One of the most important factors in solar energy adoption has been producer rebates from
local electric service providers. A typical residential installation may cost $7.00 per watt before rebates or credits. Electric
providers offer customers a per watt solar producer rebates to encourage renewable energy and meet renewable production goals;
the reason electric customers are only paid a solar power generation rebate for an interconnected (grid-tied) solar system.
These rebates are one of the primary underlying motivators for Austin Energy customers and have been adopted and expanded
Texas wide for Oncor customers and San Antonio area CPS Energy customers. The final incentive is the 30% Federal tax credit
on the remaining balance for systems and installation costs.
In general solar producer rebate
rates vary across Texas but are becoming widely available for most customers due to a groundswell of interest in renewable
energy. One of the most notable examples of the public commitment to renewable energy is the City of San Antonio's major solar
power initiative that seeks to offset expanded electric generation needs from coal-fired power plants with clean efficient
solar. Strong financial incentives in the form of rebates and efficiency programs form a two-part strategy to help meet long-term
electric needs for a major US city.
In these uncertain times, a perfect combination of factors
are making renewable energy a sound choice for homeowners and business seeking to manage the costs and consequences of energy
choices for every Texan. The lowest costs ever in solar equipment and strong policy measures make solar a wise investment
and a good hedge on potential energy inflation costs. Given the long lasting performance of modern solar arrays, a reasonable
return on investment can be expected over the lifetime of a solar PV system with little maintenance required. The solid promise
of a modest return on investment for our customers is what the Texas solar industry is banking on for years to come.