Homeowner’s guide to going solar with TXU Energy
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
If you live in Texas, you’re probably paying higher electric bills than many Americans. And if you’re tired of paying huge electric bills, it could be time to take matters into your own hands. Installing solar panels on your roof lets you generate your own electricity while bringing your electric bill down.
However, a solar system installation does cost a pretty penny; most Texas homeowners can expect to pay about $21,000 for a solar system to cover the average electric bill. The good news is that one of the largest retail electricity service providers in the Lone Star State, TXU Energy, offers a solar buyback plan that makes installing solar panels a worthwhile investment.
We’ve broken down everything you need to know about going solar with a TXU Energy energy plan, so you can decide if it’s time for you to take control of where your electricity comes from.
TXU Energy provides service throughout the entire state of Texas, including cities like Dallas and Houston. So, as long as you live in a deregulated area of Texas, you can probably get energy service from TXU Energy.
You can find out if you are in TXU Energy’s service area here.
Yes, TXU does offer a buyback plan for their customers who install solar panels on their roof. The plan, called the TXU Energy Renewable Buyback Plan, provides solar homeowners with a fixed rate based on their average monthly electricity usage. TXU offers one 36-month solar plan.
If your solar system produces more electricity than your home uses, the excess energy is sold to the grid and you are credited at a “Clean Energy Credit Rate”, which is lower than the retail rate of electricity. These credits will be applied to your energy bill. Your exact rates will vary depending on your location and whether you choose their 24-Month or Month-to-Month plan.
If you choose the 36-Month plan, you will be locked into the Renewable Buyback Plan for three years. The price you pay for electricity you take from the grid varies, and depends on your transmission and distribution utility (TDU) and your energy usage. There is a $395 early cancellation fee if you decide to terminate service with TXU.
If you’re a CenterPoint, AEP, Oncor, or TNMP customer, you’ll pay between $0.19 and $0.24 per kWh of electricity you take from the grid. Any excess solar energy that you send to the grid will be credited at just under $0.12 per kWh.
|Monthly usage||Average retail rate||Clean Energy Credit rate|
|500 kWh||$0.22 - $0.24/kWh||$0.14 - $0.15/kWh|
|1,000 kWh||$0.20 - $0.22/kWh||$0.14 - $0.15/kWh|
|2,000 kWh||$0.19 - $0.21/kWh||$0.14 - $0.15/kWh|
TXU allows you to offset up to 100% of your monthly energy charges with excess energy to sent to the grid. Excess energy is defined as solar energy your system produces that exceeds your home’s usage within a 15-minute interval.
So, if your monthly bill is $120, you can only receive $120 in Clean Energy Credits for that month.
Even though the Clean Energy Credit rate is lower than the retail rate offered by TXU, you’ll still be able to save a substantial amount on your monthly bills. You can potentially offset all of your energy charges for the month.
Keep in mind that energy charges don’t include TDU charges and fees. So, 1 kWh of excess solar energy will cover about 70% of the cost of 1 kWh of energy you buy from TXU.
Ultimately, this can save you hundreds of dollars per month, depending on how many solar panels you install, how much electricity you consume, and where you live.
No, TXU Energy does not offer any solar incentives besides their Renewable Energy Buyback program. Your utility, however, may have solar incentives for homeowners who install solar in your area.
Oncor residential customers, for example, may qualify for the company’s solar incentive program. If the solar energy system you install meets the requirements, you can potentially save thousands on a solar-plus-battery storage installation (otherwise referred to as a hybrid solar system).
Plus, the majority of homeowners in the U.S. will be able to take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which reduces the cost of installing solar by a further 30%.
Recent winters have really shown the weaknesses in Texas’ electric grid. With price hikes and power outages, many Lone Star residents are looking for backup power to keep their lights, heat, and air conditioning on when the grid fails.
If having peace of mind during power outages is important to you, now might be a good time to install a solar battery. The battery will not only provide power to your home in times of crisis, it will also save you a little bit of extra money throughout the year.
Keep in mind though, solar batteries are a significant investment, typically adding $10,000 or more onto the cost of a solar installation. But again, as we’re seeing serious flaws with Texas’ grid, this upfront cost could be worth it.
If you’re interested in a solar battery, check out our list of the best solar batteries of the year.
The only thing TXU needs from you in order to get started on their Renewable Energy Buyback plan is an Interconnection Agreement with your utility, and an appropriate electric meter.
The process to get an Interconnection Agreement and meter installation varies between utilities, and certain municipalities may have additional requirements, as well. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to a few months, depending on the project.
You can find more information about what exactly your utility requires for a solar installation below:
TXU’s Renewable Energy Buyback plan will definitely save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bill.
Since Texans have the unique ability to pick which electric company to purchase electricity from (thanks to the deregulation of Texas’ electricity market), you may be wondering if it’s worthwhile to go solar with another electric provider. Based on the rates they’ve provided on their website, TXU could save you more than other retail electric providers, like Reliant Energy.
Rhythm, another Texas energy company, could potentially lead to better solar savings because they don’t limit how much solar energy you can send to the grid. But, Rhythm is a smaller and newer company, so it might be a bit riskier to go with them.
Overall, you can still save hundreds of dollars monthly if you decide to go solar with TXU Energy. They offer a decent rate for excess energy sent to the grid, and their services are widely available. You can get more information about going solar in your area by using our state-of-the-art solar cost and savings calculator.