The Texas power grid has occasionally left residents to manage rolling blackouts or extended power outages during storms, heat waves and other times when energy demands are high.
That insecurity might have Texans thinking of ways to generate and store their own electricity.
Solar panels and solar batteries offer a way to turn the hot Texas sun to your advantage, generating your own power, reducing your electric bill and protecting you against blackouts. New tax incentives and other programs help make the dream of energy independence more affordable.
Here’s how to go solar in Texas.
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Best national solar panel companies in Texas
Texans have hundreds of options when selecting a solar panel installer. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, more than 500 solar companies operate across Texas, including 246 installers and developers.
We can help you sort through the abundant options by narrowing down some of the best national solar panel companies in Texas. Here are a few of our top picks for national solar companies.
Local solar panel companies in Texas
While hunting for solar companies, you should also consider looking into local solar installers. We pulled a few Texas solar companies with some of the highest average Google review scores. However, it’s important to do some local solar company research on your own too or get referrals from people you know. Here are a few local solar companies in Texas that might be worth considering.
Average cost of solar panels in Texas
Here’s a look at the average cash price for a 5-kilowatt system before factoring in tax credits incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com. But your system might become more expensive if you choose to include solar batteries or additional equipment in your purchase.
Texas solar panel costs
|System size (kW)||Price per watt||Total cost|
Texas solar panel incentives and rebates
Texans buying solar panels between 2022 and 2032 can qualify for a 30% federal tax credit called the Residential Clean Energy Credit. This solar tax credit, once called the Investment Tax Credit, could save you thousands. Texas residents can apply for the Clean Energy Credit with IRS form 5695 using these instructions. Texas has a property tax exemption to protect you from a raise in property taxes when solar panels increase the value of your home.
Below are other opportunities to save in Texas with local and state solar incentives.
Texas solar incentives
|AEP Texas SMART Source Solar PV Program||AEP Texas (Central and North) customers are eligible for solar incentives based on the maximum amount of energy produced ($/watt DC). Incentives apply only to solar systems installed by solar companies currently enrolled in the program.|
|Austin Energy solar rebate||Austin Energy customers can qualify for a $2,500 rebate by completing this solar education course and “installing a qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) system.”|
|CPS Energy solar rebate||CPS Energy customers can receive up to $2,500 per project for excess solar energy.|
|El Paso Electric Interconnection||El Paso Electric credits qualified solar owners for “the amount of renewable energy generated against the consumption received from EPE.” The system size cannot be more than 10 megawatts. A base electricity bill of $30.25 will apply.|
|Garland Power & Light EnergySaver Program||Customers earn electric bill credits for each kWh of excess energy produced through solar panels that meet GP&L requirements.|
|Green Mountain Energy Renewable Rewards Buyback Program||Customers can earn electricity bill credits when they “install and activate a quality solar energy system at your home with a rated capacity of less than 50kW.”|
|Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative Solar Simplicity||Homeowners can sell excess energy back to GVEC. According to the interconnection agreement, “energy produced by the Installation may be purchased by GVEC at the then-current GVEC renewable energy rate.”|
|Net Metering Programs||Texas offers net metering programs, which let you sell any excess solar energy generated by your system back to a utility company. Check with your electric provider to see if a net metering program is available in your area.|
|Oncor Residential Solar Program||Solar owners who meet the Oncor requirements may qualify for energy bill credits.|
|Residential Clean Energy Credit||Homeowners can claim a 30% federal tax credit for systems installed from 2022 to 2032. Apply through the IRS.|
|TXU Energy Home Solar Buyback||TXU customers “can offset up to 100% of your monthly energy charges” when enrolled in the Solar Buyback program. Renewable energy produced through solar or wind power is applicable.|
Solar financing options for Texas residents
Cash is the interest-free way to pay for solar panels in Texas. However, financing options are available, resulting in a lower upfront cost. Solar loans are available through most banks, credit unions and solar installers. Alternately, solar leases and Power Purchase Agreements let homeowners pay a flat monthly fee. The drawback is you will not qualify for tax incentives with these options, since you do not own your system. The average time to break even on the initial investment for Texas residents who finance is six to 10 years. Home equity and personal loans are options as well. Just make sure to read the fine print and compare interest rates and fees with all your options.
How to determine which solar company in Texas is best for me
The best installer for you is an installer that has experience working on the type of solar project that you’re interested in. Make sure your solar installer has experience with the type of roof that you have, and the type of system you want installed, like grid-tied or completely off-grid.
Ben Delman, a communications director with Solar United Neighbors, advises homeowners to look for installers that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and have the proper licensing, bonding and certifications for their work. Reading up on some online reviews can help you get a better understanding of an installer’s reputation. A few websites to start looking for reviews are Google, Yelp and Angie’s. Delman recommends homeowners to look for solar companies that have at least 20 to 30 reviews. If you know someone who has solar panels on their home, ask them for installer recommendations too.
Aside from certifications and reviews, there are a few other things to look for in a solar installer. A good installer, Delman said, will be able to:
- Simply explain the project and working deadlines.
- Be transparent about their pricing and how solar financing works.
- Define difficult technical terms in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Provide good word-of-mouth references.
- Understand the local permit requirements and the process for system interconnection with the local electric company.
- Understand homeowners association restrictions and help you navigate and explain that process.
- Answer all of your questions, no matter the difficulty.
Never hesitate to ask for clarification on any project and pricing details. To get the best price possible, shop around and gather multiple quotes. Delman recommends comparing at least three quotes before settling on a solar installer.
Installation factors to keep in mind
None of us wants to invest thousands of dollars in home improvements unless we’re sure it’s the best decision for our circumstances. Homeowners considering solar panels should consider these questions before continuing their renewable energy journey.
- Do you own or rent your home? If you rent, you can inquire with your landlord about installing solar, although renters are often prohibited from making the types of changes to the property that solar panels entail. Renters may be eligible for community solar programs, such as Arcadia, instead. A community solar subscription can provide bill credits from energy produced by solar panels at an off-site location.
- What is the shape of your roof? Roofs needing repair may be subject to additional upkeep before solar panels can be applied. The size and slope of your roof can affect the placement of panels and how much electricity a solar system can create. Roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees are most efficient, according to the Department of Energy. A reputable solar installer will determine if your roof requires maintenance before installation.
- Where is your home? Yes, solar panels can generate energy under cold and shady conditions. But solar efficiency is improved when direct sunlight is available for at least part of the day. Living in an area with a lot of tree cover can negatively affect the amount of energy generated by a solar array.
- Are there HOA or neighborhood rules in your community? Texas is among the states with solar rights laws, which means HOAs cannot ban solar panels. However, neighborhood regulations may have rules around the placement or aesthetics of solar installations. Check your local bylaws to see what is allowed.
- Can you add solar panels to your home insurance? Check with your home insurance company to ensure you can add a solar system to your policy and notify them once the installation is completed.
Is going solar worth it in Texas?
Solar could be worth it in Texas. It all depends on what you want to get out of solar and how much you’re willing to pay for solar panels. Texas has many solar incentives available, as well as plenty of national and local installer options. If you decide to go solar, make sure to shop around for at least three quotes to get the best price possible.
Texas also has excellent opportunities to harness the sun: The state ranks sixth in the nation in solar power potential and was the second-largest producer of solar power in 2022, after California, according to the US Energy Information Administration.