How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Houston? (2023) – MarketWatch

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Compare the cost of installing solar with the top companies and get quotes using the form below.

Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.

Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.
The Houston metropolitan area receives generous sunshine throughout the year, which can contribute to high energy outputs if you own a solar power system. Based on our research, solar panels cost $2.51 per watt in Houston, or around $15,060 for a 6 kilowatt (kW) system.
Houston residents can claim the federal solar tax credit and receive financial incentives from CenterPoint Energy, the local utility company, to lower system costs. Learn more about the upfront cost of going solar in Houston and how you can save on your clean energy project.
 
 
Home solar systems in Houston and other parts of Texas average around $2.51 per watt — lower than the national average price of $2.85 per watt. The following table provides estimated prices for a 5 kW and 10 kW solar panel system in Houston, before and after the 30% federal solar tax credit.
*Cost figures based on price per watt data published by SunPower. Your total cost may vary depending on your installer, your home’s roof complexity and other site conditions.
The best solar companies should be familiar with federal and local incentive programs in the city. Installers determine the optimal size solar system for your home based on your energy needs and local sunshine conditions.
You can also use our solar calculator to better estimate installation costs in your area.
 
 
One of the main factors that determine the price of a solar power system is the installed capacity or system size, which depends on how much energy you want to generate.
Houston is located in the West South Central census region. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey, homes have an average consumption of 13,598 kWh of electricity per year in this region.
To generate 13,598 kWh of energy per year with the solar resources available in Houston, you would likely need a photovoltaic (PV) system capacity of around 9 kW to 10 kW. Based on the price of going solar in Texas ($2.51 per watt), you could pay between $22,590 and $25,100 before incentives.
Other factors, such as your exact location, chosen installer, equipment and roof layout can also impact what you pay for a solar installation. For example, the following can influence system pricing:
 
 
In addition to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a nationwide incentive for renewable energy systems, Houston offers many local incentives for solar energy systems.
Houston Solar Incentives
Description
Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption
If you install residential solar panels or wind turbines in Texas, any increase in home value is exempt from property taxes.
CenterPoint Energy Residential Energy Efficiency Programs
Home solar systems qualify for an incentive of $200 per kW of demand reduction and $0.04 per kWh generated during the first year of operation. Households below 200% of the federal poverty guideline receive an increased incentive of $225 per kW and $0.08 per kWh. In both cases, the incentive is based on kilowatts of effective demand reduction, not installed system capacity. Energy savings must be determined with the PVWatts calculator, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Annual funding is limited.
Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit
Solar panels used to power primary or secondary residences qualify for a federal tax credit equal to 30% of total system costs. You can use the credit to reduce your federal income tax burden for the year you install solar panels.
 
Houston residents can also get incentives for implementing energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting and HVAC equipment upgrades. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) has a detailed list of Texas energy incentives by city and by utility company.
 
 
We have researched and reviewed the best solar companies in Houston and nationwide. Most companies on our list offer solar quotes in Houston, including:
If you are trying to avoid the large upfront cost of solar power, most of the above solar companies also offer one or more solar financing options, including solar loans, leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
 
 
Generally, we think solar panels are worth the investment in Houston. Solar panels offer an attractive return on investment in Houston thanks to the city’s plentiful sunshine and local incentives. You can expect to pay $15,060 for a 6 kW solar system in the Bayou City, capable of generating over 8,700 kWh of energy per year. After subtracting the 30% federal tax credit, your net system cost could drop to $10,542.
If your electric tariff is 14 cents per kWh, you could save $1,218 in annual energy bills. In this case, the payback period would be around 8.7 years. If you qualify for the CenterPoint solar rebate, you can achieve even more system savings and an even shorter payback period.
An eight-year payback period can seem long, but the best solar panels last upwards of 30 years and have 25-year warranty coverage. So, our estimated payback period in Houston is less than one-third of a solar panel’s guaranteed lifespan — meaning you can expect energy bill savings for decades.

 
 
Based on our research, the average cost of solar panels in Houston is $2.51 per watt. You can expect to pay $12,550 for a 5 kW system and $25,100 for a 10 kW system before incentives.
Investing in solar energy can be worth it in Texas. The state receives plenty of sunshine throughout the year, boosting solar panel generation. You can also take advantage of many incentives to lower the cost of solar panel installations, including:
Yes, investing in solar panels can save you money on your power bills. However, there are three important requirements if you want guaranteed savings in the long run:
High-quality monocrystalline panels come with 25-year warranties to cover manufacturer issues. String inverters come with 10- to 12-year warranties, while microinverters come with 25-year warranties. Reputable solar installers offer a workmanship warranty in addition to product manufacturer warranties. Some installers also extend solar panel performance guarantees for upwards of 25 years.
There are many benefits to installing solar panels, such as:
The average solar savings in Houston depends on electricity rates and sunshine conditions for your property. A 6 kW solar system can offset more than 8,700 kWh of grid energy per year based on the area’s average amount of sunshine. For a homeowner paying 14 cents per kWh, this could equal around $1,218 in annual electricity bills.
 
 
We conducted in-depth research and analyzed several factors to determine our solar cost data, which is based on the following resources:
 
 
We closely evaluate solar installation companies with a focus on the factors most important to homeowners like you. We based our solar company methodology on input from multiple homeowner surveys, discussions with industry experts and research into the renewable energy market. Our review process involves assessing each company on the following criteria, which we then use to calculate a rating out of 5 stars.

  • Cost and payment options (20 points): Cost is one of the most important factors when installing a solar energy system. Solar providers that offer cash purchases and in-house loan financing earn full points in this category. Companies also receive bonus points for offering solar panel leasing or power purchase agreements (PPAs).
  • Services (20 points): In addition to solar installations, companies offering backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations, energy efficiency audits and system monitoring earn the most points in this category. Companies can also receive points for completing installations in-house, as opposed to using third-party contractors.
  • Reputation (20 points): To assess the reputation of each company, we consider Google star ratings, Better Business Bureau (BBB) scores and reviews, and NABCEP certification status. We also look at customer complaint rates on sites like the BBB and weigh how the company responds.
  • Warranty (15 points): We verify that each company offers workmanship, product and performance warranties on all of its solar installs. A provider earns more points for extending warranties that meet or exceed industry standards, including 10 years for system workmanship and products and 25 years for panel performance.
  • Customer Support (10 points): Solar companies that offer virtual consultations, a mobile app, 24/7 customer support and high customer satisfaction with backend support earn the most points in this category.
  • Industry Experience (10 points): Providers with 10 or more years of experience in the solar installation industry earn a perfect score in this category.
  • Sustainability (5 points):To measure sustainability, we assess each company based on whether it shares a detailed sustainability statement or ESG disclosures on its website. We also conduct research to see if companies offer end-of-life panel disposal programs or have eco-friendly community partnerships.

 
 
Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.
Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.
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