Everything’s bigger in Texas. . .including solar energy? Austin, the state capital of Texas, is known for many things–its hot music scene, its mild climate, and its abundance of outdoor activities. It’s also starting to be known for its generation of solar energy.
Austin Sun Statistics
More sunny than not, Austin, Texas experiences 60% of its year with sunny days, equating to 2,644 sun hours per year. What does this mean for Austin residents? It’s a great idea to invest in some quality sunscreen and some quality solar panels.
What’s the benefit of going solar? A reduction in your monthly utility bills and a reduction in your carbon footprint. Solar energy is a clean source of energy – it’s truly converting sunlight into energy to power your home or business. It’s a renewable energy source that’s really been increasing in popularity in recent years – with price tags that have dropped significantly in just the past 5 years alone. As a homeowner, you can expect to buy a quality solar energy system for your home that will cost you less than a car and will offer you a return on investment in 8 or 10 years, on average. That’s a pretty great investment, considering the lifetime of the solar panels are about 25 years or more.
What do most people want to know when they’re making a large investment? How much will it cost me and what will I get from buying it? The simple answer is significant savings on your monthly energy bills and thousands of dollars in savings, and profit (once the system is paid for), over the life of the system.
Let’s take a closer look. According to Energy Sage, the average cost of a 5 kW solar energy system (the average size for residential buildings), will cost you between $2,250 and $4,500 per kW. Cost-wise, that ranges from $12,500 to $22,500 (depending on the type of solar panels you install). Sounds like a pretty hefty price, until you start to consider potential rebates, tax credits, and other incentives that are available to you as an Austin resident. In addition, keep in mind that there are several financing options now available for solar panel installation.
Electricity in Austin, Texas is expensive. Mainly because of the tiered rates of usage. The more energy you use in Austin, the more you’re going to pay for it. That also means if you decide to go solar, the more energy you use, the more money you’ll save! Overall, you’ll likely save about $71 dollars per month on your utility bills, averaging yearly savings a little over $850 per year by installing a residential solar energy system. Over the life of your system, you could end up with nearly $22,000 extra dollars in your pocket!
Incentives, Rebates, and Other Legislation
One of the greatest incentives for the installation of a solar energy system is the federal tax credit of 30% off the entire cost of your installation. That’s a huge money savings right off the bat – using the high end of our estimate on a 5 kW system, that’d leave you with a savings of $6,750 shaved right off the top. The other good thing about this credit is that there’s no limit on the price!
Austin, Texas is actually a great place to install a solar energy system – mainly because of the awesome rebate where Austin offers its residents $1,100 per kW. . .so, if you install a 5 kW system, you’ll get $5,500 back. It’s a pretty incredible deal – one of the best in the nation! Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency to see available rebates broken down by county and utility company.
The solar tariff is another excellent solar incentive for Austin residents. If you connect your solar panels to the Austin Energy grid, you will be enrolled in the Value of Solar Program (VoS), which provides you with credits for each kWh you feed into the grid. Currently valued at $0.109/kWh, these rates are recalculated annually.
State-level incentives are also available for Austin residents. For instance, you’re exempt from paying any property taxes on the increased value to your home from installing a residential solar energy system.
Who Can Install Your Solar Energy System?
According to Yelp, the following companies received the highest ratings and reviews for solar installation in the Austin, Texas area:
- Austin and surrounding area
Austin, TX 78728
- Central Texas
Ste 600 Austin, TX 78730
- Greater Austin area
Bldg 3, Ste 400 Austin, TX 78746
Ste 100 Austin, TX 78744
- Greater Austin area