GVEC’s 2020 Solar Programs & Incentives
Utility providers determine solar options, especially in places like the greater San Antonio area, where electricity is mostly regulated. Most individuals in San Antonio use CPS Energy. However, there are other, non-regulated utilities in the greater San Antonio area.
Those who live on the outskirts of Bexar County have cooperatives that provide their utility services. GVEC (Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative) is one of these providers.
Understanding what solar programs and incentives are available for GVEC customers helps those living in its service area determine how best to leverage the sun.
GVEC 2020 Rebates: Solar and More
GVEC has several rebates in place to help its customers conserve energy. Energy conserving rebates help solar customers save in more ways than one.
These rebates help customers save money on their energy bills, but they also help them to live a greener lifestyle. Implementing some of the energy savings options that GVEC supports gives customers greater control over their energy use. Solar-related rebates give GVEC customers control over the type and amount of energy generated.
GVEC Solar Screen E-Windows and Film Rebate
For those who want to keep their home cold in the sweltering San Antonio heat, a solar screen is a great solution. Those who follow the GVEC requirements can get $0.50 off per square foot of window for solar screens or window film. They can get $2 per square foot of window if they install energy-efficient windows.
Solar Screen and Film Requirements
All window treatments receiving the rebate need to be in air-conditioned areas of the home. To receive credit, a licensed contractor needs to install them. Solar screens need to block a minimum of 70 percent of heat gain, while window films need to block at least 40 percent.
Energy Efficient Window Requirements
As stated above, a licensed contractor needs to install the windows and the rebate won’t extend to windows that aren’t in an air-conditioned area of the home, such as the garage. Energy-efficient windows also need at least 40 percent U-factor and prevent at least 27 percent heat gain.
GVEC Thermostat Rebate: Nest
A smart thermostat helps reduce energy bills by minimizing energy use. Smart thermostats accomplish this by allowing the user to choose energy-efficient thermostat settings.
Nest Thermostats and Rush Hour Rewards
ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) takes care of the power lines throughout most of Texas. To help pay for maintenance, it charges GVEC, and other utilities using these power lines, a prime-time electric transmission fee. The Rush Hour Rewards Program is GVEC’s solution to this transmission fee.
If customers want to sign up for this program, they need to either already have a Nest Smart Thermostat or install one. GVEC pre-cools the home, so the air conditioner isn’t running during the URCOT peak event.
Those who enroll in the Rush Hour Rewards Program receive a rebate of $85 for signing up. On top of this, GVEC offers a $30 credit for each summer customers choose to participate.
GVEC Solar Metering Agreement
Every customer who installs solar panels needs an interconnection agreement with their electric provider. Interconnection agreements, like net metering, are necessary because disconnecting from the grid is expensive.
With solar, homes receive power from the sun during the day. Power at night, however, comes through the electric provider or a home battery. The solar array’s excess production during the day off-sets the cost of night-time energy use.
GVEC credits solar customers at the current renewable energy rate. Correctly sized systems will produce enough excess solar generation to cover most, or all, of the home’s usage at night.
GVEC Roofless Solar
For those who don’t have the right home type, roofless solar programs have given them more options. With this program, people can buy into an off-site solar array. In exchange, the offsite array powers homes of customers in the area that have opted in.
There are four different community solar models. These models include utility-run solar facility systems, joint business enterprises and non-profits.
Each off-site system works similarly. Customers are credited for their purchased share of solar power. The utility then applies the purchased credit to their electric bill.
GVEC Community Solar Program: SunHub
In 2017, GVEC started SunHub, a community solar program. SunHub gives customers the option to support utility-generated solar power by purchasing up to five blocks of energy each month. Each block is equivalent to 100 kWh, meaning customers can purchase up to 500 kWh of solar energy each month.
GVEC estimates that its SunHub customers pay $3 extra per month so they can support solar. This program is a great option for those who don’t have the right home type or don’t own their home to support solar energy. However, if a homeowner qualifies for rooftop solar, they are missing out on savings by taking this route.
If a GVEC customer wants to find out if their home is a good fit for solar, they can fill out our form for solar panels for homes in San Antonio. From there, our solar representatives will reach out to the homeowner to help them determine if their home is a good fit.
GVEC Solar Installers
The homeowner’s utility company determines which solar installers they can use. If a customer wants solar, it is in their best interest to qualify for the programs created to make solar economical.
GVEC Home: Solar Program
One solar option for GVEC customers is purchasing a residential solar array through the utility solar program. GVEC Home is the utilities solar installation program. This program promises quality and 10-year service warranties with all its systems.
Cons of Getting Solar in Your Home Through GVEC
Through GVEC Home, most customers only get 4kW systems. For a typical home in Texas, this covers about a third of monthly consumption.
GVEC Home also doesn’t offer affordable solar backup solutions, which means the home will not have power during an outage. Choosing a solar provider that offers battery backup solutions is essential for Texas homeowners.
GVEC Approved Installers
The beauty of GVEC, however, is that they don’t require their customers to use their solar services, which means customers can hunt for the best deal. Comparing multiple bids helps homeowners determine what is important and where to get the best deal in their area. If quality products and backup options are important to you, Go Solar Group may be your best San Antonio solar installer option.
After filling out our solar panels San Antonio cost form, we can show the possible solar savings for your San Antonio home. If you want to learn more, our solar representative can set up a no-obligation appointment.
In this appointment, one of our solar consultants will help answer any questions. They also cover what our bid entails so you can better compare it to the competition.