2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Antonio, TX - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Antonio.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in San Antonio?
Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption
Texas Gas Service - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
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
CPS Energy - Solar PV Rebate Program
Next $5 million will pay a flat rebate of $1,500 per project, plus $500 for locally-produced panels
Commercial: $1 million will pay $0.60/Watt, plus an additional $0.10/Watt for locally-produced panels
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Windows: $2/sq. ft.
Heat Pump Water Heater: $300/unit
Heat Pumps/Cooling System: $550-$650/unit (depending on efficiency)
Attic/Wall Insulation: $0.20/sq. ft. of installed insulation
Solar PV Electrical System: $0.75/Watt
Solar Water Heater: $1,000/unit
Window Solar Screens and/or Film: $0.50/sq. ft. of window
New Home Rebate: $3,200
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative - Renewable Energy Rebates
Solar Water Heaters: $1,000/unit
Solar Water Wells: $750/unit
CPS Energy - Solar Hot Water Rebate Program
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" refers to a wide range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Solar incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the Texas government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your San Antonio utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after you pay for a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing solar panels, although it has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local San Antonio solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local San Antonio solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these could include rebates, tax credits and more. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. They may be given by your county or municipality, or by the Texas government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Antonio
You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the Texas government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. Talking to your local San Antonio solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's San Antonio, TX Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the Texas government or by your county/municipality, might have additional qualifications. Speak with your local San Antonio solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your solar panels — or reach out to a local San Antonio solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to talk through your ideas with your local San Antonio solar installation expert. They can help you plan your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you might or might not qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.