Solar panels Texas:

Prices, incentives and best companies 2021

Avg TX solar panel cost:

$8,560 - $10,463*

Avg 25 year savings:

$24,188 - $29,563

Avg payback period:

7.5 - 9.1 years

Estimate cost and savings based on your location and power usage

* Cost data based on quotes for fully-installed solar panel systems submitted on our platform. Prices are shown after applying the 26% federal tax credit.

Texas solar panels guide 2021

Updated August 20, 2020

The investment return and savings that can be made by buying solar panels varies more by city and utility in Texas than in any other state in the country. This is largely due to the fact that Texas’s electric utilities are deregulated, making it possible for people in most cities to choose which retail electric provider they want to use. This causes a lot of variation in the types of solar incentives available to the people of Texas.

In some cities like Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, upfront utility rebates are abundant. 1-for-1 net metering programs offered by providers create a great environment for homeowners to install solar. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where power is distributed by Oncor, available rebate programs can make solar a very good financial decision. These incentives, coupled with the 26% solar tax credit make it possible that a solar installation will pay back its cost in 8 years or less.

In other places in Texas, especially those served by rural electric co-ops, there are no upfront rebates or 1-for-1 net metering. The payback for systems in these areas can take up to 15 years.

On this page:

Solar power prices, savings and payback in your part of Texas

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Texas is currently $12,312 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.77 per watt. However, there is some variance in solar prices in different parts of the state. The graph below shows the average cost of installed solar systems in your part of the state.

Showing data for:

Harris
Change
Utility provider: Texas-New Mexico Power Company
Utility bill: $ 138

Prices based on a 5.5kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Cost range of local prices

$8,560-$10,463

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$24,188-$29,563

Payback period

7.5-9.1 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

5.5kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5.5kW system

Are solar panels worth it in Texas

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Levelized cost of solar energy
?
Levelized cost per kWh is the cost of the solar system divided by the total number of kWh produced by a solar system over it’s lifetime

5¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

25¢ /kWh

(forecast avg Texas electric rates over the next 25 years)

TX solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar installers in your part of Texas

 

Texas solar incentives & tax credits

Federal solar tax credit

The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses is the federal solar tax credit. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will decrease from 26% to 22% of the cost of the solar installation. Because home and business owners want to get the largest incentive amount possible, solar panel installation companies will likely be flooded with new projects before year’s end. In order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Texas is now.

 

 

Local incentives

If you live in big cities like Austin and San Antonio, and the Dallas area, you can get up-front solar rebates to reduce your cost of installation by thousands of dollars. The good news is that this covers a big chunk of the state’s population, the bad news is outside these major urban areas, there isn’t a lot of incentive coverage.

 

Property tax exemption

One statewide incentive that is available to Texans is a property tax exemption. That means all the value added to your home by solar panels is exempt from additional property taxes.

 

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: State incentive
Type: Property Tax Incentive

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Top models of solar panel installed in Texas 2021

Average cost of solar panel installation in Texas by system size

System size*
Cash purchase

(After tax credit)

Financed purchase

(After tax credit)

4kW $11,900 $12,733
5kW $14,245 $15,242
6kW $16,638 $17,803
7kW $19,257 $20,605
8kW $22,320 $23,882
9kW $24,363 $26,068
10kW $26,800 $28,676

Find city information in Texas

 

Home solar basics

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Texas

You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.

How long do solar panels last?

Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more

How do solar panels work on a home?

Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2021 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

A grid-tied system is the most common type of solar system. It has no solar battery for backup power and utilizes net metering to maximize savings. Solar panels are mounted on your roof then wired together, and the power generated flows into an inverter where direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity. This electricity is either used by your home or is exported to the utility grid.

Hybrid solar system

In hybrid solar systems, rooftop solar panels are connected to both a solar battery and the electric grid. The solar electricity generated by your panels that your home does not use is stored in the battery instead of being sent to the grid, which reduces your reliance on the utility while also providing backup power when needed. Battery storage is still expensive but you may be able to reduce costs by using state incentives.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the grid at all, so all of your energy needs must be met by the sun. There is no utility to fall back on. The solar installation needs to power your home not only during the day, but after dark as well, so many solar panels and a large battery system are required. These systems are often expensive and don’t make sense for homes that have access to the grid.

Read more about types of home solar systems.

Do solar panels require regular maintenance?

No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.

Will residential solar power system cost fall in Texas in 2021?

Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Texas will fall during 2021.

How much electricity do solar panel systems generate in Texas?

Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.

A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 20-degree pitch roof Texas will generate 1,360kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in the Houston area.

Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.

What are the pros and cons of installing solar panels in Texas?

The biggest advantages in Texas for installing solar panels are the big-city solar rebates and the 26% federal tax credit. That property tax exemption for the value added to your home by solar panels is nice to have, too. 

Texans need a lot of electricity to run air conditioning and appliances throughout the year, but luckily roofs here can get plenty of sunshine.

The cons of solar in Texas exist mostly for people who live outside the service areas of the major utility distribution companies. In these places, it’s hard to find net metering and there are virtually no rebates. Add to that the relatively cheap price of electricity, and rural folks who want to gain the environmental benefits of renewable energy might be better off choosing a solar- or wind-based plan from their retail electric provider. 

If you do live near a big city in texas, it’s time to claim the benefits of solar power for yourself.

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

What you can learn from our state solar panel calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Texas solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

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