Not Everyone in San Antonio Can Acquire Solar
If you’re a San Antonio solar resident who wants to save money on your electric bill, solar can help you — if you qualify, that is. Although the appeal of saving money with solar is enticing, not everyone can get it.
Do you have what it takes?
Taxable Income Affects Your Texas Solar Purchase
The main draw for getting solar is the accompanying savings. Individuals acquire these savings because of a 30 percent federal tax credit.
This credit, however, is only available to those that owe federal taxes. If you are living off of social security, or retirement that isn’t taxed, you are out 30 percent. This credit saves customers thousands of dollars.
Go Solar Group does not suggest solar for individuals that don’t have taxable income. However, if you are okay with paying more for your array, you can still get it.
Home Ownership Is a Requirement for San Antonio Solar
Often individuals that want solar don’t realize that they need to own their home. This is because, in order to get the federal tax credit of 30 percent, you also need to own the property solar is going on.
So, although you can still get solar, it is more expensive if you are renting. This is why most solar companies won’t even offer solar to renters.
Not owning a home doesn’t mean you can’t invest or take advantage of solar. You can talk to your landlord about getting solar for their tenants and they can weigh the pros and cons.
Or you can take part in community solar projects. CPS Energy’s program is currently full. But GVEC’s community solar program is still open for enrollment.
Why the Type of Home Matters
The federal tax credit for solar energy will cover most owned home types that are being lived in by the owner. This, however, doesn’t mean that the solar company will install for you.
You will need to find a solar installer that specializes in solar for your home type. Go Solar Group doesn’t install solar on unconventional homes.
Solar Requires Good Credit… Or Cash
Getting solar for your home is well worth it, but it is an investment. You are paying for a system that will be covering your energy needs for the next 25-plus years.
If your average utility bill was $50 a month, you would have spent $15,000 in 25 years. The Average Texan spends about $1,801 a year on electricity. Over 25 years this sum adds up to $45,025.
Solar gives customers significant savings over time. It, however, isn’t a cheap commodity. Most people that get solar require some form of financing. This means that you will most likely need a loan — and having a good credit score is key to getting a loan.
Although the national average credit score is 700 in Texas, the average is 623. The loan and rate you can get are dependent on your credit. If you have a credit score that is above 670, looking into solar is worth the effort.
Paying Cash Isn’t for Everyone, but if You Can You Should
If you have thousands of dollars on hand then you don’t have to worry about credit. Most people, however, don’t have this type of cash. For the lucky few, this is what a cash option might look like for you.
Solarpowerrocks.com estimates that, on average, Texas cash systems save customers $14,155, whereas the average Texas system paid for with a loan will save customers about $8,745.
Go Solar Group has a cash option. In this option, you pay 10 percent down and then half at permitting and the other half at install.
All our cash customers also receive a 10 percent discount. This on top of the extra savings incurred from no interest payments makes this option well worth it for those that can afford it.
Your Home’s Usage Determines Whether You Can Get Solar
How much power you use throughout the year plays a large role in wither solar is a good financial decision. If your usage is below 6,000 kWh in a year, Go Solar Group recommends not getting solar.
You can find out how much energy you use by going through each bill and looking for the usage. Or you can call your utility and ask them for your last 12 months of usage.
As part of our qualifying process, we call the utility company with the customer to get their usage. You can either call our number or fill out our residential solar form and we will contact you.
The Space You Need for Residential Solar in Texas
If you are looking to put solar on your roof, you need to make sure that you have the right amount of space. You also need to make sure that this space is facing the right direction and isn’t shaded.
Ideally, panels should be installed facing south, but west or east-facing panels will get a fair amount of sun. This, however, is dependent on other on and off the panel factors such as panel azimuth and the pitch of your roof.
Our panels are about 5.5 ft by 3.3 ft, this means that each panel needs about 18 square feet of unshaded space. CPS requires their solar generation customers to have at least 260 square feet of space.
Ground Mounts for Residential Installs
If your roof isn’t a good fit for solar, there is a chance that you might have enough property for a ground mount. You will need at least 10 ft by 25 ft or 250 square feet of unshaded space that is at least 5 ft away from the property line.
Remember that this is the minimum amount of space that is needed — your home may need more panels. You may also need more space if your utility or city has different requirements.