If you've landed on this page, you've undoubtedly been grappling with whether solar is the right fit for you. Whether you're dealing with sky-high electricity bills, heard raving reviews, or are simply interested in switching to a cleaner and more renewable energy source – we understand why solar has piqued your interest.
But is solar for everyone?
Read on to find out if solar is worth it for your home in Texas.
Solar may or may not be worth it for your home in Texas, depending on a few factors. Firstly, the cost of panels and how much energy your household uses. Secondly, the type of solar incentive program to use (if any), such as net metering or buybacks.
Switching to solar is a significant change. Large change necessitates considerable thought. But where to start? Fortunately, you’re in the right place. Read on as we’ll help you navigate all the variables to consider when deciding if solar is right for you.
Should I Get Solar for my Home in Texas?
So the big question is, 'Should I get solar for my home'? If you live in Texas, you have probably witnessed a moving trend towards solar or at least know someone who has made the switch. With Texas being the leading state in solar installations for the first quarter of 2023, it is hard to ignore the current trends.
Texas added 1,525 megawatts (MW) of electricity from January to March, equating to 16% of the state's cumulative capacity. Not only that, but Texas plans to install solar worth a whopping 7.7 GW during 2023 – making Texas the leading state for the year 2023.
Texas - combined with another leading state (California) – will account for roughly 41% of new solar capacity nationally. So will you be included in Texas's stats for planned solar? Let's take a look at some factors that might help you decide.
Price of Solar for Texas Home
The most important aspect when considering solar is the price. After all, why choose solar if it doesn't make financial sense? Who wants to find themselves in a position where solar doesn't pay for itself or, worse, in debt because of excessive loans and repayments? In Texas, you can find solar panel systems that range anywhere from 3kW to 10kW.
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The average price for these systems can vary anywhere from $8 160 -$27,200, respectively. In Texas, the price per watt is lower than the average cost of residential power systems across the United States. The average cost per watt is $3.00 across the country, whereas Texas averages $2.77. If the price of solar sounds too much, don't worry.
As a homeowner (and a business owner), the investment tax credit (ITC), or the federal solar tax credit, allows you to claim a portion of your solar costs from your taxes. As of the writing of this article, 30% of solar is claimable from tax. But don’t wait too long. After 2033, ITC will have a 26 percent claim back instead of 30 percent.
Although the information in this article is aimed at providing a general overview, it is always better to seek professional advice from a licensed tax professional before any purchase or investment. When purchasing solar, try to take into consideration the size of your home and energy consumption.
Smaller homes or homes with lower energy consumption can opt for panels with lower kilowatts. In contrast, bigger homes or homes with high energy consumption can opt for solar panel systems with more kilowatts.
In general, the size of the solar panel system plays a role in installation costs. Smaller panels tend to cost more per watt and have lower overall installation costs. Larger panels can cost less per watt since panels can be bought at 'bulk' prices; however, the total cost may still be higher due to the number of individual panels.
Overall, deciding which size solar system is right for you depends on your home's energy consumption and installation cost. Other factors that influence pricing include:
the type and brand of solar panels
the installation company
the complexity of your roof
Solar Incentives For Texas Home
Did you know that there are solar incentives for homeowners in Texas? Texas has a deregulated market. As the consumer, this means you have a wider variety of choices as to which utility company or local government has the best incentive programs for you. Two main incentive programs are available: net metering and solar buyback programs.
Net metering is not offered as a state-wide option in Texas; however, many utility companies provide this type of program. Net metering entails measuring your total energy consumption in comparison with the output of your solar. If you use less energy than what is generated, the excess energy is credited to your account.
This is especially useful for months when there is a bit more cloud cover or when you use more energy than usual. It is best to analyze all the net metering programs available as some programs cap the amount of excess credit or transfer the energy credit to the next month only.
Another solar incentive is the buyback program. This program is what it sounds like; the utility company buys back the energy from you. So instead of the excess energy being credited to your account, the extra energy will now go back to the grid at a specific price.
Be sure to compare buyback rates, as some utilities offer higher buybacks per watt than others. Overall, which incentive program you choose is up to you and which suits you and your family best.
To decide if solar is the right fit for you, you must consider whether it is financially viable. In addition, it is best to compare incentives from different utility companies. Not all incentives may be beneficial, so comparing programs from different utilities is imperative.
Overall, choosing if solar is right for you consists of your household's energy consumption in addition to financial viability and incentives. (Related article: The Cost of Solar Panels in Florida: Is it Worth it?)