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Residential Solar in the Lone Star State

February 17, 2022
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Texas is an important part of the US energy industry — thus playing an equally important role in all industry trends in the country’s energy sector. And while the number of solar installations in the state has increased over the past decade, this type of renewable energy still makes up only a small part of the Lone Star State’s total energy output. Regardless of that, though, increasingly attractive solar incentives are making going solar in Texas easier than ever before.

How much does Texas solar cost?

Texas data points to the average expenses of a single solar panel installation ranging between $11,400 and $15,400. If you look at those figures in terms of cost per watt, you’ll find that Texas solar panel installation goes between $2.30 and $3.10.

But that’s not the only factor you need to consider when thinking about investing in solar in Texas. Seeing as investing in solar is frequently a substantial financial venture for the average household, you should also think about the solar payback period — in other words, how long you’ll need to wait to make back your investment in a solar panel system.

In case you’re wondering, the average solar payback time period in Texas is a respectable 12.7 years.

Also, regardless of how much your installation will cost precisely, you should know that there are plenty of extremely affordable financing options when it comes to solar panel systems. One of the most common methods are cash purchases, and this does result in the highest long-term value. However, if you can’t afford an up-front purchase, you can always rely on solar leases or solar loans to help finance your home investment.

What solar panels are the best for Texas?

These days, property owners can customize their batteries, racking systems, inverters, and the panels themselves — along with the visual appearance of the installation. This level of customizability is great, but it also means solar customers should familiarize themselves with all different factors more intimately.

For instance, getting the best solar panels you can find on the market may mean having premium warranties and efficiencies — but it also means paying a lot more upfront. And depending on the size of your installation, you’ll also need to make sure that high-efficiency panels are actually a worthwhile investment. Furthermore, consider how much you’re willing to pay to avoid risk down the line and choose the solar warranties that fit your needs.

There are quite a few other factors to think about before choosing your solar panel equipment as well — consult industry professionals before making any financial decisions.

How much solar energy can I get in Texas?

There are two main factors that decide how much power you can expect to get from your solar panels in Texas — or pretty much anywhere. First, there’s the technical power output of the panels themselves. And second, the amount of sunlight that physically hits your roof. Luckily, you’re not likely to be in a bind there, as Texas has a high average of sun hours compared to the rest of the country, and one of the strongest sunshines. All of this means that your panels will probably be able to save you a hefty sum in energy savings over the years.

Of course, there are some specific factors that will influence the level of solar electricity your home will be able to produce; things like panel angle, panel orientation, and shading. Before you get your residential solar equipment, these factors will be used in the calculation of your complete production estimate. This is a prediction of the energy output you can roughly expect from your solar installation over time.

What solar incentives do I have in Texas?

Considering the vast untapped potential Texas has in terms of solar energy, it’s no wonder that the Lone Star State is fast becoming famous for its various solar programs and incentives.

First of all, there’s the federal ITC — the Investment Tax Credit. This has proven to be one of the most impactful and reliable incentives for solar energy in the entire United States. Basically, this incentive lets eligible homeowners deduct 26% of their expenses for installing solar panels from their federal taxes. So, if a solar panel system cost $12,000, you’d be able to deduct around $3,100 from your federal taxes. Though, bear in mind that this great incentive will be lowered to 22% in 2023, before potentially being eliminated for solar installations in 2024. Still, owners of commercial solar panel systems will be able to deduct 10% even beyond 2023.

This isn’t the only incentive, though. Texas provides more incentives depending on your utility company and geographical areas. There are various solar rebate programs like Oncor, CPS Energy, Austin Energy, etc. Plus, there are state-level property tax exemptions for owners of renewable energy systems, along with net metering schemes. All of this makes Texas one of the most cost-effective states when it comes to solar panel installations in the United States.

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