Texas is the 2nd leading state in the US when it comes to solar energy use. Nearly 1.3 million homeowners throughout the state are taking advantage of clean, renewable solar power. That number has grown dramatically over the last couple of years and it is expected to continue to grow as solar technology improves. In a state that gets an average of 234 sunny days per year, it only makes sense that people would want to make the most of such a fabulous resource.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how beneficial solar power can be, both for the environment and your wallet, but you still have questions. Not to worry, we know that a full solar system is a big investment. We also know that deciding to take the plunge is a lot easier if you know what to expect when you get there. All the prices in this article are just estimates, but they can at least give you a general idea of the cost so you’re not taken by surprise when you get a true estimate.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Texas?
The average cost of a solar system in Texas is $2.71/W. This is slightly above the national average, but not the highest in the country. Depending on where you are in Texas, you can expect a 5W system to cost approximately $11,000 to $16,000.
Of course if you need a bigger system, you can expect to pay more for the system as a whole, but you may get a better deal overall. The price per solar panel can be a bit lower on larger systems, lowering the cost per watt, because the installer can purchase them in bulk. This depends on your installer and the brand of panels they use, but it is certainly worth asking about before making your final decision.
If you are interested in a bigger solar system, here are some prices based on the state average:
|System Size||Cost Based on Average|
Those numbers may seem a bit steep, but there is a federal tax credit that will help offset that original price tag. Currently, this tax credit allows you to deduct 26% of the installation costs from your taxes. This can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to the larger systems. Check out the prices after the tax credit:
|System Size||Cost Based on Average Minus 26%|
That 26% makes a big difference, doesn’t it? It allows you to get a 10kW system for less than the original cost of an 8kW system. The credit will be in place until the end of 2022 when it drops down to 22% for 2023, so don’t wait too long.
Don’t see the size you’re looking for? Check out our quick solar cost calculator for a closer estimate.
What Can Affect The Price of A Solar Installation?
Solar technology has improved a lot over the last decade. Not only has solar panel efficiency improved, but the manufacturing process has improved as well. This means better products at better prices. That being said, solar systems are made of much more than just solar panels and each element can affect the price.
The main items included in a full system are: panels, mounting frames or brackets, wiring, inverter, charge controller, and a solar battery bank. A good installer will go over all the details with you so you know how each element affects the price.
Many cities require installation permits and inspections before you can use your system, which can also impact the final cost. The installer should know about these as well, but it never hurts to do a bit of independent research beforehand. A quick Google search or a call to city hall should provide the information you need.
As you can probably guess, there are a few more things that could add to or even decrease the price of your solar installation. Here are a few of the most common factors:
How Much Electricity Will You Need?
If you have been considering going solar for a while, you may already know how much electricity you need. If you don’t already know, there is a simple way to find out. All you need is your last 12 electricity bills and a calculator.
Simply add up the total amount of electricity that you’ve used over the last year and then divide that by twelve. That will give you your average monthly total which will in turn determine what size system you need. A typical 10kW system produces an average of 1,200kW of power per month which is slightly higher than the average electricity usage per Texan household.
Not everyone can afford a solar system big enough to cover 100% of their electricity needs, but that is no reason to hold off. You can always install a smaller system now and add on later. Just remember to discuss this with your installer from the very beginning so they can plan accordingly and help you determine the best plan for you and your home.
What Type Of Panels Do You Want?
Did you know that there are multiple types of solar panels? Not only are there different sizes and manufacturers, but there are also different kinds. The two main kinds of solar panel are polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Polycrystalline panels are a slightly older type that can be less efficient. Monocrystalline panels are a newer version that is more efficient, but also more expensive. You may have also heard about thin-film panels, but these are currently the least efficient and are not typically used for larger systems.
Most solar panel installers will have at least a couple options to choose from and should be able to give you the details concerning which type will be better for your location.
Check Out The Incentives!
The incentives throughout Texas vary depending on your location, but there are a few good ones. Austin Energy, CPS Energy, and Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative all offer rebates and incentives for consumers who choose solar. Most places in Texas also allow net metering, so you could even earn credit with the electric company for any extra energy your system produces.
Texas also has the property tax exemption for homeowners who choose solar. Although installing a solar system could raise the value of your home by up to 4.1%, your property taxes will not increase because of that added value.
And, of course, don’t forget about that 26% federal tax credit! All of these incentives and rebates combined could quickly change your dream of having solar into an affordable reality.
Will I Truly Save Money By Switching To Solar?
There is a reason that Texas is the 2nd highest state in the country for solar use. All those extra sunny days translate to a lot of free, clean energy to power your home. The initial cost may be a slight setback, but with the incentives and extra sunshine, your system can pay for itself in as little as 7 to 9 years. These systems are designed to work at peak efficiency for 25 to 30 years, leaving you to enjoy that free energy for many years after the system is paid off.
The Cost of Solar Panels In Texas
Switching to solar is always a good idea, but it is an especially good idea in Texas. Texas is quickly becoming one of the greenest states in the nation with many residents enjoying electricity from both solar systems and wind farms. Knowing this, it is easy to see why there are so many great incentives for making the switch.
The cost of installing solar in Texas can quickly be offset by the amount of power your system is sure to produce from all that extra sunshine. If you want to go solar, but aren’t quite ready to install a full system, why not try solar in smaller ways? Check out more of our articles to learn about all the ways that you can start using solar power today.