Sunny skies are common in Texas, which may explain why solar energy is suddenly getting more common there as well. The state currently ranks number two in total solar capacity installed, trailing only California .
An interesting confluence of circumstances reveals exciting times in the solar industry in Texas. First of all, only three states get more sunlight each year than Texas, meaning harvestable energy is available in abundance .
Also, the state is the second most populous in the nation and has one of the highest population growth rates . And according to estimates from Google’s Project Sunroof, 91 percent of buildings in Texas are suitable for solar panel installations .
When you put this set of facts together, it becomes clear that solar energy’s potential for expansion in Texas is astronomical.
In Texas, the average homeowner pays $155 a month for electricity (or $1,860 a year), and depending on how much solar capacity and battery storage they choose this could all be eliminated by a rooftop solar panel array .
Even though Texas doesn’t have quite as generous a package of rebates and credits available to offset the costs of solar as other states, federal programs plus local utility initiatives combine to make solar energy a winning play for Texas residents in every part of the state.
Best solar companies in Texas
|Solar Company||Greentumble Rating Score|
|Green Power Energy||4.8|
|NRG Clean Power||4.7|
|Texas Solar Professional||4.3|
Best solar company in Texas: SunPower
A true coast-to-coast solar energy installer, SunPower has made its presence felt just about everywhere, including in Texas.
Through its impressive network of solar experts SunPower can meet the needs of each Texas homeowner interested in going solar, and it is at the frontline of the state’s major movement into renewable energy and sustainable home electricity production.
Texas residents who choose to do business with SunPower will enjoy:
#1 Access to superior solar panels: SunPower homeowners will benefit from the incredible efficiency of the company’s patented Equinox Solar Energy System, which features some of the sleekest high-performance panels available from any manufacturer. These are currently the best solar panels for homes that you can benefit from for the next 25 years.
#2 Comprehensive, integrated battery storage: If you choose to enhance your solar energy system with the state-of-the-art SunVault Battery Storage system, you’ll expand your capacity to use electricity enough to consider going off-the-grid completely.
#3 Free home and rooftop evaluations: An installation expert from SunPower will evaluate your solar energy needs and check your rooftop to see if any modifications are required before panels can be installed, during a free consultation that can take place in person or online.
#4 Virtual installation software for custom planning: SunPower’s Design Studio app empowers clients to create their own personalized solar panel installation plan, which can then be tweaked and perfected through direct consultations with professional installation experts.
#5 Attractive financing options: Through SunPower you’ll be able to choose a financing plan that fits your budget yet offers you an impressively short payback time.
#6 An unprecedented long-term warranty: SunPower exceeds industry standards with its impressive and iron-clad 25-year warranty on all equipment plus parts and labor.
SunPower solar panel packages deliver impeccable performance at an affordable price. The company stand behind its work and will provide you with all necessary maintenance and repair services to extend the lifespan of your solar energy system far into the future.
Runner up: Green Power Energy
Based in Austin, Green Power Energy has been meeting the solar energy needs of Texas homeowners successfully for the past several years. Their professional approach to their installation work and to customer service has persuaded many Texas residents to turn to Green Power Energy for customized solar energy solutions, and their client reviews prove that their business model is top notch.
Unique among solar installers, Green Power Energy in Texas will begin their evaluation of your property using satellite technology to examine your rooftop. Once they’ve made this initial assessment they will contact you to arrange an in-person evaluation and consultation, as a precursor to creating a solar panel array installation plan for you that will keep costs down while enhancing your property’s value and attractiveness.
In addition to facilitating outright cash purchases, Green Power Energy offers $0 down financing and solar leasing options to qualified applicants in the Austin area. They will help you make the conversion to solar as swiftly and securely as possible, assisting you with all licensing and permitting and finishing your installation in just a few days’ time.
How to choose the best solar company in Texas
The growth in popularity of solar energy in Texas has led to a proliferation of companies offering solar panel installation services. Many companies will advertise their reasonable prices, while others focus on their experience and reputation in their communities.
Still others will tout their superior products, claiming they will furnish you with the highest-quality equipment available anywhere. You’ll want a combination of all of these.
You want to work with a solar installer that has excellent online customer reviews, and enough experience to show the company is well-established and run by true professionals. When you check out their Better Business Bureau profile, you’ll want to see they have a spotless record.
