We are blessed to receive much sunshine in Texas. Harnessing free energy from the sun is our future! Putting a solar PV system on your home or business is a great way to escape your electric bill, produce your own power, and save money. There are several important things to know before going solar. For example, does your utility company offer a solar rebate? Do they participate in net energy metering (NEM)? Are there additional financial incentives available when you use solar power?
There are many benefits to solar power, and many federal, state, and local incentives to install solar panels. These are always being updated, so be sure to check for the newest information.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal tax credit with a step down plan. Now through December 2019, the credit is 30%. January 1st of 2020, the credit decreases to 26%, then 01/01/2021 the credit decreases to 22%, and after 2021 After 2021, the residential credit will drop to zero, but the commercial and utility credit will receive a permanent 10%.
At this time Texas does not offer a statewide solar tax credit, but many local utilities do offer incentives for renewable energy, or to become more energy efficient. Some utilities offer a solar rebate, others participate in net energy metering, and some do both. Net energy metering allows residential and commercial customers to sell their produced energy back to their utility. NEM may not be available to everyone, we recommend calling your utility to see if they participate. There are other local incentives as well. The Texas property tax code allows an exemption of the amount of 100% of the appraised property value increase arising from the installation or construction of a solar or wind-powered energy device that is primarily for the production and distribution of thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy for on-site use and devices used to store that energy.
We have also listed rebates and policies of the largest utility companies and cooperatives in the state. Remember, these are continuously being updated so be sure to check the individual websites.
American Electric Power (AEP) serves many cities across Texas including Abilene, Corpus Christi, Laredo, McAllen, San Angelo, Victoria, and others. AEP Texas Central offers a rebate for residential customers of $0.70 per watt, up to 10kW or $7,000. AEP Texas Central has a cap of $180,000 for residential customers or just under 26 10kW. Same is for AEP Texas North except they have a cap of $90,000 or just under 13 10kW systems. AEP rebate money was extinguished in February this year, in order to get the best deal on your new solar system get ready this December for 2019 rebate money. What are you waiting for?
Austin Energy offers a $2,500 rebate for completing their solar education course. Austin Energy electric distribution system will receive a “Value of Solar” (VoS) credit on their bill each month for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy produced by their system. They also have “Green Choice Plan” which give customers an option to pay an extra $7.50 per 1000kWh or $.0075 per kWh to support Texas wind. The program requires no contract, no expiration date, and no subscriber fee or penalty for unsubscribing. Participants get a sticker that says, “I choose 100% Texas wind” to place on your car or on your home.
Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC) serves nearly all of Bandera county and parts of Real, Uvalde, Medina, Kerr, Kendall, and a tiny bit of Bexar. If you produce more energy than you consume, and you are a BEC member, BEC will pay you for all energy your system generates back to the BEC grid. The Net Metering compensation rate is adjusted annually based on the wholesale cost of energy.
Bartlett Electric Cooperative offers B-Green rebates for energy efficiency upgrades.
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative is committed to procuring, generating, and transmitting power at the lowest cost. Perhaps as a result they do not offer any renewable rebates.
Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) serves the city of Bryan. They offer a SmartHome program that incentivizes cutomers to make energy efficient upgrades for their home.
CenterPoint Energy serves the Houston area. They have programs that aim to assist commercial and industrial customers in reducing energy usage by offering incentives for energy efficient projects and for load curtailment. The programs also reward participants with incentives for taking energy-efficient measures.
Comanche Electric Cooperative Association (CECA) is powered by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, they are a national network of electric cooperatives across 46 states that provide resources and leverage partnerships to help member cooperatives and their employees better engage and serve their members. As per their Distributed Generation Procedures and Guidelines Manual for Members, “No net metering shall be used. The type of metering to be used shall be specified at the sole discretion of the Cooperative. The metering shall provide data so the Cooperative can determine each billing period the energy supplied to the Member by the Cooperative and the energy supplied to the Cooperative by the Member.”
Cooke Country Electric Cooperative Association (CCECA) also powered by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, serves communities in the north central region of Texas. CCECA offers rebates for energy efficient upgrades including; HVAC Tune-up, High Efficiency Heat Pump, In-Home Energy Audit, and Ceiling Insulation- rebate qualifications apply. CCECA uses the same Distributed Generation Procedures and Guidelines Manual for Members as CECA as such, “No net metering shall be used. The type of metering to be used shall be specified at the sole discretion of the Cooperative. The metering shall provide data so the Cooperative can determine each billing period the energy supplied to the Member by the Cooperative and the energy supplied to the Cooperative by the Member.”
