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The sprawling size and sunny days of Texas make it one of the top states for solar energy. If you live in the Lone Star State and are interested in switching to a solar energy system, you may be wondering: What's the average solar panel cost in Texas?

In this article, we'll discuss the cost of solar panels in Texas, what factors affect pricing, Texas' solar incentives and more. Of course, the only way to know for sure how much you would pay to install a solar panel system on your roof is to receive a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar company near you. You can get started by filling out the quick form below.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Texas?

Thanks to the growing investment in renewable energy technology statewide, homeowners now enjoy a below-average cost of solar in Texas. Based on market research and data from top brands, we've found the average cost of solar panels in Texas to be $2.69 per watt. This means a 5-kW system would cost around $9,953 after the federal solar tax credit. This is especially valuable when you take into account the unpredictable Texas energy rates.

Here's how that average calculates into the cost of the most common sizes of home solar panel systems:

Size of Solar Panel SystemTexas Solar Panel CostCost After Federal Tax Credit

Though this data reflects the statewide averages, you'll need to contact a solar installer near you to get an accurate quote for your home. Savvy customers will get free quotes from multiple companies and compare them to the state averages to make sure they receive the best value possible. Bear in mind that the biggest providers of solar won't always have the best prices.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Texas?

The main factor determining the cost of solar panel installations in Texas is the homeowner's energy needs. No two homes are the same, and installation costs will look far different for a home needing a basic 5kW system and a home needing 10kW with backup power capabilities. The solar financing and installation company a homeowner chooses will also affect a customer's overall solar costs in Texas. Here's how each factor comes into play:

Solar Equipment

Similar to phones, cars and other technology, solar products and system costs vary greatly based on their quality, scale and included features. Some customers may be satisfied with a modest array of affordable solar panels and inverters, while others may opt for a system with premium panels, full-home backup power and cutting-edge energy monitoring technology.

Solar Financing

The overall cost of solar depends significantly on how a customer chooses to finance their system. The three most common solar financing options include paying in cash, taking out a solar loan and solar leasing.

  • The most economical way to purchase solar, an upfront cash purchase provides the best long-term return on investment and the lowest overall cost.
  • Customers can choose to take out a solar loan to purchase the system outright and make monthly payments to repay the loan. The typical payback period for a solar loan averages around 10 years. Systems purchased with a loan are still eligible for the federal solar tax credit.
  • Signing a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) allows a solar customer to rent solar panels from a company or third party. Though requiring the least amount of money upfront, solar leases provide the least amount of overall value. Also, solar leases aren't eligible for the federal tax credit, as the homeowner doesn't actually own the system.

Solar Installation Company

Texas has seen some of the strongest solar energy market growth over the last few years, and the SEIA reports that there are now nearly 600 solar companies based in Texas, and each is looking to expand its market share.

Price ranges can differ significantly based on the installer. Larger solar providers like Sunrun offer the advantage of solar leases and quick installations. Local providers, on the other hand, provide more personalization and competitive prices to undercut the biggest national companies.

Because of this, it's wise to get quotes from a few local and national installers and compare rates — because of the stiff competition between companies, you could end up saving several thousand dollars.

Texas Solar Incentives

For the most part, Texas taxes are administered by local governments. As a result, the state doesn't offer a large number of statewide solar-related policies, and incentives will depend more on the locality in which you live.

However, all homeowners in the state remain eligible for the federal solar tax credit, and there are some statewide local property tax exemptions for both photovoltaic solar and wind-powered renewable energy systems. Let's walk through how to find what incentives are available to you.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

All Texans can claim the federal solar investment tax credit, or ITC, for PV solar panels and energy storage systems. By claiming the ITC on your tax returns, the policy allows you to deduct 26% of the total cost of the solar system from the taxes you owe the federal government.

The tax credit is available to both residential and commercial system owners who have installed solar panels at any point since 2006. The credit is worth 26% through the end of 2022 and will drop to 22% in 2023. It is set to expire at the end of 2023 unless congress extends it.

