Solar Panels in Laredo TX
What is the Cost of Solar Power in Laredo?
As of December 2021, the average price for installing a solar system runs up about $2.39 – $2.93 per watt. This would make the average solar system in Laredo, Texas cost about $13,900 (https://www.energysage.com). With the 26% federal solar tax credit applied, the typical residential solar system size, 6000 watt (6 kW) will only cost around $11,807 (https://www.solarreviews.com). This is only with the national tax benefit, there are other incentives and bonuses that can be applied to further lower the final cost of the system. There are also solar power specific loans that can be applied to further lessen the financial burden.
What are the Benefits of Going Solar?
There are many benefits to going solar, even other than for purely environmental reasons.
- Texas is ranked as one of the sunniest states in the U.S., making it a perfect candidate for solar power.
- Residential electric bills in Texas are around 20% higher than the national average, solar power cuts these costs immensely when switching to it long term.
- The average price for solar power has dropped by 45% in the last 5 years, making it increasingly more affordable for prospective buyers.
- Texas is also the leading producer of CO2 in the U.S.
Although Texas does not offer many statewide legalized initiatives for residents switching to solar power, private solar power companies still offer bonuses, rebates, and other incentives.
- TXU Energy Renewable Buyback Plan – for any excess solar power generated by your panels and not used by your home, it is credited in your bill. However, you must live in a service area.
- Solar Energy System Property Tax Exemption – in accordance with Texas law, you are offered 100 percent property tax exemption on the solar panels, so your home property tax won’t go up.
- Local Utility Company Solar Rebates – you may be eligible for a cash incentive of $2,500 to $8,500 for the kW of solar power, if you are a customer of American Electric Power (AEP) Texas, Austin Energy, CPS Energy,11 or Oncor residential. The incentive amount varies by electric provider, solar system size, location, and income.
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – if you install solar power to your home, you qualify for the national 26% federal tax credit.
How Do I Get Solar Panels Installed in Laredo?
South Texas Solar
Average stars: 3 stars
Overall reviews: 3.9 stars by 14 reviews from Google, 3.1 stars by 4 reviews from https://www.solarreviews.com, 1 stars by https://www.buildzoom.com, 4 stars from 4 reviews at Yelp, 3.5 stars from 3 reviews on https://www.energysage.com, and 3 stars form 4 reviews on https://solartribune.com
Location: 6999 McPherson Rd STE 217, Laredo, TX 78041
Description of Company: South Texas Solar Systems was launched in 2007, and since has completed over 900 projects. Their mission statement is “To be the leader of the conversion process from a carbon based energy system to a sustainably based energy system by providing businesses, individuals, and governments utility cost savings through the implementation of the leading solar energy, building automation, and energy control solutions.” They are accredited as a Panasonic Elite Installer, and also were given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. It ranked 170th on Solar Power World’s list of 2020 Top Solar Contractors. Their website provides an option for potential customers to request a quote or request a service to examine relative pricing. They offer a 20 year in-house warranty along with their manufacturer’s 25 year warranty, as they are partnered with manufacturer brands such as Panasonic, LG and Mission Solar. They offer to take complete charge of the project, you just send them your electric bill, they design the solar system around your energy bill to fit your energy consumption needs, they finish the project and send it off for approval, and install it all for you. The reviews for this company were split. Some denounced it as a scam, detailing how they were lied to, ripped off, how the company was incompetent in communication or did a terrible job during installation, and more. Some highly praised it for its simplicity of the process and affordable pricing. The immense variation between reviews makes the company a risky investment, as it is uncertain what you will receive.
