The solar energy industry in Texas was much smaller ten years ago, but today they are ready to take on a much larger share of the state’s energy needs. The benefits of solar in Texas are no exaggeration. The state has some of the strongest sunshine and the lowest average solar cost, so there is no question why the state Solar Energy Industries Association ranks Texas as a top 10 for solar. Going for solar in the Lone Star State is easier than ever, thanks to the Texas solar rebates and incentives programs.
Solar tax credits and rebates in Texas
Homeowners around Texas have significant access to rebate programs and special policies that will help them save thousands on the installation cost of a solar energy system to their roof as well as saving on their monthly electricity bill. Through this program, it will also help the state to achieve its goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy. Texas doesn’t have a statewide solar tax credit or solar rebate program so many of the small and large utilities and local governments of Texas offers incentives to homeowners who want to install a solar energy system on their roof. Here are some examples:
Austin Energy: If you’re living on Austin and thinking about going solar, Austin Energy will help you. They offer rebates and provide solar education to help potential customers become more knowledgeable and informed shoppers. With the rebates offered you can get $2500 plus you’re eligible for Austin Energy’s Value of Solar Tariff, which pays you $0.097 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) your solar panels generate. You can apply this rebate if you install a qualified solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your home. It is also recommended that homeowners should complete their solar education course.
CPS Energy: If you’re a CPS Energy customer, you can get a rebate up to $1.20/W of the solar panel that you install on your home. This rebate is really a great help to the homeowners who are planning to go solar, and the state also benefits the impact of this program as they will meet their goal on using a 100% clean energy. This utility also set requirements on offering such rebate. Your solar panel system should be must be installed by a registered contractor and the contractor must meet the Solar Rebate Program Requirements and all the terms of the condition of the company. It is also known as “Manual.” CPS Energy Program Requirements, Terms and Conditions, and rebate funding are subject to change without prior notice, and CPS may refuse the proposed project if the homeowner or registered contractor does not meet all the requirements.
Oncor: If you install a solar energy system on your home and your electric service is with Oncor you are eligible for a cash rebate of $538.83/kilowatt (approximately $0.54/W). In addition, the Oncor will also give a chance for those homeowners or businesses to still receive a credit incentive of $0.2519/kWh of solar electricity generated even they are not eligible for net metering. In order to be eligible for this incentive your system must meet the following criteria; your solar system must be new grid-connected, meet Oncor interconnection and Solar PV Program requirements, and meet a minimum estimated performance threshold. Systems with excessive shading or undesirable solar panel orientation will not qualify for an incentive. New construction projects are NOT eligible (Commercial or Residential). Once the permanent meter is set then the Service Provider can submit a new project for review. Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Garland Power and Light, and the City of Sunset Valley all also offer rebates for homeowners in their areas.
Renewable energy systems property tax exemption
Texas also offers a property tax exemption on solar installations to help offset the increase in home value that comes with the addition of solar to a home. This is extremely appealing to homeowners because they get an incentive for adding solar to their home and it benefits them financially.
Texas also has a net metering policy, but it is not a statewide policy, many utilities in the state (including El Paso Electric, the City of Brenham, CPS Energy, and Green Mountain Energy) have policies that credit owners of solar energy systems for the electricity that their panels produce. If your utility has a net metering policy, you will be able to receive credits on your monthly electricity bill for all excess energy power produced by your solar panel system back to the grid. But for instance, if your solar panel system doesn’t produce enough power to meet your use, especially at night and cloudy days, you are allowed to use the Texas net metering credits instead of buying electricity from the utility.
Texas passed a solar rights law to protect homeowners from HOAs banning solar energy system from their properties. With this law homeowners can install solar energy systems without any interference from their Homeowners Association.
When you’re planning on installing solar also don’t to forget about the federal tax credit for solar, it’s one of the best incentives in the country. It will allow you to get a 30% tax credit on the cost of your solar panel system. But that 30% will only last until December 31, 2019. By 2020 it will be 26%, by 2021 22%, and by 2022 will it only be 10%. The last six months of 2019 are expected to be busy for solar installation companies.
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