Net Metering Policies in Texas

Net metering programs allow customers to sell unused solar energy back to their local utility company in exchange for credits that can be cashed in when panels aren't producing energy. Due to the energy bill savings, this incentive can greatly reduce the solar investment payback period.

As is true with most of Texas' solar rebates and incentives, there is not one net metering program that is offered throughout the entire state. Rather, your eligibility will depend on the policy of your local utility company or municipality. Most utilities in the state have a net metering policy, including American Electric Power (AEP), CPS Energy, Green Mountain Energy, El Paso Electric, TXU Energy in Dallas and more.

The rate at which your local utility will compensate for this excess energy will depend on your local policy, so we encourage you to look into the policy offered by your utility company.

Local Solar Rebates in Texas

In addition to identifying your local net metering program, look into any local rebates available to you. Homeowners who live in the top cities for solar in Texas, like Austin, San Marcos or Sunset Valley might have more luck than customers in other areas. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency has a full list of local rebates, solar loan programs and more.

FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Texas

Is it worth going solar in Texas?

Long, sunny days and below-average solar installation costs make Texas one of the best states in the U.S. for generating energy with solar panels. The ample sunshine provides more than enough energy for most families, serving up huge benefits to homes in Texas equipped with solar panels.

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Texas?

As of 2021, the average cost of solar panels in Texas is $2.69 per watt. This means a 5-kW system would cost around $9,953 after the federal solar tax credit. This is slightly below the national average due to the resource availability in Texas, current energy costs and the state's available sunlight. The best way to assess how much solar would cost you is to consult local providers near you for a free estimate.

Do solar panels increase home value in Texas?

Solar panels increase home value everywhere, but mostly in areas with generous net metering policies and solar rebates. As such, the proportion at which solar panels increase home value in Texas corresponds with the areas with the most solar-friendly policies.

How much do solar panels cost for a 2,500 sq foot house?

Though knowing the size of a house is helpful in determining how many solar panels could fit on its roof, the energy use of the house is the more important factor in determining solar panel cost in Texas. The higher your energy use, the greater your solar needs will be.

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The cost of solar panels has declined roughly 80% in the last decade, bolstering the technology's reputation as an affordable energy source like never before. Now that solar power has reached this cost-effective price point, customers and businesses looking to capitalize on the benefits of solar energy are flooding the market looking for cheap solar panels.

In this article, we'll discuss the most affordable solar panels available and whether it's better to save money upfront or invest in high-quality models. We'll also give recommendations for solar panels at the crossroads of affordability and efficiency, providing the best bang for your buck.

If you're looking for cheap solar panels, one way to find them is to get free quotes from multiple installation companies. By comparing pricing from a few local installers, you can make sure you're getting the best deal. To get started, fill out the simple form below.

Are Cheap Solar Panels Any Good?

The cheapest panels are typically manufactured in China (with the U.S. and Germany close behind), and some are cheap for a reason. They can come with underlying issues, most concerningly in the form of environmental and workers' rights violations in their production process.

Cheap solar panels also tend to be less durable and will likely come with a shorter lifespan. In fact, the cheapest upfront options sometimes end up being the most expensive in the long run. A good comparison is buying a car. Though the cheap initial cost of a beater may be the most tempting, frequent repairs, poor gas mileage and checkups can outweigh the initial savings within a few short years.

However, for those whose most important consideration is price, there are still some good options for cheap solar panels on the market today to turn your home into a renewable energy source.

Top 5 Cheap Solar Panels

Below are the five of the cheapest photovoltaic solar panels (that are rated at least 100W) on the market. Bear in mind that the current industry minimum for solar panels capable of powering a home is around 300W. Panels between 100W and 300W may be suitable for DIY solar projects, off-grid systems and charging things like portable generators or small appliances.

Note that prices and availability fluctuate with inventory, demand and supply chain issues. Prices change often when vendors have surplus supply, so sales are frequent. Customers will not be able to purchase some brands' panels directly, as they must be ordered from a distributor.

