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    Fact Sheet: Solar Energy Use in Texas

    The second most populous state in the country, Texas is known for its magnitude. Big blue skies full of sunshine and bustling cities such as Austin and Houston give this state a unique and exciting flair. The state is full of farmland and ranches, canyons, forests, and the Gulf Coast's white sandy beaches. With such a diverse landscape, Texas has a lot of natural beauty to protect through clean energy sources such as solar power. The state currently provides numerous solar incentives for homeowners interested in going big with solar power.
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    PD-self, source: WikipediaIndependent solar and utility companies in Texas are working hard to create a strong solar industry. Numerous utilities such as AEP currently provide generous solar rebate programs for interested homeowners. Likewise, exciting solar energy projects such as OCI Solar Power's Alamo 1 Solar Farm are making a big impact on grid connected systems. This article will provide more information about solar power in Texas to help you decide if a solar energy system is a good fit for you.

    Grid Connected Solar Power Systems In Texas (2012)

    • Residential Solar Power Systems: 9.3 Megawatt
    • Non-Residential Solar Power Systems: 9.6 Megawatt
    • Utility: 35.7 Megawatt
    • Total: 54.7 Megawatt
    • Cumulative: 140.3 Megawatt

    Texas is one of the country's leaders in grid connected solar power systems. The state has 213 MW of solar energy currently installed, enough energy to power 23,000 homes. This ranks Texas 13th in the country in installed solar capacity.

    Cost of Electricity in Texas

    • Electricity Price: $0.11 per kWh
    • Average Electricity Bill: $160
    • Average Bill after Solar: $70

    Switching to solar power in Texas can create big savings for homeowners on their electricity bills. Monthly payments for leased solar systems are approximately $48, leaving residents with an average savings of $42 each month. It takes around 7 years for solar energy systems in Texas to pay for themselves.

    Solar Radiation

    In the eastern half of the state, Texas enjoys between 3 and 4 Kilowatt per day of solar radiation. In the western half, the solar radiation increases to between 4 and 5 Kilowatt per day. The southwest corner of the state experiences between 5 and 6 Kilowatt. This represents an area of 1 square meter (10.76 square foot). Texas receives around 293 annual sunny or partly sunny days, making the state ideal for solar energy.

    State Solar Incentives and Rebate Programs

    • State Solar Tax Credit: None
    • State Solar Rebate: None
    • Property Tax Exemption: 100% exempt
    • Sales Tax Exemption: None

    Even though Texas currently lacks a statewide solar rebate program, several of the state's utility companies have taken matters into their own hands. Both AEP and Texas New Mexico Power Company offer $1,750/kw up to a maximum of $17,500. Texas residents should check with their individual company for their solar rebate program details. Additionally, the Federal Tax Credit also applies.

    Solar Installers in Texas

    Texas has long been in favor of both small and large businesses. Consequently, the state makes it easy for solar installers to receive a license. Solar installers in Texas must have an electrical contractor's license. Homeowners who would like to research the license of their solar installer can find information on the state website, or call customer service at (800) 803-9202.

    Summary: Good Conditions for Solar Power Systems

    With generous sunshine and solar incentives such as the tremendous rebate programs offered by utility companies, Texas' solar energy industry is steadily growing. Homeowners can join the exciting efforts of the state's many independent companies to help this industry grow even more. To calculate your costs and savings please use our Solar Calculator or contact solar installers in your area.

    Fact Sheet Solar Energy Use in TexasSolar Energy Fact Sheet: Texas, ©

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    Written by: Oliver Wulf, Editor