Benefits of Solar Panels in Texas
How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Texas?
So first off, you should know, in the state of Texas, solar panels are cheaper than the national average at only about $2.76 per watt. Most solar panels are sold in 250 watt increments, which means a common solar panel in Texas is going to cost something like $690 which, again, is below the national average. So right off the bat, you’ve got a leg up on most other parts of the U.S.
Furthermore, with rebates, incentives and other benefits that are available, your solar panels will pay for themselves in something like 12 years. That means that after 12 to 13 years of use, your solar panels will have saved you as much money as they cost, and all future savings will essentially be money in your pocket- in some cases, literally.
Solar panels last, on average, around 25 years, meaning that once they’ve paid for themselves, you still have 12-13 years (on average) of free electricity, plus credits toward future electric bills (or possibly cash payments for unused electricity you have fed back into the grid). Either way, your solar panels will end up making you *more* money than they initially cost.
What are the other benefits of going solar?
- “PACE”: Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is a program that allows Texans to finance a solar installation by having an assessment done on their property. The dollar amount that is financed can be paid via property taxes annually until the whole system and installation is paid off. Not every local government in Texas offers a PACE program, so make sure you inquire with local governments before making plans. This can be a huge benefit to potential solar customers who can’t afford to pay for their solar panels in a lump sum or don’t want to pay interest on a loan.
- Interconnection Standards: The state of Texas has interconnection standards that are set up in such a way that connecting your solar power system to “the grid” should be easy for your solar installer, which will likely save time and money for the consumer.
- Energy Rebates: Many local governments and utilities in Texas offer energy rebates based on the amount of energy your system produces and feeds back into “the grid”. These rebates usually come in the form of “credits” toward future energy bills, but some utilities offer cash payments. So either way, check with your local electric supplier to see what rebates you may qualify for.
- Property Tax Exemptions: Property taxes are high in Texas, which is the price you pay for not having a state income tax. However, in the state of Texas your property tax liability cannot be reassessed (Read: raised) due to the addition of a renewable energy system, such as solar panels. So in Texas more than anywhere else, anything that keeps your property taxes under control is very welcome.
- Federal Tax Credit- The federal government offers a tax credit of 26% of the total amount of your solar installation off your federal tax liability, which by itself can save you thousands of dollars and can help recoup much of the cost of your installation.
- Home Value- “Energy Efficient” or “Energy Upgraded” homes, such as those that have solar panels, sell for 8% more on average than regular homes. While 8% doesn’t sound like much, think about it this way- the average value of a single family home in Texas is around $250,000, meaning an 8% increase adds $20,000 to the value of your home.
- REAP Program- The rural energy for America program through the department of agriculture provides loan financing and grants for agricultural producers looking to make energy improvements, such as solar panels.
How does weather affect solar panels?
The state of Texas has, for the most part, very favorable weather for solar energy production. It is among the sunniest states in the U.S., with most parts of the state averaging over 250 sunny days per year, and some parts of southern Texas approach averaging 300. Most of Texas has little large vegetation and therefore your panels will not be obstructed by shade in most parts of the state, another major plus for solar panels as most of them struggle without direct sunlight. Snow, a major obstructer of solar panels, is virtually a non-factor in Texas (and honestly, if you actually get snow in Texas, you can’t get that upset).
How do I get solar panels installed in Texas?
So the best news is that the state of Texas is packed with competent solar installers. Every major city seems to have a dozen or more active solar companies. Now Texas is an enormous state, obviously, so if you live a long way from a major city you may struggle to find someone willing to drive into the boondocks to do an installation, but I assure you if you try hard enough someone will do it. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to just give you a quick rundown of some of the top rated companies in each major city in Texas.
Company: Solar Smart Living
Address: 108 Ray Ward Pl, Santa Teresa, NM 88008
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (68 reviews), 4.89 / 5 BBB (213 reviews)
Business Quote: “Solar Panels help you save money and protect yourself against rising utility costs especially in the El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM Areas. With over 300+ sunny days a year, El Paso and Southern New Mexico solar panel owners achieve payback of their system in about 7 and a half years.”
The Good: Great website, great reviews and lots of them
The Bad: Literally can’t find anything bad about them
Summary: Technically located in New Mexico, they are right across the border from El Paso, and appear to be the highest rated company in the area. I literally can’t find a single bad thing to say about them and they look to be highly rated and appreciated across all platforms. So by all means give these guys a try if you’re in the El Paso area.