Cheap Solar Panel Price Per Panel Power Rating Price Per Watt Efficiency Rating Warranty
100W 12 Volt
Solar Panel
$125 100W $1.25 21% 1-year materials warranty
$225 350W $0.60 20.3% Limited 25-year warranty
Canadian Solar
Model #CS1H-315MS
$225 315W $0.71 18.68% 25-year output warranty
Silfab Solar
- SIL-330 NL
$250 330W $0.76 17.3% 12-year module warranty
$260 360W $0.72 19.8% 25-year output warranty

Cheap Vs. Affordable Solar Panels

There's a key distinction between cheap solar panels and the most affordable solar panels. Cheap considers only the price tag. Affordability involves factors beyond initial price, such as price per watt (aka bang for your buck), efficiency of the panel and warranty. A cheap solar panel isn't worth anything if it breaks without a warranty to replace it.

The cost of a solar panel is set by the manufacturer and involves a variety of factors, from cost of production to expected lifetime. Let's break down the factors that go into solar panel costs.

Solar Panel Efficiency

The greater a panel's efficiency, the more energy each solar cell's power output will be. Efficiency matters, as a homeowner will have to buy far fewer panels to meet their energy needs with higher-efficiency panels. The most solar efficient panels usually cost more to manufacture, raising their price point and total installed cost.

Solar Panel Power

The power, or wattage, of a solar panel reflects how many watts (W) of energy the panel is capable of generating when producing at maximum capacity. Most modern residential solar panels have power factors between 300 and 350W. As is true with high-efficiency panels, a customer needs to purchase fewer panels overall if they have a higher power output. While they'll typically have a greater upfront cost, high-output panels will provide better value over time.

Solar Panel Warranty

A warranty is simple to understand, yet no less important to consider. Bearing in mind that the average lifetime of a solar panel system is about 25 years, warranties are essential in ensuring reliable energy output. Though solar panels are very durable, a lot can happen over 25 years. Falling tree branches can crack a panel, rooftop critters can chew up wiring and untreated water damage can corrode a system. Some of the cheapest panels will come with the worst warranties, and costs can add up quickly if a solar power system runs into trouble.

Solar Panel Quality

Similar to solar panel efficiency and power, the cost of a solar panel has much to do with its quality. The cheapest solar panels on the market will be of the poorest quality, making them far more prone to breaks, issues and quick aging. The higher the quality of the parts in a solar panel, the more expensive it becomes. However, this is just another time when "cheap" panels are far from the most affordable solar panels in the long run.

5 Best Value Solar Panels

With all this in mind, below are our recommendations for the most affordable home solar panels on the market in 2021.

Most Affordable
Solar Panel
Price Per Panel Power Rating Price Per Watt Efficiency Rating Warranty
$225 350W $0.60 20.3% Limited 25-year warranty
Hanwha Q Cell
$240 340W $0.70 19% 25-year warranty
Canadian Solar
Model #CS1H-315MS
$225 315W $0.71 18.68% 25-year output warranty
$260 360W $0.72 19.8% 25-year output warranty
JA Solar Technology
JAM60S10 -340/MR
$240 330W $0.73 20.2% 25-year output warranty

LONGi and Q Cell are two of the most affordable solar brands that maintain reputations for good quality at a low price. As you can see, they both provide exceptional price per watt and efficiency without sacrificing warranty.

A solar installation with low price per watt and high efficiency provides a number of benefits for a solar customer. With more power and efficiency per panel, a homeowner won't need to purchase as many panels to meet their household energy needs.

FAQ: Cheap Solar Panels

What kind of solar panels are the cheapest?

Polycrystalline solar panels tend to be cheaper (and lower quality) than monocrystalline panels. You can read more about the difference between these types of panels in our monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panel review.

What is the cheapest way to get solar panels?

The cheapest way to acquire solar panels is to purchase them through a distributor in bulk. Though one can save a significant amount of money purchasing and installing solar panels on their own, solar companies can access a wider range of products and get them for lower prices than what's available to the general public.

Should I buy cheap solar panels?

