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Have you considered “Going Solar” and being part of the green movement sweeping across the world that takes advantage of the energy of the sun to power your house and eliminate your current electrical service provider.
Sunlight is the most abundant source of energy on our planet, so why not maximize its benefits. With energy cost continuing to rise, solar energy can supplement or even replace the need for power from the grid; however, there may not always be enough sunlight or stored energy in your battery backup system to maintain your power consumption, so remaining on the grid or having a generator as an additional backup energy source may be preferred.
The federal residential solar energy credit is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of a solar photovoltaic system paid for by the taxpayer, in the calendar year ending in 2023, the credit is thirty-percent (30%). The credit covers contractor labor cost, equipment, onsite preparations, assembly, installation, permitting, inspection costs, developer fees, and sales taxes.
Texas and the energy industry are synonymous with one another, so it’s no surprise that the popularity of solar continues to rise in the Lone Star State. Texas is the largest energy producer and the largest energy consuming state and generates more solar energy than all other states excluding California. Texas generates approximately 12.4% of the total solar energy in the United States, based on a May 2022 report from ChooseEnergy.com. According to US Climate Data, Houston gets 2,633 hours of annual sunshine, an average of seven (7) hours per day.
Houston residents are also turning to solar to lower monthly electricity bills. The US Energy Information Administration places the average Texas electricity bill at $150.56, nearly $13 above the national average of $137.70. ⁱ
Texas residents are eligible for a number of solar benefits, but most of them are hyperlocal rather than statewide. In lieu of statewide net metering policy, utility companies in the state credit owners of solar energy systems for electricity their panels produce and not consume. Texans can use these credits instead of buying electricity from the utility when their panels are not producing enough electricity to meet their usage requirements.
Texas has a solar rights law that prevents homeowners associations from banning solar energy systems on individual properties.
There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating solar panel companies to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment, and ideally, a net positive return on that investment.
Equipment: Not all solar panels are created equal. When choosing solar panels, evaluate the efficiency of each company’s solar panels — their power rating, power tolerance, efficiency and temperature coefficient—to understand how much energy those panels can be expected to generate. Compare this to the industry average solar panel efficiency of 16% to 18%. The most efficient panels may not always be the best cost per kW ratio. And the best value may vary based on how many panels you are installing, so you may need to do some calculating.
Manufacturer quality: Check the solar panel company’s production, equipment durability, warranties and assurances. The industry average manufacturer warranty averages 10 to 25 years. If you live in an area with weather conditions that may stress your solar panel installation, check to make sure the panels you purchase are designed to withstand outdoor stress.
Installation: Just like any other professional you hire, review a solar panel company’s certifications, licenses, warranties, reviews and local reputation. The best companies will have a knowledgeable, full-time team who should be able to answer any questions you may have throughout the installation and life of your solar system.
Local incentives: In addition to state and regional benefits to going solar, a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) determined that larger companies trend towards costing an average of 10% more than smaller, local solar companies for the same or lesser quality equipment. Shop around to determine if you could save by selecting a local solar company.