CoServ serves Northern Texas and you can go solar without purchasing a solar system. They have a 2 megawatt (MW) solar farm, where residential members can purchase blocks of electricity produced by the facility. Coserv’s Net Metering policy is as follows, “Members will still receive a CoServ bill for a portion of their electricity usage because, in most cases, their solar system will not produce enough power to offset the home’s entire electric consumption. At a minimum, Members will be charged CoServ’s $10 monthly customer charge and the additional $10 monthly distributed generation (DG) fee. In addition, Members will be charged for any energy consumed that is not offset by power produced by the solar system.”
CPS Energy serves the San Antonio area. Their solar rebate has a base, at $0.60 per watt, and $0.70 per watt for locally made modules and inverters. The rebate is only for qualifying roofs; nothing less than 80 degrees East and nothing greater than 290 degrees West. CPS does have net metering at a 1 to 1 ratio that is until you overproduce, and then CPS will buyback at $0.0165 per kWh. The credit applied to next month’s bill, not to exceed the Total Electric Bill amount. Any carryover credit balance will apply in the following month.
Central Texas Electric Co-op (CTEC) another utility powered by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives headquartered in Fredericksburg. CTEC does not offer any rebates and uses the same Procedures and Guidelines Manual, “No net metering shall be used. The type of metering to be used shall be specified at the sole discretion of the Cooperative. The metering shall provide data so the Cooperative can determine each billing period the energy supplied to the Member by the Cooperative and the energy supplied to the Cooperative by the Member.”
Denton Municipal Electric (DME) does offer a solar incentive that just changed from a flat rebate to a tiered rebate, and is on a first-come, first-serve basis its been replenished to $500,000 their new tiered rate is as follows.
Solar Solar and Batteries
3-5kW $0.80 per AC watt 3-5kW $1.20 per AC watt
5.1-10kW $0.60 per AC watt 5.1-10kW $0.90 per AC watt
Above 10.1kW $0.40 per AC watt Above 10.1kW $0.60 per AC watt
El Paso Electric (EPE) serves the El Paso region. They do offer energy efficiency programs, and as a DG metering customer, with an approved Interconnection Application, you will have a bi-directional and REC meters installed by EPE. Net consumption is charged at the applicable rate and net production is credited based on EPE’s Rate Schedule No. 48.
ENGIE is based in Houston, and “is bringing more opportunities to customers with aggressive renewable targets, bridging the gap between the traditional market offerings of standard renewable energy certificates (RECs) and long-term, complex power purchase agreements.”
Entrust Energy is headquartered in Houston Texas, and serves in 8 different states predominantly in deregulated markets.
Fort Belknap Electric Cooperative (FBEC) is powered by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives and serves multiple North Texas counties. They use the same Procedures and Guidelines Manual, “No net metering shall be used. The type of metering to be used shall be specified at the sole discretion of the Cooperative. The metering shall provide data so the Cooperative can determine each billing period the energy supplied to the Member by the Cooperative and the energy supplied to the Cooperative by the Member.”
Garland Power & Light (GPL) offers an EnergySaver Program where, “one can reduce their energy consumption, save money on monthly utility bills, and receive a generous utility bill credit for qualifying energy efficiency upgrades. The credit recipient must be a GP&L customer. Applications must be completed and submitted to GP&L within 30 days of installation. The credit will be directly applied to your GP&L account. Bill credits are available on a first come, first served basis until funding is depleted or until September 30, 2019, whichever comes first. No credits will be issued for applications received after September 30, 2019. Applications are subject to verification. If the verification cannot be completed, the credit will not be paid. Customers must have their upgrades installed by a licensed, qualified contractor. The unit must be placed in service in the GP&L service area. Removed equipment cannot be reused in the GP&L service territory. Existing homes and businesses only. Five (5) ton limitation per unit.”