There are many excellent affordable options for solar panels due to the rapid advancement of the technology and industry behind them. There are also a great number of cheap panels that are unreliable, break easily and are likely produced unethically. The best solar panels balance quality and price.

What are the best brands of cheap solar panels?

For DIY installations of off-grid uses, Renogy produces and sells excellent solar panels that are around 100 watts. For residential applications, LONGi and Q Cell have the best reputation for affordable, high-quality solar panels.

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Riding a bicycle is one of the most sustainable ways to get around. If you need a little more oomph than legs allow, an e-bike conversion kit is a great way to supercharge your pedal bike with electricity.

Whether you're plugging in to renewable energy sources or drawing from a conventional electric grid, electric bike kits produce far fewer emissions than fossil fuel-powered alternatives and allow you to keep your old bike you know and love.

An e-bike conversion kit makes use of your existing bike frame by replacing your standard tire or pedals with a motorized hub. Here are the best e-bike kits on the market today.

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Providing pets with basic needs like climate control is not only for their comfort, but also for their safety. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service advises never to expose a pet to temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 F for more than a few hours — and you should never keep a pet outdoors long-term.

According to PETA there were nearly 100 extreme cold or heat-related pet deaths reported in 2020 — and the vast majority go unreported. To help prevent these safety risks, some creative, eco-friendly pet owners have developed their own solar-powered kennels to keep their pets safe and temperate.

As Stephanie Bell, PETA's senior director of cruelty casework, says, "there is one foolproof way to protect dogs from the elements that's both sustainable and free: keeping them inside a home."

However, even many indoor pets, especially as they age, can experience a heightened vulnerability during extreme weather or a prolonged power outage. As the country experiences increasing occurrences of extreme weather, having a solar-powered kennel is a safe, reliable and eco-friendly method for ensuring your pet's health and safety during an emergency.

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While rooftop solar systems have become increasingly popular among U.S. homeowners, commercial solar panel installations can be even more effective at generating low-cost renewable energy. Solar energy has a great deal to offer businesses due to the scale at which they can invest, the simplicity of most installations and the high energy costs associated with running a growing organization.

Most business' buildings have wide, flat roofs that can fit a large number of solar panels. Commercial solar panel installations are eligible for two of the largest solar incentives: the federal solar tax credit and net metering programs. Plus, the more solar panels you install, the lower your cost per watt will be. Altogether, this means commercial solar owners get a great bang for their buck.

What Does a Commercial Solar Panel Installation Look Like?

Commercial solar energy systems vary much more in size and scope than their residential counterparts. Most commercial solar arrays are significantly larger, and they aren't always confined to roofs. Some organizations opt for solar carports, while others install ground-mounted solar panels. Larger commercial operations may even feature a "power tower," an array of mirrors that focus the sun's rays onto the photovoltaic panels below them.

Commercial systems are usually installed on a flat surface and must be built on racks tilted toward the sun at the best angle for the solar panels to capture the most energy during the day. Some systems even include features that synchronize the panels' angles (or azimuth) with the changing height of the sun.

Keeping the cost per panel as low as possible is key to securing the quickest return on investment (ROI) for larger commercial installations. For this reason, we recommend selecting the most efficient solar panels available. The less space, products and planning needed, the lower the aggregate costs of the installation will be. More efficient solar panels also tend to last longer, ensuring a reliable investment.

Solar offers commercial property owners a growing number of solutions to offset a large chunk, or even all, of a business's electricity bills. A commercial solar system is a sizable investment, but solar incentives, tax breaks and new technologies make it a very attractive one. The ideal way to get a good understanding of the best solar installation for your business is to consult with a local installer near you and get a quote, which you can do for free below.

Commercial Solar Costs

Given the size of commercial solar projects, customers can usually expect a larger figure than the cost of most residential systems. No two businesses are the same, and though some small organizations may find great value in a commercial system costing around $50,000, large industrial facilities or solar farms can cost over $1 million to install. The good news is that as the scale of the system increases, so does the speed at which you can recoup your investment.

