Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple benefits. Here are some highlights.
- Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the expensive cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity right where you use it.
- Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with energy storage work through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the grid for your safety and comfort.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power reduces your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to College Station Homeowners?
Texas homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for special financing, rebates, reimbursements and tax credits. Here are just a few of the region's incentive offerings.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: texasgasservice.com
Free Equipment Program: Free appliance installation and weatherization services
Home Improvement (includes attic insulation, duct sealing, duct insulation, duct replacement, high-efficiency gas furnace, and Wi-Fi thermostat: Up to $1000
Solar Water Heater With Natural Gas Backup: $750
Tankless or Super High-efficiency Water Heater: $650
Furnace Tune-Up: $40
Natural Gas Dryer with moisture sensor: $225
Natural Gas Dryer Stub: $300
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: cstx.gov
Central Air Conditioner, Geothermal Heat Pump, or Air-Source Heat Pump: $500 - $800, varies by efficiency rating
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in College Station
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar array. Make your choice based on the following crucial aspects.
Licensing and Training
All solar installers in Texas must have a state electrical contractors' license from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners regulates plumbing regulations and licensing standards for solar thermal installers. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private credentials. Two of the most respected are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Cost of Solar Panels in College Station
The type of solar panels you select decides how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.
You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total project price, but they can enhance your solar system's performance. Not every solar company provides these optional components, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's essential for you.
You can expect to pay about $16,650 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in College Station. Use the table in this section to get an idea of what amount College Station solar companies might quote for your specific system.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in College Station
There are numerous ways to pay for a new solar system, and the right one will minimize your overhead. A few of the most common options include cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), loans, and leases. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Much like a home or car loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in certain circumstances. Look for contractors that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your pocket.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in College Station.
You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own financing plans and rebates that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in College Station
How much money could I save by going solar in College Station?
Is solar energy widely available in College Station?
Will solar energy systems increase my College Station home worth?
What if I live in a heavily-wooded or gloomy
What is a College Station solar panel's average lifespan?
What's the average solar system size in College Station?
What's the difference between a PPA and a solar lease?
You don't own the panels with either option, though you can choose to "buy out" of the contract for a fee.
What's the difference between a PPA and traditional financing?
You might think about a PPA if you don’t want to be responsible for maintenance and don’t want to invest in a system, but keep in mind you won’t be paying toward ownership or be able to access any solar financial incentives. Many solar experts don’t recommend PPAs. Our guide covers other financing options above.
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