Golden Spread Electric Cooperative is powered by Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives, and serves 227,000 member-consumers in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains and the Edward Plateau regions of Texas, plus the Panhandle of Oklahoma, Southwest Kansas and a small area of Southern Colorado. Golden Spread uses net metering, “Qualified Facilities (QF) may sell their output directly to organized markets or utilities. Golden Spread is a utility for this purpose and is required to purchase QF output but Golden Spread’s Members are not required to do so pursuant to FERC Docket EL16-62. Any inquiries about purchases of QF power should be made to Golden Spread and not its Members.”
Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS) GEUS does not currently offer any rebates or incentives to customers installing generating systems. However, if the energy delivered by the consumer’s system to GEUS’ electric system exceeds the amount of energy delivered by GEUS to the consumer, GEUS shall credit the consumer’s account for the energy generated.
Green Mountain Energy “rebate amount varies by project, system size, location and availability of additional rebates. Actual average rebate is $2,827 and ranges from $596 to $4,500 (based on projects funded between January 2017 – September 2017). To qualify, complete a solar installation with a Green Mountain installation partner, sign up for a 12-month minimum term on the Renewable Rewards buy-back program, sign and submit a Green Mountain Solar Rebate Agreement, agreeing to provide feedback on the installation experience. If eligible, customer will receive the SolarSPARC® rebate within 30 days of submitting a completed rebate request, including veriﬁcation of completed solar installation. The SolarSPARC® rebate is offered at the discretion of Green Mountain and may be stopped at any time.”
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC) serves the south central Texas region. They do offer a solar rebate of up to $3,000 per residential installation. Rebates less than $1,501 will be applied to your GVEC account as a credit, rebates greater than $1,500 will be mailed to the mailing address submitted on the application.
Hamilton County Electric Cooperative (HCEC) “will negotiate a power purchase agreement with a DG facility that is a QF, subject to the provisions of the Manual and all other applicable rules and regulations.”
Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative (HOTEC) offers many rebates which will reimburse members money on specific products and services that promote energy conservation. In order to qualify you must show proof of membership and proof of service or repair. The program will continue so long as funds are available. There is a solar rebate of $0.10 per watt that caps at $500 per member.
HILCO Electric Cooperative, Inc. offers a smart thermostat rebate and an HVAC service rebate.
J-A-C Electric Cooperative, Inc. operates in the northern region of the state and they claim to offer one of the lowest rates in Texas in lieu of their low rates at this time they do not offer any rebates.
Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) operates in the Austin area. “In addition to operating its electric generating facilities efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner, LCRA has committed millions of dollars to further improve emissions of its power plants.” At this time there are no rebates.
Luminant, serves in Dallas, does not offer solar rebates, but at the same time, they are committed to technology development, renewable energy and zero-emission nuclear generation that will improve the quality of the environment for our Texas and global communities.
Navarro County Electric Cooperative, Inc. their Energy Efficiency Rebate Program has expired – funds
are no longer available. They do still offer a Residential Energy Audit.
Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NVEC), “For power produced in excess of on-site requirements, the Member will be compensated by the retail purchase meter running in reverse (Net metering). The Cooperative shall bill the Member for the excess energy supplied by the Cooperative over and above the energy supplied by the Member during eachbilling period according to the Cooperative’s applicable retail rate schedule. When the energy supplied by the Member exceeds the energy supplied by the Cooperative during a billing period, the monthly charge and/or minimum bill of the retail rate schedule shall be billed by the Cooperative in addition to the monthly metering charge, and the excess energy shall be provided at no charge to the Cooperative.”
New Braunfels Utility (NBU) serves much of Comal county in and around New Braunfels. They offer many rebates including a solar rebate up to $3,000 per residential system. Panels must have an azimuth between 180° and 270° and tilt must be between 45° and 80°, panels must have a 25 year minimum production capability, and at no point less than 80% initial rating, and carry a warranty as such.
Oncor offers a solar residential program, “The 2018 Solar Residential program is currently fully reserved.
Any of our participating Service Providers can add your project to the waitlist that is currently open. Projects will be approved in the order they are received when and if funds become available. Under the program rules a project cannot start construction while it is on the waitlist to be eligible for the program. Please contact one of our participating Service Providers found on the right for additional information and budget status.Homes must have Oncor as their electric delivery provider. Only home owners may participate. New home construction projects are not eligible.
The incentives for residential solar photovoltaic systems are dependent on the size, azimuth and other factors of your installed system. Your selected service provider will help calculate incentives for the system. You can contact your retail electric provider for information about any credit you could qualify for based on any excess generation that your system may produce.