Several tax credits, rebates and incentives still exist for commercial solar panel systems as they do for residential systems.

Incentive Benefit for Commercial Solar Panel Installations

Federal solar tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows a deduction of 26% of the cost of the system for any commercial solar installation.

Bonus depreciation through MACRS

The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) allows a tax deduction for the depreciation of qualifying solar equipment. This solar tax incentive for commercial installations allows companies to recover their investments over an accelerated amount of time. For solar, this is five years. Bonus depreciation was introduced into MACRS after 2008 and allows you to allocate 100% of the depreciable value in just one year.

In other words, MACRS allows businesses to effectively accelerate their ROI through tax deductions.

Net metering

Commercial properties generating energy via solar panels are eligible for net energy metering (NEM). In the same way that a residential customer would feed excess solar energy back to the grid, commercial installations can exchange their surplus energy for credits from their utility company. These credits can be used to pull energy from the grid overnight or during rainy weather at no cost.

Statewide and local incentives

We encourage our readers to research statewide incentives or local incentives that may be available in their area. Depending on the area, a commercial solar installation could be eligible for solar rebates, renewable energy credits or zero-interest solar loans.

Benefits of Commercial Solar Installations

Commercial solar installations provide all the same benefits that residential solar installations do, only at a much larger scale. As most commercial solar installations can be well over 50 kW (the average residential is between 5 to 10 kW), some commercial solar installations can have over 10 times the environmental and economic impact of your average residential installation.

Environmental Benefits of Commercial Solar Panels

Commercial solar installations have the potential to offset hundreds, if not thousands, of the metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by conventional energy generation. For example, a 50-kW commercial system will produce an estimated 65,000 kWh of clean energy per year. This would lower a business's carbon footprint by 1,000 metric tons over the course of a commercial solar power system's lifetime (the equivalent of not burning just over 1 million pounds of coal).

As a growing number of consumers are choosing to support businesses with responsible environmental practices, solar presents businesses with a golden opportunity to reflect their commitment to sustainability while still turning a profit.

Financial Benefits of Commercial Solar Panels

Energy costs are routinely one of the highest costs to businesses. Energy Star reports that the nation's small businesses spend over $60 billion on energy per year, and utility rates are only projected to increase over time.

Utility rates also fluctuate with frequent supply disruptions, so investing in solar allows businesses to offset their energy costs in a predictable, fixed manner. The average lifetime of a solar panel is around 25 years, so with the right warranty, a business can reliably budget its energy costs decades in advance. By offsetting the majority (or sometimes all) of their energy costs, businesses can reinvest huge sums of money back into their organizations, raising their bottom line.

FAQ: Commercial Solar Panel Installations

Are commercial solar panel installations worth it?

Installing solar panels is one of the best financial investments a business can make. Assuming they have the proper space and climate for solar panels, businesses can offset huge chunks of their energy costs while fostering an ethical image. With a good number of soon-to-expire commercial incentives on the market today, there has never been a better time for businesses to invest in solar.

How long does it take to install commercial solar panels?

Commercial solar installations are typically much larger than residential installations, so they can have a more intensive install process. Depending on the size of the system, commercial solar panel installations can take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. The best way to learn how long an installation would take for your business is to connect with a local solar installer near you.

How many solar panels do I need for a commercial installation?

The number of solar panels necessary for an installation will depend mainly on the goals of the installation and how much space is available for panels. Though some commercial solar operations like solar farms exist to generate and sell energy for profit, most businesses only aim to offset their own energy costs. That means they won't need to buy as many panels as they can fit, but only the amount necessary to meet their energy needs. The best method to determine exactly how many panels you'd need to meet your energy needs is to contact a local solar installer for a free proposal.

Can solar panels be used for commercial and industrial purposes?

Absolutely. Commercial and industrial solar installations can sometimes offer even more value than residential solar panels. Due to the scale of most commercial installations, price-per-watt is cheaper, giving customers much more bang for their buck. Commercial installations still maintain eligibility for the solar tax credit, net metering and certain tax deductions, making it a savvy investment for business owners.

