-500M-apf-14997773.html?.v=1

  55. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Lydia,

    Thanks for your question and your real estate work. Appraisers are still getting their act together on this one and they may vary a bit from one to another, but according to The Appraisal Journal, home value increases by about $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. Said another way, solar energy adds 20 times yearly energy savings to resale value.

    Regardless, as I think that 20x multiplier is actually a little conservative. Solar panels are guaranteed to be producing at at least 80% of their capacity at year 25. They’ll actually be working for 40 to 50 years. However, your utility prices aren’t going anywhere but up. The 20x multiplier doesn’t even take that into account. The more your electric rates go up, the more valuable your investment becomes because you’re offsetting that much more power with your own power.

    Hope that helps,

    – Dan

  56. Avatar for Lydia Lydia says:

    I’m looking forward to the increasing affordability of solar power in our state. As a Realtor, I’d like to know where you get the statistic about a home value rising 20x the annual electric bill savings. I sell a lot of homes and have never heard of this kind of increase in property value. Is there something to back this up?

  57. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Dan,

    Great name BTW. It seems as though your heart and head is in the right space. I recommend networking into business groups where there is venture capital flowing. I’m not sure who is involved in Texas, though I wish you the best of luck!

    Cheers,

    – Dan

  58. Avatar for Dan Dan says:

    To whom it may concern, I would like to help people with renewable energy and reside in Texas. I have been working towards openning people’s eyes in the US but in Texas potential funding resources that would help to get this concept off the ground have made their fortune in fossile fuel with no intention of deviating from this. Do you have any ideas or suggestions on how to go about raising startup funds for a organization geared towards making newable energy affordable to everyone including the poor with an opportunity of freedom? I have not been evolved in non-profit organizations but my heart is into the renewable energy cause as a movement towards freedom for people whom want to be free from reliance on something else to provide them what they need farely. Thank you very much in advance. Dan

  59. Avatar for Sheryl Stedman Sheryl Stedman says:

    I live in Magnolia. What companies are coving this area if any? After reading the previous emails I am wondering if all this is too risky for me. I just want to be able to run my air conditioner this summer and pay the bill.

  60. Avatar for bryan bryan says:

    Contact your legislative officials and demand Texans are allowed to purchase and use solar panels for their homes to save on green house gases. Senate bill 403 bypasses hoa’s to be able to install the panels.

  61. Avatar for bryan bryan says:

    its about time for everyone to get smart on energy and the monopolies wont turn this over to the consumer without a fight . you see millions of dollars are going to be lost when this happens. Finnally the little people will get a break on energy prices. After all to be a competative market all sources of energy should be allowed to compete> thats my 2kws

  62. Avatar for Cindy Cindy says:

    We are starting a company that installs solar for pool heating in Dallas. I am wondering if there is any legislature yet that prohibits homeowner associations from denying a homeowner the right to install the panels on roof?

  63. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    JR,

    Thanks for your local Austin expertise! We’re sure all our readers appreciate it.

  64. Avatar for JR JR says:

    Compiled Q&A thus far:
    Q Gary: What rebates target Houston?
    A JR: 30% Federal rebate

    Q John: How do i contact the PG&E Solar division about employment?
    A David: http://www.pge.com

    Q Kathy: What rebates target Fort Worth?
    A JR: Encore is offering a ~$2.40/Watt rebate in 2009

    Q TGR: How well do panels hold up horrible Texas hail?
    A JR: Solar panels are rated to take 1” hail at 95 mph. They protect your roof.

    Q QDI: What is the payback period?
    A JR: Green City Solar LLC (www.greencityaustin.com) offers an instant payback financial model in most Texas rebate markets. In federal incentive only markets, payback is 25-30 years.

    Q Rose: Why does Austin have the best incentive?
    A JR: Austin Energy is a publically owned cooperative with an overcapacity demand. Residents successfully lobbied AE to introduce a solar incentive program instead of building a new utility plant, after a professional study argued the cost, national security, and environmental impacts justified the program. This leadership has attracted a large scale solar manufacturing plant (Heliovolt) to add jobs to the local economy.

    Q Jim: What rebates target Laredo?
    Q Julie: Also remomber the cost benefit of solar as back-up power.
    A David: If your system is grid-tied, it will go down if the grid goes down.
    A JR: If your system is grid-tied, add a battery back-up system to prevent power outages.

    Q Brandy: I live in Houston. How am I saving money?
    A JR: You aren’t. In terms of cold, hard cash flow in non-rebate markets, it takes 25-30 years to justify system ownership. Wait until mid-2010 to buy a system, prices will dramatically drop. *NOTE* rebate customers should NOT wait for the price drop as the rebates will go away and they will end up paying MORE.

    Feel free to email [email protected] with additional questions.

