Texas solar panels: The complete guide in 2024

Data updated May 21, 2024

Written by: Emily Walker

Interested in going solar? You'll need to install a 12.91 kW solar panel system to cover the average electric bill in Texas, which will cost you about $21,058 after the federal tax credit.

Cost for an average system in Texas


Out of pocket cost, cash
$30,083
Federal tax credit (30%)
- $9,025
Price post tax credit
$21,058

20-year savings $56,369
Payback period 7 Years
Electricity offset 98%
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As long as your federal tax bill is high enough, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

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Going solar in Texas

Texas produces more energy than any other U.S. state. While most of this energy comes from fossil fuels, the Lone Star State is also a leader in solar energy–second only to California. 

With ample sun, it's no surprise that Texas is a great state for solar panels. But how much you can save with solar depends on your utility company: Some offer great incentives, while others don't offer any. 

Here's what you need to know about getting solar panels in Texas.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost in Texas?

Solar panels will save you a lot of money over time, but the upfront costs aren't cheap. The average Texas homeowner needs a 12.91 kW solar panel system to cover their electricity needs, which comes out to $30,083 before incentives. Prices range from $25,571 to $34,595, but after the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%, and some utilities in Texas offer local incentives as well. 

While this may sound high, it will usually pay off in Texas–especially if you add a battery. That's why over 83,000 Texas homeowners have used EnergySage to receive and compare quotes for solar installations. You can expect to earn back your initial solar investment through electricity savings in about 6.55 years, while most systems last at least 25 years. You'll often see this number referenced as your solar payback period.

There are a few ways to finance your solar panel system so you don't have to provide all that money upfront. 

  • Cash purchase: You'll own the system and pay for it upfront. This provides the best long-term savings. 

  • Solar loan: Allows you to retain ownership of your system, while owing little to no money upfront. Solar loans aren't all created equal: If you have access to subsidized clean energy loans through local incentive programs, that's usually your best bet. A home equity loan or a personal loan are often your next best options––private solar loans typically come with higher interest rates or upfront fees.

  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A third-party company owns your system and either leases you the solar panels (solar lease) or allows you to purchase the electricity they generate (PPA). These generally provide the lowest savings and generate the most negative press about solar. If you choose this financing option, read the fine print: You can get trapped in them for longer than you'd like.

Solar panels on a house

Incentives

What are the best solar rebates and incentives in Texas?

Incentives help bring solar's price tag down considerably in Texas. Here are the major ones to know about:

Incentive
Average savings in Texas
Description

Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

$9,025

Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

Local rebates

Up to $3,000

Depending on your utility company, additional rebates may lower your system's cost.

Texas solar property tax exemption

About 1.81% of your system's value, annually on average

If you use solar energy as a source of power, you won't need to pay tax on the value your solar panels add to your property. The average property tax in Texas is 1.81%

Is net metering available in Texas?

In some states, you'll earn bill credits from your utility company when your solar panel system generates excess electricity and sends it to the grid. This incentive is known as net metering—basically a solar buyback program—and makes it so you will owe very little, or even nothing, on your electric bills with solar panels.

Utility companies in Texas aren't legally required to offer net metering or other solar buyback programs, but many of them do anyway. The details vary quite a lot between utilities and suppliers in Texas. If you don't have access to a good solar buyback program, adding a battery will help you get the most out of your solar panel system. 

A house with rooftop solar panels connected to the grid

Equipment

Equipment quality

Each year, solar panels get more and more efficient—that is, they produce more power per square foot. As of 2024, the most popular solar panels can produce about 400 watts of electricity when they’re in full sunlight. If you want to make the most of your roof’s solar potential, get panels with at least that much power output.  

You should also make sure to select a solar inverter setup that makes sense for your roof’s layout. 

And if you want or need a solar battery, be sure to pick one that can integrate cleanly with that inverter. 

Premium equipment can come with a high price tag, but it will often save you more money in the long run. The best equipment tends to have the best warranty terms, often guaranteed to 25 years (sometimes even 40!), so you’re covered in case you need repairs or replacements. The highest-quality panels also degrade more slowly, so they’ll maintain more of their power output further into the future. 

See our list of the best solar panels

resources

Top solar resources for Texas

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