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Over the past decade, rapid advances in solar energy technology, falling costs of clean energy systems and government-sponsored incentives have driven the popularity of installing solar panels to a record level. For readers wondering, "who is the best solar installer near me?" here's the good news: To capitalize on the projected growth of solar power, a large number of new solar installers and electricians are opening up shop across the country, which creates healthy competition for your business.

The growing number of competing solar installers presents both challenges and opportunities for a customer. One one hand, having more options may make for a more difficult decision. But on the other, savvy investors can use competition between local installers to their advantage. The competition between solar companies can lower the cost of solar panels, saving you thousands of dollars.

To make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck, we recommend getting free quotes from a few certified solar installers near you. You can get connected with top solar companies in your area by filling out the 30-second form below.

So, How Do I Find the Best Solar Installer Near Me?

To get a concrete understanding of the cost and process of installing a solar panel system on your home, it's best to contact a solar installer near you. Typically, most solar installers will offer a free consultation during which they analyze your current energy use, roof layout, budget, product availability and energy goals. Then, they'll offer a proposal customized to your specific needs.

To ensure they're securing the best possible value from their investment in renewable energy, savvy customers will get proposals from several companies and compare costs and warranties. Companies frequently run specials and promotions on solar products or energy efficiency packages, so be sure to ask about those when reaching out for quotes.

When choosing the best solar installer for your job, look for a company that provides homeowners with assistance when applying for the federal solar tax credit as well as any applicable local rebates and solar tax incentives. If applicable, installers will also help you get connected to the net metering program offered by your utility company, and most will walk you through solar financing options if you're unable to pay cash for your system.

It's a good idea to be familiar with financial incentives and financing options prior to your consultation to ensure an installer covers everything available. If an installer doesn't have a thorough knowledge of local programs or doesn't offer help with applying for rebates or solar loans, it may not be the best company to do business with.

Here are some other things to consider when looking for the best solar installers near you:

  • Licenses and certifications: Legitimate installers hold state-mandated electrical licenses as well as North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certifications.
  • Customer reviews: Checking a company's Better Business Bureau rating and reviews from customers around the web can give you a better sense of an installer's service.
  • Additional services offered: Some installers have tree removal, roof repair, solar battery installation and energy monitoring services. If you need these or other solutions to complete your installation, look for a full-service installer.
  • Financing options: Whether you're paying in cash, taking out a loan or wanting to lease solar panels, make sure the installers you're considering have the financing options you need.

How Do I Read a Solar Proposal?

Choosing a few top solar installers near you and booking consultations is the easy part. Once you get proposals from each company, however, things may get a bit more confusing. Reading and understanding those proposals is one of the most important steps in choosing a solar installer. Here are a few items to look out for in a proposal:

Solar Proposal Element What to Look for from Solar Installers Near You

System size

The size of a solar energy system is measured in kilowatts, which is abbreviated to kW. A kW is a common unit of energy measuring power generation — or consumption.

The size of your system will be based on how much energy you use in your home and will determine how many solar panels you need to purchase. For example, if you need a 5kW system and are purchasing panels with a 340-watt output, you'll need 15 panels. (5kW / 340W = 14.7 panels)

Estimated annual solar production

Your estimated annual solar production is a measure of how much energy your system is expected to produce in one year. You can compare this figure with the usage shown on your utility bills to calculate how much energy your system will offset.

Estimated energy burden

When creating a proposal, a solar installer will ask how much electricity your home uses each year. They use this to calculate your estimated energy burden, which reflects how much money you could expect to spend on energy without a solar system.

Watch out for number inflation here, as installers will often factor in rising utility rates over time. If an installer estimates a high energy burden, it makes it easier for them to calculate high estimated lifetime savings. If you get multiple proposals and one reflects a much higher estimated energy burden than the others, the installer may be using shady sales tactics.

Estimated lifetime savings

By comparing your energy burden with your estimated annual solar production, solar installers can estimate the lifetime energy savings generated by a system.

