Consumer Logistics for Texas Solar Installs
Residential solar gives homeowners control over their power production, particularly in San Antonio. Post solar installation habits also help solar homeowners become more aware of the amount of energy used and the best time to use it.
Increased control over everything, energy production included, is becoming desirable to homeowners, which is why installing residential solar in San Antonio is becoming popular. Let’s take a look at the logistics behind installing solar panels on San Antonio’s homes and what makes solar worth the investment in this area.
Solar Panels in San Antonio
Unlike most of Texas, San Antonio has a regulated electricity market and utility policies that support residential solar. CPS Energy played a huge role in facilitating this for the public.
This unique combination allows solar to flourish in this city with more ease than in other unregulated electricity markets. San Antonio residents would be wise to investigate solar for their homes and determine if this alternative energy option makes sense for them.
Regulated Utilities in a Deregulated Electricity Market
Texas has a unique electricity market that values customer choice, but this choice doesn’t protect Texas customer’s right to net metering. While most regulated utilities in Texas offer net metering and solar incentives, not many non-regulated electric utilities pay for their customer’s excess solar generation, and even fewer offer incentives.
San Antonio is one of the cities in Texas offering net metering, which is a major benefit to solar savings. Net metering allows solar customers to export the excess energy produced back on to the grid and receive money back from the power company for doing so.
This city is a municipality, meaning the electricity in this city is managed by the city council. City Council members are more likely to do what is in the best interest of the city residents than a privately-owned utility, which is why they often offer net metering and other solar incentives.
San Antonio Solar Policies
Another consideration of obtaining solar in this area is whether there are policies in place that protect solar customers. Currently, Texas doesn’t have any statewide net metering policies in place, leaving net metering programs up to municipalities and their communities.
Customers outside of cities like San Antonio have to work extra hard to find a Texas electricity provider that will pay for excess solar power in the form of net metering. However, homeowners that live within municipalities and cooperatives often have favorable solar incentives.
CPS Energy offers net metering at the avoided cost rate and an added solar incentive for qualified solar customers. The SEIA is also working with Texas to improve state solar policies.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Have Solar in San Antonio?
While residential solar makes sense for most in San Antonio, it isn’t an energy solution for all. Homes need to meet the criteria for solar to be a good fit. Everyone wants solar, but not everybody qualifies for it.
When interested homeowners get a free San Antonio solar quote, a consultant asks them questions to determine if they are a good fit for solar.
San Antonians interested in getting residential from Go Solar Group must:
- Own their home: If the individual is renting, the landlord needs to purchase the array. Renters can also choose to participate in community solar programs.
- Have a credit score above 650: If you’re beneath this threshold, do know that credit bureaus usually update consumer’s credit scores every 90 days. Factors that matter are debt-to-income ratio and amounts borrowed. Texas homeowner credit is another reason why solar consultants may turn customers away from solar. Individuals with credit scores above 650 shouldn’t have anything to fear, but it depends on the solar company and their financing partners. Go Solar Group has solar loan partners that can offer loans for credit as low as 650. Individuals with low-credit can work on boosting credit scores.
- Have Requisite Energy Usage: 500 kWh monthly, which translates into 6,000 kWh annually, is the minimum usage level we offer for homeowners to install solar. If usage is below this, we do not sell the system to that San Antonio homeowner because the financial return would not be enough for us to feel comfortable justifying. Beware of San Antonio solar companies who qualify the number of panels you need based on the square footage of your home, as this will lead to installation inaccuracies. It also matters if the home uses enough energy for solar to be a benefit to the customer and if it has enough unshaded space facing the right direction. Texas is known for its hot summers and mild winters, which makes for high electric bills. In 2018, USA Today reported that Texas had the 5th highest energy usage per customer in the United States, which means that solar can benefit most San Antonio, homeowners.
- Have Taxable Income: Because the federal tax credit for solar has reduced the cost of going solar, homeowners that don’t have taxable income are often advised not to purchase solar. You can still get solar for the home if you do not have taxable income; the cost will just be greater.
One of the biggest concerns that San Antonians have with solar is the price tag that comes with it. However, compared to utility-generated electricity, solar is cheaper, especially with the zero down programs Go Solar Group can provide.
The Cost of Solar Panels in San Antonio
When pricing solar panels, customers need to look at both the cost per watt and the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) to determine the comparative-cost of solar. Together these costs give solar customers a full picture of the expected expenses of solar and compare it realistically to the cost of utility-generated power over the life of the array.
The average cost per watt in San Antonio is $2.58. The LCOE, on the other hand, is dependent on the quality of the solar components used in the array. While quality solar panels may cost a little more, they will also save more down the road.
Go Solar Group’s Solar Calculator Savings
As a service to our customers, Go Solar Group has a solar savings calculator for each area it serves. These calculators look at the projected local utility rates over the life of the array and compare them to the pricing of the solar installation and equipment that Go Solar Group uses, giving customers an idea of how much they could save through Go Solar Group. Click the button below to see what you can save on solar for your San Antonio home.