  65. Avatar for Mark V Mark V says:

    Yes, Brandy, Dan is correct. You can recieve INSTANT increase in the value of your property with a Solar System(PV-electric). For the full value of your cost. Its a great way to hedge on the increasing cost of fuel/electric prices. Depending on the size of your home, Solar system, power usage and energy efficency level. It can take as long as 25 years or as short as 5 years to recoup your costs. BUT as of next week JAN 1 2009. We will be able to take a federal tax credit of 30% with out the $2000 limit. So a 3000 watt solar system ($30,000)- $9000=21,000 will produce about $3000 of electricity …not too bad. And its the right thing to do. http://WWW.SolarDesignandConstruction.net

  66. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Hi Brandy,

    The best way to determine if solar is worth it for you is to get an evaluation and an estimate from a licensed contractor. An easy way to do that is to click the link at the top of the page.

    Keep in mind, your home value will immediately increase by 20x your annual electricity savings once you connect your solar panels to the electricity grid. As the cost of electricity continues to rise, so does your property value. Added bonus = your property value increase is tax exempt.

    When you say “small 1000 package” what are you referring to?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  67. Avatar for Brandy Brandy says:

    If installation for a small 1000 package with Houston Renewable Energy is 12,000 dollars and the rebate is only 2,000 dollars per home installation for a one time incentive that expires in December how am I saving money? I’m worried that if I had to finance the installation I would wind up paying more than my electricity bill. I’m really interested in solar energy, but at the moment I’m not sure if it is cost effective for me.

  68. Avatar for David Llorens David Llorens says:

    Hi Julie. If your system is grid-tied, it will go down if the grid goes down. Off-grid systems are more expensive but can be necessary in areas where dropping a new power line can be cost – prohibitive, or you just REALLY NEED to be off the grid for some reason.

    the most cost effective solution is usually to get a grid tied system, and then if power outages worry you, just purchase a generator for $500.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  69. Avatar for Julie Julie says:

    When thinking about pay-back periods, you also need to consider the convenience of not losing electric power. I have a friend in Houston with a system and he’s one of the few people who didn’t lose power as a result of Hurricane Ike.

    I’ve come home to find my neighbors all standing in the street, talking about not having electricity. One neighbor was locked out of her house because her garage door opener didn’t work. If the outage had lasted longer, they’d have been having dinner at my house as I was the only person on the block with electricity for about two hours.

    As the electric grid in Texas gets stretched thinner and thinner, solar power for backup electricity will start to make good financial sense, even without utility rebates.

  70. Avatar for Jim Jim says:

    Is there a convenient way to find what the solar rebate would be on a 5KW system installed in Laredo, Texas?

  71. Avatar for Rose Rose says:

    Why is it the capitol city has the best incentives? Why can’t the rest of the state share in the benefits? We it across the country and world. Help us all get in on saving the world for the future generations!

  72. Avatar for Steve Krivan Steve Krivan says:

    Gary, For Houston there is a state commercial 10% Deduction from profits and/or 100% Deducted from capitol. This is off of Texas Franchise taxes. The Federal Govt offers 30% Tax Credit.
    Residence only get the 20% Federal in Houston. No Utility Cos offer a rebate in Texas except Austin Energy and CPS in San Antonio, which are Municipal Utilities. See my website for all the details on Solar Panels in Texas, Solar Systems in Texas and Solar Rebates and Tax incentives for Solar in Texas. http://www.mehrsolar.com/lonestar. or http://lonestar.mehrsolar.com

  73. Avatar for GDI GDI says:

    I wonder what the pay back period is for a typical residential installation?

  74. Avatar for EJ Barron EJ Barron says:

    It appears as if Texas wants to keep us energy dependent on companies which contribute to global warming and increase the air pollution. Coal energy and petroleum based generation plants to our detriment. I could not find out why other states are more forward-thinking than Texas. I thought we were leaders not backward thinking! Given the problems with Enron I’m shouldn’t be surprised…makes me sad to be native Texan.

  75. Avatar for TGR TGR says:

    How well would Solar panels hold up in the horrible hail we get here in Texas?
    I was considering solar but your information has discouraged me from doing it here. I have Co-op elec & they dont have any poiliy to buy solar from me if I did put it in.

  76. Avatar for Randal Vidal Randal Vidal says:

    why doesn’t GVEC have a rebate on solar electric or hot water installs and why does it not buy the available electric from owners who produce electric and why isn’t there any low interest loans to get the jobs done

  77. Avatar for Steve Krivan Steve Krivan says:

    In Texas, Austin Energy and CPS Energy in San Antonio offer Solar PV Rebates. They are good ones and make it easier and quicker to pay your system off. See http://www.mehrsolar.com/lonestar for more information. Also write your state reps and State Senator. Ask for a State Rebate for Solar PV Systems like NY, NJ, CA and CO. These states offer excellent state rebates. Not Texas, Yet!

  78. Avatar for Kathy Kathy says:

    Does Fort Worth offer similar options and is solar recommended for this region?

  79. Avatar for David Llorens David Llorens says:

    I’d have to say check PG&E’s website? http://www.pge.com. Honestly, sorry but no help here :-(

  80. Avatar for John John says:

    How do i contact the PG&E Solar division about employment?

  81. Avatar for gary gary says:

    Need to know how is the rebate available for houston texas

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