Compare this key figure to other proposals to evaluate which company may offer the best return on investment (ROI).

What Should I Expect from My Solar Panel Installation?

So, you've compared your proposals and picked a winner. A trustworthy solar installer will walk you through the process from beginning to end, but here's a good idea of what to expect when installing solar panels:

Solar Installation Step What to Expect from Solar Installers Near You

Sign contract and submit paperwork

Customers should be prepared to provide a copy of a utility bill, a down payment (depending on their chosen financing) and a signature for their net metering agreement if applicable.

Obtain permits and approvals

Similar to some other home improvements, an approved permit from the presiding city or county is required for solar projects in most areas. The solar installer will handle the permitting, but this process can take a few days to weeks depending on the efficiency of the area.

Most energy providers also require approval for solar installations in their network. This can come in the form of a net metering agreement or interconnection agreement.

System installation

Once all the permits and approvals are secured, the company will schedule a day to install the solar panels, inverters and other equipment.

The timing will vary depending on the complexity of the installation, but most are completed in less than one day.

Pass inspections

Both the presiding permitting office and utility company need to inspect the installation before it can be turned on. The solar installer will handle the inspection logistics, but scheduling and completing an inspection can take a few weeks.

Obtain PTO and turn system on

Once your utility provider approves the inspection and processes the necessary paperwork, it issues permission to operate (PTO). Obtaining PTO is the final step before a system can be turned on.

After this happens, your solar installer will notify you and walk you through the steps of turning the system on or come and do it for you if necessary.

FAQ: Solar Installers Near Me

Who is the best solar panel provider?

Though we can recommend some top solar companies that operate across the U.S., the best solar panel provider and installer for you will depend on where you live. We encourage readers to compare quotes from local companies, read reviews and talk to neighbors who have installed solar panels. Referrals are also a popular method for finding a trusted installer.

What is the average cost of installing a solar system?

The cost of installing solar will vary greatly depending on the size of the system, your location and the type of solar panels and other products you choose. On average for a modest system, one can expect to pay between $15,000, and $20,000 after the tax credit is applied.

Is installing solar panels worth it?

Unless you deal with a shady property, a rainy climate or an unfit roof, solar panels are one of the most reliable investments you can make. Most solar panel installations pay for themselves in energy savings within five to 10 years and last an expected lifetime of 25 years. Even if you intend to move, solar panels add to property value, so your investment is protected.

How much will solar help me save on my electric bill?

Energy savings depend on a variety of factors such as monthly energy usage, the size of the system and the size and shape of the roof exposed to sunlight. The best way to calculate estimated savings on your electric bill is to consult a solar installer near you.

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Though Texas still meets the majority of its massive energy needs through crude oil and natural gas, the Lone Star State is rapidly expanding its deployment of renewable energy technology like solar. A below-average cost of solar panels, as well as Texas' solar tax credit and rebate opportunities make it one of the top states for solar in the U.S.

The long, sunny days in Texas provide massive potential for homeowners weighing the pros and cons of solar energy. Despite renewable energy still maintaining a relatively low percentage of the state's total energy supply, there has been strong solar market growth in Texas. In fact, the state installed the second-most residential solar power by watt in the country in 2020 and led the country in installations in the second quarter of 2021.

So, what kind of financial incentives are available to Texans installing solar panels? Let's take a look.

Texas Solar Tax Incentives

Because Texas typically assesses and administers its taxes locally, it doesn't offer many statewide tax incentives. However, while there is no Texas solar tax credit, all homeowners are still eligible for the federal solar tax credit, and the state does offer local property tax exemptions for both photovoltaic solar and wind-powered renewable energy systems.

Local Texas Solar Incentives and Solar Rebates

The sunny climate and prevalence of top solar companies in Texas make the state one of the easiest places to install a solar energy system. However, the state government doesn't do much to incentivize home solar.

Luckily, many local governments have implemented their own solar incentives and rebates for homeowners in Texas.

