Dallas-Ft. Worth Homeownership

What You Need to Know About Installing Solar Panels to Your Dallas Home

Dallas has an average of 232 sunny days per year, and yet, the city and its residents haven’t always taken advantage of that natural resource. But things are changing and Texas has recently become increasingly invested in solar panels. The City of Dallas is offering residents incentive for installing solar panels in their homes, which is good for the environment and ultimately saves homeowners money. In just a few years, Dallas has finally become a leading Texas city in cost-effective solar panel installation. So, whether you’re a new Dallas homeowner, moving to the city, or have been considering adding solar panels to a home you’ve owned for 15 years, here’s what you need to know about installing solar panels to your Dallas home.

Aerial view of Texas neighborhood

How Much Does It Cost?

According to EnergySage, the national average cost for solar panel installation is just over $17,000 for a system size of 5 kilowatts. Take the same system size and install it in Dallas and it actually costs less at $16,216. But, as SolarPowerRocks.com reminds us, to offset an entire energy bill on the average home in Dallas, you’d need a solar system of 7.7 kilowatts, making the costs anywhere between $17,000-$19,000. These prices can sound pretty expensive to Dallas homeowners, but thankfully, there are discounts available.

Are there any incentives?

Thanks to incentives, Dallas homeowners can probably expect to only pay about $12,500 or less to install a solar panel system into their home. The biggest savings you can receive as a Dallas homeowner are from the energy companies themselves. For instance, Oncor has a solar standard offer (think of it like a rebate) which offers an incentive based on the system size and expected production. You could effectively see about a $6,950 off your solar panel installation. On the other hand, CPS Energy has a rebate incentive of up to $0.70/AC Watt, with a limit of $25,000 for residential projects and a cap of 50% of the project cost.

Since Texas residents can choose their own electricity provider, they have the freedom to shop around and find the energy companies offering the best incentives for installing solar panels. Don’t forget to get quotes from local installers and to ask about all aspects of the rebate programs, such as whether there’s a limit to the number of rebates provided per year and if the application for a rebate has an early-year deadline.

Dallas homeowners who install solar panels to their property can also apply a 30% federal tax credit to their personal income taxes through 2019. In 2020, this number, will drop to 26%, and then 22% for solar installation that begins in 2021. After 2021, homeowners will not receive any federal tax credit toward solar panel installation, so it’s best to install them before the end of 2019 to get the maximum credit.

Lastly, residents will be happy to know that Texas exempts solar installations from property tax, which is good because the value of your home will rise after you add solar panels. 

How much money could you save?

If Dallas homeowners install a solar panel system that covers their entire electricity usage (so about 7.7 kilowatts), they can expect to see their electricity bill decrease to less than $10 per year, according to SolarPowerRocks.com. A homeowner without solar energy would pay about $1,400 per year, so those are some pretty big savings. Solar panels last about 20-25 years, making the total savings over time for a Dallas homeowner about $17,000-$26,500.

Homeowners should do one last thing if they want to save money—choose a Retail Electric Provider who will buy back any oversupply of solar electricity. What does this mean? Installed solar panels will be used to power every aspect of your home, but if there’s more electricity created from the solar panels than what your home needs, you will have an oversupply. Some Retail Electric Providers like Green Mountain Energy, MP2 Energy, Reliant Energy, and TXU will pay you for that extra supply of electricity. Each of these REPs have different buyback programs, and it’s best to call and ask them how their buyback program could be applied to your home. 

With just a little work, your Dallas solar panel home can do more than just save you money on electricity—it might even earn you money.

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