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Cost of Solar Panels in Texas

Solar Panels in Texas: Pricing, Savings, and Financial Benefits

Key Details

  • Solar panels in Texas cost an average of $2.50-$3.10 per watt.
  • For a 5kW system, the cost is between $12,500 and $15,500 before incentives are considered.
  • To go off-grid in Texas, you'll need between 26 to 510 solar panels depending on the size of the system.
  • An average 3-bedroom uses between 13-17 solar panels; for a 4-bedroom house it’s 17-22.
  • Factors influencing the number of solar panels needed include system size, electricity usage, roof size/complexity, and local weather.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Texas?

As of 2023, the average cost of a solar panel in Texas is $2.50-$3.10 per watt (W). For a 5 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system, an average solar installation in Texas costs between $12,500 and $15,500, lower than the national average of $20,000.

However, the cost of installing a solar system drops when the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives are considered.

Average Solar Panel Cost in Texas

Size Solar Panel Installation Cost System Installation Cost After 30% Tax Solar Credit Home Size
3 kW $7,500 - $9,300 $5,250 - $6,510 < 1,00 sq ft
5 kW $12,500 - $15,500 $8,750 - $10,850 <1,000 sq ft
6 kW $15,000 - $18,600 $10,500 - $13,020 1,000 sq ft
8 kW $20,000 - $24,800 $14,000 - $17,360 1,100 sq ft
9 kW $22,500 - $27,900 $15,750 - $19,530 1,300 sq. ft.
11 kW $27,500 - $34,100 $19,250 - $23,870 1,700 sq ft
13 kW $32,500 - $40,300 $22,750 - $28,210 2,100 sq ft
14 kW $35,000 - $43,400 $24,500 - $30,380 2,300 sq ft
15 kW $37,500 - $46,500 $26,250 - $32,550 > 2,400 sq ft

Some of the factors that affect the number of solar panels needed for a solar installation include:

System size: The larger the solar panel efficiency, the more expensive the cost of the solar panel. However, as the system size increases, the average per-unit price of solar panels drops.

Your location: The price of solar panels and other solar system equipment differ based on location.

The electricity your home uses: If your home uses more electricity you will need more solar panels to cover the energy needs. Although solar panels are cheaper on a per-watt basis, the overall cost of the system will increase as more panels are added. However, the higher your home’s energy usage, the more solar panels you will need.

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The amount of solar panels you require will be determined by your home’s energy requirements.

Solar panel brand and quality: Solar panels vary in quality. Some solar manufacturers are popular for having highly efficient solar panels in the market. However, they may be more expensive.

Solar panel type: The price of solar panels can vary depending on the type of solar panels you choose. The type of solar panel (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film) you choose directly impacts the overall quality of your system. These solar panel types differ in quality and price. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient but most expensive.

Your roof: A solar panel installation costs more than simply the equipment. Your solar installer may also charge you for the difficulty of the installation, so if you have a complicated roof, your system may be more expensive.

Solar installation company: Solar companies charge varying labor costs for their services. You can spend more for a renowned firm with better reviews and shorter installation time. In the end, ensure that you engage an experienced solar installer.

Permits and interconnection: Although not a major component, paying for permits and your grid connecting charge will add to the total cost of your solar installation.

Solar incentives: The overall cost of solar can be influenced by the solar incentives available in your location. Homeowners in the United States are eligible to apply for the 30% federal solar tax credit.

Note: The Federal solar tax credit can be combined with local solar tax incentives and rebates which can help you save thousands on a solar installation.

How Big of a Solar System Do I Need To Go Off-Grid in Texas?

The following factors determine the number of solar panels necessary to get completely off-grid:

  • The amount of electricity you use and need
  • The available roof space that can be used.
  • The amount of direct daily sunshine.
  • The type and efficiency of the solar panels.

To maintain a long-term off-grid lifestyle, you'll need solar batteries to store all of the energy generated by your solar panels.

Solar panels and solar batteries come in various qualities, styles, and sizes. The number of solar panels required to get off-grid is determined by two factors: your energy needs and the performance output of each panel.

System Size Number of Panels Estimated Space (sq. ft.) Estimated Cost
5kW 26 289 $13,750
10kW 52 578 $27,500
20kW 105 1,168 $55,000
50kW 255 2,838 $137,500
100kW 510 5,676 $275,000
200kW 1,020 11,352 $550,000

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for a 3-Bedroom House in Texas?