Texas Solar IncentiveProgram Overview
Texas Net Metering ProgramsCustomers who generate their own electricity via solar panels may be eligible for a net metering program in Texas, which credits homeowners for excess energy fed back to the grid.
Texas Solar Rebate ProgramsHome and business owners who purchase solar panels in Texas may be eligible for a number of incentives and rebates depending on their local utility company or municipality.

Texas Net Metering Programs

Net energy metering (NEM), or net metering, allows customers to feed the excess energy generated by their solar panels back to the grid in exchange for energy credits from their local utility company. As most solar energy systems generate more energy than can be used during the day, this incentive provides homeowners additional savings on their electricity bills and lowers the demand for grid-supplied electricity in the region.

There is no statewide net metering program in Texas — eligibility will depend on your local utility company or municipality. Many utilities in the state offer NEM, such as American Electric Power (AEP), CPS Energy, Green Mountain Energy, El Paso Electric, TXU Energy in Dallas and more. To check for net metering in your area, we recommend checking out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

Texas Solar Rebate Programs

Similar to Texas solar tax credit and net metering availability, there is no statewide solar rebate program. Rather, specific cities, utility companies and municipalities offer a variety of local incentives and rebates for homeowners investing in clean energy and energy-efficient technology.

For example, utility companies such as Austin Energy and cities including San Marcos, Sunset Valley and Denton offer rebates for solar installations. DSIRE has a full list of local rebates, solar loan programs and more.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Regardless of which state you live in, all homeowners in the U.S. are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit, or ITC, for installing solar panels as well as solar batteries and other energy storage systems. You can claim the ITC on your federal tax returns, and it deducts 26% of the total cost of the system from your taxable income.

The ITC was first developed through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, under the Bush administration. Initially, it was set to last for just two years, but due to its success has continually been extended for solar installations. It's important to note that, unless Congress extends the credit, it is set to phase out by the end of 2023.

To be eligible for the solar tax credit, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • You have installed a residential solar energy system at any point from 2006 through the end of 2022.
  • You have placed the solar energy system in a residential location. It does not have to be your primary residence.
  • You own the solar energy system, either having paid for it in cash or by taking out a solar loan. Homeowners who lease solar panels are not eligible to claim the ITC.

We understand that for most homeowners, the decision to invest in a solar energy system comes down to cost. To see how much you would pay to install a solar panel system on your roof, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar company near you by filling out the form below.

FAQs: Texas Solar Incentives

Does Texas have a solar rebate?

Texas does not have a statewide solar rebate, but many local governments and utility companies offer rebates to residents who own solar panels. These solar rebates will vary in scope but can often lower the cost of purchasing a solar PV system by 10-20%.

How much is the tax credit for solar panels in Texas?

All American households are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, so residents of Texas can claim 26% of the cost of their solar energy system on their federal tax returns. Texas also offers a statewide property tax exclusion that ensures property taxes won't rise after your home value increases due to a solar panel installation.

How do I apply for the solar tax credit in Texas?

Claiming a tax credit for purchasing solar panels can be done when filing your federal tax returns. Once the claim is filed to the IRS, the 26% credit will be deducted from your tax payment.

Is Texas a good state for solar?

Long, sunny days and below-average solar installation costs make Texas one of the best states in the U.S. for generating energy with solar panels. The ample sunshine provides more than enough energy for most homes, giving huge benefits to homes in Texas equipped with solar panels.

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Though California enjoys one of the best climates for solar power in the U.S., it isn't just ample sunshine that's spurring the growth of renewable energy in the Golden State. There are a number of California solar tax credit, exemption and rebate opportunities that make installing solar panels more affordable for residents.

By taking early advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of solar, California has positioned itself as a leader in solar energy in the U.S. Several of the nation's top solar companies are based in California, and data from the Energy Information Administration shows that the state accounted for nearly 45% of the nation's small-scale residential solar energy generation in 2019.

While the availability of products and quality installers adds to the ease of purchasing solar panels, what financial incentives are currently available for California residents interested in solar? Let's explore.

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