Texas homeowners can qualify for several programs to save on up-front solar installation costs and ongoing electric bills. We’ve broken down the key programs below.
Solar Rebate Programs
Though Texas doesn’t provide statewide tax credits or rebates, many local governments offer programs. Local utility companies also offer rebates. Here are some examples:
- Austin Energy Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Rebate: Austin Energy provides an educational course about solar systems to inform homeowners. Those who complete the course receive a $2,500 credit toward the purchase and installation of a qualifying solar system.
- CPS Energy Solar Rebate: CPS Energy residential customers are eligible for a $2,500 credit toward the installation of a solar power system. Customers can get an additional $500 credit toward their solar panel installation if they opt for locally sourced panels.
- Oncor Electric Delivery Residential Solar Program: Oncor doesn’t provide incentives to customers directly. Rather, it teams up with providers who install PV systems within its service area. If you choose to work with one of these installers, you’re eligible for a certain incentive amount that Oncor gives to the provider and the provider gives to you.
- City of Sunset Valley PV Rebate Program: The City of Sunset Valley offers rebates for Texas homes with PV systems. This rebate can be stack on top of one from Austin Energy to maximize your savings.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) provides general information about solar energy in Texas. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) also has a comprehensive database of all Texas’ solar rebate programs.
Solar Panel Property Tax Exemptions
Texas exempts homeowners from paying any property tax on their added home value from solar panels. Here’s some additional information about Texas taxes and this tax exemption:
- Texas has no state property tax, so local governments assess and administer their own property taxes.
- There are various partial and total solar exemptions available.
- You have to apply to get a solar property tax exemption in most circumstances.
The tax exemption requirements are extensive, so conduct your own research before applying.
Your best resource is your local government, but the website for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts offers general information about solar property tax exemptions.
Solar Buyback Programs
Texas has a deregulated electricity market. This means that separate companies control each step of getting electricity from the power plant to your home.
With renewable energy buyback programs, customers in deregulated service areas can choose a retail electric provider to buy back their excess energy.
Selling this power back to the grid works differently in every city, town, or ZIP code. Check out the requirements for your service area.
Power To Choose helps you find buyback programs that you’re eligible for. Enter your ZIP code, and wait for the database to find the programs in your area.
Solar United Neighbors also offers a free analysis to customers in the Centerpoint or Oncor service areas to help find the best retail electric plan for your usage.
Net Metering Programs
In addition to Texas’ other programs, you may be able to participate in net metering. Sometimes called net energy metering, or NEM for short, this program credits solar owners for the unused energy their systems produce. Anytime your system isn’t producing enough energy for your needs, you can draw on those credits instead of paying for electricity.
There isn’t a statewide net metering program in Texas, but some local governments and electricity providers have them.
The DSIRE database also has an extensive list of Texas’ available net metering programs.