The installation of solar panels has become a popular addition to homes in every state. Solar panels help lower your energy bills and can even allow you to disconnect from the grid if you choose. For homeowners in Texas, these can be enticing incentives. While the state has lower-than-average electricity costs, the grid has proven to be overstretched, which can result in electrical failure for large parts of the state. Texas has statistically seen more blackouts than other states. Having solar energy can help reduce your dependency on the grid and reduce the grid’s load, leading to fewer brownouts and blackouts. This has led to an uptick in interest in solar energy in the state over the last year.
Texas is a large state, with different rates of sunshine and weather, leading to a fairly wide range of system sizes and costs. The state average cost for installing solar panels in Texas is $14,280 to $18,840, with most homeowners spending around $16,560 on a 6 kW system using monocrystalline panels mounted on the roof. This project’s low cost is $4,760 for a 2 kW system using thin film panels mounted on the roof. The high cost is $52,000 for a 10 kW system with a full battery backup installed on an array.
|Cost of Solar Panels in Texas|
|National average cost||$16,560|
When most people think of solar panels, they think about adding a few panels to their roof to help lower energy costs. This is known as a grid-tied system. You have panels providing some energy to your home, but you are still connected to the state’s grid. This is the most common and least expensive way of adding solar panels. You can install the panels by themselves or with a battery backup and use the grid at night or during inclement weather.
The second option is to go off-grid. In some parts of Texas, where the electrical grid does not extend, going off-grid with solar allows you to have electricity in your home. You can also go off-grid in areas of the state that are on the grid. Texas has regulations in some major cities about how and where you can go off-grid. While you may be able to disconnect from the power system, you may still need to use town or city water and sewer systems. Check with your local municipality if you want to go off-grid in Texas to find out which permits you may need or what regulations there are. Below are the average costs for grid-tied and off-grid systems in Texas.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Grid-Tied||$14,280 - $18,840|
|Off-Grid||$28,000 - $58,000|
Most solar panel systems are sold and installed by the watt. Solar panels may have between 250 and 400 watts per panel, while the entire system is defined in kilowatts. The average cost per watt in Texas is $2.38 to $3.14/watt. For the average 6 kW system, this translates to a total system cost of $14,280 to $18,840 installed.
Texas is a large state with numerous rural areas and major cities. In addition, the amount of sun each part of the state gets varies tremendously, with areas like El Paso seeing sunny days 84% of the year, and areas like Port Arthur only seeing the sun 58% of the time. This impacts the cost of your solar system because you generally need more panels to generate the amount of energy you need in areas with less sun.
Below are the average costs for differently sized systems and the average number of panels you need for a system of that size.
|System Size||Panels Needed||Average Cost (Installed)|
|2 kW||5 - 8||$4,760 - $6,280|
|3 kW||8 - 12||$7,140 - $9,420|
|4 kW||10 - 16||$9,520 - $12,560|
|5 kW||13 - 20||$11,900 - $15,700|
|6 kW||15 - 24||$14,280 - $18,840|
|7 kW||18 - 28||$16,660 - $21,980|
|8 kW||20 - 32||$19,040 - $25,120|
|10 kW||25 - 40||$23,800 - $31,400|
|12 kW||30 - 48||$28,560 - $37,680|
|15 kW||38 - 60||$35,700 - $47,100|
|18 kW||45 - 72||$42,840 - $56,520|
In some cases, the system size can be loosely tied to your home size. Larger homes generally have higher electrical needs than smaller homes. This means you are more likely to need a larger system than if you lived in a smaller home.
This is not always the case because you can have high energy needs in a small home or a larger home where you partially off-set your energy needs with solar, relying on the grid or other systems to meet the rest of your needs. For this reason, there can be a wide range of costs for each home size, based on the system that is right for you.
Below are the average cost ranges for the system sizes most commonly used in the corresponding home sizes.
|House Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$4,760 - $25,120|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$6,280 - $28,560|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$9,520 - $31,400|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$14,280 - $37,680|
Solar panels come in three basic types based on the cells they have. The first type is polycrystalline. It is made of fragments of silicon crystal This system is not as efficient as monocrystalline systems, but they are slightly less expensive. Polycrystalline panels tend to have a slightly larger profile and bright blue. They will also result in a larger system, because they are not as efficient as monocrystalline. This makes them not as popular as other systems simply from an aesthetic standpoint.
Thin film panels are another less-expensive option. They are much thinner and lower in profile than polycrystalline or monocrystalline, so they are popular for this reason. They work best in areas of lower sunlight, but you will still require a larger system than with monocrystalline.. However, avoid thin film panels if you live in areas with a lot of very sunny days.
The final type is known as monocrystalline, and it uses whole silicone crystals. These panels are much more efficient than the other two types, and they have a sleek black finish. They are thicker than thin film panels, but you can have a smaller system, allowing you to potentially have fewer of them.. They are also the most expensive. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system in Texas using the three types
|Cell Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Polycrystalline||$12,500 - $15,500|
|Thin-Film||$12,500 - $15,500|
|Monocrystalline||$14,000 - $20,000|
Labor costs to install solar panels in Texas vary by system, location, and where you install the panels. Roof installations are usually the least costly, while installing on the ground in an array has higher costs. Labor costs also vary depending on whether you are in a rural or urban area.
