Direct Solar Photovoltaics
Residential Solar PV Rebates
Austin Energy offers solar photovoltaic (PV) rebates to encourage residential customers to install solar energy systems. The current solar rebate level is $1.50 per Watt effective May 7, 2013. These rebates help diversify electric generation with clean, renewable energy resources.
Austin Energy provides rebates only for solar equipment that meets the standards and guidelines of the California Energy Commission, adopted by austin as best practice. You can view lists of eligible equipment on their website:
See the Solar Energy Candidate Checklist, Guidelines (pdf), and Procedures (pdf) for details.
Rebate Requirements Overview
The home must meet these requirements:
- The roof must be in good condition.
- Deed restrictions must not prohibit solar energy systems.
- Solar access requirements as determined by Austin Energy.
- The solar panels should face south. Some east or west orientation is allowed. North facing panels are not eligible for a rebate.
- Energy-efficiency requirements.
- The solar energy system cannot be moved from the Austin Energy service territory.
To be eligible for a rebate, you must work with a participating solar installer. First, contact a few installers to ask for bids. The installer you select will help with the rebate process and submit the application for you. Additional rebate requirements follow:
- The solar energy system must be installed only by a participating solar installer.
- You must receive a Letter of Intent from Austin Energy.
- The work must pass a final inspection by an Austin Energy representative.
Home Electricity Use and Solar PV Systems
The average residence uses about 12,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity a year. The electricity a solar PV system generates depends partly on the size of the system. A 1-kW (1,000 watts) system needs about 100 square feet of space with solar access and should produce from 1,000 to 1,400 kWh of electricity a year. This is about $100 to $140 worth of electricity annually.
Value of Solar Credit
Under the new residential solar rate structure, you’ll pay for your total gross energy consumption each month at the standard residential rates – whether the power comes to your home from your solar energy system or the electric grid.
Austin Energy then pays you for all electricity produced each month by your rooftop solar system at the Value of Solar Rate, currently 12.8 cents. That payment is credited to your monthly electric bill. If the solar credit is larger than your energy bill, the remaining credit rolls over to the next month.
Solar PV Systems Are Easy to Maintain
Solar energy systems are easy to maintain because they have no moving parts. Because of their durability, PV modules are typically covered by a 20 to 25-year warranty. Solar energy systems are quiet and produce no emissions.
You can apply for both a solar PV loan and a rebate.
Austin Energy makes no financial commitment to rebate applicants until a signed Letter of Intent is issued. Rebate funding is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and is subject to program budget constraints. Any application for which funding is not available will be returned to the applicant.
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