The solar photovoltaic system must meet the following requirements:
System must be new
Solar array azimuth should be 90 to 270 degrees
Tilt angle should be between 0 (horizontal) and latitude + 15 degrees
The customer must sign an Interconnection Agreement with Oncor
Minimum system size is 1 kW DC
Maximum system size is 10 kW DC
Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) operates in the Texas Hill Country. “Net Metering Service shall be through a single meter, with two registers that measure the delivered energy from PEC to the member and the received energy from the member to PEC. Net Energy on a monthly basis, the net energy will be calculated by subtracting the received energy from the delivered energy. Rates, the service availability charge shall apply as per the otherwise applicable tariff. If net energy is 0 kWh or greater, then the rates shall apply as per the otherwise applicable tariff with charges applied to net energy consumed at the premises. If net energy is less than 0 kWh, then the net energy shall be credited at a Net Energy Credit Rate equal to the sum of the Base Power Cost and the Power Cost Adjustment as per as the otherwise applicable tariff.”
Reliant is an REP located in the Houston area. They off the Reliant Simple Solar Sell Back 12 plan allows you to get the most out of your home’s solar panels by choosing to receive credit, using the same price you pay for electricity, for any excess electricity you generate and return to the grid. With this plan, you’ll receive:
A low electricity price for 12 months
Sell-back credit that is automatically applied to your monthly Reliant bill for surplus electricity generated and returned to the grid*
Credit, using the same price you pay for electricity, for all surplus electricity generation that is returned to the grid
South Plains Electric Cooperative operates in the Lubbock area. “Grid connected PV systems are connected to the Cooperative’s power lines. That means electricity can flow both ways (to your home from your Cooperative, and from your PV system back to the electrical grid). Particularly on sunny days when your energy use may be low, your PV system may produce excess energy that can flow back to the grid. The excess energy will offset the cost of energy you use when your PV system is not generating at the retail rate. However, if your PV system produces more energy than you use in a billing period, you will not receive money back for the extra energy. Even if you have zero kilowatt hours for a billing period, you are still responsible for the facilities charge of $27.97.”
Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) operates in several areas of Texas. TNMP offers energy efficiency programs for residential electricity customers in its service area.
Tri-County Electric Co-op, Inc. is in the Dallas Fort Worth area. They offer a $75.00 to its members when they install or replace an electric water heater that meets certain requirements.
TXU Energy is an REP located in Dallas. Now when you install solar, you can get up to a $5,000 instant rebate and money back when your panels produce more energy than your home uses. You do need to be on their TXU Energy Renewable Buyback plan, with TXU Energy Renewable BuybackSM, you earn bill credits when your solar panels or wind turbines produce more electricity than your home uses. It’s their way of rewarding your commitment to renewable energy and helping you save even more. When you need more electricity than your system produces, you’ll pay a simple, flat rate for electricity purchased from 100% Texas wind or solar power. When you need less, you’ll earn bill credits.
United Cooperative Services offers several rebates as apart of United’s 2018 Energy Innovation Rebate Program. Rebates are capped at $1,200 per home and include; fuel conversion, EV charger, air source heat pump, geo thermal/ground source heat pump, HVAC tune-up, solar screens, smart thermostat, heat pump electric water heater, and attic insulation retrofit.
Wise Electric Cooperative operates in the north central region of Texas. They offer a one-time rebate through their Energy Efficiency Rebate Program. Including:
Savings at Home High Efficiency Heat Pumps
LED (Light Emitting Diode)$1.25 16 or Higher SEER Heat Pump$200
Water Heater Blanket$15
Pipe Wrap$10 Ceiling Insulation
HVAC Tune Up$100 R8 or less improved to R38 or greater$275
Energy Star Room A/C$30
High Efficiency Water Heater$50 New Home Construction
Heat Pump Water Heater$200 Energy Efficient New Home Construction$750
Energy Star Major Appliances$25
Solar Screens – 80% Blockage$10 Geothermal Heat Pumps
Programmable Wifi Thermostat$50 EER 13 or greater$500 / Unit
Water Heat Recovery System$200 / Unit
Many rebates require a pre-inspection and have additional minimum requirements. Please contact Wise Electric Cooperative before performing any construction if you want to take advantage of a rebate.