Company: Solar Electric Texas
Address: 1874 Grandstand Dr, San Antonio, TX 78238
Years in Business: 11
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (59 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (3 reviews), 4.5 /5 Angi (5 reviews), 3.67 / 5 BBB (3 reviews)
Business Quote: “We are the premier solar installer in San Antonio specializing in roof
mounts, ground mounts, manufactured homes, and shade structures. We offer a wide variety of solar programs including leasing, purchase, and financed purchase options.”
The Good: Mostly good reviews, lots of reviews, strong web presence
The Bad: Couple of complaints with the BBB
Summary: Looks like a very successful company in the San Antonio area. They seem to do a lot of work and get a lot of good reviews from a lot of people. Give them a look if you’re in this area of Texas.
Company: Lighthouse Solar
Address: 2000 S 7th St, Austin, TX 78704
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 5 /5 Facebook (13 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (23 reviews), 4.3 / 5 Angi (8 reviews)
Business Quote: “ Our vision is to empower and enlighten residential and commercial customers in Texas. We aim to go beyond tangible services – project design, construction, electricity, and system maintenance – to animate a new way of being in the world.”
The Good: Really nice looking website, no complaints with the BBB, lots of good reviews
The Bad: None really that I can see
Summary: Appears to be a very successful company in the Austin area. Looks like they do lots of work and have a lot of reviews out there, most of them very good. So by all means check these guys out if you’re in the Austin area.
Company: 512 Solar
Address: 1250 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746
Years in Business: 7
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (10 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (46 reviews), 3.9 / 5 SolarReviews (2 reviews), 5 / 5 Angi (16 reviews)
Business Quote: “512 Solar delivers an exceptional customer service experience while navigating your path to energy independence.”
The Good: Very progressive company, lots and lots of good reviews, strong web presence
The Bad: Only 7 years in business
Summary: Other than their apparent short time in the business, there isn’t much negative to say about this company. Lots of positive reviews with near perfect scores across multiple platforms.
Company: Sunshine Renewable Solutions
Address: 4011 Valley Green Ct, Houston, TX 77059
Years in Business: 4
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (12 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (5 reviews), 4.9 / 5 Birdeye (143 reviews)
Business Quote: “We focus on energy-efficient solutions to provide affordable residential and commercial solar panel energy systems. With our complete in-house solar energy team, our clients have a home that produces its own electricity. We want to empower people to own not just a home, but a powerful home.”
The Good: Lots of good reviews
The Bad: Only 4 years in business
Summary: A fairly new company but one that looks to be doing a lot of business in the Houston area. They have gotten a ton of good reviews in their 4 years of business, so this looks like a good company to deal with.
Company: Sunpro Solar
Address: 7614 Bluff Point Dr, Houston, TX 77086
Years in Business: 11
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (1 review), 5 / 5 Yelp (10 reviews), 4.7 / 5 Solarforyourhouse (50 reviews), 4.6 / 5 Birdeye (148 reviews)
Business Quote: “Our goal is to give our customers a reliable and efficient solar energy system to power their homes with clean, solar energy. If you’re in need of solar panels in Houston, you can count on our highly skilled solar specialists to get the job done right the first time.”
The Good: National brand, lots of experiences and resources
The Bad: Some bad reviews, some complaints with the BBB
Summary: You know the deal. You’re dealing with a national brand on this one, so they’re going to have a bigger pool of resources and experience to draw from, but you’re also going to miss out on having that locally owned company feeling.
Company Name: Good Faith Energy
Address: 13720 Diplomat Dr, Farmers Branch, TX 75234
Years in Business: 7
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Better Business Bureau (6 reviews), 4.9 / 5 Birdseye (318 reviews), 5 stars Yelp (30 reviews)
The Good: Great reviews and lots of them
The Bad: Website could be a little more user-friendly
Summary: Good Faith has only been in business for 7 years but has apparently done a ton of good work in that short time and has received LOTS of outstanding reviews. It’s hard to find a problem with this company, and this is another one that would be very good to consider in the Dallas area.
Company Name: North Texas Solar
Address: 1452 Hughes Rd Ste 150, Grapevine, TX 76051
Years in Business: 6
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (3 reviews), 4 / 5 BBB (5 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (5 reviews), 4.17 / 5 BBB (6 reviews)
The Good: No complaints with the BBB, good looking website, good reviews
The Bad: Not many reviews
Summary: Good looking company that is relatively young. Their website says all the right things however, and I don’t see any major red flags out there about them, so they may be a good one to take a look at!
So ultimately, as you can see, Texas is primed and ready solar territory. It has the right environment, plenty of providers, great incentives and plenty of space. There is nothing stopping the state of Texas from being one of the leading solar producers in the United States, if not THE leader. So if you’re out there considering solar panels, consider no more- everything is in your favor. Go solar, Texas!