According to the US Energy Information Administration, US Energy Information Administration data, the average household in the United States pays about $117.65 in electric bills every month. That translates to over $1,400 annually in electricity alone.
In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about going solar in Texas.
Closer home, Texans pay even more in electricity than the national average in 2020, according to a recent report by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Furthermore, the average household spends about $128.50 per month, which comes to $1,500 every year.
Adoption of Solar Power in Texas
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has released a revealing report on the state of solar in Texas. The report, compiled through the third quarter of 2020, reveals the following facts:
- 1.76% of the energy used in the State of Texas is from solar energy.
- The demand for solar energy has created over 10,000 jobs in the state, with almost 500 companies providing solar-related products and services. These companies include manufacturers, installers, and developers.
- Texas is the second-highest-ranking state in solar power installation and use.
- As of the publishing at the time of publishing the report, 783,663 homes in Texas used solar power in 2020.
- Texans invested roughly $8,628 million in solar in the year 2020.
- The prices of solar products, particularly batteries, have fallen by as much as 45% over the last five years.
- Solar energy adoption in Texas is expected to rise from the current 6,750 MW to over 16,000 MW over the next five years.
The Texas economy continues to flourish, and the demand for more but cleaner energy has correspondingly shot up.
The Cost of Power Problem
The ever-rising cost of electricity is the main inspiration for homeowners to seek alternative, cleaner sources of power. Texans have a lot to be proud and grateful for – a favorable all-year climate, metropolitan cities, and a diverse populace. However, the one thing that has always stayed out of reach is affordable renewable power.
This began to change with the approval of the electricity deregulation Senate Bill 7 in 2002. For the first time, electricity consumers, the majority being homeowners, had the freedom to choose their power providers.
Sustainability of Solar Power
Fossil fuels are finite, meaning that at some point, they are exhausted. Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. It is totally sustainable and inexhaustible. More homeowners are turning to solar power as they become aware of the carbon footprint and the harm most energy sources are doing to the planet.
Investing in solar power can be a long-term solution for homeowners looking to put behind their power problems for good. Experts and even the United Nations agree that the sun is the most important and reliable source of energy that can be developed in the present for future generations.
Why 2021 is the Best Year to Install Solar
2021 is the best year for homeowners in Texas to switch to solar power. Here are the five core incentives that should convince you to consider residential solar energy as your primary source of power.
1. Continued Adoption Among Texan Homeowners
Thousands of homeowners in Texas are already considering solar energy to complement or replace their traditional source of power. Texas is poised to become the national leader in solar energy production over the next half-decade. The government is already implementing measures to remove market hindrances to solar power installation. The benefits of solar energy are apparent; your neighbor should not switch before you do.
2. The Renewable Energy Federal Tax Credit
The government is doing all it can to encourage homeowners to install and use solar energy. The Federal Tax Credit is a way for people who take advantage of the offer to save on their income by applying for tax relief. For instance, if you claim a $100 federal tax credit, you may reduce your federal income taxes by $100.
The federal solar tax credit is available for qualified homeowners who install their Photovoltaic systems between January 1 and December 31, 2021. You can claim a percentage of the cost of the system and get relief on your due taxes. Homeowners who installed their solar systems before December 31, 2019, enjoyed a 30% credit, while those who installed in 2020 enjoyed a 26% credit.
The government extended the ITC for two years. This means that should you install solar by December 31, you will be eligible for the 26% tax relief. The renewable energy tax relief was to expire this year but was renewed by congress due to public demand. There is no minimum amount you can claim in this tax credit relief. Please note we are solar folks not accountants so we recommend you speak to your tax advisor to verify your eligibility.
3. Increase in Tax-Except Home Value
The real estate industry may lack a consistent appraisal formula for residential homes, but it is common knowledge that homes with solar panels sell faster and for more. In Texas, for instance, homes with solar panels sell for as much as $15,000 more than homes without.
A study by Zillow in 2019 also demonstrates that homes fitted with solar energy systems can be generally valued and sold at higher prices countrywide. On average, the value of a house goes up by between 3 and 5 percent with the installation of solar panels. Considering that the average price of a home in Texas is $200,000 installing a solar energy system on an average house would increase its premium by between $6,000 and $10,000.
Moreover, the Texas Property Tax Exemption Law prohibits agents and real estate appraisers from factoring in the solar installations in the property’s tax assessment. This means that the installations add value to the house but does not allow the tax collector to charge the homeowner based on the new value.
Matters of Costs: What Affects Solar Installation Cost?
Installing a solar power system is still prohibitively expensive for many people. There is a solution, though, for some Texans to skirt around the higher-than-usual initial cost of investment. Companies such as Texas Direct Solar ease this burden by extending a $0 down payment loan for qualifying homeowners.
The most expensive component in a solar energy system is if you decide to use batteries for storing power. Three core factors directly affect the cost of a residential solar power installation.
1. The Amount of Energy Required
The size of a home, the number of people living in it, and its power requirements determine how much it will cost to install a solar system. The higher the power requirement, the more the solar panels required and the higher the capacity of the batteries. According to EIA, the average home of four in Texas may need 6kW and 10kW solar power systems on the lower end.
2. Type of Solar Panels and Batteries
Solar panels come in all types and sizes. Some are more effective in producing energy from the sun rays than others. Ultimately, the best devices will cost more than the less effective ones. However, there are newer panels and materials that are cheaper but really effective.
As with everything else, good quality panels are well coated to make them more durable without compromising their efficiency. To ensure its customers save the most on materials without compromising efficiency, Texas Direct uses only Tier 1 solar panels and materials.
The price and setup of your batteries will depend on your budget as well. Texas Direct Solar provides personalized advice to homeowners to help them find their right batteries to store their power.
3. Choice of Installer
In most service industries, the big companies often charge more than the small local ones. With solar services, it can be the other way around. The choice of the installer can determine the efficiency and the overall cost of a solar energy system.
For the best service, we believe a homeowner should choose locally-owned businesses passionate about renewable energy and environmental conservation. A company such as Texas Solar Direct on a mission to save the planet can do a great job at helping you cut costs.
Texas Direct Solar has emerged as a go-to solar installer in Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Chambers County areas in Texas.
Financing Your Home Solar System
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has laid out financing options for homeowners who have decided to go solar.
A vast majority of Americans cannot buy solar energy systems upfront out-of-pocket. The best alternative for them is to get a capital loan and save as much as 40 to 70 percent over the lifetime of the equipment.
Some types of loans allow homeowners to upgrade to clean energy and save as much as 15 percent in the overall installation costs. Better still, if you are a qualified homeowner, you could have a solar system fully installed with $0 down financing for qualifying homeowners in Texas.
Solar panels typically come with a between 25 and 30-year performance warranty. The batteries may come with a shorter warranty depending on make, capacity, and technology. When comparing installers, check to be sure that a warranty covers their products and service.
To most people and the government, solar is a large financial investment. It saves thousands of homeowners in Texas thousands of dollars in energy costs and tax breaks every year. If you are considering switching to solar energy, there is no better time to do it than now, with Texas Direct Solar.
There are three main reasons to Consider Texas Direct Solar:
- You get a free quote and personalized advice to help you make the right decisions.
- Qualified homeowners can finance your solar energy system with no down payment.
- Have clean and renewable energy installed in your home by a family-owned local company committed to sustainability.