Man observing the sky after successfully installing a solar panel.

Beat Rising Utility Rates in Texas with Solar Power!

Texans are facing skyrocketing electricity rates amidst statewide heat waves and recent electricity shortages, with no end in sight. Read on to learn how much to expect bills to increase, but how solar power can help you take matters into your own hands.

How rates are increasing in Texas cities:

  • AUSTIN — Austin Energy just approved a base rate increase of $9 next year on your monthly bill, which is in addition to the $15 they already implemented this fall. That’s $24 more per month you’re paying in electricity rates (nearly $290 annual increase for the typical resident’s electric costs)!
  • DALLAS — Oncor increased its rates in September 2023 by an average of 17%, or about $15 per month for the average residential customer. This increase is due to a number of factors, including investments in infrastructure and equipment, as well as increased costs for transmission and distribution services.
  • HOUSTON — CenterPoint’s new rate is 5.46/ kWh, an increase of 1.7 cents/ kWh over the rate customers have paid since March 1, 2023. This is due to a rapid increase in Transmission and Distribution charges in September in TX, which increased by 46.5%(CenterPoint).
  • SAN ANTONIO — In Texas New Mexico Power’s service area, TDSP charges went up by 1.5 cents/kWh. Customers in TNMP’s area will see an increase of $45 using 3000 kWh of electricity.

But there is good news: Texas is an ideal place to harness solar power, which can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Lower energy bills — Solar panels can generate enough electricity to power your home, reducing your reliance on traditional utilities and saving you money on your monthly energy bills.
  • Locked-in rates — With a solar system, you can lock in your energy rates for years to come, protecting yourself from future rate hikes.
  • Self-sufficiency — Solar power allows you to generate your own electricity, making you less dependent on the grid and more resilient to power outages.
  • Environmental benefits — Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source, so you can help reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.

[Related: Solar Panels 101: The benefits of solar power]

Texas Electric Grid Operator Budget Increase Approved

According to The Texas Tribune, The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas has approved a 40% budget increase for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s electric grid operator. The increase will add nearly $119 million to ERCOT’s current $287 million budget and will be funded by higher fees charged to companies that sell power to consumers.

ERCOT says it needs the budget increase to comply with new regulations, hire more employees, and fight legal challenges. The organization is also facing increased costs as it works to improve the reliability of the Texas power grid, which has been plagued by outages in recent years.

The fee increase is expected to cost the average residential customer less than 20 cents a month. However, some critics of the increase have argued that it is unfair to consumers, who are already facing higher energy bills.

One way that consumers can lessen their electricity bills is by installing solar panels. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, which can reduce the amount of electricity that homeowners need to purchase from the grid.

Is solar power worth it in Texas?

Yes! With solar incentives and the potential for lower monthly electric bills, solar panels can give you a nice return on investment. Plus, you’ll be doing your part for a greener, more sustainable future.

[Related: Are Solar Panels Worth it?]

Solar incentives in Texas

Texas offers a number of solar incentives to homeowners and businesses, including:

  • Federal solar tax credit: The federal solar tax credit can offset 30% of the cost of your solar system.
  • Texas sales tax exemption: Solar panels and equipment are exempt from sales tax in Texas.
  • Property tax exemption: The value of your solar system is not included in your property tax assessment.
  • Net metering or solar buy-backs: Your utility company may offer incentives for you to sell excess electricity generated by your solar system back to your utility company at retail rates.

How much can you save with solar power?

The amount you can save with solar power depends on a number of factors, including your energy usage, the size of your solar system, and your utility rates. However, most homeowners and businesses can expect to save significantly on their energy bills with solar power.

For example, Freedom Solar customers spend only $138 per month when they finance an 8 kilowatt (kW) residential SunPower system — this is before local rebates and tax incentives come into effect based on your city and state. And some customers pay as little as $83 per month!

[Related: How Much Do Solar Panels Cost:Saving with solar]

How to get started with solar power in texas?

Four men installing solar panels under the blazing sun

Solar power is a smart investment for homeowners and businesses in Texas. With its abundance of sunshine and favorable solar buyback plans, Texas is one of the best states to switch to solar power.

If you’re considering going solar, be sure to consult with your local solar installers and utility companies to explore your options. Freedom Solar is here to help you make the right decision and choose the best solar system for your needs.  We can assess your property and energy needs to develop a customized solar system for you, and work with you to get the necessary permits and approvals before installing your solar system and connecting it to the grid.

Contact us today at (800) 504-2337 or complete our online inquiry form to learn more about how we can help you save money on your energy bills.