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Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Rebates & Incentives

Install Rooftop Solar on Your Home

Let us help you pay for a new rooftop solar system for your home. Austin Energy offers rebates and incentives to customers who purchase and install solar PV systems for their homes. Find a participating contractor to get started.

Solar PV systems are clean, quiet, and efficient ways of generating electricity at your home. They harvest sunlight and turn it into electricity, which reduces your energy bill and helps improve our environment

How Much Does Solar Cost?

You can expect to pay between $2,250 and $4,500 per kilowatt (kW) before incentives. The cost of a solar PV installation varies, depending on the size and specific product and site details. A participating contractor can estimate the cost and the amount of electricity you can expect from your system. 

Austin Energy Rebate

For residential home owners, Austin Energy provides a capacity-based incentive for residential installations of up to 10 kW of solar PV per home. Incentive levels will decrease over time as the market grows and the price of solar comes down. Leased systems do not qualify for Austin Energy residential solar incentives, and third-party solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are not allowed in Austin Energy’s service territory.

View current solar incentive levels and availability.

Find a Contractor

To get started, you must work with a participating contractor to qualify for an incentive. Check the list under the “Find a Contractor” tab for eligible participating companies. Your selected installer will help with the incentive process and submit the application on your behalf.

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

You may qualify for a 30% federal tax credit based on the cost of your solar PV system, including labor costs. ENERGY STAR® has more information about solar tax credits and other energy efficiency improvements.

Property Tax Exemption

Your solar PV system may qualify for a property tax exemption. Learn more from the State Energy Conservation Office.

Financing Is Available

In addition to these incentives, you may also apply for a market-based Solar PV Loan through Velocity Credit Union to reduce your upfront, out of pocket costs.

Austin Energy has partnered with Velocity Credit Union to provide energy efficiency and solar loans to residential customers. Your installer can help you through the loan application process.

Loan amounts are from $1,500 to $20,000. You can finance the remaining installation cost balance after receiving the rebate. The solar PV loan features:

  • No fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No closing costs
  • No liens

For more information, call Velocity at 512-469-7060. You can apply for both the loan and the incentive.

How Will Solar PV Decrease Your Bill?

The electricity your solar PV system produces will earn you monthly bill credits, known as Value of Solar (VOS) credits, to help decrease your electric charges.

Austin Energy credits all of your solar production at the current Value of Solar Rate of 10.6 cents per kWh (effective January 1, 2017). The credit will appear as a line-item on your bill, and will be subtracted from the amount that you owe each month.

You will continue to be billed for your whole house consumption each month at standard residential rates.

If your solar credit is larger than your energy bill, the remaining credit rolls over to the next month. Any credits left at the end of the year also roll over.

Learn more about the Value of Solar Rate, and how your solar generation credits will look on your bill.

Please call Customer Energy Solutions at 512-482-5346 with any questions. Let us help you get started.

Austin Energy offers residential customers a rebate to help with the initial investment of purchasing a solar PV system. The amount of the rebate is based on the capacity, in watts, (size) of the proposed solar PV system, and is calculated by multiplying the capacity by the current incentive level.

Incentives are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the capacity allotment for an incentive level has been achieved, the incentive will be reduced to the next level in the program ramp-down schedules below:

Residential Rebate
Step # Rebate Incentive Level (Dollars Per Watt) Capacity Allotment (Megawatts AC) Status
1 $1.00 1.0 Closed
2 $0.90 1.5 Closed
3 $0.80 4.0 Closed
4 $0.70 2.5 Closed
5 $0.60 3.0 Closed
6 $0.50 2.75 Available

 

Residential PV Rebate Projected Ramp Down

View current solar incentive levels and availability.

You may be eligible to receive rebates for up to 10kW of photovoltaics, not to exceed 50% of the total invoice. Systems must be at least 2 kW in order to receive incentives. 

Review the residential solar incentive guidelines (pdf).

Prerequisites

  • You must have an Austin Energy residential electric account.
  • You must own the property where the solar PV system will be installed.
  • You must own the PV system. Leased PV systems do not qualify for incentives. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are not allowed in Austin Energy’s service territory.
  • Solar PV systems must be connected to an electric service panel associated with an Austin Energy residential utility account.
  • You must use an Austin Energy Solar Program participating company. Find a Contractor to get started.
  • If a solar salesperson contacts you, verify they are eligible for Austin Energy solar PV incentives. Look for the company listing in the Find a Contractor tab on this page. Learn how to avoid Solar PV scams.

See our residential solar incentive guidelines for more detailed information (pdf).

