Texas is among the top-10 sunniest and most populous state in the nation. Lots of sun plus a huge demand for electricity makes solar an ideal source of clean energy in this state. Texans can take advantage of tax exemptions and rebates to install solar panels that power their homes, schools and businesses in an eco-friendly way. Go green (and potentially save some) with solar panels in Texas.

Texas’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

What’s the Price of Electricity in Texas?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of electricity in Texas runs at $.12/kWh. While this is still below the national average, each year Texas households are paying $1,801 for electricity. This rate is among the highest in the nation. The main sources of energy in Texas are fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. In 2014, Texas was the lead crude-oil, lignite coal and natural gas producing state in the nation. With these high prices, installing solar has the potential to save Texas residents a lot of money.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Texas
Solar Resource Library

Texas Solar Policies & Incentives

Texas should take full advantage of solar energy considering its vast amounts of sunshine and high electricity needs. Yet the state has been slow to implement effective policies and incentives for residents to encourage solar installation. Solar still has the potential to save consumers money thanks to the various incentive opportunities offered across the state. While there is no statewide rebate, there are an abundance of utility rebates and a 100 percent property tax exemption that can reduce thousands from the cost of a solar system.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Austin Energy – Multi-Family Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Cash incentives are available for owners, developers and property managers of apartments and multi-family properties who make energy efficiency improvements. Free walk-through energy surveys are required before applications will be accepted. This program is first come, first served.

Oncor Electric Delivery – Solar Photovoltaic Standard Offer Program

Rebates are available to Oncor Electric Delivery customers that install PV systems on homes or other buildings. The maximum rebate is equivalent to 20 percent of the most recent funding allocation. See description for eligibility requirements.

AEP Texas North Company – Smart Source Solar PV Rebate Program

American Electric Power Texas North Company (AEP-TNC) has rebates for customers that install PV systems on homes or other buildings. The rebates are $1.20 per watt for residential customers and $1.05 per watt for non-residential. Maximum rebates apply and a bonus incentive is available to qualifiers.

AEP Texas Central Company – Smart Source Solar PV Rebate Program

American Electric Power Texas North Company (AEP-TNC) has rebates for customers that install PV systems on homes or other buildings. The rebates are $1.05 per watt for residential customers and $1.00 per watt for non-residential. Maximum rebates apply.

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative – Renewable Energy Rebates

A $1 per watt rebate is available to GVEC customers who install PV systems. Qualifying systems must meet a variety of equipment, warranty and installation requirements.

Coserv Solar Energy Rebate AEP (Central and North) – Residential Energy Efficiency Programs Green Mountain Energy Renewable Rewards Program
Austin Energy – Residential Solar PV Rebate Program

The solar rebate program from Austin Energy offers $1.10 per watt to eligible residential customers who install PV systems. The rebate cannot exceed 50 percent of the total invoice and will only be paid for approved systems.

Xcel Energy – Residential and Hard-to-Reach Standard Offer Program

Residential and Hard-to-Reach customers participate in the program by first contacting a sponsor. Residential rebates are set at $358 per kW plus $115 per kWh. The Hard-to-Reach program targets customers with annual household incomes at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Rebate amounts for this category are $420 per kW plus 0.135 cents per kW.

Farmers Electric Cooperative – Residential/Agricultural Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Residential and agricultural members of Farmers Electric Cooperative have access to incentives to increase the energy efficiency of eligible homes and facilities. Solar energy systems have a maximum rebate amount of $1,000.

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative – Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative offers a one dollar per watt incentive to help make homes more energy efficient. Qualifying homes must have been built by an Energy Star-certified builder, and third-party verification is required for all energy-efficient measures.

Oncor Electric Delivery – Commercial and Industrial Rebate Program

Incentives are available for service providers who install approved energy efficiency measures in business, government, nonprofit and worship facilities in Oncor’s service area.

TXU – Commercial Energy Efficiency Program

Rebates are available for business customers who sign up or renew a 12-month contract with TXU. Rebates may vary based upon energy usage.

TAX CREDITS

None

None for residential specifically

Solar Energy Device Franchise Tax Deduction

Texas corporations can deduct either the total cost of a solar energy device from its taxable capital or 10% of the system’s cost from the company’s income. Both are taxed under Texas’s franchise tax.