An average 3-bedroom house uses between 13 - 17 solar panels. The exact number will depend on the size of your home, your energy use, the average sunlight hours in your area, and the size and efficiency of the solar panels.

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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for a 4-Bedroom House in Texas?

An average 3-bedroom house can use between 17 - 22 solar panels. The actual number depends on the home’s size, the energy use, the average sunlight hours of the house’s location, and the solar panels’ size and efficiency.

Do All Solar Panels Produce the Same Energy?

All solar panels generate the same type of energy but in different quantities. The wattage rating of solar panels substantially affects the solar panel’s energy generation capacity. Higher-wattage solar panels generate more electricity than lower-wattage panels under the same conditions.

Is it Better to Lease or Buy in Texas?

Leasing or buying offers unique benefits, depending on your needs and financial situation. Generally, you should lease a solar system if you do not have the funds to cover the initial cost of purchasing one, but buying helps save you money in the long run by reducing or eliminating monthly utility bills

Buying a Solar Panel System

When you buy a solar panel system, you must pay the high upfront cost of purchasing and installing the solar panels. You can buy your solar system with cash or with a loan. The homeowner/buyer owns the solar panel and receives ownership benefits such as rebates and incentives for owning a solar system.

Among the benefits of buying a solar system in Texas are the following:

  • You enjoy all rebates and incentives that come with solar ownership.
  • You save money in the long run by reducing or eliminating monthly utility bills. This will help you recoup your solar investment within the system’s payback period.
  • Your solar system increases the value of your property. So, if you want to sell your house, it will sell for a higher price.
  • Although you will be in charge of maintenance, solar systems require little maintenance. Most Texas solar providers provide a standard 25-year warranty on the system and a 25-year production guarantee.

Generally, you should get a solar system if you have the cash to pay for it. Because while the initial investment is high, the solar panels will “pay for themselves” over time, and you will save money on your electricity bills in the long run. They are also great for the environment.

Leasing Solar Panel System

Leasing a solar panel system entails entering into a service contract with a third-party solar leasing company that owns and installs the solar system in your home. You get to use the electricity the leased solar system generates, including any excess power sent to the grid.

The benefits of leasing a solar system in Texas include:

  • When you lease a solar panel, a third-party entity owns the panels while you, the homeowner, use them. You do not receive any ownership perks, such as incentives or rebates.
  • There are no upfront costs; you pay the third-party company as agreed in the lease, usually every month. The payment cost is usually based on the energy you use, the company, your location, and your credit score.
  • Although you make payments periodically during the lease term, you will save money on utility costs. However, the lifetime savings for leased systems are lower.
  • The third-party company is exclusively responsible for maintenance costs.
  • If you do not have the cash reserves required for the initial investment in solar panels, you can switch to solar energy by leasing a solar panel system.

Generally, you should lease a solar system if you do not have the funds to cover the initial cost of purchasing one. When you lease, you save on utility costs and protect the environment. Depending on the lease terms, you may be able to purchase the solar system at the end of the term. You should note that a leased solar system does not add value to your property because you are not the solar system owner. If you wish to sell your property, you may have to purchase the system or transfer the lease to the next owner. This may make selling your home more challenging.

Which Type of Solar Panel is Best for Home Use in Texas?

There are three types of solar panels in Texas: thin film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline. Each of them have benefits and drawbacks.

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels have similar features. They are made using silicon wafers. Silicon wafers are the cells that transform sunlight into electricity. The main difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels is how the cells are formed. Monocrystalline cells are created with a single silicon crystal. They are the most effective and high-performing type of solar panels. However, they are also the most expensive type.

Polycrystalline cells are created by molding many silicon crystals to create a wafer. Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper and less effective than monocrystalline solar panels.

Thin-film solar panels have unique features. They are made from various materials, with cadmium telluride (CdTe) being the most common. This makes them incredibly thin and flexible. They are perfect for areas with restricted space or weight capacities. However, they do not generate electricity as efficiently as monocrystalline solar panels do.

Monocrystalline panels are typically the most effective and expensive solar panels.

Can You Run a House Solely on Solar Panels in Texas?

Yes, you can run a house solely on solar panels in Texas. To do this, you'll need an efficient system that includes solar panels and solar torage devices. Some solar companies, such as Tesla, Enphase and Generac, offer integerated energy solutions that may simplify the installation process.

