Guide to Going Solar with Oncor Electric Delivery in Texas

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Guide to Going Solar with Oncor Electric Delivery in Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes solar energy! The Lone Star state saw a cowboy sized leap in solar production from 2021 to 2022 of 47% – enough to power approximately 2.3 million average households! This makes the state second only to California in solar production.1

How can you take advantage of the nearly 300 sunny days that grace Texas each year? For North Texas area homeowners based in the Oncor Electric Delivery, one of Texas’s largest electric utility companies, offers several programs and incentives for customers who choose to install solar panels at their homes or businesses. Their robust net metering program creates an excellent pathway to saving you money while also contributing to a greener energy grid. 

Let’s dive into Oncor Electric Delivery and how you can stop renting your electricity from the grid and start making your own! 

Benefits of Going Solar with Oncor

Oncor Electric Delivery Company is the largest electric utility company in the state of Texas and the 5th largest utility company in the nation, providing service to more than 13 million customers across the state.

Owing to its sheer size and reach, Oncor provides a multitude of benefits for residential solar customers with its own solar incentive programs, including net metering. Oncor itself operates in a deregulated electric market where net metering is not applicable. However, some Retail Electric Providers (REPs) offer renewable billing programs that offer credits for surplus generation. 2

Oncor provides incentives to participating service providers who install photovoltaic systems on homes with energy storage backup in Oncor’s service area through its Residential Solar Program

How Oncor’s Texas Solar Power Incentives Work

Oncor’s incentive program works a little differently than other electric companies that provide incentives to sell excess solar energy to earn credits on future energy bills up to $9000 per solar system between 3 and 15 kW. To qualify, the system must also incorporate a solar battery

Oncor is a transmission and distribution utility, meaning it maintains electrical equipment and the grid’s transmission system, but it does not directly determine electricity rates. Instead of providing direct incentives, Oncor works with participating service providers who carry out these installations within its service areas (including 98 counties across the state)

Finding a Retail Electric Provider (REP) to Partner with Oncor’s Benefits 

To join the solar incentive programs offered by Oncor, Texans must first find a Retail Electric Provider (REP) to purchase electricity from that operates in Oncor’s service territory and offers a solar buyback program. While a homeowners’ rate plan will include transmission and distribution utility (TDU) fees from Oncor, the actual electricity payments will come from the REP. Options for REPs that meet this requirement include Reliant, TXU Energy, and Rhythm.

Who is Eligible for Oncor’s Solar Incentive Programs

The incentives for installing residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems depend on several factors, including the system’s size, panel type, and direction, among other specifications. These are the eligibility requirements: 

  • Energy Storage Backup: Homeowners are required to set up solar photovoltaic systems that include an energy storage backup. 
  • New Systems: Only new systems are eligible. Sites with existing solar arrays are not eligible to participate in the program.
  • Azimuth: Solar array azimuth should be 90 to 270 degrees, and the tilt angle should be between 0 (horizontal) and latitude + 15 degrees.
  • Interconnection Agreement: The customer must sign an Interconnection Agreement with Oncor.
  • System Size: The minimum system size is 3 kW DC, while the maximum system size is 15 kW DC.

Is Going Solar with Oncor Worth It?

Incentives like those offered by Oncor, like rebates and net meter programs, make the cost of solar panels in Texas more accessible than ever. All of these offset the upfront costs of a renewable energy system that increases your property value, gives independence from changing utility pricing, and allows you a lighter carbon footprint. 

Oncor Electric Delivery is doing its part in Texas to support the second biggest state in the nation with its decarbonization goals and each customer with lower electricity bills through solar buyback programs. However, It is crucial to note that Oncor does not offer solar credits directly through Oncor net metering programs but rather partners with Retail Electric Providers (REPs) to offer credits to customers enrolled in these solar buyback programs. Any credits for excess power your system generates would come from your REP and not through Oncor.

Through the REP and Oncor solar buyback programs, there is a substantial amount of savings to be had! The exact amount of savings is a factor of many factors determined by your REP and system specifications. No matter the system, all homeowners are eligible for the Inflation Reduction Act 30% federal tax credit and the annual statewide Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption 3

Choosing a Solar Panel Installer in TX

Choosing the right solar panel installer is a crucial step in your renewable energy journey! At Freedom Solar Power, we go above and beyond to offer honest and transparent full service PV installations. We believe that solar is for everyone. We’re on a mission to empower each and every homeowner to have access to clean, affordable, and reliable clean energy. 

We are experts in helping you get the most out of your local and statewide solar incentives. Contact Freedom Solar Power today for your instant solar estimate


Resources:

  1. https://environmentamerica.org/texas
  2. https://www.oncor.com/takealoadofftexas/pages/residentialsolar
  3. https://www.texaslandcan.org/article/Texas-Tax-Code-Incentives-for-Renewable-Energy

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