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Cost of solar panels in Texas

How much is it to go solar in 2023?

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The average cost to install solar panels is $21,654 in Texas after the federal solar investment tax credit ($30,934 before the tax credit), which works out to $2.69 per watt (the national average is $2.66).

Going solar in The Lone Star State is about 29% more expensive than the national average. The out-of-pocket investment is higher than in other states because the typical Texas household needs a higher-kilowatt (kW) system to offset energy costs.

Key insights

  • The average cost per watt is $2.69.
  • If you pay cash, the average payback period is 13 years.
  • Over 25 years, the estimated net savings equal $21,350.

How much do solar panels cost in Texas?

Installing residential solar panels can cost from $10,000 to $30,000 or more, although individual costs vary significantly.

On the high end, Mandy in Round Rock paid $45,000 for a system, Daniel in Richardson paid $68,000 and Michael in Humble paid $75,000.

Average solar panel cost by system size in Texas

5 kW6 kW7 kW8 kW9 kW10 kW
Before federal tax credits $16,810 $20,175 $23,540 $26,900 $30,260 $33,625
After federal tax credits $11,767 $14,122 $16,478 $18,830 $21,182 $23,538
Approximate roof size 1,050 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,350 sq. ft. 1,500 sq. ft. 1,650 sq. ft. 1,800 sq. ft.
Source: EcoWatch

Are solar panels worth it in Texas?

The majority of Texas solar customers we’ve talked to over the past two years would recommend it to a friend.

“It’s worth its weight in gold,” according to Cesar in Pflugerville, whose electric bill went down by $60 or $70.

Lynda in Austin told us her electric bill has been around $3 and added that “it's been great. It worked out exactly what we expected.” Becca in Fort Worth has saved “like over $7,000” since going solar.

Others highlight the environmental benefits: “It seems that the effects of global warming are accelerated and extreme,” Ed in Flower Mound told us. “Everyone should do their part to reduce greenhouse gasses. Rooftop solar panels are our contribution to this effort.”

In Texas, we get plenty of sun, so there's no reason not to take advantage of it.”
— Anthony in Center, TX

Of course, not every Texan who goes solar is completely satisfied. Some told us about sales reps making false promises or frustrations with their electricity companies. Billing issues and poor buyback rates are the primary pain points.

There’s an overarching positive sentiment in the state about the potential of solar energy, however.

“In Texas, we get plenty of sun, so there's no reason not to take advantage of it,” Anthony in Center said.

“The only thing I don't like is the battery is so expensive,” Haojun in Houston said. “Back in 2019, the backup battery was cheap. Right now, if I want to install two batteries, it will cost like $30,000 up. That's a lot.”

» MORE: Is it really worth it?

Do I need a solar backup battery in Texas?

A solar battery backup gives you an extra layer of insurance against grid vulnerabilities. It also gives you more energy independence and potential cost savings. It has many advantages, particularly in Texas, thanks to the state’s unique energy infrastructure.

The state’s grid has faced challenges (like in early 2021, when winter storms caused widespread power outages). Solar panels with battery storage offer Texans a level of energy independence and resilience against such grid failures.

“I've been very satisfied going solar,” Ted in San Antonio told us. “But if you don't go with the battery pack, it's a waste.”

Keith in Baird also recommends getting a battery: “Today, a truck ran through the power line and it knocked all the electricity out. Ours just barely clicked,” he said. “The battery gives five hours, which is more than plenty. The techs fixed the power line before we ran out of electricity.”

If you don't go with the battery pack, it's a waste.”
— Ted in San Antonio

“There are two reasons I'm going for solar,” Paul in Rowlett told us. “One is to reduce my energy cost. Second is to have a battery backup. Essentially, I'm not building any system without a battery backup.”

The only downside is that they're expensive and not automatically included in your quote. “I assumed the battery would come with it because I kept telling them that's what I wanted it for,” Bill in San Marcos said. “But after I sent the paperwork, I didn't get the battery.”

» COMPARE: Best solar batteries

Cost factors of going solar in Texas

How much you pay for your solar panels depends on a range of factors, including the quality of your panels and the size of your system.

Equipment costs

Residential solar equipment costs cover the price of the solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware and any additional components like batteries.

Think of it like buying a car: The main price is for the vehicle itself, but you pay extra for special features or accessories. The total cost depends on the size and quality of the equipment, and some brands or technologies are more expensive than others.

» LEARN: What is a solar array?

System size

An 8-kW or 8.5-kW system is common in Texas, but plenty of households need a 10-kW system or larger. For instance, Jose in Plano got a 16.8-kW system (plus two Tesla Powerwalls), and ​​Abdul in Mesquite got a 17.5-kW system, which should generate about double the average household’s energy needs.

How much you pay also depends on your panels’ wattage and efficiency. A 10-kW system typically requires between 20 and 40 panels. The more panels you get, the more expensive it is.

Panel wattageNumber of panels needed for 10 kWSquare footage required for panels
100 watts 100 1,800
200 watts 50 900
250 watts 40 720
300 watts 34 612
400 watts 25 525
500 watts 20 560

Installation company

Solar installation costs might include site assessment, system design and actual installation. Labor rates vary based on your location within Texas and the installer’s experience.

Solar panels are a long-term investment. If you ever have a problem with your system, like monitoring issues, you’ll want to resolve it quickly.

Paying more upfront to work with a reliable company is often worth it. For instance, Amanda in League City decided to go with a company that charged around $10,000 more because everything from sales to installation to maintenance was in-house.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation guide

Condition of your roof

The installation might be more expensive if your roof requires significant modifications, is steep or has an irregular shape. Similarly, ground-mounted systems also vary in price depending on the complexity.

