Best Energy Companies In Texas - Expert advice from the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair and DIY, Bob Vila. Tried, true, trusted home advice
Best Solar Companies in Texas 2022 Check out some of the best solar companies in Texas for top-notch equipment, customer service, and expertise.
Best Energy Companies In Texas
Texas is the fourth sunniest state in the US and fertile ground for solar energy production. As prices drop and technology becomes more efficient, more and more Texans are switching to solar power, aiming to lower monthly utility bills, increase emergency power and improve the environment. Solar energy is a big step toward building a more sustainable future, but the process can be expensive and complicated.
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When a homeowner is ready to transition to clean solar power, it pays to partner with a reputable company. Texas solar energy companies help their customers navigate system design, installation, incentives and maintenance. We researched dozens of companies to identify the top rated solar companies in Texas. Read on to learn more about our criteria and why we consider these companies the best solar companies in Texas.
For the greatest energy production results, solar panels should be placed where they receive plenty of direct sunlight. But this factor varies according to the location of the home, any trees in the area, and the efficiency rating of the panels. Before setting up a solar company, it is wise to consider the important factors that influence efficiency and cost.
Most Texas solar installers do not work in every zip code. Some companies operate regionally or locally in a single metropolitan area. When checking out solar installers, homeowners may want to research each company's service area.
Location is important when installing solar panels. In regions of the far north of the United States, the short winter days may not provide enough sunlight to offset the cost of installing a solar array.
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Location is not limited to geographic area; It is also related to whether buildings or tall trees obscure sunlight for a significant part of the day. Another consideration is the type of roof the house has. A south facing sloping roof is great for solar panels, but the roof structure of the house is not strong enough to support the solar system. The installer may need to change the ceiling or install panels on a separate floor unit instead of the ceiling.
Solar panels all generate electricity, but they do so in different ways. The two primary types of solar panels are thermal and photovoltaic, and there are some more or less common varieties within these categories.
Homeowners can opt for an off-grid, stand-alone solar array or an on-grid (or grid-tie) array. Both come with certain considerations and benefits.
Off-grid solar systems are the first choice for homeowners who want energy independence. An off-grid system allows the owner to generate all his own electricity. Even if the storm causes local power outages, the off-grid system will continue to operate. Larger batteries can store extra energy to supplement electricity when it's cloudy. But if the off-grid system cannot be produced due to lack of clouds and battery stores, there is no alternative source of electricity.
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Many homeowners opt for a network or network system, because if there is a cloud, their home can draw power from the utility network. Homeowners can also sell excess energy to the utility company (called net metering). But the grid-tied system shuts down immediately if the utility company experiences an outage. This is mainly for safety reasons because it is not safe for a technician to work on a downed power line if the home solar array is sending power down the line. Homeowners with grid-tie systems can mitigate outages by installing battery storage.
As manufacturers incorporate better technology, solar panels are becoming more efficient. But how can customers judge if one panel is better than another? Everything boils down to percentages. Most solar panels on the market have an efficiency of 15 to 20 percent. This means that when the sun's rays hit the panel, the panel can convert 15 to 20 percent of those rays into electrical energy.
Some high-efficiency solar panels are up to 25 percent efficient. But the highest efficiency available to consumers today is about 22.5 percent for most. Science is still working to increase the efficiency of solar panels, and research shows that future panels could have an efficiency of 40 percent.
Many solar installers are licensed to install one or more brands of solar panels. There are some solar companies that manufacture and install their own solar panels. The difference may not be significant for some customers, especially those looking to get better prices on the installation of panels. However, this difference often comes into play in terms of the installation company's warranty. Texas solar panel manufacturers are more likely to stand behind their products and honor warranties or guarantees, which benefits customers. A company that only installs panels may ask the customer to contact the manufacturer directly for any warranty work.
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Many solar panel installers offer free consultations. The consultation includes an assessment and analysis of the location and condition of the home and the amount of direct sunlight it receives. The company will often recommend a specific type of solar panel as part of the consultation. The installer should be able to provide the customer with an estimate of how much they can save on their current energy bill.
Solar panels cost an average of $11,000 to $16,000 to install. The price depends on the number of panels and their efficiency, and either the solar company or a private lender can offer financing for the solar system. However, a private lender usually requires the homeowner to take out a second mortgage on their home to secure the loan.
Some owners find renting solar panels a reasonable alternative. A solar lease allows the owner to reduce their carbon footprint, and the leasing company owns the panels. Leases can last between 5 and 25 years. However, depending on the terms of the lease, the customer may not get much savings on their energy bill. Solar PPAs (power purchase agreements) are similar to leases, but the owner sells excess energy produced to the power company.
Many communities require a permit to install solar panels. Permit prices vary, but installers often factor the cost into the total price of the installation. The installer will also pull the permit for the project.
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Obtaining a permit lets the local building authority know that the homeowner wants to install solar panels. Once the system is installed, the building authority sends an inspector to check the panels, batteries and wiring before the system is activated.
Once the consultation is complete and permits are obtained, the installer can order the panels and other necessary equipment.
The installation process is exciting. The installer will make any roof repairs or modifications necessary to maintain the array. The wiring system is installed, then the panels are mounted and connected. The building authority inspector checks everything, and it's time to open the system.
A 25-year limited warranty is standard in the solar panel industry. The warranty includes repair of panels or replacement of failed components. But customers want to be careful because not all warranties are created equal. Some only cover the cost of replacement parts, so the owner is responsible for paying the repair technicians. Others guarantee certain features of the system for shorter periods, such as a 25-year guarantee on panel performance, but a 12.5-year guarantee on the inverter.
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A tax credit means that a percentage of the amount an owner spends on solar panels can be deducted from the income they claim. The federal government is offering a 30 percent tax credit through 2019. So if the solar panels cost $10,000, the homeowner can reduce their income tax liability by $3,000, or 30 percent of $10,000.
However, the debt has decreased since then. The tax credit will be 26 percent by 2022 and drop to 22 percent from 2023. The federal tax credit expires in 2024 unless Congress acts to extend it.
States and local communities may offer tax incentives. Solar companies and manufacturers may also offer discounts. A solar company installer is usually the best source for up-to-date rebate and tax information.
Investing in a solar array is an expensive prospect. If something goes awry, it's reassuring to know that the solar company is there to handle the problem. Solar companies have a customer service number, and many also have an emergency number for after-hours calls. Many companies will also offer online consultation via chat or email. It is often the case that the more customer service trips a company offers, the higher the customer satisfaction.
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We checked out the top companies around to find the best solar companies in Texas. Read on to learn more about our picks and why we think they're the best solar energy companies in Texas.
Why it made the cut: SunPower boasts nearly four decades of industry leadership and an outstanding reputation for customer service.
Sunpower makes our claim
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