Homeowner’s Guide to Rooftop Solar Panels

Are Solar Panels Worth It in Texas?

Yes, solar panels can be a great investment for Texas homeowners. There are over 200 sunny or partly cloudy days per year in Texas, perfectly positioning the state for optimal solar generation. Rising energy costs and price decreases for solar panel installation also make the economics for residential solar energy more and more attractive to homeowners around Texas. Additionally, many energy providers in Texas offer lucrative buyback programs, further amplifying the financial advantages of adopting solar panels.

This homeowner’s guide to rooftop solar panels delves into the multifaceted benefits, costs, and broader impacts of adopting solar home energy.

How Do Solar Panels Work? 

Solar energy works by capturing the sun’s rays and converting them into electricity or heat. This process involves solar panels, which are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells. When sunlight hits these cells, it excites electrons in them, creating an electric current. This electricity can then be used to power homes, businesses, and other applications. 

Additionally, solar energy can be harnessed for heating purposes using solar thermal systems, which absorb sunlight to heat a fluid that can then be used to produce steam and generate electricity or provide direct heating.

The underlying technology of solar panels is both intriguing and straightforward:

  • Photovoltaic Cells: These cells, the primary components of solar panels, capture sunlight and initiate the process of converting it into electricity.
  • Inverter: This device transforms the direct current (DC) produced by the panels into the alternating current (AC) used in homes.
  • Electricity Usage: Once converted, this electricity is ready to power everything in a household, from appliances to lights.
  • Excess Electricity: Curious about how to use solar energy for future usage? Advanced systems with battery storage can store surplus electricity for later use, or it can be fed back into the grid, which is especially beneficial for those on solar buyback plans.
rooftop solar panels

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

Depending on how many panels you have installed, Texas homeowners may spend between $10,000 to $25,000 before any tax incentives or rebates have been applied. The cost varies on a few factors:

  • If you install them yourself or hire a professional team
  • Whether you install a battery storage system
  • If you finance the installation or pay for it outright

Some homeowners shy away from using these devices because they mistakenly believe that solar panels are expensive. Although a substantial upfront investment is involved, the cost of solar panels has steadily decreased in the past decade. This decline can be attributed to advancements in technology and a growing demand in the market.

Choosing the Right Installation Company

A homeowner’s guide to rooftop solar panels worth its merit knows choosing the right installation company is an imnportant step. After all, the installation company can make a significant difference in the solar panel experience:

  • Reputation: Search for a company that has established a strong reputation in the solar industry. It’s essential to research online reviews, testimonials, and any industry awards or recognitions a company might have.
  • Experience: A company’s track record in the solar industry is indicative of its expertise and reliability. An experienced company ensures the installation is seamless and the system performs optimally.
  • Certifications: Certifications from recognized solar organizations are a testament to a company’s commitment to quality and industry standards.
  • Warranties: Comprehensive warranties that cover both the product and workmanship indicate a company’s confidence in its services and products.
residential solar energy system

How Much Money Do Solar Panels Save?

As electricity prices continue to rise, the savings from solar panels become even more pronounced. Depending on local rates and consumption patterns, homeowners can save thousands over the lifespan of the panels.

The point at which the savings from solar panels equal the initial investment is known as the break-even point. For most homeowners, this is achieved within six to ten years post-installation.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Contemporary solar panels are designed with long-lasting durability in mind. Their robust construction ensures reliability and longevity. With minimal maintenance, they can efficiently produce electricity for 25-30 years, if not longer.

Pros of Solar Panel Installation

Environmental Impact

One of the most significant benefits of solar panels is their positive environmental impact. By producing clean energy, they reduce the carbon footprint of households, playing a pivotal role in combating global climate change.


Many homeowners are often curious: “Do solar panels save money?” The answer is a resounding yes. Over time, the reduction in electricity bills can be substantial, making the initial investment in solar panels worthwhile.

Energy Independence

By installing solar panels, homeowners can produce their own electricity. This reduces dependence on the grid and insulates homeowners from fluctuating energy prices, providing a sense of energy security.

Property Value

Real estate trends indicate that homes with solar installations are often valued higher than those without. For potential buyers, a solar system is seen as a valuable addition, reducing their future energy expenses.

Low Maintenance

Once installed, solar panels require minimal maintenance. They don’t have moving parts, which reduces the risk of breakdowns.

Cons of Rooftop Solar Panels

Weather Dependent

While solar panels can still generate power on cloudy days, their efficiency drops. They are dependent on sunlight to produce electricity.

Space Requirements

To generate enough power, a significant amount of roof space or land might be needed, which might not be feasible for everyone.

Energy Storage Costs

While solar panels can produce electricity during the day, storing this energy for nighttime use requires batteries, which can be expensive.

Aesthetic Concerns

Some homeowners might find solar panels unattractive or feel they detract from the aesthetic appeal of their homes.

Manufacturing & Disposal Impact

While solar panels are environmentally friendly in operation, the manufacturing process does have an environmental footprint. Additionally, as panels reach the end of their life, there’s a need for sustainable disposal or recycling methods.

rooftop solar energy

Tax Credits and Incentives

To promote renewable energy adoption, various incentives are available.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Residential Clean Energy Credit is a significant incentive that allows U.S. homeowners to deduct a portion of their solar system’s cost from their federal taxes, reducing the net installation cost. Solar systems installed in 2020-2021 are eligible for a 26% tax credit. Systems installed in 2022-2023 are eligible for an increased tax credit of 30%. The 30% tax credit will last until 2033.

Claim the tax credit by filing Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits with your tax return.

Statewide & Local Incentives

The state of Texas doesn’t directly provide a tax credit or rebate to homeowners that install solar panels, but there are several programs available within the state that can be taken advantage of to reduce the costs.

  • Oncor Solar Energy Residential Rebate: Texans residing in the Oncor TDU region (Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Temple, Round Rock) are eligible for a rebate after installing a solar panel system on their home. Find out if you qualify.
  • AEP Solar Installation Rebate: Texans living in the American Electric Power TDU regions are also eligible for a rebate after installing a solar energy system. Contact them to learn more.

Solar Buyback Electricity Plans

For homeowners producing excess electricity, solar buyback plans are a lucrative option:

  • How It Works: Modern solar installations often produce more electricity than a household consumes. This excess can be fed back into the grid, with energy providers offering compensation or credits, thus offsetting the Texas solar panel cost. 
  • Benefits: Beyond just savings, some homeowners find that their solar panels turn their electricity bills into credits, effectively making their meters run backward.
  • Availability: It’s crucial to consult with local energy providers to understand the specifics of available solar buyback plans and the potential benefits.

BKV Energy Solar Buyback plans are coming soon!

Are You Ready to Go Solar?

Solar panels offer a blend of environmental and economic benefits, making them attractive for homeowners. There’s never been a better time to go solar, but make sure that your house is a good candidate. For example, if your home is shaded by many trees, solar panels would not be a good option for your roof.

If you’re ready to benefit from increased home value, lower energy spending, and the reduced carbon emissions from your home, solar panels are a great choice.