Looking to power your home with solar energy, but don’t know where to start? Power Wizard provides everything you need to know about going solar in Texas.
Getting set up with residential solar panels is a simple, three-step process:
Schedule a free solar consultation with one of our solar experts.
Our solar experts will design a solar system and work with you to customize it for your home and budget.
Once you've decided to go solar, our solar partners will take care of all the paperwork and installation.
It’s that easy! Power Wizard can help you with your rooftop solar solution.Get Free Quote
Cash: You’ll own your solar panels in full. With this option, you’re eligible for the federal tax credit incentive.
Lease: With this option, you’ll rent your solar panels from your solar provider. Please note there are no federal tax credit incentives for solar leases. The lease benefit is typically a lower monthly payment vs. a solar loan. However, there are no federal tax credit incentives for a homeowner with a solar lease.
Solar Loan: You qualify for a financing option in which you’ll pay for your solar panels over time. With this option, you’re eligible for the federal tax credit incentive.
The total cost of solar panels for homes varies greatly depending on your individual energy desires and the physical realities of your home. Depending on if you want to maximize energy-saving or to buy as much solar energy as possible, the resulting proposal can differ in size and therefore cost. Further, energy generated from your panels will depend on the physical location and orientation of your home. For example, larger roofs can hold more solar panels, and south-facing roofs are the ideal location. Less optimal roofs will produce less energy which, in turn, makes your solar investment more costly.
Because the average cost to install solar panels can run upwards of $20,000, the majority of solar installations are financed by a third party. There are multiple finance options for a solar installation through a loan or what is referred to as a lease or PPA. A solar loan is like any other loan available as a lump sum of cash which is then paid off over time (including interest and finance charges). A lease (or a power purchase agreement – PPA) is a specialized finance of the solar system that includes a monthly payment to a solar provider. The main difference between the two is that a homeowner owns the solar system if it is financed through a loan. The solar provider owns any system financed through a lease or PPA. In either case, monthly payments should be considered carefully to understand if you will end up paying more for the finance than what you currently pay for your utility energy consumption.
Costs can also be mitigated by incentives offered by your local and the federal governments. Refer to our section on Solar Incentives to learn more about solar panel savings.
Your household energy bill provides us with a measure of how much energy you consume and how much that energy costs you. This will help design a solar power plan proposal that is tailored to your individual energy needs.
Yes, solar panels in Texas are absolutely worth consideration. Any proud Texan knows the sun shines bright in Texas – which translates to a lot of available power through solar panels. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), on average the state is exposed to some of the highest levels of solar energy in the country. Source: Nrel.gov
The number of panels required to provide solar power for homes depends on how much energy each house specifically requires. Every panel on the roof of a home will produce an expected level of energy output. The number of panels required to cover the entire house is a simple calculation of that energy output per panel divided into the total household consumption.
Solar incentives refer to the financial stimulus offered at local and national levels for a homeowner to invest in solar installations. Through a number of programs, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service have established economic methods to encourage renewable electrification across the country. Currently, residential solar panels are eligible for an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) equal to 26% of the total expense of a solar panel installation in 2022, and 22% in 2023. For detailed information on solar incentive programs, the tax credit, and how to capture value for solar in Texas, we encourage you to consult the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and a tax or financial guidance professional.
Generally, home solar energy panels all come with at least a 25-year product warranty. That warranty comes with a guaranteed level of performance across the warranty timeframe. So, your panels are assured to operate at a specified level for the duration of your system’s useful life. Additionally, residential solar systems usually come with 10-year warranties on workmanship from an installer.
All that being said, systems still need periodic maintenance to operate at peak levels.
As with any upgrade to the systems and comfort of your home, one of the major benefits of solar panels is that your investment can increase the total value of your property. According to a study from 2019, “Homes with Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More…”, further making the answer to, “Is solar worth it,” a resounding yes!
Texas homeowners who install solar also benefit from a property tax exemption. According to the Texas tax code, increased home value due to solar installation is exempt from additional property tax.
There will be times throughout the year when your solar panels will generate more energy than your house is consuming. When you are at work and nobody is at home using energy, the sun will still shine on your roof. During those times the energy generated can be stored in a battery or sent back to the grid through your utility meter. As the energy is sent back to the grid, known as “exported” energy, your meter will record that energy and report that to your energy provider. And as long as you have signed up for a Net Energy Metering program with your energy provider then you will receive credit for that exported energy on your energy bill.
Yes, even if your solar system can produce enough energy to offset 100% of your household consumption, you home will likely still remain connected to the electricity grid. Further, the solar system only produces energy when the sun is shining – during cloudy days and at night the panels will not produce much, if any, energy. Therefore, you will still pay for that connection to the grid and any energy your home consumes from the grid.
That is why it is important that you have a contract with your energy provider that is designed for a homeowner with solar installed and provides you the most value for your Texas solar power program.
There are several pros and cons to consider when it comes to solar panels.
Some of the advantages of solar panels include:
You can reduce your energy usage and save money in the long haul.
Solar panels help to conserve natural resources and protect the environment.
Increasing the value of your home.
Some of the cons include:
The initial cost of solar panels can be expensive.
Ideally, you need a sunny location to get the most out of your solar panels.
Solar panels may not work optimally in cold climates.
Solar panels help to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment by preventing the need for fossil fuel-based energy sources, such natural gas and coal. This also helps improve public health thanks to reduced air pollution. In addition, solar panels help to conserve valuable resources, such as water and land, which are used to generate electricity from other traditional sources. Source: Climate Change – Solar Energy Industries Association
A “solar battery” is an industry term used to refer to energy storage devices or batteries connected to a solar system. These batteries can come in many shapes, sizes, and brands. They store solar energy on-site at your home to be used at a later time (for instance; store some solar power for use later in the day after the sun has set, or during a grid outage). Batteries provide more control over how and where your solar powered energy is consumed to best suit your economic or environmental needs. This device must be properly programmed and controlled by you or your battery provider through specific energy storage control software.
This decision to install a battery is typically made during the purchase of your solar system installation. Although certain batteries can be retrofitted to an existing installation, many providers currently do not offer that as a service. Adding the battery during your solar installation includes cost advantages on the labor during the install, simplified solar and battery electrical integration with your household circuits, the opportunity to cover expenses through the ITC mentioned above, and the potential for a more seamlessly integrated home solar energy storage system.
Construction details, costs, and battery features vary by brand and should be considered carefully. Even before a solar panel installation, it is recommended that a homeowner have a clear operational objective for including storage (e.g., required back-up power at your home) which will inform the design of a battery system. Further, local market knowledge will help you understand what additional lucrative energy and solar incentive programs might be available to leverage in your regional energy market.