Austin, the Leader in Solar Power
December 28, 2020
We’re already known as the Live Music Capital of the World, as well as the home of some of the best breakfast tacos around. Now Austin, Texas, can add “solar energy leader” to its impressive resume.
Curious about why Austin tops the list of green U.S. cities? Keep reading to find out how our quirky city is helping reshape the nation’s energy conversation by harnessing sunshine.
Austin Energy Takes the Gold Ribbon for Solar Energy in the U.S.
According to the Environment Texas Policy and Research Center’s Shining Cities 2020 report, Austin is now first in the nation when it comes to municipal solar power available per person. Thanks to publicly owned utility provider Austin Energy, the city supplied more than 1,500 watts of solar energy per person to its customers, topping the municipally owned utilities of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Antonio.
As for the amount of solar energy generated within city limits, Austin emerged as 14th in the U.S. and ranked second in the state of Texas, just behind San Antonio.
The Shining Cities 2020 report indicates Austin came out on top for a few reasons. First, solar farms in West Texas feed energy into Austin, so it’s more than simply roof panels generating all that energy. Second, Austin is big on solar-focused public policies, investments and programs. It’s also fond of financial incentives that drop the cost of solar panels:
A solar rebate. Austin Energy offers a flat $2,500 post-installation rebate for customers who go solar. To receive the rebate, customers must take a training course and hire an Austin Energy-approved contractor.
Net metering. This utility billing system pays homeowners for the solar energy they contribute to the energy grid. When your PV setup produces more electricity than your home needs, that excess power goes to the grid. In return, the utility company pays you for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar electricity you send to the grid in the form of a net metering credit on your energy bill. But this is slightly different in Austin — Austin Energy offers energy credits to customers for all the electricity they produce, not just the excess sent to the grid. It’s yet another reason to install solar panels in Austin! Learn more about how the Austin Energy Value of Solar (VoS) rate works.
Utility scale energy storage and solar PV. Austin is home to two grid-scale energy storage systems. Because of the La Loma Community Solar Project, Austin residents can use solar energy even if they don’t have their own solar setup. And the Mueller neighborhood has one of the largest concentrations of solar installations in Austin, with around 2 MW generated there. It’s all part of the Austin SHINES project, which aims to meet the City of Austin’s vision of achieving 100% carbon-free energy generation by 2035.
Looking for Solar Companies in Austin?
Take a walk around any Austin neighborhood — trendy East Austin, laid-back Barton Hills, family-friendly Mueller — and you’ll spot plenty of homes outfitted with sleek solar panels. But it’s more than just green-minded homeowners that contribute to Austin’s impressive energy profile. Many businesses in the city choose clean, sustainable energy, too.
If you’re an Austin home or business owner who wants to harness the power of solar, you’ve come to the right place. As the number-one residential solar provider in Texas, Freedom Solar has installed solar panels in countless Austin homes and well-known businesses, such as Whole Foods and Office Depot. We’re here to help you join the solar revolution — and our installations are quick, simple and safe.
Contact us today, and get started on a lifetime of sustainable energy.