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Are solar panels worth it in Texas?

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If you didn't know, the solar movement is pretty big in Texas. In fact, it was ranked at the top of the list for solar installations in Q1 2022 nationally. This article will help those thinking about going solar understand why it is a solid investment.

Is it expensive to install solar panels in Texas?

Typically it costs $2.70 per watt to go solar in Texas, which means that you should plan to spend around $27,000 for a common 10kW system. Fortunately, there are some local and state-wide incentives that will help you manage the expenses. To better understand how much exactly you will pay please consider the following:

1. First of all, check your monthly electricity bill. The more energy you are using the more panels you need to install. This task is pretty easy, just look closely at your past year's energy bills and see exactly how much kWh you are using.

2. Next we would advise checking how much sunlight you get daily. Texas is one of the top solar-producing states in the US with 4.8 hours of prime sunlight each day. So unless your home is hidden from the sun you should be good.

3. Now let's think about the type of Solar Panels you will need. There are three main types of material that are used: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film modules. Your choice will depend on your application and where the panels are installed. Monocrystalline are the most used panels for residential applications with average efficiencies of 18-22%.

4. Lastly you need to consider where the solar panels are manufactured. Panels that are built in the US are generally a little bit more expensive but we strongly advise you to shop local. Price per watt is the industry standard and makes it super easy to compare. Below is a list of four solar manufacturers found in the U.S.

Company Location Cost Per Watt Price Range (6KW System) Price Range (10KW System)
Jinko Solar Florida $2.79 $14,280 -$19,200 $23,800 -$30,000
Silfab Solar Washington $2.81 $14,880 - $18,840 $24,800 - $31,400
Mission Solar Texas $2.62 $13,980 - $17,460 $23,300 - $29,100
Solaria California $2.86 $14,640 - $19,680 $24,400 - $32,800

 

Are there any local and state-wide incentives?

Fortunately for Texans, there are rebates and incentives available to homeowners to help reduce installation cost.

  • Most installations in 2022 qualify for the ITC which can remove up to 26% of the total cost of a PV installation through the end of 2022.
  • The Solar Energy System property tax exemption in Texas ensures that homeowners who install PV panels are safe from paying more for their property taxes.
  • Depending on your utility company, you could qualify for cash incentives or rebates based on the kW installed on your home.
  • While there is not a statewide mandated net metering policy in Texas, some local utility companies will employ this policy so homeowners can receive credits on their energy bill for extra electricity they send back to the grid.

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Solar Panel ROI

Once your solar installation is up and running, savings on your electricity bill will start to accumulate. Eventually, you’ll have saved enough to break even on your PV purchase, and then you’ll start to see ROI after that. This can take anywhere from 10 to 16 years for Texans. You’ll want to consult a reputable solar installer to find out how long it will take to pay off your installation. If the payback period is relatively short, then a solar system is a good investment.

Climate in Texas

Texas’ landmass is big, so its climate varies. To the west of the state you’ll find extremely dry conditions, while the eastern side of the state is humid. However, regardless of where you might be Located in the state, Texas is one of the most prime locations in the U.S. for solar radiation. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Texas receives an average of 4.8 hours of peak sunlight per day. That’s almost twice as much sunlight per day as northernmost state Alaska receives, and only about an hour less of average peak sunlight than top desert states Arizona and Nevada receive. To put it in perspective, a "peak" sun hour is an hour in a day when the intensity of the sun reaches an average of 1,000 watts per meter squared. In other words, on average Texas receives nearly five hours of sunshine when the sunlight is transmitting 1,000 watts per meter squared each day.

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Benefits of Going Solar

Energy Bill Savings

Texans use a lot of energy! Each month they pay almost 20% more than the national average for electricity. A solar system can help to offset energy bill costs and save money over the lifetime of the installation.

Better for the Earth

What was once ranked the number one state for carbon dioxide emissions, Texas now sits at number 12. While that is definitely progress, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. As it stands today, Texans emit 684,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Transitioning to residential solar is a great way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and continue to move Texas toward their green energy goals.

Electricity During Outages

Like many states in the U.S., Texas has not been safe from historic storms that are becoming more frequent. When solar panels are installed alongside battery storage, homes can remain up and running during times of crisis without having to rely on Texas’ electrical grid.

Solar is bigger in Texas!

When it comes to going solar in Texas, the time is now. Not only is it situated in an ideal location to receive an abundance of sunshine, but there are great benefits to installing solar modules as well. From energy bill savings to grid independence to reducing your carbon footprint, the solar industry in Texas is booming. If you live in Texas and have been contemplating on whether or not to install PV panels onto your property, a solar system is likely a great purchase.

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