Guide to Solar Panels in Texas in 2023
How Much Do Solar Panels in Texas Cost?
Everything’s bigger in Texas—and the solar energy industry is no exception! In fact, the Lone Star State is one of the most popular locations for solar panel installations in the U.S. ranking second only to California for the most solar installed in 2020. That’s enough renewable energy to power nearly 1.3 million homes!
The exact cost and savings of your system may vary depending on several factors, including:
- The size of your system
- Your current energy usage
- Your current electricity rates
- Any incentives in your area
- The size and layout of your roof
- Preference of loan or cash financing
With Palmetto, the cost of solar panels in Texas starts at $85 per month for a loan.1
4 Reasons Why It’s Worth Going Solar in Texas
Mitigate OutagesAdd battery storage to your solar system and rely on clean energy if and when outages roll through.
Count On SavingsThe sun is relentlessly shining energy upon us. Solar panels take advantage of this by providing you with consistent, reliable power.
Lower Your FootprintUnlike fossil fuels, solar energy is both clean and renewable—a better solution for your home, your community, and the environment.
Increase Home ValuePlanning to sell? Solar-powered homes have been shown to stand out, earn more, and sell faster in the national real estate market.
Learn How Solar Works in Texas
In Texas, there isn’t yet a statewide net metering policy requiring utilities to credit solar owners when sending extra energy to the grid. Instead, Texas homeowners serviced by Transmission and Distribution utilities can leverage Palmetto’s partnership with Shell Energy, rebranded from MP2 Energy in 2022, for competitive supply and solar credits.
- In deregulated areas of Texas, utility companies are referred to as a Transmission Distribution Utility, or TDU. The TDU delivers the electricity to your home through the poles and wires, but generation and billing happens with competitive electric suppliers known as Retail Energy Providers or “REPs”. TDU customers of Oncor, Centerpoint, AEP, and TNMP can leverage Palmetto’s partnership with Shell Energy, a Retail Energy Provider, to receive a bill credit when exporting excess solar to the grid.
- If you are serviced by an electric cooperative or municipal utility, then you are unable to choose an electric supplier like Shell Energy. However, most cooperatives and municipal utilities offer fair solar net metering programs.
Palmetto installs residential solar panel systems in most places in Texas.
Available Solar Incentives in Texas
For many, solar can be a big investment. Thankfully, most homeowners are eligible for state and federal incentives that can help offset the cost of your system. Those include:
- Solar Tax Credit: Most solar energy installations are eligible for the Residential Clean Energy Credit, previously called the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Eligible homeowners can deduct up to 30% of their solar power system’s costs from their total tax liability for the year of installation.
- State Property Tax Exemption: Solar has been shown to increase the value of your home. Texas is great in that it exempts this addition from your property taxes, meaning you don’t pay extra taxes because you got solar panels.
- Electric Utility Incentives: While there is no official financial incentive for solar from the state, some electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, such as Austin Energy, CPS Energy, and GVEC, may offer solar rebate programs to offset the cost of your installation even further.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Transmission-Distribution Utility (TDU)?
TDUs are utility companies owning the distribution of electricity through their poles and wires infrastructure. TDUs do not generate or sell electricity. In Texas, consumers contract with a Retail Energy Provider (REP) who is responsible for procuring electricity supply (wind, natural gas, coal) and issuing your electric bill. TDUs are also responsible for activities like maintaining the electric grid, metering, and reviewing solar interconnection applications.
Who is Shell Energy?
Shell Energy is an innovative Retail Energy Provider (REP) in Texas backed by Shell North America. Shell Energy rebranded from MP2 Energy in 2022, but the company remains the same. Palmetto has partnered with Shell Energy to offer competitive supply rates and a solar buyback option to our residential customers. Homeowners who sign up with Shell Energy will have an electric bill made up of charges from their TDU and Shell Energy, plus receive solar credits from Shell Energy.
Does Shell Energy offer a solar buyback option?