Zero Energy Laredo
Average stars: 3.5 stars
Overall reviews: 5 stars by 30 reviews from Google, 3 stars by 43 reviews from https://www.glassdoor.com, 5 stars by 3 reviews from Facebook, 2.5 stars by 164 reviews from Yelp, 2.2 stars by 52 reviews from https://www.texaselectricityratings.com, and 3.7 stars from https://www.consumeraffairs.com
Location: 1310 E Del Mar Blvd Suite #2c, Laredo, TX, United States
Description of Company: Zero Energy describes themselves as “The region’s leading professional solar panel service in Texas.” The official Zero Energy website does not detail much about the company history or description, so the founding date, mission statement, founders, and more are unknown. It is not ranked on the Solar Power World’s list of 2020 Top Solar Contractors. On their website, they provide ways for customers to get an estimate of the cost of installing a solar system, a quote and request for service. There is not much information present on their website pertaining to the process of purchasing and installing a solar system or what customers should expect the company to do; nor did the company win any awards for their website or service. The reviews are the most telling about the company’s quality. On the Google reviews for the physical shop, it averaged 5 stars, with all 30 reviews raving about the excellent customer service and informative presentation. Many of the other reviews praised the good customer service, with a few complaining about the confusing policy. Some of the other negative reviews complained about blackouts in their neighborhood, with the company being slow to reconnect the power. Some others complained they were ripped off or the company had overcharged them. Overall it seems to be a viable option to explore with caution regarding the pricing.
Average stars: 4.6 stars
Overall reviews: 4.6 stars from 56 reviews by Google, 5 stars from 20 reviews by Facebook, 4 stars from 8 reviews by https://www.energysage.com, and 4.8 stars from 26 reviews from https://solarforyourhouse.com
Location: 7913 McPherson Rd Unit 111, Laredo, TX 78045, United States
Description of Company: In their website, they do not disclose when they were founded or how many years they have been in operation, or who founded it. However they do say “Our Mission is saving: saving our community money while saving our environment.” and say they offer “high-quality energy solutions at the lowest prices.” They also have a system to give a free estimate for any customers wanting to see what the price range would be, and provide solar for home, businesses, and offer consulting on solar even for individuals not pursuing business with PEG Energy itself. PEG Energy has helped over 1,000 families switch to solar. The website also lists a multitude of awards they have won. These awards and groups that recognize them for their work include Enphase Gold Installer, Generac Certified Clean Energy Installer, Tesla Power Wall Certified Installer, LG Chem Certified Installer, REC Certified Solar Professional, Sense Solar, Nest Certified Professional, Sunpower Authorized Dealer, Generac PWRCell Certified Installer, NABCEP Certified Installation Professional, the Laredo Builders Association, and the Laredo Chamber of Commerce. Reviews on Google are mostly very positive, describing them as professional, helpful, and friendly. Most reviewers praised the customer service and how they felt comfortable finally going solar with them. Some of the negative reviews cited pricing complaints about being overcharged or charged unfairly. Overall this was the best company I found.
What are the Effects of Net Metering on a Solar System?
Laredo is naturally very sunny, and as a result, during different times of the year your solar system is sure to produce excess energy that your home ends up not consuming. This excess energy is added to the total power grid output, and you receive a reward for this surplus of energy. This is what is commonly known as “net metering.” The programs vary, but most energy companies have some sort of reward system for solar owners producing a surplus. To put it simply, net metering is the solar power generated subtracted from your total electric bill. Some companies use other methods of rewarding customers for extra energy generated, such as Feed-In Tariffs or Performance-based incentives. However net metering is most common according to https://quickelectricity.com.
Some companies use Feed-in Tariffs, also known as FITs. Essentially, your solar company will pay you for the surplus energy you generate and export to the power grid. These rates are usually less than the retail kW price for energy, but may be more to increase the incentive to switch to solar power.
On the other hand, Performance-based Incentives reward you for the amount of solar energy you generate regardless of if it is in surplus or not. This also incentivises switching to solar power for energy generation.
Some companies may also use a hybrid of these approaches. Unfortunately as of December 2021, Texas does not mandate or incentivise net metering, however a few Texas solar power providers offer benefits for it.
Chariot Energy offers the Rise Solar Plan, which pays back the extra kW of solar energy generated the same as the retail price. The credit is rolled over to the next month and never expires.
