Guide to Going Solar with New Braunfels Utilities (NBU)

Looking to install solar in Texas? If you are in New Braunfels there are a few unique programs that will make your shift to solar expeditious and budget-friendly. 

New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) is one of 2000 community-owned public power utilities in the nation. They service almost all residents and provide electric, water, and wastewater services. NBU services a 160 square mile service area supporting approximately 52,000 customers, primarily within the city of New Braunfels, TX. 

The utility company has several programs, some of which can be mixed and matched with Texas solar power incentives and rebates to make solar an accessible form of affordable and reliable energy for the residents of New Braunfels. Let’s take a look at the company’s Solar Rebate Program and newly launched Participating Solar Contractor Program as well as how to find local installer expertise to start our renewable energy journey. 

NBU’s Latest Solar Rebate Program

  • Incentive: Up to $3000
  • Eligibility: You must use a contractor from NBU’s Participating Solar Contractor list.

The NBU Residential Solar Rebate program1 offers homeowners an excellent opportunity to invest in solar energy while defraying the upfront costs.

By participating in this program, you can effectively reduce your monthly energy bills and earn a rebate of up to $3,000 from NBU—which goes a long way toward the average cost of a solar installation. This averages $11,811 to install a 5-kilowatt solar panel system.2

Qualifications

To qualify, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, which include:

  1. An NBU residential electric utility account.
  2. Your solar PV system must be connected to an NBU residential electric account where the PV system will be installed.
  3. Completing the NBU Going Solar Course 
  4. Completing the Customer Education Acknowledgement form.
  5. Selecting a contractor from NBU’s Participating Contractor list. This rebate is exclusively available to those who use an approved provider, such as Freedom Solar Power,3 for their solar installation. 

Once you have met these requirements, simply submit your rebate application, signed solar contract, and Customer Education Acknowledgement Form to DER@nbutexas.com. 

It is important to note the NBU Solar Rebate Program funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that rebate funds are not reserved for systems during the NBU interconnection process.

About Participating Solar Contractors

Starting March 1st, 2024, NBU requires contractors who intend to offer the NBU Solar Rebate to enroll in a rigorous Participating Solar Contractor Program to ensure expertise and quality. 

At Freedom Solar Power, our contractors must undergo annual training sessions and reviews to maintain eligibility for participation in the program and to ensure all participants comply with NBU’s program guidelines. Once registered, the solar contractors are required to uphold ethical business practices to remain on the list.

Exclusions

In the NBU service territory, there are specific exclusions that residents should note, which include: 

  1. PPAs: Third-party Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are expressly prohibited, meaning that residents cannot engage in these agreements within the utility’s jurisdiction. 
  2. Existing Solar: Homes that already have solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed or are planning system expansions cannot participate in the rebate program. This restriction also extends to leased solar PV systems, which are not eligible for program participation. 
  3. Previous Rebates: Any customer who has received a solar rebate for a property within the last 12 months is ineligible to apply for another rebate at the same address. These rules collectively ensure that the benefits of the NBU solar rebate program are distributed fairly among new participants and maintain the program’s integrity.

Other Solar Incentives for New Braunfels Utilities Customers

Net Metering

Net metering is a billing mechanism for solar energy system owners, particularly those with photovoltaic (PV) installations. It allows these system owners to return the excess electricity to the grid in exchange for credits. When a solar panel system produces more electricity than the owner uses, the surplus electricity is fed into the public utility grid, and the owner’s account is credited for the amount of energy contributed. 

Unlike other states, Texas has no statewide net metering policy or other standard for compensating customers for energy sent to the grid from solar installations. Instead, residents can send excess power generated back to their utility provider, who then pays you per their feed-in tariffs.

NBU Net Metering

New Braunfels Utilities is among 76 providers in the state that provide this kind of net metering for their clientele.4

Texas Property Tax Exemption

While not specific to NBU, homeowners can and should take advantage of this incentive, which offers a 100% property tax exemption on the appraised value of an on-site solar system.

For example, if your property is valued at $350,000 and you add a $15,000 system that increases your property value, the exemption applies to the added value, and you will only be taxed on the property value before you added the system

Finding a Solar Installer in New Braunfels, TX

If you are considering a switch to solar energy in New Braunfels, San Antonio, or other parts of Texas, choosing the right installer is crucial for a seamless transition and estimating your needs for optimal system performance. 

Freedom Solar Power will help you take advantage of Texas incentives for solar panels. We are a full-service solar team with in-house experts in sales, design, permitting, installation, and customer care. We put you in control, but you don’t have to lift a finger. 

Contact us today for a free consultation


Resources: 

  1. https://www.nbutexas.com/solar-rebate/
  2. https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/tx/
  3. https://www.nbutexas.com/new-solar-program
  4. https://www.newbraunfels.gov/DocumentCenter/View/33199/Customer_Bulletin_NBU_Solar_Interconnection_Steps
  5. https://www.texaslandcan.org/article/Texas-Tax-Code-Incentives-for-Renewable-Energy