TAX EXEMPTIONS

Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption

Texas property code gives a 100% exemption of appraised property value after the installation of a solar-powered energy device.

None for residential specifically

Solar and Wind Energy Business Franchise Tax Exemption

Texas solar companies are exempt from franchise tax. There is no ceiling to the exemption.

POLICIES

Interconnection Standards

Texas’s interconnection standards apply to a point of delivery at electrical generating facilities, with a maximum capacity of 10 MW. Standardized interconnection applications and interconnection agreements are used.

Renewable Generation Requirement

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas established a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires the installation of 5,000 MW of new renewables in Texas by 2015 and establishes a goal for 2025 of 10,000 MW of renewable energy capacity.

Solar Rights

Home/Property Owners’ Associations are not allowed to stop homeowners from installing solar energy devices. However, HOAs are allowed to block installation if it poses risk to public health and safety. Learn the caveats and exceptions in the full description.

None for commercial specifically

Companies That Install Solar Panels in Texas

Texas residents are fortunate to have loads of local solar companies and installers to choose from. Find a company in your area that can help you join the solar bandwagon.

Texas Solar Power Company

Texas Solar Power Company specializes in the design, sales and installation of solar electric equipment for residential, commercial, institutional and government customers.

Where it operatesAustin, Texas

Year of opening1995

Texas Solar Outfitters

This solar energy company says it is considered one the leading solar installers in Texas measured by the amount of capacity installed and serves the Houston area.

Where it operatesHouston, TX

Year of opening2010

Solar CenTex

This solar company designs, installs, and monitors solar systems in Central Texas.

Where it operatesHarker Heights, TX

Year of opening2012

Texas Green Energy

This solar company does energy audits, and both commercial and residential solar installations.

Where it operatesCollege Station, Texas

Year of opening2010

Advanced Solar and Electric

Advanced Solar is the largest solar installer in South Texas.

Where it operatesSan Antonio, TX; Austin, TX

Year of opening2010

Longhorn Solar-Austin

This company performs solar design, installation and integration services.

Where it operatesSan Antonio, TX; Austin, TX

Year of opening2009

Freedom Solar Power

Freedom Solar Power was the #1 Solar Contractor in Texas for 2014 according to Solar Power World Magazine.

Where it operatesAustin, TX

Year of opening2007

GreenLife Technologies, Inc.

GreenLife Technologies, Inc. is an alternative energy system designer and installer serving Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Where it operatesLindale, TX

Year of opening2008

South Texas Solar Systems, Inc.

This solar company designs, manages, and installs renewable energy technologies and generator.

Where it operatesLaredo, TX; San Antonio, TX

Year of opening2007

CAM Solar

CAM Solar provides solar energy options for the residents of San Antonio, Austin, and the rest of Central Texas.

Where it operatesSan Antonio, TX

Year of opening2009

Sunrise Solar of DFW

Sunrise Solar installs solar PV and solar thermal energy systems in Texas.

Where it operatesGrapevine, TX

Year of opening2000

Aztec Renewable Energy, Inc.

Aztec Renewable Energy installs commercial and residential solar systems in Texas.

Where it operatesDallas, TX

Year of opening1999

HE Solar, LLC

HE Solar LLC is a family company working to provide high-quality solar energy systems.

Where it operatesAustin, TX

Year of opening2000

Border Solar

Border Solar is a licensed Electrical Contractor for the states of Texas and New Mexico offering solar integration and energy efficiency services.

Where it operatesEl Paso, TX

Year of opening2008

Brite Idea Energy Texas, LLC

Brite Idea Energy is a solar energy design and installation firm located in Southern New Jersey, but also serves the state of Texas.

Where it operatesSan Antonio, TX

Year of opening2006

Texas Solar Energy Resources

Educational and interactive websites specific to the state of Texas can help you understand solar energy issues in your local community. Here are a few websites to help you become better informed.

Texas Public Utility Commission

Learn more about public utilities and about how electricity rates are regulated by the governing body of Texas.

Texas State Legislature

Keep up to date with solar legislation and pending energy issues in Texas.

State Energy Conservation Office

Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics

DSIRE Incentives Database – Texas

Learn about all the incentives and programs that the state of Texas offers.

U.S. Energy Information Administration – Texas State Profile

Explore the data and statistics surrounding the usage of electricity in Texas from the U.S. government.