You should consider certain factors before you choose to run your house solely on solar panels. These factors include:

The amount of energy needed to run your house solely on solar panels

You can determine how much energy you need to run your house solely on solar panels by calculating your monthly average electricity usage. This allows your solar contractor to calculate how much electricity you need to generate each month to power your home solely with solar energy. Your monthly electricity demand may vary from month to month due to varying weather conditions and the availability of sunlight; hence, you will need to have a reserve capacity for solar battery storage to ensure a consistent power supply.

Calculate the weather of your location as it affects solar energy production capacity

The weather and overall climate of where you reside determine how much solar energy you can generate to power your house. If you live in a cold and overcast area, it may be difficult to power your house purely on solar because you may not receive direct sunshine for an extended period.

Evaluate your solar generation environment based on your surroundings

You should assess the number and proximity of huge trees growing in your vicinity, the heights of houses, and other important structures that can affect your solar energy generation in your area. These structures can cast strong shadows across your roof, reducing the efficiency of your solar energy system.

Overall, you should engage professional and experienced solar energy estimators to assist you with determining how many solar panels you need to power your house entirely on solar energy.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need in Texas?

The amount of solar panels you require is mostly determined by your home’s energy requirements. Each home’s energy requirements are different.

Calculating Your Home’s Electricity Usage/Needs

You can calculate your home’s average electricity usage through monthly electric bills. It contains information that can help you figure out how much electricity you must produce to meet that average, which will help you decide how many solar panels to install to produce that amount of electricity. Multiply your hourly electricity needs by the peak sunlight hours in your region and divide by the wattage of a panel to determine how many solar panels you need. A high-wattage solar panel can produce 370W in an hour, compared to a low-wattage panel’s 150W.

Determining Your current Electricity Use in Watts

You can assess your current energy usage from your monthly electricity bill. Look for the phrase “kilowatt hours (or kWh) used” or something similar and the duration (often 30 days). Some bills do not list the number of kilowatt hours consumed. If that applies to you, look at the starting and stopping meter readings and deduct the old reading from the present one.

You need information about your daily and hourly consumption. If your bill does not specify your daily average, multiply the monthly or annual average by 30 or 365, as appropriate. To determine your hourly average, divide by 24. These figures assist you in estimating how much electricity you will need and calculate how much electricity your solar panels will need to produce.

Note: Solar panels do not operate at their best capacity all day. Their energy-generating capacity is limited at night, in the rain, and during cloudy weather. Therefore, if you want to store solar energy for those times, you may need to buy a solar battery or, if eligible, use net metering to get electricity from the grid.

Measure the climate and peak sunlight hours in your area

The amount of energy your solar system will likely produce depends on the local environment and peak sunlight hours. You might need fewer solar panels if you live somewhere in Texas with more peak sunshine hours than somewhere with fewer peak sunlight hours. You can use the Renewable Resource Data Center to learn more about the sunlight periods in your state and perhaps even your city.

To convert your hourly electricity usage to watts, multiply it by 1,000. Next, multiply the average hourly wattage by the area’s daily peak sunlight hours. You will receive the electricity your solar panels need to produce every hour.

The efficiency of the solar panels

Depending on the panel size, efficiency, and cell technology, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can produce energy in the range of 150 to 400 watts.

In effect, if you choose solar panels with high efficiency, you will require fewer panels to meet your electricity needs, unlike solar panels with low efficiency. Traditional solar panels usually produce around 250 watts per panel, with varying levels of efficiency.

You may calculate the total number of solar panels you need by multiplying the amount of electricity your home needs each hour by the wattage of the solar panels.

The physical size of the solar panels

Solar panel size and quantity are important considerations if your roof is small or irregular. You may need to sacrifice some factors if you have a peculiar type of roof. If you have a large usable roof, your range of solar panels is wide. However, using fewer smaller, high-efficiency panels may be the best strategy to generate the most power over time, thus saving you more money.

The weight of the solar panels

Another crucial factor to consider if you intend to construct a rooftop solar system is the weight of your solar panels. The easiest way to ensure your roof can support a full installation is to know how much a solar panel weighs. Most panels weigh roughly 40 pounds, although panel weights vary per manufacturer.

To assess whether you can physically place the right number of panels on your roof to reach your daily energy production goals, a solar installer must first evaluate your roof’s construction, angle to the sun, and other factors.

Consider buying solar batteries along with your system and signing up for net metering if you qualify. You can consider net metering when estimating how much money you will save and make from your solar system. Suppose you do not use a solar battery to store excess solar electricity and qualify for net metering.

In that case, your utility company will give you credit for any excess solar energy you produce during the day and permit you to use those credits when you connect to the electric grid during your solar panel downtimes.