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Policies That Govern The Use Of Solar Systems In Texas
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November 3, 2020

Policies That Govern The Use Of Solar Systems In Texas

Solar policies are an essential regulation in the United States, due to the adaptation of renewable energy sources across the country. Texas is the 4th highest national solar market, regulated by policies for its solar industry and customers.  At their cores, the policies that govern the use of solar systems in Texas include these features; 

Solar Property Tax Exemption

  • There is a Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption policy in Texas that also covers the installation of solar systems. It ensures that any increase in value due to installation is completely exempt during tax calculations, which encourages residents to get solar panels and enjoy increased home value without the extra property tax cost. Investors also use this opportunity to set up more companies in Texas, which leads to job creation.

Rebate Programs 

  • Texas does not have a solar rebate program, but thanks to its open energy marketplace, there are several municipal electricity and energy companies in certain cities. These cities offer excellent options like Austin Energy, where you can get a rebate of up to $2,500, and San Antonio’s CPS Energy, which offers up to $1.20/W of roof panels installed. Garland Power and Light, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, and the City of Sunset Valley also offer great incentives to local homeowners.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit 

  • This federal tax credit policy is another amazing incentive available to Texas homeowners who use solar systems. With this, customers get about 26% of the cost of solar panel systems. In 2021, this credit will fall to 22%, and by 2023, customers may not get the credit at all. This policy encourages homeowners to get their solar systems installed while the credit is available. The expectation is that by 2023 when the credit is gone, most homes would be solar-powered, which is quite feasible, given the increased use of solar systems in Texas.

City-Based Net Metering Programs

  • Some cities in Texas have net metering programs that give residential customers full rate credit on the electricity sent from their solar panels. Utility companies and Retail Electric Providers (REP), like Green Mountain Energy, monitor the amount of energy produced, used, and sent back, ensuring that full credit is available for qualifying customers. In Austin, Brenham, and San Antonio, there are several forms of net metering and, while most of the other programs do not offer 100% credit return, they all have very beneficial rates for roll-over on credit. 

Solar Access 

  • While the government in Texas may not offer full-coverage solar policies, it opposes any restrictions to individuals installing their solar systems. The solar access laws protect residents from associations that restrict the development of solar distribution. These laws help customers have legal access to install solar panels, avoid unnecessary expenses, and evade any other non-government restrictions to the use of solar systems in Texas communities.

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