Green Mountain Energy offers the Renewable Rewards plan, that also pays you for the extra kW generated by solar the same as the retail price. Additionally it is available for solar systems under 50 kW, however, the maximum credit is equal to your monthly usage, and there is no rollover.
Infuse offers the Lean Green Infusion Plan, which also buys the additional kW of solar power generated at the retail price. The maximum credit is also the same as your monthly usage, and there is no rollover.
MP2 Energy offers the Solar Buyback Plan, which buys back the extra kW of energy at its wholesale price. The credit is rolled over to the next month, and it is reset to zero once a year every December.
Octopus offers the OctoPlus Plan, which also buys back your extra kW generated at the wholesale price. The credit is rolled over to the next month and never expires.
Reliant offers the Solar Payback Plan, where you are paid for the excess kW you generate at the same price as retail price. The limit is the same as your monthly energy usage, and there is also no rollover, so credit is set to zero every month.
Rhythm offers the Simply Solar Buyback Plan which pays back the extra kW same as the retail price. Additionally it is available for power systems under 20 kW. The credit is rolled over to the next month, and never expires.
TXU offers the Renewable Buyback Plan, which pays back Feed-in Tariff below the retail kW price. There is also no buyback for surplus solar generation between the months of May and January.
Choosing a company that will pay you for the extra energy you generate means you can even pay back the money you initially spent installing your solar system over the future. It is an important factor to consider when choosing a company.
How Much Solar Power Do I Need to Power My Home?
There are many different factors that will impact the amount of energy your home consumes, and thus the amount of energy required from your solar system. Some of these factors include the size of your home, number of residents, insulation, heating and cooling preferences, whether or not you use natural gas, etc. The average Texas residential household uses around 1,176 kWh per month, or around 14,112 kWh per year (https://electricityplans.com). The average solar panel can produce around 300 watts per hour of sunlight, and Laredo Texas receives around 5.5 hours of sunlight per day. Therefore each panel produces around 1.65 kW of energy per day. Hence, it would take around 24 panels for a home in Laredo to be self-sufficient, producing around 14.5 kW yearly.
Laredo, is in the depths of Texas, one of the sunniest states in the United States. With about 5.5-5.9 hours of direct solar radiation per day, and an average of 220 sunny days per year, it is wise to take advantage of all the free energy coming from the sky. Not only does it help the environment by greatly reducing CO2 emissions, but it also helps save a lot of money in the long term. Texas in particular generates a whopping 684 million metric tons of CO2, 13% of the United State’s entire CO2 emissions.
You will be contributing to a cheaper and better future by harnessing the power of nature, and you can feel good about ethically installing the best form of power for you financially and environmentally. Alternative, greener forms of power are our future, and the legal commitments the U.S. government is making to incentivise solar power, such as the 26% federal tax credit show that the world is dedicated to making the future greener and more sustainable, as well as affordable. You could earn enough to pay for your entire energy bill with only solar energy, and even extra if you choose a company that participates in net marketing.
Choosing a company and initially installing your solar system is the most difficult part of the process, but if you choose the right company it does not have to be stressful. Most companies were rated well for customer service, and have friendly, knowledgeable experts that will guide you through the entire process. The process does not have to be stressful. Installing and the initial payment for the solar system will be pricey, but this will be much more cost efficient in later years when your energy bill is entirely or almost entirely generated by you. There is also a feeling of independence in being able to economically generate your own solar energy. With a couple smart choices such as a battery to store extra power, you can be even more independent, and not even notice when your power goes out. The battery will kick in on its own and supply power to your home.
Most of the reviews were very glad they switched to solar power. They felt better about being smarter about their energy usage, and both saving money and contributing to the good of the environment. The customers that regretted it cited company shortcomings or a high initial price. However, in the long term, an energy system like this is the most economically and environmentally smart decision you can make for the energy you supply to your home.