Solar installations in Texas have steadily increased over the last 10 years; in fact, the state is currently ranked as the second-largest solar power market in the nation by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Local utility companies and cities encourage this growth through money-saving solar buyback programs and rebates.
Our team researched the best solar energy installers in the country and narrowed down our picks for the Lone Star State. We reviewed product specifications and warranties, spoke to industry experts, and secret-shopped each provider as a customer would to determine our choices.
Texas’s Top Solar Energy Companies
These are our top five picks for solar companies in Texas based on our extensive research.
Solar Incentives in Texas
The SEIA predicts that Texas will rank No.1 in solar installations within the next five years. Cost-saving solar incentives throughout the state have made this unprecedented growth possible.
Though Texas doesn’t have statewide tax credits or rebates, there are other ways for homeowners to save money.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
Any Texas homeowner who owns their solar energy system qualifies for the federal solar tax credit. This means you can claim 30% of your total solar installation costs on your federal taxes. The credit also applies to solar battery installations. Note that the federal tax credit is not a rebate or cash payment. Instead, it helps to reduce or eliminate your owed federal taxes at tax time.
Texas State Tax Exemption
Installing solar panels increases your home’s value. This would typically raise your property taxes, but Texas’ Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption protects customers from paying these additional taxes.
Solar Buyback Programs
Homeowners in Texas can participate in solar buyback programs through several utility companies in the state. These programs mimic net-metering programs, offering credits on your utility bills for the excess energy you sell back.
These programs don’t have universal regulations, so their terms and payments vary greatly. For example, some buyback plans cap your earned credits each month, while others allow unlimited earnings. It’s essential to review and understand each program’s terms.
Below is a list of some utility companies in Texas that participate in these programs:
Solar Rebate Programs
These one-time rebates are available through utility companies and certain cities and local governments. The rebate amounts vary among programs but could be as high as $2,500. Here are a few of the rebate programs available for homeowners:
You can find a complete list of the Texas solar buyback and rebate programs on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
Cost of Solar Panels in Texas
The cost of solar panels in Texas falls just under the national average of $15,960 for a standard 6-kilowatt (kW) system.* Texas homeowners pay an average of $14,820 for a system of this size. Applying the federal solar tax credit would reduce this price by $4,446 for a total of $10,374.
*According to 2022 data from EcoWatch
What To Look For in a Solar Company
Ensure you’re dealing with a quality solar company by considering the below.
Look for solar companies that offer other services in addition to solar panel installation. For example, many companies also offer solar battery installation or provide active system monitoring for ongoing support. A company that offers these additional services is committed to ensuring you get the most from your solar system.
We recommend looking for companies that offer a 25-year equipment/manufacturer warranty. Solar panels last an average of 25 years, so this warranty ensures they’re protected throughout their lifetime. We also recommend looking for providers that include a workmanship or labor warranty to cover any issues stemming from improper installation. Some solar companies include power performance guarantees that promise a certain power output level for a particular time frame. A power performance warranty is a marker of a high-quality solar company.
We recommend purchasing solar panels in cash or taking out a solar loan. These financing options provide the best return on investment (ROI), make you the system owner, and qualify you for federal and state solar incentives. Keep in mind that while a loan will reduce your up-front investment, you’ll pay more in total due to interest rates.
Solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) offer fewer financial advantages because the solar company remains the system owner, so you can’t qualify for solar incentives. We only recommend these payment options if you want to generate clean energy and care less about the long-term financial incentives of solar energy.
Consider solar companies that provide various ways to contact customer support, including phone, email, and an online chat or service form. If the company offers educational materials online, such as an online blog or videos, it likely cares about keeping you knowledgeable and informed. Also, check if the company offers emergency repairs or ongoing system maintenance.
How To Get a Solar Quote in Texas
Getting a free solar quote in Texas is simple. You can follow the steps below.
- Contact the solar company: Contact the solar company online or by phone. You’ll need to provide your address for confirmation. Then, you’ll set up a time for a consultation either in-person or virtually so the company can begin the design process.
- Assess your energy needs: During the virtual or in-person consultation, you’ll provide your monthly energy bills to help determine your needed system size and power. We recommend having at least three months of statements handy for your consultation to account for seasonal fluctuations.
- Review your home design and roof space: A company representative will assess your roof space and condition and recommend any required repairs or updates. A virtual consultation may use satellite imaging to assess your home design, but the results can be less accurate.
- Build your project: The solar company will provide a final, itemized quote with a detailed inventory of all required equipment. You can add solar batteries or electric vehicle chargers to your system if your provider offers them. Review your quote for pricing and warranty information. During this step, you’ll also discuss available financing options and local solar incentives.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring Solar Company in Texas
Is the company licensed and insured?
Use the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) solar licensing database to confirm the solar installer holds the proper licenses to install solar panels in Texas. Additionally, ask the installer about their insurance and check with their provider.
What type of solar panels and equipment does the company use?
We recommend looking for providers that install monocrystalline solar panels and microinverters. A company that installs solar batteries is also suggested, so you won’t have to find a different company for solar storage options. Combining these three products creates the most efficient solar systems.
What is the expected timeline for installation and maintenance?
Ask your desired solar installer for an estimated project timeline. It’s common for installation to take longer than six months, as the provider will need to wait for permitting and permission to operate (PTO) from your local legislation. However, it could be shorter. Avoid the company if it seems too quick to accept your offer and install panels.
Additionally, ask the company about when routine maintenance should occur and if it provides this service.
We recommend SunPower for solar panel installation in Texas. The company offers some of the highest quality products to create top-performing systems. It also provides robust warranties to protect your system long-term, plus a reputable and reliable customer support team.
We recommend requesting quotes from at least three solar companies before making a decision. Most providers offer free quotes online and should provide up-front details about costs, financing, and warranty coverage. You can also check customer reviews to gauge other homeowners’ experiences.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:
- Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
- Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
- Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
- Financing options (15%)
- Experience (10%)
- Availability (10%)
Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at email@example.com.