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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Texas

For every dollar you invest in solar panels in Texas,
you get an average of $2.70 in savings.

Total savings
over 25 years

Power bill savings &
production incentives

0

Cost of solar
in Texas

Up-front cost after
1st-year incentives

0
=
$ $ $ $

0

return per
dollar invested

Learn More

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Your 2020 guide to getting solar panels for your home in Texas

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Texas home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2020 **

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.

In addition to the cities we metioned above, we've also got special pages dedicated to home solar in Dallas and any place else served by Oncor Energy, which offers incentives that can reduce the cost of going solar by over 50%. Houston residents, and others served by CenterPoint Energy, can expect excellent lifetime savings of $21,500 over the life of your solar panels, after they've paid their cost back.

If you're thinking about how you can take advantage of solar energy in Texas, the possibilities are better than ever before. Connect with a Texas solar expert to take advantage of current rates and get solar installed for as little as $0 down.

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Texas, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Texas. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Texas.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Texas

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Texas can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Texas

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. One thing it's important to note is: solar makes you a lot of money in Texas. Yes, we said "makes!" You see, Texas gets so much sun, its relatively low electricity prices are no match for the awesome energy-generating ability of solar panels. Going solar in Texas starts paying off right away, and with some locally-available incentives and the 26% Federal solar tax credit in effect until the end of 2020, solar has never been cheaper.

Now, because of the state's deregulated energy marketplace, it's a little more difficult to write this kind of one-size-fits-all review of the potential for solar. For one thing, there are some places where you can buy electricity from one of two dozen different companies, and some places where you have to purchase it from your city's municipal energy company. That means you might get a better deal per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on home solar panels in Dallas, but you might get a bigger rebate if you go solar in Austin or San Antonio.

Because Texas is so different from end-to-end, we decided to use an example that covers the most people. Most people in the state who are served by a transmission/distribution utility (TDU) like Encor, CPS, or CenterPoint Energy can most likely sign up for special solar "buy back" program with a REP like Green Mountain Energy, who will give you full credit for all the excess energy your system generates. Our estimates in Texas assume you'll be eligible for this program. If you live in Lazbuddie or Muleshoe, you're out of luck, but most Texans live within the service area of the big three utility companies.

What the numbers mean

Now let's discuss that chart above. We've examined three scenarios for going solar in Texas, including paying cash for solar, buying solar with a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), or signing up for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). As you can see, the cash purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but look a little closer. Taking a loan and paying for the system over time (the orange bars) means you'll spend thousands of dollars less over time, while reaping a big financial benefit in year 1.

That's because you take a loan for the system, but you still get all the benefits of paying up front. In Texas, that means a 26% federal tax credit, and big annual energy savings. If you're lucky, you live in a place like San Antonio, which has solar rebates that can further reduce that cost. With those incentives, you'll actually come out way ahead after the first year. And even though you'll be making loan payments for 15 years, the first-year windfall is so big, you'll only begin spending your own money in year 8.

Finally, take a look at the blue bars. They represent a solar lease or Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA), which are also called third-party ownership. These are very rare in Texas, but possible. With a lease or PPA, the solar installation company puts panels on your roof at no cost to you, and you make monthly payments that save you about $28 per month from what you had been paying the utility company for their dirty energy. Leases in Texas are awesome, because the state's high electricity prices mean you start saving money right away. Your savings will start small but finish big, because the lease cost will rise by less than the electric company's annual rate hikes. Third-party ownership can be a good option if you don't have equity or cash to put down, because it can still save you money!

Read more below about each of three very good options for solar in Texas.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the "biggest" financial returns. The reason we put "biggest" in quotes here is because it's technically true—with lower equipment costs and that big Federal tax credit, solar costs less than ever before, and a solar installation pays itself off in 13 years. But if you're interested in solar as an investment, taking a loan to pay for the system is a better option.

With a loan, you can make monthly payments instead of putting $31,000 down on a solar system, which means you save money on electricity as you pay down the cost of your panels. If you have equity in your home or can get a large loan with an interest rate of 5% or less, a loan is the option to go with. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof. Read about loans below.

