If you live in Texas and want rooftop solar power for your home, you’re in luck. The economic benefits vary according to where you live in the state, but in general, there are more incentives to install a rooftop solar system in the Lone Star state than in most other US states.
Combine those incentives with the abundant sunshine that pours down on the state every day and it’s no wonder the Solar Energy Industries Association rates Texas as one of the top 10 states for residential solar power in America.
Federal Investment Tax Credit
If you install a solar energy system at your home in Texas before the end of 2019, you will be eligible for the federal investment tax credit of 30%. A typical home solar installation costs around $15,000 — some are more and some are less. That means you can qualify for a tax credit of $4,500, making the net cost of the system to you only $10,500.
If you don’t owe $4,500 in federal taxes, the unused portion of the credit can be carried over to later tax years. Thanks to the federal credit, the system will pay for itself in about 9 years or less. After that, it will provide you and your family with free electricity for the entire balance of its useful life, which is typically 25 years.
Net metering is a process in which the excess electricity your rooftop solar system generates get fed back into the local utility grid. Since the electric company can then resell your power to other customers, it often pays a fixed price per kilowatt hour for it.
Texas does not have a state law that mandates net metering statewide, but many local utilities offer net metering programs for their customers. El Paso Electric, the City of Brenham, CPS Energy, and Green Mountain Energy are some of the utilities that have net metering policies.
Sometimes net metering can act like a battery. You send excess energy to the grid when your solar system makes more electricity than you need. Then when you need more electricity than your system produces, you buy that surplus energy back from the grid.
Many utility companies in Texas offer their customers who install rooftop solar equipment rebates ranging from 50 cents per watt up to $1.20 per watt. Since the average rooftop system is about 6,000 watts, those rebates can reduce the cost of a system by between $3,000 and $7,200.
Some of the utility companies that offer rebates include Austin Energy, CPS Energy, Oncor,
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Garland Power and Light, and the City of Sunset Valley. Check with your local utility for more information.
Property Tax Exemption
A rooftop solar system obviously adds value to your home. Ordinarily, that increased value would cause your property taxes to rise. But Texas law forbids local jurisdictions to tax the value of a residential solar system. That means you can make your home worth more without paying more property taxes.
Solar Rights Law
When rooftop solar first started to gain in popularity, many homeowner associations for condominiums enacted regulations banning them from the homes within the community. Texas has enacted a solar rights law that makes it illegal to prevent condominium associations from barring the installation of solar systems.
With so many incentives for rooftop solar systems on offer to Texas residents and the cost of solar systems at all time lows, now is the time to join the clean power revolution before some or all of those incentives disappear. Find out how much you can save here!
June 22, 2018
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