The state of Texas has made several noteworthy strides to improve the adoption of solar energy. Here is a look at some statewide energy incentives in the state of Texas.
Texas has adopted a statewide net-metering rule, but it is somewhat limited due to it only applying to some investor-owned utilities. Utilities that are not bundled with the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) must offer net-metering options to customers with renewable-energy systems (up to 50 kW). Any excess power generated is credited to the customer on the subsequent month's bill. Austin Energy is known for being a cut above other utilities regarding their net-metering returns for customers. Throughout Texas, there are several utility-sponsored programs providing cash for residents and businesses that install renewable-energy systems.
Texas also established a Solar and Wind Energy Device Franchise Tax Deduction in 1981. Amended in 1991 and 1999, this provision lets companies deduct the cost of a solar-energy system from the state's franchise tax. Businesses can deduct the entire system cost from their taxable capital, or deduct 10% of the cost from the company's revenue.
The Solar Energy Rebate sponsored by Austin Energy offers a residential rebate for PV systems that covers $2.50 per watt (maximum rebate is $15,000). Residents installing a solar water heater are also entitled to a $2,000 rebate. Commercial customers are eligible for a PBI worth $0.14/kWh.
Other utilities sponsoring rebates for solar energy systems include AEP Texas North, Denton Municipal Utilities, CPS Energy, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Bryan Texas Utilities, Entergy Texas, Oncor Electric Delivery, and Texas New Mexico Power Company.
*New for 2011! TNMP's Solar PV Pilot Program is giving the state of Texas over $100,000 towards solar PV rebates and incentives. The new 2011 incentive rate is $2.00/DC watt.