Start by researching solar installation companies in your area. Conduct a Google search for “solar installation companies near me” and carefully review recent ratings and reviews.
Prioritize companies with a proven track record and years of experience. Just as you wouldn’t trust inexperienced professionals in other fields, choose a solar company with decades of experience and a solid reputation. Avoid unreliable contractors who may change names or disappear.
We also made this useful video guide to help you when deciding on which solar panels are the best for your needs. The video may answer some of your questions and put you on track when deciding which solar company would be the most suitable for your project.
You’ll want them to offer brand name equipment that meets the highest industry efficiency standards, backed by unbreakable warranties and guarantees for all parts and labor. Verify that the company holds the necessary permits and licenses for the job. Ensure they provide insurance coverage for their workers to protect against injuries during installation.
You’ll also want prices that fit your budget and are in line with other competitors, not discount prices (those should be viewed with suspicion) and also not prices that are notably above those offered by legitimate competitors. Seek bids from more than one contractor to compare the services they offer. However, don’t make price the sole determinant. Focus on gathering sufficient information from one or two companies through discussions and consultations.
It would be a great idea to check with other solar homeowners in your community, to find out about their experiences purchasing solar products from various companies active in your area. Ultimately you’ll want to choose a solar installer that can inspire confidence, impressing you with their honesty and integrity and ability to answer all of your questions and offer you firm guarantees on their products and services.
Ensure that all aspects of your solar installation are well-documented, especially the financing terms. A reliable company will have a knowledgeable representative to guide you through the contract and address payment-related queries.
Clarify the company’s satisfaction guarantees and inquire about their process for handling errors or unsatisfactory work. Choose a company that prioritizes your satisfaction and doesn’t accept payment until you are completely satisfied. Effective communication is key. When representatives are communicative, open, and can offer high-quality equipment backed by good customer reviews and years of experience, they earn your trust.
Solar incentives in Texas
Solar energy costs can be offset by various tax credits, rebates and special financial incentives available to people who install solar panels on their rooftops. Texas homeowners can take advantage of some of these benefits, especially if they live in communities that have made a commitment to supporting the societal transition to solar.
#1 Utility Company Rebates
While Texas as a state does not award rebates to those who install solar panels, multiple utility companies in the state will pay you for switching to solar energy. For example, Austin Energy and AEP Energy in southern and western Texas will cut you a $2,500 rebate check if you install any size solar energy system . New Braunfels utilities offer a rebate up to $3,000 on newly installed systems.
AEP will increase that amount by $500 if your solar panel capacity exceeds 7.5 kilowatts, while Austin Energy sponsors a solar tariff program that will boost your payback total by an extra one cent for each kilowatt-hour of electricity your solar panels generate .
To be eligible for these rebates, you need to follow certain criteria. The systems must be approved and installed by authorized solar contractors according to specific technical rules.
Your solar system must also meet the utility’s guidelines for equipment and installation to qualify for a rebate. These guidelines include using equipment that has been previously approved, having certain equipment warranties, and using a solar installer who is certified and insured. Additionally, your solar system must be connected to the power grid.
Oncor Electric additionally requires a battery storage system to backup newly installed solar systems to be able to qualify for their rebate.
You also need to complete a solar education course to get the rebate. You can find more information on the official Austin Energy website.
#2 CPS Energy Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate
CPS Energy has great offers to help homeowners like you make energy-efficient upgrades to your homes. You can get rebates for energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, insulation and of course solar panel system. The amount you get back depends on what you’re upgrading, and there are some requirements you need to meet. You can find all the details on their website.
Their energy efficiency programs are going strong since 2009, and in 2022, they got approved for $350 million in funding over five years. This money will help make homes more energy efficient, save lots of power, and help reduce carbon emissions.
CPS has a program called Bring Solar Home that gives you free technical help on going solar. Just make sure to use a registered solar contractor for the installation, and you may get a rebate of $2,500.
#3 Residential and Hard-to-Reach Energy Efficiency Rebate
Homeowners interested in solar energy and energy efficiency can take advantage of the Residential and Hard-To-Reach Energy Efficiency Program. This program offers rewards to contractors, service companies, and organizations that install energy-saving upgrades in homes located in the CenterPoint Energy electric territory. The goal is to reduce electricity use during peak times and benefit both homeowners and the electric grid.
