Texas is a gold mine when it comes to solar energy. The biggest solar producer in the United States, SolarCity, is headquartered in Austin and has thousands of employees there. It supplies solar energy systems to homeowners and businesses in the state. In fact, several of its major solar energy systems are on display at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in New Mexico.
The good thing is that renewable energy policies are booming in Texas and the rest of the country. Wind power has become popular; in fact, there are 27 wind farms in the state. Also, rooftop solar installations are on the rise. But what if you’re looking for a guaranteed solar rebate? You’re in luck because the state of Texas offers a variety of options for renewable power customers.
Here is how to get a solar rebate in Texas.
Find Out Which Policy Works Best For You
The first step to securing a rebate is figuring out which policy works best for you. You can take a look at all of the various policies that the state offers on its website, but here are a few examples.
- First Solar Solutions: This is the best policy for customers who are interested in installing a small solar system on their homes. With this policy, you get a $0.17/kWh fee credit on your electricity bill for the first five years, and $0.08/kWh thereafter. In addition, First Solar Solutions will give you a check in the mail once your system is paid off. Finally, this is the best option if you’re looking for a quick payback on your investment.
- Power Purchase Agreement: This is the best option if you’re interested in purchasing power from a renewable energy provider. You make a contract with the company for a certain amount of energy you need each month. Then, you receive a bill at the end of the month for what you actually used. This is a popular option amongst commercial and industrial customers who need high-quality power.
- Feed-in Tariff: This is the best option if you’re interested in investing in a large solar energy system and selling the energy you generate back to Electric Reliance Energy. A feed-in tariff is a fixed rate that the utility company gives you for the electricity you feed into the grid. It is paid for the energy you produce and is independent of what provider you use (you don’t need a solar license to use it).
- Peaker Power: This option is only available to electric customers who are interested in generating their own electricity during peak times only (typically between 2 pm and 9 pm). During these hours, your power generated will be credited at a flat rate of $0.35/kWh. However, you will need to get a special permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to build the peaker plant. The cost of the permit is $5,000 and the fee is waived for the first year for new customers.
- Generation Opportunity: This is the best option for customers who are interested in installing a biomass plant that will provide an on-site renewable energy source to reduce their energy bills. The plant will utilize saw palmetto and other woods to produce energy, which is then sold back to the grid. You will need to buy a biomass power plant that meets or exceeds the requirements of the state and local authorities. In addition to that, you will need to purchase insurance for the plant, as well as a one-year operating license from the TCEQ.
Apply For The Most Favored Policy
Once you know which policy works best for you, it’s time to apply for the most favored policy. The best way to do this is simply by going to the Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) website and entering your zip code. You will then see a list of all the companies that provide electricity in your area. Click on the one that you’re interested in pursuing and then fill out the necessary information on the next page.
You will need to provide a bit of personal information (such as name, address, and phone number) as well as the information about your business (such as names of the owners, the location, and the general nature of your business). In addition, you will need to provide the PUC with a deposit of $500. This is a one-time-only requirement and is meant to cover the cost of the application. Once you submit your application, the PUC will review it and let you know if it has been approved or denied. In the case of a denied application, you will have the option to resubmit it or appeal the decision. You will need to wait until the PUC posts the final ruling on their website before you know for sure whether or not you’re approved.
If you’re granted a permit, you will then have the option to choose which one you want to go with. You can take your pick from a variety of terms (such as 12, 24, or 36 months) and pricing plans (such as fixed or discounted rates). When picking a plan, keep in mind that you will have to pay the deposit and application fee for the entire term of the plan (normally 12 months), plus any penalties if you break the contract before it expires. In some cases, you might even have to pay an additional fee.
As soon as you make the payment, the PUC will send you an email confirmation along with a PIN number. You will then need to take this PIN number and the 12-digit Security Code on the back of your credit card and go to the SolarCity website. On the login page, you will then need to input this 13-digit code to access your account.
When you log in, you will see all of your accounts showing your current energy usage. Simply click on the account you want to update and then select the option that works best for you.
The utility company will then send you an email with your bill information, along with a note about your account balance. You can also call the company to get your statement or to speak with a customer care representative. This part is very straightforward and takes only a few minutes to process.
Take Advantage Of Texas’ Net Metering Law
Net metering is a policy that nearly all the major electricity providers in Texas offer. Under this law, your solar energy system will be credited with the energy you produce and consume. This is also known as ‘Solar Credits’ or ‘Feed-in Tariffs.’ Basically, you are paid for the energy you generate and don’t have to pay for the energy you use. Your equipment is considered to be ‘net metering’ or ‘behind-the-meter’ because it is located internally to your home or business.
To get started, you simply need to contact your electricity provider and ask for a net meter. Then, after your system is installed, submit a claim for reimbursement to your provider. You will then receive a credit on your electricity bill for the amount of energy you generate. This law protects consumers from excessive energy bills by requiring electric utilities to purchase energy from small, local power producers.
If you are interested in pursuing net metering, it is important to check with your electric utility because not all of them offer this policy. Furthermore, some utilities may require you to get a special meter that can record both incoming and outgoing energy. In most cases, this will be added to your electricity bill once the claim is approved. If this is something you’re worried about, then you may want to consider investing in a solar power system that tracks energy usage.
Consider A Small-Scale Solar Power System
If you are looking for a quick payback on your investment and don’t need very much power, you can’t go wrong with a small-scale solar energy system. These systems typically produce about 10 kW of power and are easy to install. The best part is that they are quite affordable, even if you do have to pay for the installation. Another great thing about these systems is that they are perfect for homeowners who want to generate their own energy.
However, if you do need a bit more power, then you should look into larger-scale solar power systems. These systems generate in the range of 15 kW to 100 kW and are also very popular amongst utility companies that provide power to large residential and commercial buildings. If you are interested in a larger system, then you should also consider whether or not you want an on-site solar controller that monitors the operation of your system and provides real-time feedback.
The bottom line is that when it comes to securing a rebate for a solar energy system, Texas is a goldmine. Not only are the rates extremely competitive, but the state also works with a number of accredited lenders that provide loans for customers that would otherwise not be able to afford the equipment.