Best Solar Buyback Plans: Texas Guide
September 25, 2023
Texas, known for its vast landscapes and abundant sunshine, is an ideal place for harnessing the sun’s power with solar panels.
These plans allow you to not only reduce your electricity bill but also earn money by selling your excess solar energy back to the grid.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best solar buyback plans Texas has to offer. Then, you can make an informed decision as you embark on your solar journey.
[Related: How Solar Power Works]
Understanding Solar Energy Buyback Plans
Here’s a brief rundown. Net metering is a system utilities put in place to allow solar panel owners to feed their excess electricity back to the grid.
So let’s say you have a solar panel system that always, or even sometimes, generates more energy than you and your household consume. You can take one of two actions:
- Store that excess energy in a backup power solution, like a SunPower® SunVault® or Tesla Powerwall — granted you have one.
- Send that energy back to the grid.
Next, your utility provider typically credits any excess energy that the grid receives to your utility bill or pays for it at a predetermined rate.
Essentially, you earn solar credits during sunny periods (when you generate a lot of solar power). You use those credits to offset your electricity costs when the sun doesn’t shine as brightly.
Note: Many people cash in on their credits when local energy rates are high or when their panels don’t generate much energy (like at night).
[Related: Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?]
Texas Has a Great Solar Environment — Take Advantage of It
We all know Texas has an abundance of sunlight, especially in regions like the Panhandle and West Texas, where Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex reside. For example, Dallas has an average of 135 sunny days per year — pretty great, right?
What’s more, the state’s commitment to alternative energy and its competitive electricity market have led to Texas solar buyback plans, which utilities and electricity providers offer.
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Top Solar Energy Buyback Plans in Texas
Now let’s look at some of the best solar buyback plans Texas has.
Oncor Solar Buyback Plan
Oncor Electric Delivery, one of Texas’ largest utility companies, offers a great solar buyback program.
The Oncor Solar Buyback program allows homeowners with solar panels to earn credit for any excess electricity they generate and feed into the grid. And as with other solar buyback programs, you can then use those credits to offset future electricity bills.
However, your solar panel system needs to meet a few requirements:
- Your system needs to be new — any homes with existing solar arrays aren’t eligible.
- You have to install a solar battery to store excess energy.
- Your solar system needs to be installed so that its azimuth is between 90 and 270 degrees.
- Your system’s tilt angle should be between 0 degrees horizontally, with a latitude of 15 degrees.
- You need to sign an interconnection agreement with Oncor.
- The minimum system size to be eligible is 3 KW.
- The maximum system size to be eligible is 15 KW.
[Related: What Is a Kilowatt-Hour?]
CenterPoint Energy’s Solar Buyback Plan
It’s a great option for Houstonians looking to reduce their energy costs. Here’s Oncor’s specific interconnection plan and the guidelines involved.
[Related: Tips To Save on Energy Costs]
CPS Energy’s Solar Host Plan
This program provides solar panel owners with a monthly bill credit for the electricity their solar panels generate, which helps lower overall energy expenses.
Note: The program may be at capacity now, but you can check its website for updates, if necessary.
[Related: Tips To Save You Money on Your Energy Bill]
Austin Energy’s Value of Solar Plan
This program is particularly great because it’s stable and predictable in terms of compensation. Here are the specific solar credit rates you can expect:
- Customers with system sizes under 1 MW-AC receive 9.91 cents per kWh.
- Customers with system sizes at 1 MW-Ac or more receive 7.24 cents per kWh.
[Related: How Many KWh Does a House Use Per Day?]
Retail Electricity Providers (REPs)
In Texas’ competitive electricity market, many REPs offer their own Texas solar buyback plans.
It’s worth shopping around and comparing offers from different Texas REPs to find the best fit for your needs.
Take these factors into account when determining the solar buyback plan you’re eligible for. It should also give you the best return on the solar energy your system produces:
- Electricity provider
- System size
- Energy consumption patterns
Contact Freedom Solar Power To Go Solar in Texas
But before deciding, consult with your local solar installers and utility companies to explore your available options. With that said, Freedom Solar is here to help you make the right decision.
Contact us when you’re ready to start generating solar power with SunPower solar panels — the most efficient panels on the market. Call (800) 504-2337 or complete our online inquiry form, and one of our energy consultants will be in touch!
Featured image via Pixabay