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 Plano, Texas
If you live in a sun-drenched city like Plano, Texas, it’s beneficial to consider all of the available options that can help cut the cost of your monthly utility bill. This means taking advantage of the natural resource shining down on the city every day. With solar panels utilizing the power of the sun, you’ll have an on-going sustainable energy source that is friendly to the environment as well as your wallet. Become acquainted with Plano’s outlook on solar energy to see if a solar panel system is right for your home.
Texas Policy and Politics Regarding Solar Energy
Texas has Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) designated by its legislature to encourage the use of solar energy incentives. For utility companies, it means each must meet the set standard or pay a compliance fee to the state. To help defray these fines, utility companies often times offer solar power incentives to homeowners. The normal requirement for RPS is a percentage of generated energy must come from renewable sources but in Texas, it’s measured in megawatts according to the amount of electricity produced.
For the state of Texas, wind power using massive wind turbines has become a major factor in renewable energy resulting in the production of over 10 percent of the state’s electricity. This doesn’t mean solar energy is out of the picture. It is to a utility company’s advantage to support and offer solar incentives for homeowners and businesses to prevent fines imposed by the state. The bottom line remains that the majority of renewable energy in Texas is wind generated, and until the RPS percentage is raised specifically requiring solar resources, the option to use solar energy is mostly a voluntary decision. Regardless of the reasoning and mandates by the state, a solar powered system is a viable and beneficial source of energy to you. Not only will you see a decrease in your utility bill, you’ll also be doing your part in helping control the amount of pollutants and harmful gases emitted into the air.
Pros and Cons of Solar Energy in Texas
As the cost of fossil fuel rises, it only makes sense the cost of electricity will rise, too. According to a survey by Edison Electric Institute in June 2014, the national average per kilowatt hour is 12.56 cents.
In Texas, the average in 2014 was 10.23 cents per kilowatt hour. With an anticipated rise in fuel costs, homeowners who’ve invested in a solar power system will also see a rise but it will be in savings.
One big plus for Texas solar users is the state regulations for interconnection rules. These include:
- An assurance your solar system will be connected to the grid
- Standard interconnection procedures are in place for solar systems up to 10 MW (megawatts)
- A utility company cannot perform pre-interconnection studies
- Your application must be considered between 4 to 6 weeks
- You’re eligible for timely pre-certification procedures to ensure a quick interconnection process
Another plus for solar system users is the property tax exemption. Once a solar system is installed, your home’s value will increase but the increase is exempt from property taxes due to the value it adds to your home.
There’s also a lack of net metering. This is a monitoring process done by the local utility company to determine any credit you should receive for solar energy produced versus how much was used.
While not all Texas cities have net metering, a few such as El Paso, Brenham, San Antonio, and Austin, have their own metering laws. As more cities are adding metering to its agenda, it’s to your advantage to check with the Plano utility department about any current or future programs.
Community Involvement with Solar in Plano
Plano has a vigorous volunteer group of like-minded citizens dedicated to promoting, supporting, and bringing awareness of the benefits of solar energy to Texas. Plano Solar is a good starting place for homeowners and businesses considering purchasing or leasing a solar panel system. The site is a repository for valuable resources, useful links, volunteer opportunities, events, and general information about solar energy systems.
Now that you have a better understanding of the financial pros and cons of installing a solar panel system in your home, you can make a well-informed decision. With Plano’s subtropical climate, like many Texas cities, you’ll have access to the sun’s power well over 200+ days a year. Over time, a solar energy system adds up to thousands of dollars in savings. Consider tapping into the grid to get your “piece of the pie in the sky.”