Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Incentives

Install Rooftop or Ground-Mount Solar at Your Business

Austin Energy offers incentives to help reduce the cost of installing your solar energy system. Depending on the size of your system, you may be eligible to receive either a one-time check or monthly bill credits.

Austin Energy offers two types of solar PV incentives to our commercial customers:

  • Austin Energy’s Commercial Solar Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) earns your business an extra credit on your monthly electric bill for the power your solar PV system generates. In most cases, the rebate level is based on the size of the system. Austin Energy calculates the payment amount by multiplying the rebate level by the monthly system production.
     
  • With an Austin Energy Commercial Solar Capacity-Based Incentive (CBI), your business can earn an upfront check that is issued after your solar energy system has been installed. The rebate level is based on the size of the system, and the payment amount is calculated by multiplying the rebate level by the size of the system.

In addition to the commercial solar incentives, all solar systems are eligible to earn monthly bill credits that apply towards the electric portion of the bill for the energy produced by their on-site energy system. Learn more about the Austin Energy's Solar Bill Credits

With an installed solar PV system, your business will remain connected to the grid. While you generate a portion of your own electricity when the sun is shining, Austin Energy seamlessly takes over and continues to supply your electricity day or night when your PV system is not producing enough electricity for your building’s needs.

Participating Contractor Required

You must work with a participating contractor to qualify for the PBI. See the Find a Contractor tab for details.

We recommend gathering multiple quotes from our participating contractors. The cost of a solar power installation varies depending on the size and specific details. The participating contractor can estimate the cost and the amount of electricity you can expect from your system.

Once you have selected a contractor, they will submit the incentive application on your behalf.

Nonprofit Customers

Eligible nonprofit customers may choose to receive a PBI or a CBI.

The PBI rebate levels are determined by the size of the system. For PBI details, refer to Installations Smaller than 75 kW and Installations Larger than 75 kW listed on this page.

The CBI offering is summarized as follows:

Nonprofit Customers
  CBI
System Size Any
Rebate Level $1 per Watt-DC (The CBI payment amount caps out at $400,000)
Payment Method One-time check
Duration N/A
Payment Calculation System size (Watts-DC) x rebate level

Installations Smaller Than 75 kW

Commercial customers who install a solar PV system smaller than 75 kW may choose to receive a CBI or a PBI. The chart below summarizes the current offerings.

Installations Smaller Than 75 kW
  CBI PBI
System Size <75 kW <75 kW

Rebate Level

60¢ per Watt-DC 9¢ per kWh
Payment Method One-time check Bill credits or check to customer (upon request)
Duration N/A Five years
Payment Calculation System size (Watts-DC) x rebate level Monthly production x rebate level

Installations Larger than 75 kW

Commercial customers who install a solar PV system larger than 75 kW may be eligible for a PBI. The chart below summarizes the current offerings.

Installations Larger than 75 kW
  Medium Large Extra Large
System Size <400 kW 400-999 kW >1 MW
Rebate Level 9¢ per kWh 7¢ per kWh 5¢ per kWh
Payment Method Bill credits or check to customer (upon request)
Duration Five years
Payment Calculation Monthly production x rebate level

 

CBI Eligibility

  • You must have an Austin Energy commercial electric utility account at the service address where the solar PV system will be installed.
  • Third-party solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are not allowed in Austin Energy’s service territory.
  • You must use a participating contractor. Click Find a Contractor to get started.
  • One incentive application is required per interconnection.
    • For Nonprofits
      • Must submit 501 C3/C4 Documentation
      • Cannot be eligible for or collect the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for the project
    • For Small Installations
      • Must install a system < 75 kW-AC

PBI Eligibility

  • You must have an Austin Energy commercial electric utility account at the service address where the solar PV system will be installed.
  • Third-party solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are not allowed in Austin Energy’s service territory.
  • One incentive application is required per interconnection.
  • You must use a participating contractor. Click Find a Contractor to get started.
  • Extra Large Commercial (>1 MW) must comply with section D of the Austin Energy Distribution Interconnection Guide (pdf).

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

The participating contractor will coordinate with the various City of Austin departments to schedule the relevant inspections. Included is the Austin Energy final inspection to ensure proper installation and compliance with Austin Energy's Incentive Program Guidelines, National Electric Code, and Austin Energy's Design Criteria Manual and Distribution Interconnection Guide.

  1. Review information about our performance-based incentive (PBI) solar program (pdf).
     
  2. Contact Austin Energy’s participating contractors to request bids. Click Find a Contractor to get started. We recommend you get at least three estimates from different companies and check references.
     
  3. The participating contractor you select will apply for the Austin Energy incentive on your behalf.
     
  4. Austin Energy will review the application to determine eligibility.
     
  5. Upon initial review, Austin Energy will issue an Encumbrance Letter of Intent (LOI) if your project is deemed eligible. Upon the Encumbrance LOI, your contractor will be asked to submit additional project documentation. Once fully approved, Austin Energy will issue an Installation LOI to you and the participating contractor. Austin Energy makes no financial commitment to applicants before the Installation LOI is issued. If the project is not completed before the LOI expires, the applicant will need to reapply at the prevailing incentive rate.
     
  6. The participating contractor will apply for necessary permits, and then install the solar PV system. Review our COVID-19 precautions with solar inspections.

    The participating contractor will coordinate with the various City of Austin departments to schedule the relevant inspections. Included is the Austin Energy final inspection to ensure proper installation and compliance with Austin Energy's Incentive Program Guidelines, National Electric Code, and Austin Energy's Design Criteria Manual and Distribution Interconnection Guide
     
  7. Once the system passes its inspections, Austin Energy will install a PV meter and your contractor can energize your system.
     
  8. After your system has been energized:
    • Commercial customers who have opted to receive a Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) will begin to receive PBI credits on the monthly bill in addition to the standard solar credits.

    • Commercial customers who have opted to receive a Capacity-Based Incentive (CBI) will be mailed a check.

You must use an Austin Energy Participating Contractor to qualify for this offering. Participating Contractors will offer and apply for Austin Energy rebates and incentives on behalf of our customers. We recommend that you check references and get a least three estimates from the contractors listed below. Learn how to avoid Solar PV scams

All solar energy systems that are installed in Austin must pass a final inspection before they can be turned on. Participating solar installation contractors will request all necessary inspections from Austin Energy.

How to View This List


 


The selection of a participating contractor 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.

Additional Documents

 

Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Offerings, program guidelines, and rebate levels are subject to change without prior notice.

 

 



Date last reviewed or modified: 10/8/21

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