Solar panels typically last 25 years.

If you live in an older house, make sure your roof is stable enough to support solar panels. Quality solar panels should last 25 to 30 years, so you want your roof to last at least as long. We hear a lot of complaints from solar customers who have to pay to remove panels, fix their roofs and then reinstall the panels. It’s a frustrating and expensive process — avoid it if you can.

» BE SURE: Should you replace your roof before going solar?

How you pay

You can pay the full price upfront, but many people in Texas finance solar panels. A solar loan works like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time.

If you finance your solar system, interest and fees add to the total cost over time. Victoria in Universal City was under the impression the total cost would be in the “high $40,000 range,” but “after all the financing fees, it ended up around $65,000.”

If you are considering a solar loan, lease or PPA (power purchase agreement), always ask:

  • Is there a down payment?
  • How much will I pay per month?
  • When will monthly payments increase, and by how much?

Other cost factors

The upfront costs for solar panel installation are significant if you choose to pay upfront, but permitting and ongoing maintenance are relatively cheap.

  • Local permits: Depending on your local municipality, there may be fees associated with permitting and inspections.
  • Utility fees: In Texas, some utilities may charge a fee to connect your solar system to the grid. Additionally, some might buy back your excess power at low rates and lock you into contracts with high early termination fees. Luis in Forney and Wintur in Richmond both said it costs $295 to get out of solar contracts with Reliant Energy.
  • Maintenance to ensure peak performance: Solar panel maintenance costs are generally low. Panel warranties generally cover the cost of repairing or replacing parts. However, homeowners should budget for a potential inverter replacement after 10 to 15 years, which can be expensive ($1,000 to $2,500 or more).

Solar panels costs by city

Where you live in Texas also influences your costs. Compare typical costs for a 5-kW solar panel system below.

Average cost for a 5-kW system

Average total costCost per watt
San Antonio $11,262-$15,238 $2.65
Dallas $11,432-$15,468 $2.69
Houston $11,518-$15,582 $2.71
El Paso $12,155-$16,445 $2.86
Source: EnergySage

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Texas

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Texas. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you can deduct 30% of the system's total cost — including equipment, labor and permits — from your federal taxes. The credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

The average ITC value in Texas is $9,280 in 2023.

Texas also has a 100% property tax exemption on any value solar panels add to your house. There are no statewide rebate programs, but you can find local and regional financial incentives throughout the state.

» EXPLORE: Texas solar incentives

Compare solar installation companies in Texas

Compare popular solar companies available in Texas below. Read our guide on finding the best solar companies for more.

» TIPS: Get the best solar quotes


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    Can I get free solar panels in Texas?

    You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no upfront costs. Still, neither is totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee; PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

    » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

    How much can I save with solar panels?

    When you pay cash, the estimated average 25-year savings with solar is $21,350 in Texas. It’s a common misconception that solar panels always completely eliminate your monthly power bill — this is not always the case.

    The good news is that people who still have a bill after going solar are paying significantly less than before. You can expect to offset your electricity bill by 81% to 110%, according to EnergySage.

    For example, Virginia in Houston said their bills were $400 or $500, but they don’t pay more than $50 per month since going solar. The only thing Lisa in Venus pays for is to be on the grid, which is $26.

    How are solar costs trending in Texas?

    The cost to go solar in Texas has fallen 54% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    How does net metering work in Texas?

    Unlike many states, Texas doesn't have statewide net metering. Its energy market is largely deregulated, so individual utility companies set their own policies.

    How do solar batteries work?

    With a battery backup, you can store solar energy when it's abundant and use it during peak times. This helps you avoid higher electricity rates and lets you be less reliant on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid.

    During times when the solar panels don’t produce enough electricity, like at night or on cloudy days, the stored energy in the battery can be used, reducing the need to draw power from the grid. On particularly sunny days, solar systems might produce more electricity than a household can consume. Instead of sending this back to the grid, you store it in batteries for future use.

    Especially if you want to go “off-grid,” a large system isn’t worth it without a solar battery.

    Will hail damage my solar panels?

    Hail can damage solar panels, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from installing them. The cost of fixing any damage that does occur is often covered by homeowners insurance.

    Bottom line

    Going solar in Texas is more expensive than the national average, but many solar energy customers we talked to in Texas are happy with their investments. They see significant savings on their electricity bills and enjoy more energy independence.

    Solar costs: Texas vs. nearby states

    Typical system sizeUpfront cost*Average cost per wattITC value (30%)Payback period**Estimated net savings
    Texas 8.5 kW $30,934 $2.69 $9,280 13 years $21,350
    Oklahoma 11 kW $8,646 $2.62 $28,820 14 years $14,190
    New Mexico 7 kW $18,760 $2.68 $5,628 12 years $15,413
    Louisiana 12.5 kW $32,126 $2.57 $9,638 14 years $13,646
    Arkansas 11 kW $27,940 $2.54 $8,382 13 years $15,567
    * Before ITC; ** When you pay cash

    » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Texas.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    2. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    3. EnergySage, “Texas solar panels: local pricing and installation.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    4. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Solar State By State.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    5. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Texas Solar.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    6. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), “Texas Solar Programs.” Accessed Aug. 16, 2023.
    7. EnergySage, “Solar Companies in Austin, Texas.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    8. EnergySage, “Solar Companies in Dallas, Texas.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    9. EnergySage, “Solar Companies in El Paso, Texas.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    10. EnergySage, “Solar Companies in San Antonio, Texas.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    11. EnergySage, “Solar Companies in Houston, Texas.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
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