Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Rebate & Incentives

Install Rooftop Solar on Multiple Residences

Are you interested in installing a solar PV system on five or more residential units? Austin Energy offers Capacity-Based Incentives (CBI) for multifamily properties and new single family developments to help you with your purchase.

Austin Energy is offering incentives for sole property owners who install solar PV systems on five or more residential units. This one-time incentive is based on the size of the system and the current incentive level.

In order to qualify the solar PV system must be at least 2kW (AC) per unit or estimated to produce at least 50% of annual electrical consumption, and mostly free of shading.

You must also use an Austin Energy Participating Contractor to install your solar PV system – see the Find a Contractor tab.

Austin Energy provides a higher incentive level for solar installations at multifamily affordable housing properties. See the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Multifamily Incentive Program Guidelines (pdf) for more details.

 

Austin Energy Capacity-Based Incentive (CBI)

If you are a sole property owner who installs a qualifying solar PV system on five or more residential units, you may be eligible for a one-time CBI. 

We calculate this incentive by multiplying the number of PV modules by the Standard Test Condition (STC) rating per PV module (Watts) and the current solar incentive level. The incentive payment is subject to limitations. See our Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Multifamily Incentive Program Guidelines (pdf) for more detailed information about program requirements.

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.

Learn more about solar tax credits and other energy efficiency improvements from ENERGY STAR®.

Property Tax Exemption

Your solar PV system may qualify for a property tax exemption. 

Learn more from the State Energy Conservation Office.

Prerequisites

  • This incentive is intended for multifamily properties and new single family developments where there is a sole property owner at the time of application. 
  • Incentive applicants must have at least five Austin Energy residential electric utility accounts or own the property that has, or will have, at least five Austin Energy residential electric utility accounts at the service address (es) where the PV systems are to be installed. 
  • Multifamily properties, where required, must be in compliance with the Multifamily ECAD ordinance.

Requirements

  • You must apply for and receive a Letter of Intent (LOI) prior to system installation. 
  • The solar PV system must be at least 2kW (AC) per unit or estimated to produce at least 50% of annual electrical consumption, and mostly free of shading.
  • You must use an Austin Energy Participating Contractor to install your solar PV system – see the Find a Contractor tab.

Exclusions

  • Third-party solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are not allowed in the Austin Energy service territory.
  • Homes with existing solar PV systems are not eligible to participate in this program.
  • Leased systems do not qualify unless the applicant is a non-profit organization or governmental entity.

Multifamily Affordable Housing Incentive

Austin Energy provides a higher incentive level for solar installations at multifamily affordable housing properties. To be eligible, projects must meet the requirements above and:
  • Residential units within the multifamily building to be served by the solar array must be reserved for households earning no more than eighty percent (80%) Housing and Urban Development (HUD) median family income (MFI) for a minimum 20-year affordability period with at least 10 years remaining.
  • Applicant must submit a signed SMART Housing letter or financing agreement verifying the MFI levels of affordability and that these affordability criteria will be verified through a financing or other agency for the required time period.
  • The multifamily building cannot be registered with the City’s Repeat Offender Program.

How to Apply for an Incentive

  1. Review our Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Multifamily Incentive Program Guidelines (pdf).
  2. Contact an Austin Energy participating contractor to request bids. See the Find a Contractor tab to get started. We recommend you get at least three estimates from different companies and check references.
  3. The participating contractor that you select will submit an application to Austin Energy on your behalf. 
  4. Austin Energy will determine eligibility based on your application and issues a Letter of Intent (LOI) to you and the participating contractor. 

What Happens Next?

  1. The participating contractor will apply for necessary permits and install the solar PV system. 
  2. Austin Energy will inspect the system to ensure it meets electrical interconnection requirements and program guidelines.  
  3. Once the system passes inspection, a PV meter is released by Austin Energy and your contractor can energize your system. 
  4. Once the system is energized, you (or your contractor) will receive an incentive check in the mail and you will see your PV production on your monthly 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.

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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.

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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. Rebate funds are encumbered (committed to be paid) during the fiscal year in which they are to be dispersed.

The Austin City Council must approve rebates of more than $61,000 per year. The maximum combined rebate is $300,000 per customer site per fiscal year (October through September).

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 (participating contractors) 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.

Austin Energy’s obligations under this Agreement are payable from current electric operating and maintenance funds appropriated and available for this purpose. Austin Energy’s payment obligations hereunder are special limited obligations of the City of Austin (“City”), payable solely from the revenues of Austin Energy, and not from any tax revenues of the City of Austin. This Agreement does not constitute indebtedness or a loan of the credit of the State, the City, or any subdivision of the State within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory provisions. Neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State, the City, or of any political or subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment obligations of the City and/or Austin Energy hereunder.

Payments made under the PBI program are special limited obligations of the City of Austin, payable solely from Austin Energy revenues, not City of Austin tax revenues.



Date last reviewed or modified: 5/22/19

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