If you've got cash and you prefer to pay up front, you'll have to plunk down $31,360, but tax breaks and energy savings will erase a bunch of that after just 1 year. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $40,000 in income, after your system cost is paid back. The reason this works is that solar offsets your electricity costs—enough to save you $1,726 in year 1—and it just goes up from there. As the electric company raises rates, you save more and more, and more...

Here’s how the numbers work for a 9.8-kW rooftop solar system in Texas:

  • Installing a typical 9.8-kW solar system should start at about $31,360. That's cheaper than solar has ever been, but it still might seem like a big investment. Don’t worry, because after tax breaks and energy savings, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • The Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, so take 26% of $31,360, for a tax credit of $8,154. Your total investment is now down to just $23,206.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $1,726. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $21,481.
  • Your system will pay for itself in just 6 years, and over its 25-year life, you'll see a total net profit of $39,561. The internal rate of return for this investment is a stupendous 9.3%!
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by around $21,500, too (the net present value of 20 years of energy bill savings)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 340 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Texas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

You don't need $32,000 sitting around to pay for solar. As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in Texas, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you a tax break!. You'll come out thousands ahead this year, and you'll see a spectacular profit over the 25-year life of your system. The reason this works so well is that you're paying over time, but reaping all the benefits now. Your yearly energy savings will offset over half the cost of the loan payments, too, which might sound like it's too good to be true... so let's take a look at the numbers.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $31,360, with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period. Don't be put off if you're offered a higher rate. It just means a tiny bit less of the thousands of dollars you'll make with solar.
  • You love making money without much risk.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Texas homeowner who makes a solar purchase with a loan or HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 9.8-kW solar system should start at about $31,360. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $1,726, but your annual loan payments will be $2,879, meaning you would spend $1,153 on solar this year, but...
  • You'll also see a huge tax break. The Feds give you 26% of the cost of your system back as a tax credit, which in this case is $8,154. You'll be paying over time but getting all the benefits up front!
  • The electricity savings will continue for 25 years, while your loan payments will last only 15. By the end of the 25-year life of your panels, you'll come out $27,739 ahead.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too. 340 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Texas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

PPAs are a great way to go solar if you haven't got stacks of cash or oodles of equity in your home. It's possible to get solar panels for $0 down and see big savings over 20 years!

As for PPAs in Texas: the electricity costs here aren't very high—we're actually a bit lower than the national average—but the sun shines brighter here than almost anywhere else in the country! That means a lease saves you money starting on day 1. For now, the cost of the electricity generated by a 9.8-kW solar system should be around $1,387 per year, but the cost you would have paid to your Retail Electric Provider would be over $1,726, meaning the panels will save you $339 in the first year. That's cash you get to keep in your pocket this year, just for saying yes to solar!

And those savings will only get larger over time. As the utility company raises rates, your lease costs will go up by a smaller amount, meaning you'll see greater annual savings. Over 25 years, our estimate shows a total savings of almost $12,500. And the best part is the panels will be owned and maintained by the installation company, so all you have to do is brag to the Joneses down the street about your green habits!

How Home Solar PPAs work

PPAs work because the solar installer gets to keep all the available incentives. That means their costs are lower, and they can afford to take payments from you over time to recoup their initial cost and make a little profit. You benefit because you get clean solar energy at low rates, and the savings add up without you having to lift a finger! With a 25-year PPA contract in Texas, you can rest assured that you'll be in cheap solar electricity for the long run.

Only trouble is, you might have a hard time finding a PPA where you live. As you can tell the from the "C" grade we awarded the Lone Star State for solar policy, Texas doesn't have the surest long-term prospects for the solar industry. That means any PPA provider will want to be sure they're getting a fair shake from the utility company, which means you'll find Texas home solar PPAs in places like San Antonio, whose CPS Energy has shown a long commitment to doing right by solar owners. If you're looking for a Texas solar PPA, reach out to our solar experts to find out your options.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Texas. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

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

3% by 2015 (exceeded)

Grade: D

Texas's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

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 and SRECs

None

Grade: F

Texas's Solar Carve-out grade

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 Electricity Prices

$0.11/kWh

Grade: D

Texas's Electricity cost grade

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 Net Metering

Many utilities offer

Grade: C

Texas's Net Metering grade

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 Interconnection Rules

Statewide with caveats

Grade: D

Texas's Interconnection Standards grade

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 Solar Power Rebates

Varies

Grade: C

Texas's Solar Rebates grade

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 Solar Tax Credits

No State Income Tax

Grade: C

Texas's Solar Tax Credits grade

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

Property Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

Texas's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

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.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Texas's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

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

Low-income Solar Programs

None

Grade: F

Texas's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

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 consensus on Texas solar power rebates and incentives

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.

