How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar in Houston, Texas
Houston homeowners can help themselves by supporting Texas in its quest to have 10,000 megawatts of renewable resources installed in homes and businesses by 2025.
Houston City Policy for Solar Panels
The city of Houston already has in effect a Green Building Policy and a Property Tax Abatement for the city’s municipal buildings for both new construction and renovation projects. Renewable sources being used along with geothermal heat pumps, hydroelectric, daylighting, and wind biomass, include solar photovoltaics (PV), solar space heat and solar water heaters.
According to a press release by Mayor Annise Parker, November, 2015, the city is on a mission to “reduce Houston’s carbon footprint and save money over time.”
Benefits of Installing Solar Panels in Houston
While installing a solar panel system may seem costly in the beginning, keep in mind, homeowners and owners of commercial buildings receive a federal tax break that significantly decreases the initial cost. The cost of solar panels dropping is another factor in lessening what would have been a more expensive purchase several years ago.
In a report by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is noted there was a 14 percent decrease in the cost of panels for residents in a one-year span.
As more consumers install a solar paneling system, the cost of buying and installation can be driven down even more making the process affordable to all income brackets across the board.
With more traditional electric customers turning to a solar panel system generating surplus electricity, the rates offered by providers become more competitive providing customers with excellent choices in what they pay each month.
Texas is a pro-renewable energy state with many cities offering incentives or rebate programs. With this positive attitude and an influx of solar panel installation, the state maintains one of the lowest median price in the nation for per watt rates.
Finding a Solar Panel Provider in Houston
Choose a provider that offers a good rate and one that has an agreement to purchase any surplus electricity generated by the system. When the surplus is purchased, it goes back into the main electrical grid and used especially when there is a peak demand for energy.
Use the helpful website, Power to Choose, provided by the Public Utility Commission of Texas to filter through the available providers for your specific zip code.
On the site, you’ll enter your zip code to get a listing of electric company providers. Use the filters to see plans based on the cost of your current kWh rate, estimated use, plan type, prepaid plans, and a percentage for the renewable energy factor.
Each company has both its terms of service agreement and a fact sheet available for your perusal. Read through both, carefully. The fact sheet will tell you whether or not the provider does or does not purchase excess distributed renewable generation.
For example, if you were to choose Green Mountain Energy Company, you would sign up for their Renewable Rewards program to participate in their buy-back policy concerning distributed renewable energy. With a buy-back program, the objective is to reward customers with a credit or refund to their monthly utility bill. This is another good reason for choosing solar panel power, as systems generally last for 25 or more years. During that time, you will be saving money that can significantly add up over time.
ROI for Houston Homes Featuring Solar Panels
With solar panels installed on your home or commercial space, not only do you increase its value and save money, you also make your property more attractive to buyers. Should you decide to put your property on the market, having solar panels installed is a positive selling point.
Not only is renewable energy good for the planet, the panels keep giving back to your wallet year after year. Regardless of the initial cost, if you choose to purchase, or if it is more convenient for you to lease the panels, either way it’s a profitable solution for you and the state.
Final Thoughts for Consideration
Not every residence or commercial building is solar panel friendly. The panels are heavy and structures must be able to support the weight. The roof must also be positioned appropriately to receive the solar rays directly. Trees also play a role in solar panel compatibility. If your property is heavily shaded, there is a good chance solar panels on the roof will not be possible. There is the alternative of installing solar panels on the ground. Your provider will be able to help you determine what you’ll need in terms of system size to energize your home or commercial property, as well as if the property can sustain the panels efficiently.