Yes, since TDUs do not offer net metering or a way to sell excess solar production, a few retail energy suppliers make this available. Palmetto has partnered with Shell Energy to provide a competitive solar buyback option.
Who is eligible for the Shell Energy Solar Buyback Program?
The Shell Energy Solar Buyback Program is available to residential homeowners in any TDU territory in Texas. This specifically includes the 4 large TDUs Palmetto operates in: CenterPoint Energy, Oncor Energy. TMNP and AEP Texas. The Program does not restrict participation based on the customer’s current energy supplier. Switching from one energy supplier to Shell Energy is necessary for eligibility and a common practice for those interested in participating in this Program.
How does solar work with my utility provider in Texas?
If you’re in an area with full net metering, every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy produced by your solar power system counts as a credit towards your energy bill. When your panels produce more energy than you use, the excess power is fed into the grid for use in your community. When your panels produce less energy than you use, you can draw power from the grid. The value of the credit depends on how electricity rates and net metering policies are structured in your utility.
Check out these links to learn more about going solar in your area of Texas. You can also contact Palmetto with any questions you may have.
How long do solar panels last?
The first solar cells were manufactured by Bell Laboratories in the late 1950s and are still functional today. Likewise, panels installed on homes in the 1970s and ’80s continue to generate power. Most solar modules today have a 25-year power output warranty and may continue to produce power well beyond that point. Homeowners interested in additional protection and savings can enroll in Palmetto Protect and earn quick access to energy monitoring, dedicated customer support, exclusive discounts, and best-in-class maintenance services.
Where do I start? It seems complicated.
You're right, solar energy can feel very complex, especially if you're researching providers, technologies, incentives, municipal requirements, permits, the list goes on. That’s why Palmetto created end-to-end solar energy solutions allowing you to plug into savings with less time and no hassle. From financing and design to installation, production monitoring, and maintenance, our dedicated Customer Experience Team is here to answer questions, address concerns, and guide you through every step of the process. Visit our product pages to learn more about Palmetto’s solar and storage solutions.
Will solar panels work with my roof?
Before designing your custom solar solution, we’ll take a detailed survey of your property and assess the solar energy potential of your roof. Beyond the size, angle, and orientation of your roof, we’ll look at shading, estimated tree growth, materials, ventilation and drain pipes, and the overall condition. Because solar panel arrays can last 25-30 years without the need for repair or replacement, it’s important the roof beneath is in good shape. In some cases, it may be advisable to have your roof repaired or replaced entirely before the installation of solar panels can begin.
How much of my home can be powered by solar panels?
That depends on your overall household energy usage relative to the total capacity of your solar array. Many homeowners desire a system size producing 100% of their energy usage needs, but they may not always be possible. Alternatively, if you plan to change your behavior, such as by purchasing an electric vehicle, you may wish to go a little larger than historical usage.
How much does a solar power system cost?
The cost of your solar power system will vary based on a number of factors including your location, the size of your solar array, installation fees in your area, and if you desire energy storage for backup power. That said, solar technologies have never been more efficient or affordable.
Does my solar array come with a warranty?
What happens if I produce more solar power than I need?
Your home will still be connected to the electric grid so you have power when your system is not producing. Excess energy produced beyond what your home is using at any moment can flow back into the grid, and will earn you credit on your electricity bill. If you choose to integrate energy storage with your solar power system, any excess energy that is produced and not immediately used by your household will function to charge your battery. This, in turn, allows you to access stored solar power for your home when energy usage exceeds production, and provide valuable backup power during an outage.
Will I still receive an electric bill with solar panels?
Yes, almost all solar customers maintain a connection to the grid, even those with battery storage, which means you will still receive an electricity bill, though you can dramatically reduce the amount you pay each month thanks to the energy produced by your solar panels.
If there is a power outage, will my power go out?
- The size and production of your solar panels
- The size of the battery system
- The battery state of charge when the outage occurs
- The areas or appliances in your home that are prioritized to receive power when the grid goes down.