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BrandonBuysdallas
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BrandonBuysdallas

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

Gary
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Gary

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

David
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David

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.

David
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David

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… Read more »

jash
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jash

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

jc
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jc

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.

Bailey Cale
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Bailey Cale

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… Read more »

Denise
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Denise

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

gary klucken
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gary klucken

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

Alex Saracay
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Alex Saracay

SolarCity is dominating DFW

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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… Read more »

Patrick Kilhoffer
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Patrick Kilhoffer

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… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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… Read more »

Patrick Kilhoffer
Guest
Patrick Kilhoffer

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.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Who can do Solar Leases in McAllen, Texas?

Patrick Kilhoffer
Guest
Patrick Kilhoffer

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.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Quick Note about Sales Tax Credit in Texas

ieeesfsu.org.pl
Guest
ieeesfsu.org.pl

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Dilip
Guest
Dilip

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.

TateRehmet
Guest
TateRehmet

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

Marcus Joo
Guest
Marcus Joo

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.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

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

Roy
Guest
Roy

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.

enphase m215
Guest
enphase m215

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.

Alejandro Grande (@alejandro_gr101)
Guest
Alejandro Grande (@alejandro_gr101)

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.

PJ
Guest
PJ

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

Mike
Guest
Mike

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

Dave Llorens
Member

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

harvey
Guest
harvey

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

Tom O'Donnell
Guest
Tom O'Donnell

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

Dave
Guest
Dave

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.

ktp
Guest
ktp

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… Read more »

kev
Guest
kev

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?

Kim
Guest
Kim

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… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

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???

Georgia
Guest
Georgia

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?

Joe
Guest
Joe

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

Maria
Guest
Maria

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… Read more »

Phillip Kearn
Guest
Phillip Kearn

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.

edgar
Guest
edgar

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

tim
Guest
tim

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

Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"
Guest
Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred"

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.

Rose
Guest
Rose

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… Read more »

Murray
Guest
Murray

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.

ray eytcheson
Guest
ray eytcheson

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!

ray eytcheson
Guest
ray eytcheson

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

Murray
Guest
Murray

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.

Murray
Guest
Murray

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.

Harrison
Guest
Harrison

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… Read more »

kevin
Guest
kevin

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

Dave
Guest
Dave

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..

Murray
Guest
Murray

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… Read more »

kevin
Guest
kevin

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?

MINS
Guest
MINS

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

Dan Hahn
Guest
Dan Hahn

Murray,

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

– Dan

Murray
Guest
Murray

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

Dan Hahn
Guest
Dan Hahn

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… Read more »

Lydia
Guest
Lydia

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?

Dan Hahn
Guest
Dan Hahn

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

Dan
Guest
Dan

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… Read more »

Sheryl Stedman
Guest
Sheryl Stedman

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.

bryan
Guest
bryan

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.

bryan
Guest
bryan

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

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

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?

Dan Hahn
Guest
Dan Hahn

JR,

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

JR
Guest
JR

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.… Read more »

Mark V
Guest
Mark V

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… Read more »

Dan Hahn
Guest
Dan Hahn

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

Brandy
Guest
Brandy

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.

David Llorens
Guest
David Llorens

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

Julie
Guest
Julie

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… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

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

Rose
Guest
Rose

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!

Steve Krivan
Guest
Steve Krivan

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

GDI
Guest
GDI

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

EJ Barron
Guest
EJ Barron

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.

TGR
Guest
TGR

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.

Randal Vidal
Guest
Randal Vidal

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

Steve Krivan
Guest
Steve Krivan

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!

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

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

David Llorens
Guest
David Llorens

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

John
Guest
John

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

gary
Guest
gary

Need to know how is the rebate available for houston texas

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