According to most estimates, there are about 210,000 Texas homes currently using solar. As Texas solar power continues to grow, many people are curious to learn about the benefits.
One of the biggest benefits is engaging with a solar buyback plan. But does Texas have net metering, and if so, how can you make the most of a net metering program?
If you’re interested in learning what to do with your excess solar energy, we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about net metering in Texas and how to make the most of your plans. We’ll also focus on some of the outside factors that will affect your Texas solar energy.
What Is Net Metering?
To begin, what is net metering, and why does it impact you as an owner of solar panels?
When you generate electricity with solar panels, your home will draw on this power first. As a result, you won’t draw as much energy from your local grid. Instead, you’ll draw enough to cover the gaps left between your solar generation and your power consumption.
But what if you generate more than you consume? If you live a low-energy life or if your home is empty, your solar panels may generate more than you use.
In this situation, your excess solar energy will flow into the grid around you. When it does so, your neighbors will consume that energy along with the local power grid’s energy.
Due to this, your local grid will need to generate less energy, lowering costs. In most cases, this will lead to compensation for you.
The compensation is referred to as net metering. Net metering may come in multiple forms, sometimes in lowering your bill and sometimes in credits against your account. Regardless of the form, the result is saving money and rewarding you for your clean energy generation.
Does Texas Have Net Metering?
As great of a deal as net metering sounds, is this nationwide?
Many states have made net metering a statewide necessity. Overall, there are 17 states with new states added to the list annually. Unfortunately, Texas is not one of the 17 states.
The energy sector in Texas is dominantly privatized. As such, it’s up to the power companies to decide if net metering is worth implementing.
As solar grows, more companies are beginning to see the benefits of net metering. Here at Chariot Energy, we’re happy to have energy plans that include incentives to generate clean energy.
Net Metering Across Texas
Since Texas does not mandate net metering by law, your eligibility varies by location. Your Retail Electricity Provider, or REP, and municipal power companies need to offer them.
As of writing, there are currently 13 companies that offer net metering. That number is expected to grow, and as the competition grows, so too will the benefits of the consumer.
Compare the net metering benefits of what each company offers and see how you benefit. You should also look at what other benefits they offer to make sure you’re not going for a single feature that could change in future contracts.
One of those other benefits could be buyback plans. Buyback plans are similar to net metering in the end result but have a different execution.
With net metering, you’re billed for the difference between your power generated and your power consumed. What’s left over is your bill, which is often dramatically lower. But what if you generate more than you consume?
With solar buyback plans, you’re directly paid for the energy that you don’t use. Homeowners with solar panels can often generate passive savings while their home is empty during holidays, for example.
Here at Chariot Energy, we offer unlimited credits for your extra solar energy. The credits apply to your subsequent bills and won’t expire so long as you remain a Chariot Energy customer. We also provide a fixed rate on what energy you pull from the local grid.
Now that we understand the benefits and excellent incentives, what else is there to know?
Solar buyback and net metering are simple plans, but there are outside factors to keep in mind. Here are some of the things to remember moving forward.
Feed-in tariffs, or FITs, is the term for the rates applying to your surplus electricity.
In traditional net metering, the same rate applies to your consumption and generation. With FIts, the price tag can vary for your surplus generation.
FITs are typically lower than the price of consumption. Essentially, you are paid less per kWh you generate than you are charged per kWh you consume.
However, many utility companies will set them higher to incentivize a switch to solar power. If you find that the FITs and retail kWh prices are equal, you’re receiving the standard net metering costs.
You should also see if your company offers performance-based incentives. These incentives reward you not only for your surplus production but for your entire output.
As a result, you’re rewarded for all the solar power you generate, no matter what happens to the excess solar energy. Whether you consume the energy yourself or export it to your neighbors, you’re earning the same.
Finally, you should always look into how your location in Texas can alter the availability of solar.
Since there are currently only 13 companies offering net metering and buyback plans, not every region of Texas can enjoy the benefits. Some areas may have companies offering net metering, but they may offer low or “exploratory” plans due to the low number of people who use solar.
Making the Most of Your Excess Solar Energy
Does Texas have net metering? The answer depends on your location, what retail electricity provider you have, and whether you have the Texas solar plans needed to engage with the feature. Look into whether your provider offers a solar buyback plan or net metering program to see how you can benefit today.
Interested in learning more about how to benefit from your excess solar energy? Contact us at Chariot Energy to see how we can help you find your future energy plans.