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Texas renewable and solar energy incentives

Texas Wind and Solar Energy Incentives

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems (Residential/Commercial)

  • The value added to a property due to the addition of a solar or wind energy system is completely exempt of property tax.

Renewable Rewards Buyback Program – Green Mountain Energy (Residential)

Subscribers of Green Mountain Energy who buy electricity through the Renewable Rewards product may enroll in this program.  The program is comparable to a net metering agreement.

  • For customers of another utility company, an interlink contract must be signed by applicants, which establishes an arrangement between customers and their corresponding utility company.
  • Applicants must have a bi-directional meter installed by their utility company that calculates the amount of incoming and outgoing electricity.
  • Incentives are available for customers using solar panel PV systems under this program.
    • Systems must not exceed 25 kW to be eligible.

Renewable Rewards program details:

  • Residents are charged the standard retail rate for electricity used by Green Mountain over a billing month.
  • Net excess generation that’s produced by the resident and fed back to the grid is calculated separately and credited to the resident’s next monthly electric bill.  Generated energy bought by Green Mountain is capped at 500 kWh/month at the standard rate.  The Renewable Rewards rate is considered under the initial 500 kWh a system produces in a month.

Utility Rebate Programs (Residential/Commercial)

Texas offers various rebate programs through its energy distribution companies for city residents and subscribers of participating utilities.

  • Program specifications and qualifications vary and are available online.
  • The majority of the programs are reserved for photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.  For photovoltaic systems, rebates are typically governed on a per-watt AC rate.

Net Metering – Austin Energy (Residential/Commercial)

Net metering is available to subscribers of Austin Energy with renewable energy systems.

  • Qualifying systems: solar PV, solar thermal, landfill gas, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digestion, tidal, wave, biomass, and small hydroelectric.
  • Systems must not exceed 20 kW to be eligible.
  • The excess electricity generated by a renewable energy system that is purchased by Austin Energy is represented in the form of credit on the customer’s next electric bill.

Federal Tax Credit (Residential/Commercial)

Taxpayers are granted a personal tax credit of 30% of the total expenses, which include installation of residential solar-electric systems, solar thermal systems, fuel cells and labor expenses.  Residential wind energy installations and geothermal pumps are also subject to a tax exemption.

  • Solar electric systems and solar thermal heaters have no maximum incentive.
  • If there is excess federal tax credit, it may be carried over to the subsequent taxable year only if it surpasses tax liability.
  • The federal  tax credit is in force through 2016.

Federal Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Residential)

  • Public utilities provide residential purchasers with an exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies.
  • The overall worth of an installation or renewable utility regardless of the energy conservation capacity, will be excluded from the buyer’s gross income.
  • Customers who participate in a utility company’s energy conservation program may be given a reduced rate of electricity utilized or a nonrefundable credit of the price of electricity on the customer’s monthly electric bill.

Energy-Efficient Mortgages (Residential)

With this federal loan program, homeowners may utilize energy-efficient mortgages (EEM) to either supplement or completely fund renewable energy systems.

Example: 4KW System – Residential Installation Cost

Average Electric Bill: $250/mo

Projected Annual Bill Escalation: 5%

Cost Per Watt: $6.50

  • Estimated System Cost: $26,000
  • Federal/State Tax Credit: $7,800
  • State/Utility Rebate: $0
  • Net Cost: $18,200
  • Cumulative Lifetime Savings (25 Years): $45,468
  • Investment Return: 9.7%

Savings of 30% on the total cost of your solar system through incentives

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