We’re lucky to have a lot of sunshine in Texas. Harnessing the energy from the sun just makes sense! Putting solar panels on your home or business is a great way to produce your own green energy and save money. There are several important things to know though before going solar. For example, does your electric company offer a solar rebate? Do they participate in net metering? Are there any other financial incentives you can take advantage of when you use solar power?
In the following article, we will introduce federal, state, and local incentives to install solar panels. These are continuously being updated, so keep checking back for the newest information.
Lets start with the federal incentive. The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal tax credit that is a dollar for dollar reduction on income taxes. It’s a step down plan, so now through December of 2019, the credit is 30%. From the 1st of 2020 however, the credit decreases. For the entirety of 2020, it will equal 26%. The ITC then decreases to 22% throughout 2021, and down to 10% for any completed project after January 1st of 2022. The sooner you act, the more money you will save.
The state of Texas does not offer a statewide solar tax credit, but most local utilities do offer incentives to go solar, or become more energy efficient (check this website for detailed information). Some utilities offer a solar rebate, and others participate in net metering. Net metering is a billing arrangement between the property owner and the utility company that allows overproduced energy to be sold back to the grid. This money usually is applied as a credit in the next billing cycle. Net metering may only be available to specific customers, so we recommend calling your provider to ask if they participate. There are other local incentives as well. Some areas, such as Austin, offer a property tax exemption, for solar power customers.
In competitive (deregulated) electricity markets across Texas, solar rebates and net metering (or solar buyback programs) may be available through your Retail Electric Provider (REP). Green Mountain Energy Company, for example, offers both a solar rebate (learn more here) and a solar buyback program through the Renewable Rewards® electricity plan (sign up here). Similar programs are available from TXU and Reliant. There are hundreds of REPs operating in Texas, so check with your preferred company to ask about their solar program.
We have also listed rebates and policies of the largest utility companies and cooperatives in the state. Remember, these are continuously being updated so be sure to check the individual websites.
American Electric Power (AEP) serves a multitude of cities in Texas including Corpus Christi, Abilene, McAllen, Harlingen, and others. AEP North offers a rebate of $0.70 per watt, up to a total of $90,000 for residential customers and $73,590 for non- residential customers. AEP Central offers a rebate of $0.70 per watt, up to a total of $7,000 for residential customers and $7,000 for non- residential customers. AEP operates in a competitive electricity market, so a net metering program would be handled by your retail electric provider (REP), if available. More incentives can be found on their website.
Austin Energy is currently offering a flat $2,500 rebate for those that go solar, as well as net metering. Residential customers receive a Value of Solar credit on their monthly bill for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated by their solar PV system, at the current rate of 9.7 cents per kWh (effective January 1, 2018). Commercial net metering is available for systems under 20 kW-AC.Austin Energy also offers a community solar option for residential customers and a “Green Choice Plan”, which are both great options for those that do not own their home but want to use clean electricity. More info can be found here.
Bartlett Electric Cooperative this coop does not offer specific solar rebates but does offer several rebates for energy efficiency upgrades and homes. More info here.
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative serves multiple cities including Waco and Lubbock. They do not offer solar rebates. More info here.
Bryan Texas Utilities serves the city of Bryan. This utility does not offer rebates for solar customers but it does offer other rebates for energy efficiency. Find more info here.
CenterPoint Energy serves the Houston area. They do not offer a solar rebate. However, they do rebates to home builders, with more info here.
Comanche Electric Cooperative serves the Comanche area. They do not offer solar rebates or solar incentives. They do have specific information on how to connect solar systems here.
Cooke Country Electric Cooperative serves communities in the north central region of Texas. This coop does not offer solar rebates but does offer other rebates for energy efficiency programs. Click here for more info.
CoServ Electric serves Northern Texas and offers a periodic solar rebate. The 2018 rebate (effective June 1st) offers $450/kW DC, with a maximum of $4,500 per residential Member and $30,000 per commercial Member. Contact CoServ directly for details or check this page for updates.
CPS Energy serves the San Antonio area. There is a solar rebate available, at $0.60 per watt. There are some requirements, which can be found here.
Denton Municipal Electric does offer a solar incentive. While the funds are limited, the rebate is renewed in October. However, check back on this page for more information.
El Paso Electric serves the El Paso region. They do offer energy efficiency programs, but no longer offer rebates on solar projects. More info can be found here.
Engie Resources is based in Houston. No solar rebates are offered currently, but they do offer renewable energy certificates.
Entrust Energy is a nationwide electric provider based in Houston. No solar rebates are provided currently. Click here for more information.
Fort Belknap Electric Cooperative services multiple North Texas counties. There are no solar rebates or incentives offered at this time, but check back here for updated information.
Garland Power & Light offers bill credits for those who install solar. The rebate will be renewed in October of this year. Check back here for updated information.
Golden Spread Electric Cooperative does not offer rebates for solar panels or other energy efficiency incentives. Check this page for any updates.
Greenville Electric Utility System does not offer solar rebates, but they do participate in net metering. Click here for more info.
Hamilton County Electric Cooperative does not offer solar rebates but does offer an option to use solar power through distributed generation.
Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative does offer multiple energy efficiency rebates, including a solar rebate of $0.10 per watt on the solar installation. This rebate maxes out at $500 per member.
HILCO Electric Cooperative offers several rebates, including a solar installation rebate. Members who install solar are eligible to receive $200 per kw, with a maximum of $1000 per member. Click here for more information.
J-A-C Electric Cooperative operates in the northern region of the state. There are no solar rebates offered however. For more information, click here.
Lower Colorado River Authority is a utility cooperative that operates in the Austin area. There are currently no solar rebates but they do provide rebates, and are committed to using renewable energy.
Luminant, based in Dallas, does not offer solar rebates but does have information on their environmental practices here.
Mid-South Synergy, a cooperative based in Navasota, offers a solar rebate on 20% of total construction costs up to $2,000, as well as home improvement and energy efficiency rebates. More info can be found here.
Navarro County Electric Cooperative does offer some rebates but unfortunately, they have been used up for the year. Check back here for updated information.
Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative does not offer solar rebates but does offer net metering. More information on their distributed generation policies can be found here.
Oncor Electric Delivery does offer a residential solar rebate, depending on where you live. The average rebate is $0.4/watt. The solar rebate is renewed annually at the beginning of the year. Oncor also offers a commercial solar rebate.
Pedernales Electric Cooperative operates in the Hill Country. They do not offer solar rebates, but do participate in net metering. Find info here.
South Plains Electric Cooperative operates in the Lubbock area. There are no solar rebates offered with this coop but they have a helpful page with lots of information regarding solar power.
Texas New Mexico Power operates in several areas of Texas. They do offer several energy efficiency rebates, but none specific to solar power. Check here for more details.
Tri- County Electric Cooperative, in the Dallas Fort Worth area, offers a efficient water heater rebate, but does not offer a solar power rebate.
United Cooperative Services offers several rebate programs for energy efficiency efforts. While there are none offered at the moment for solar panel installation, check back here for updated information.
Wise Electric Cooperative operates in the north central region of Texas. There are no solar rebates offered currently, but multiple rebates are offered for energy efficiency.
There are plenty of reasons to go solar, and the opportunity to save money is just the cherry on top.