On average, the labor costs make up roughly 20% of the total system costs for installation in Texas. This translates to a per watt cost of $0.48 to $0.63 for the installation and balancing of the system. For the average 6 kW system, this translates to a labor cost of $2,880 to $3,780.
Below are the average labor costs to install solar panels in Texas based on the different system sizes.
|System Size||Average Labor Costs|
|2 kW||$960 - $1,260|
|3 kW||$1,440 - $1,890|
|4 kW||$1,920 - $2,520|
|5 kW||$2,400 - $3,150|
|6 kW||$2,880 - $3,780|
|7 kW||$3,360 - $4,410|
|8 kW||$3,840 - $5,040|
|10 kW||$4,800 - $6,300|
Whenever possible in Texas, your solar panels should be installed true south to maximize their energy output. If your roof does not face south, you can install them southeast or southwest, but this can result in a 5% to 10% drop in energy production. It is particularly recommended that if you rely solely on electricity for things like heat in the state of Texas, you should keep your panels facing the south as much as possible.
Most solar panel systems are installed on the roof. This open space allows the panels to capture the most sunlight, and lets the installer run the wires from the panels directly into your home system.
However, your roof might not be large enough to hold the panels for some large systems. In other cases, your roof may be in the shade or not face the correct direction to mount the panels on. In these instances, you can mount the panels on the ground in what is known as an array.
Arrays are more expensive to install than roof-mounted systems. The rack is larger, and installation is more difficult. You also need to run the wires from the array to your home, which also has higher costs. Below are the average costs for installing a 6 kW system on your roof and in the ground.
|System Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Roof||$14,280 - $18,840|
|Ground||$17,500 - $22,900|
Texas residents have several incentives for installing solar panels. First is the federal tax credit of 30% that is eligible on all newly installed systems in 2022. This is claimed on your taxes and is a credit equal to $4,284 to $5,652 for the average 6 kW system.
In addition, many retailer providers in Texas have an energy buyback program. If your system produces more energy than you use, you can return it to the grid. Some of these retailers will credit you on your next energy bill.
Texas does not increase property tax bills on the rise in property value from installing solar panels. Solar panels increase the value of your home, but in Texas, you do not see an increase in taxes.
Some Texas solar installers have a rebate program that lets you get cash back on some installations. Speak to your installer about whether this may be an option.
Your solar panels collect energy from the sun, but it cannot transmit that energy to your home without an inverter. Inverters are connected to your solar panels. Some systems require an inverter for each panel, while others can be used with multiple panels at one time.
There are several kinds of inverters on the market. The most common and least expensive is the string inverter. In this system, multiple panels are connected together into a string. These strings are then connected to the inverter. So, while the individual inverter is more expensive, you don’t need as many to make the system work. . The potential drawback of this system is that if one part fails, the entire system goes down.
Another option is the microinverter. This system requires one inverter per panel, so if you have 20 panels, you will need 20 inverters. Because you need multiple inverters, they tend to be more costly overall, even though their cost per inverter is lower.
Power optimizers are another option that you can use with your string inverters. They aren’t inverters themselves, but you can use one per panel to optimize the energy output for that panel. This can help for roofs that may have areas of shade covering some panels at one time. While a string inverter may be located in a basement or other accessible area, the power optimizer, like the microinverter, is located near the panel.
You need a battery inverter if you go off-grid or use battery backup. These inverters help convert the energy so it can be stored by your battery.
Below are the average costs for each inverter type. Inverters in Texas tend to make up roughly 10% of your total system cost.
|Inverter Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Power Optimizer||$125 - $150|
|Micro Inverter||$150 - $215|
|String Inverter||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Battery-Based||$2,000 - $3,000|
Maintenance of your solar panels in Texas is fairly simple. They should be cleaned and inspected approximately twice yearly. These inspections are important because they can catch signs of wear or damage before they cause a drop in energy production. Minor repairs or additional maintenance can be done with the cleaning and inspection. The average costs for cleaning and inspection start at around $150 per visit, and maintenance or repair can reach around $450 a visit, making annual costs between $300 and $900.
Another alternative to solar panels is to use a Tesla solar roof. Solar roofs use solar shingles combined with standard shingles over the entire roof. This gives your roof a more cohesive and subtle appearance than the installation of solar panels. If you need a new roof or your current roof cannot support the weight of the panels, a solar roof may be a good option.
Tesla roofs have the option to be used alone, or combined with one of their Powerwall batteries. In Texas, this has an average cost of $38,000 to $50,000 for a 6 kW system, depending on the roof size.
In addition to solar panels, you can install a solar water heater for your home. This system uses solar energy to heat the water you need for your home each day. These systems cost between $8,000 and $10,000 installed.
In general, yes. Grid fluctuations and failures are expected to become more common in Texas. Having solar energy helps prevent outages at your home.
Your total costs vary depending on the system size and type. The average cost to install solar panels in Texas is $14,280 to $18,840.
There is a wide range of costs for homes this size, depending on your energy needs. Expect costs to be between $14,280 and $37,680.
Texas does not have a solar tax credit. There is a Federal tax credit you can claim on your taxes. Texas has other incentives, such as energy buybacks.
If you are a licensed electrician with the state, you can install your own solar panels. Only licensed electricians can install solar panels in Texas.
Depending on the HOA and how it is worded, yes, they can potentially restrict solar panel installations.
Yes, you need to be an electrician licensed with the state of Texas to install solar panels.