There are two parts to this program: the Residential Standard Offer Program (RSOP) and the Hard-To-Reach Standard Offer Program (HTR). The HTR program is specifically aimed at households with incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric is in charge of running this program, as directed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
The program is set up to make things simple for everyone involved. Contractors get paid for installing your photovoltaic solar system, and CenterPoint Energy pays them a fixed price for every kilowatt (kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy savings these improvements create.
The incentive makes 200.00 $/kW or 0.04 $/kWh.
#4 Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption
Under the Texas property tax code, there’s a provision that grants an exemption for the entire increase in the appraised value of a property due to the installation or construction of solar or wind-powered energy systems.
The property tax is managed by local authorities. Texas doesn’t offer state-level tax credits, but it does protect you from property taxes increases should you enhance your home’s value by installing solar photovoltaic panels and/or a solar battery storage system .
The tax exemptions can be partial (reducing a percentage or fixed amount) or total (exempting the property’s entire value). Some exemptions are required by the state, while others depend on local decisions.
To benefit from these exemptions, you typically need to apply at your local appraisal district before May 1. The district’s chief appraiser determines eligibility.
Exemption rules can be complex, so it’s important to read and understand the details. For a simplified overview, you can check out the Comptroller’s Property Tax Exemptions. These exemptions can help reduce your property tax burden and save you money.
#5 Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion
According to a U.S. law (Section 136 of the U.S. Code), if your local utility company offers you discounts or help to save energy, you don’t have to pay taxes on those benefits.
This means that if you are getting rebates from your utility company for installing solar or other energy-saving appliances in your home, you might not have to pay taxes on those rebates. But the terms vary based on your personal situation, if you are thinking about benefiting from this tax exemption possibility for a new solar system, it’s smart to talk to a tax expert.
#6 Texas Net Metering
Texas does not offer net metering services on a statewide basis. But some utility companies offer this type of credit to their customers nonetheless, providing them with credits on their electricity bills reflecting the excess solar energy they feed back into the grid.
The list of utility companies that offer local net metering include CPS Energy of San Antonio, El Paso Electric, Green Mountain Energy in Houston, the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative of southcentral Texas, and the local utility company in the city of Brenham .
#7 Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) lets all new solar homeowners in the United States deduct up to 30 percent of the costs of their solar energy system from their federal income taxes.
This credit is worth several thousand dollars to those who choose to install solar panels at their residences.
#8 Energy Efficient Mortgage Options
As a homeowner, you have the opportunity to apply for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). This helps you pay for energy-saving improvements in your home, including the installation of solar panels. The U.S. government supports these loans to help you make these upgrades.
For example, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) offer programs that let you add the cost of energy-efficient improvements to your mortgage. This means you can include the cost of these upgrades when you buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage.
Here’s how it works with FHA loans: You can include up to 5% of the value of your property or a certain limit set by Freddie Mac. The money you borrow can’t be more than what you’ll save with these energy improvements. You’ll need to get a home energy assessment done by an expert to make sure everything is right.
For VA loans, you can borrow up to a certain amount, like $3,000 or $6,000, depending on how much energy you’ll save. You need to provide proof of the improvement costs. If you’re a qualified military person, a reservist, or a veteran, you can apply for this kind of loan.
There are also EEMs for conventional mortgages, which are not backed by the government. With these loans, you can borrow up to 15% of your home’s value for energy improvements.
The sun and solar energy are both shining brightly in Texas
Current projections are that the state of Texas will add more than 34,000 megawatts of solar energy generating capacity to its energy profile over the next five years, a figure that no other state is expected to match .
Despite rising demand, prices for solar panel installation projects in Texas are presently running below the national average. After accounting for the federal tax credit, a typical six-kilowatt solar energy system can be expected to cost you $12,077 to install, while a 10-kilowatt system would require an investment of $20,128 .
Based on current electrical rates, the estimated average payback time for a solar panel installation in the state is 10.71 years, which is a bit longer than the national average but still about 15 years less than the expected lifespan of the typical solar panel .
In Texas, solar energy functions as an outstanding hedge against future inflation in the price of electricity. The state’s sunny climate could allow you to move off-the-grid entirely should you desire, maximizing savings and your personal energy independence.