Requirements

  • Your property deed must allow you to install solar energy systems.
  • Your roof must be in good condition and have at least 10 years of useable life. 
  • Building permits may be required for your solar PV installation. 
    • In the City of Austin, you need a building permit if your solar PV installation is mounted on flat roof. You also need a permit if your system does not align with the roof contour.
    • Some jurisdictions within the Austin Energy service area require building permits for all solar PV installations.
    • If your jurisdiction does not issue building permits, you must have an engineer-stamped drawing if your installation does not align with your roof contour. The drawing must be available at the Austin Energy inspection.
    • You may need a separate permit for electrical service upgrades.
  • The solar PV system location must receive at least six hours of unshaded, unobstructed sunlight daily.
  • Solar panels cannot face north. We may deny an incentive if a solar PV system is poorly placed or shaded. See guidelines for details.
  • All solar PV systems must be connected to Austin Energy’s electrical grid at your expense.
  • The solar PV system must remain in the Austin Energy service area.
  • The customer must assign all rights to environmental attributes and credits resulting from energy savings to Austin Energy. This includes renewable energy and carbon offset credits.
  • You must meet Austin Energy’s energy efficiency requirements as outlined in the residential guidelines.
  • You must apply for and receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) prior to system installation in order to be eligible for Austin Energy incentives.

View the residential solar incentive guidelines for more information (pdf).

Equipment Requirements

  • The solar modules and inverter must be new and listed as eligible solar energy equipment on the California Energy Commission’s Go Solar website.
  • Licensed electrical contractors perform all electrical work, including obtaining permits.
  • All work must meet all applicable federal, state, and local codes and regulations.
  • Installation must be done to manufacturer’s standards and City guidelines.
  • All solar PV systems must have a 10-year warranty from the installer.
  • All major solar energy system components eligible for incentive must have a minimum 10-year warranty to protect against defects and undue degradation of electrical generation output.
  • You cannot increase your solar PV system’s size from the one in the original application without Austin Energy’s approval.

View the residential solar incentive guidelines for more information (pdf).

Incentive Application and Solar Installation

  1. Review all of our solar PV incentive program information and residential guidelines (pdf).
  2. Call Austin Energy’s participating companies to request bids. We recommended that you receive at least three estimates from different contractors and check references. Participating companies must include all costs, including service upgrades (e.g., service panel, weatherhead, wiring, etc.) in the original bid.
  3. Select a participating company to install your system; they will submit your incentive application to Austin Energy on your behalf.
  4. Austin Energy determines solar access eligibility via aerial photographs of your property. If these photographs are not enough, an Austin Energy representative will schedule an on-site visit to perform a shade analysis.
  5. Austin Energy verifies that you have met energy efficiency requirements.
  6. When the application is approved, Austin Energy issues a Letter of Intent (LOI), which encumbers (reserves) incentive funds for 120 days for existing homes or 365 days for new construction.  Austin Energy makes no financial commitment to applicants until a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) is issued.
  7. The participating company will apply for necessary permits and then install the solar PV system.
  8. The City of Austin conducts an electrical inspection. 
  9. Austin Energy conducts a final incentive verification to ensure the PV system complies with all solar PV program guidelines.
  10. After the solar PV system has passed inspections, new meters will be installed by Austin Energy. Then, your contractor can energize your system.  
  11. Incentive payments will be issued to the designated recipient within four weeks after the system passes final inspections and all required documentation is submitted and approved.

You will begin receiving a new electric bill with your solar production and Value of Solar credits.

Unlike your previous utility bill, your new electric bill will be issued separately from your other City of Austin Utility bills. Please contact Austin Energy if you haven’t received your new bill showing your solar credits within 45 days after interconnecting your system.  

Learn more about VOS credits and how to read your new electric bill.

You must use a Participating Contractor to qualify for this offering. We recommend that you check references and get a least three estimates from the companies listed below.

Learn how to avoid Solar PV scams

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The selection of a Participating Company to perform work is the sole decision of the property owner and/or authorized lessee/occupant. Inclusion in this directory does not represent an endorsement by Austin Energy of any product, individual, or company. No work is guaranteed or warranty expressed or implied, and Austin Energy makes no guarantees as to the quality, cost, or effectiveness of the products provided and work performed by the contractor, employees, or subcontractors.

*New contractors are subject to application limits during a probationary period.

Additional Documents:

Questions?

  • Email: Customer Energy Solutions
  • Phone: 512-482-5346
  • Fax: 512-482-5373

You must use a participating contractor to qualify for this offering. As with any major purchase, we recommend that you check references and get at least three estimates from the contractors listed below before selecting one. We recommend waiting to sign a contract until we’ve approved your application. Incentives are not committed until Austin Energy sends you a Letter of Intent.

Austin Energy makes no financial commitment to applicants until a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) is issued.

Austin Energy is not a manufacturer, supplier, or guarantor of the solar PV system or installers, and Austin Energy, whether by making available a list of registered installers and equipment sources or otherwise, has not made and makes no representations or warranties of any nature, directly or indirectly, express or implied, as to performance of the installer or reliability, performance, durability, condition, or quality of the PV system selected and purchased.




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