Should You Go Solar in Texas? Costs, Benefits & Financial Incentives Explained

Texas ranks #2 in total installed solar capacity nationwide, yet only a tiny fraction of homes and business take advantage of the state‘s abundant sunshine. This definitive guide cuts through the confusion about solar panel costs, electricity bill savings, and financial incentives unique to the Lone Star state.

Our goal is to provide practical guidance to help you decide if solar panels make sense financially based on your location and household energy needs.

Solar in Texas At-a-Glance

Before diving into granular analysis on system sizes, prices, payback periods and more, here is a high-level snapshot of residential solar potential in TX:

  • 300+ days of sun in West/South Texas
  • Average 5 peak sunlight hours
  • 11,700 MW total installed capacity as of 2021
  • Just 1% of electricity from solar; lagging Southwest states
  • Ranked #2 in country for total solar capacity
  • Average system cost around $21,300 (7.7 kW)
  • 25-year lifespan; 12-year payback period
  • $20,000 lifetime electricity bill savings
  • 30% Federal tax credit through 2032

So Texas has world-class solar resources to power homes very cost-effectively for decades while saving households serious money. Now let‘s explore the details…

Calculating Your Solar Panel System Size

The size of solar array you need depends on two variables:

1. Electricity Usage

What was your average monthly kilowatt-hour consumption over the past year as shown on your power bills?

  • TX average: 1,100 kWh/month
  • Scaled to daily: 37 kWh
  • Your usage: ___ kWh/month

2. Peak Sunlight Hours

How many hours of direct sun does your geographic area receive on average?

TX best: 6.5 (El Paso)
TX worst: 4.5 (East Texas)
*Your city: ___ peak hours


Your avg. daily electricity use ÷ Peak sunlight hours = Solar array output needed (kW)

So for the 37 kWh/day state average divided by 5 sun hours, a 7.7 kW system is recommended. Your needs likely differ, so do the math to right-size!

Detailed Breakdown: What Impacts Texas Solar Panel Costs?

While the state average is $2.77 per watt installed or $21,300 for a 7.7 kW array, your actual price depends on:

1. Type of Solar Panels

  • Monocrystalline: 22% efficiency but higher cost per watt
  • Polycrystalline: 15% efficient but cheaper
  • Your roof space and sun exposure determines ideal panel technology

2. Location Matters

  • West Texas (6.5 peak hours) needs smaller systems
  • East Texas (4.5 hours) requires bigger, costlier arrays

3. Equipment Quality & Workmanship

  • Paying extra for tier 1 equipment (+10-15%) and experienced installers means systems last 25+ years.
  • Avoid low bidders cutting corners!

4. Available Incentives

  • Tax credits and rebates can reduce out-of-pocket costs 20-30%

Now let‘s compare two top TX solar installers on credibility, quality and services.

Texas Solar Panel Installers: How to Choose the Best

With 200+ installation companies statewide competing for your business, it‘s essential to evaluate based on:

  • Years in business
  • Contractor licenses and credentials
  • Equipment quality and warranties
  • Pricing transparency (EnergySage is a great solar shopping tool)
  • Strong reputation and reviews

We recommend these two highly-rated Texas solar providers:

*Texas Solar Pro

CredentialsNABCEP certified
Experience20+ years senior leadership
EquipmentPremium panels (Solaria, Silfab Solar)
Workmanship Warranty25 years
Company HeritageFounded 2021; Texas-based

*NRG Clean Power

Experience35 years in solar
Service AreasStatewide from Austin/Houston offices
EquipmentTop panels (LG, Panasonic)
WarrantiesLifetime on equipment
Reviews4.8/5 EnergySage rating

The peace of mind from proven products and workmanship is well worth 5-15% pricing premiums.

Texas Solar Incentives and Rebates

To reduce out-of-pocket solar panel system costs, leverage these savings programs:

  • Federal Solar Tax Credit: 26% for systems installed in 2023, 22% in 2024 and beyond
  • Solar Panel Tax Exemption: 100% of system value exempt from state property taxes. Saves $2,000+ over system lifetime.
  • Austin Energy Rebate: Up to $2,500 rebate for local utility customers
  • More Texas solar incentives

Every little bit helps improve return on investment for the system and your household‘s "green" energy independence!

The Verdict: Does Texas Solar Power Add Up?

While upfront solar equipment, permitting and installation costs are significant – averaging $21,300 for a properly sized 7.7 kW system – the financial benefits to Texas homeowners make this a very wise energy investment:

  • Payback your initial outlay in 10-12 years
  • Slash expensive electric bills by 90% immediately
  • Lock in zero-increase energy costs for 25+ years
  • Reduce lifetime residential energy spending by $20,000+
  • Enjoy "free" clean power from the sun

So if you crunch the solar numbers personalized to your household‘s needs in El Paso, Houston, Austin or anywhere in this sun-drenched state, you can take control over energy expenses before rates inevitably increase.

Go solar in TX without regrets! Our guide empowers you to calculate system specs, budget accurately and leverage incentives that maximize value. Invest now and reap the financial rewards for decades to come.

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