Top 3 Houston Solar Panel Installation Questions

Top 3 Solar Panel Installation Questions

Installing solar panels in Houston is not only more affordable but also easier than ever before. Nevertheless, both home owners and businesses thinking about going solar share the same big questions: What's the pay back? What's the wider benefit? What's the process involve? If you're wondering whether installing solar for your home or business, let's look at these three big questions so you can better understand how going solar benefits you and your community.

1. Does Solar Pay Me Back?

Unfortunately, because Texas does not have a net metering law, REPs are not required to purchase customer surplus. Only a few electric providers in Houston offer surplus power purchase programs.

One major point to consider is how much will solar panels reduce your monthly electricity bill? An estimate from the PVWatts site based on a 6 kW system in Houston (average electricity price is 11 cents per kWh) suggests going solar can save $944 off the annual bill ($78.66 per month). True, it won’t totally cover the average monthly bill. However, given that an average 6 kW installation with the Federal Tax credit costs just $12,810, such a system could pay for itself in 13.5 years.

Home solar also adds value to the real estate value of your home. A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found home buyers were willing to pay about four additional dollars per watt of installed solar power.

2. Do My Solar Panels Benefit My Community?

Solar panels substantially reduce your reliance on fossil fuel fired electricity. That translates into power plants releasing less pollution and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It also means less fresh drinking water used for driving steam turbines. Going solar helps improve grid reliability by reducing peak demand. When ERCOT scrambles for generation sources this August, every home that has solar panels helps cut demand. Even a small amount can help to avert rolling blackouts in your community. When more homeowners and businesses rely on environmentally friendly renewable energy like solar, they benefit all their neighbors who must rely on the Texas grid for their electrical supply.


3. How Complicated Is A Solar Installation?

Most installations take less than 3 days but require a lot of preparation. Solar array installations must comply with ERCOT and your local TDU requirements. In Texas, owners of residential or commercial solar arrays complete the interconnection application and inspection process with their local TDU. In Houston, CenterPoint Energy has interconnection requirements for your system even if it will not be injecting electricity into the grid. If you plan on selling your surplus to your REP, you will need to request CenterPoint to change your load profile with ERCOT. Your system will also need to comply with local and state electrical codes to ensure that it is safely and reliable.

In short, you need to consult with a responsible installer that really understand residential electricity needs in Houston and has years of experience in the planning, permitting, and inspection process for going solar. You'll also want to work with company that warrantees its work after the installation crew has left. Last of all, you'll want to hire a local business to do the job. Often local companies can offer better custom deals than big national companies. Plus, when it comes to working with local companies, you're more than just a client, you're a neighbor.

Verisolar is a family-owned and operated solar company in Houston, Texas. With solar planning and design professionals with 25 years of structural engineering experience, Verisolar's own in-house crew of experienced installers can complete any project knowledgeably and quickly. Plus they back up their work with a ten year warranty. Contact them at (281) 606-2090 or email to find out how your family or business can benefit from going solar.


Vernon Trollinger has been writing for nearly a decade in the Texas consumer energy sector. Although fascinated by meteorology and the Texas electricity market, he focuses mainly on home energy efficiency, DIY home improvement projects, and renewable energy. He currently writes for Texas Electricity Ratings.