Solar Power in San Antonio - The 2018 Ultimate Guide

Updated: Jul 12, 2018

Solar power in San Antonio is definitely on the rise, but how do we know when the best time to go Solar is? You may be wondering am I actually going to save money by going Solar in San Antonio or do I need to install the panels myself?


How is CPS going to assist me in going Solar?


San Antonio Solar Power

Solar Panels are easier than every to put on your home! CPS Energy will give you a rebate on residential and commercial Solar systems. The current rebate limits are $25,000 for residential projects and $80,000 for commercial.

The federal government is also handing out a 30% Tax Credit! There's never been a better time to go Solar. Learn all about it in this complete guide to San Antonio Solar Power.



What are the Solar Rebates currently offered by CPS Energy?


CPS Energy

CPS is currently offering a rebate program to customers that go Solar in 2018. CPS at this time is in Tranche 3 of a 3 phase Solar rebate program for San Antonio. The first phase of the Solar program offers a $1.20 per Watt rebate.


The second phase or "Tranche" of the program offers a $1.00 per Watt rebate, and the third phase of the CPS Solar rebate program offers $.80 per Watt rebate.


As of May of 2018, the CPS rebate offer is down to $.60. The Solar funding program is now only half of what is was a few years ago. We recommend going Solar now before it's too late to get a rebate.


Texas Solar Power

It's a very rare occurrence that a utility company would give any type of incentive to go Solar, and those of us in San Antonio are particularly lucky to have this rebate still offered at $.60 per Watt.


The fact that the rebate has been dwindling down over the past few years gives us all a clear indication that soon there will be no rebate at all. It's obvious that going Solar immediately is going to be way more affordable than going Solar later. We do not recommend waiting until everyone else is forced into it. It's a great time in San Antonio to own your energy!


CPS is able to offer these amazing rebates through the funding of the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP)


Visit our main page to find out more about solar savings.


Solar Power San Antonio

The rebate is available to all CPS customers with a solar power system of at least 1 kW. The average residential Solar power system in San Antonio, TX is about 8 kW.


"CPS has allocated 10 million dollars in funding for each Tranche of the Solar Rebate Program in San Antonio."

Now is the time to take advantage of this CPS Solar rebate program because each year the rebate declines.


If you are located in a residential building and are applying for the commercial incentive, you must be established for at least one year.


System owners are responsible for obtaining all applicable permits and permissions required to install and operate the system and all work must be performed in accordance with all applicable federal, state, local, and manufacturer codes and standards.



How difficult is the Solar Installation Process?


Solar Power Installation


Solar Power System are not only cost effective, but their very easy to have installed as well. Most systems are installed in 1 day. Yes, in just one day, you can go Solar with about 20 hi-tech solar panels installed on your roof or yard.


Is your Texas home eligible for Solar?


Watch the solar installation video below to get an idea of the solar panel installation process.



Do I need a Permit to install Solar Panels in San Antonio?


Yes, you do need a permit to go Solar in San Antonio. Our SMART Support takes care of the complete permitting process. The entire process to get a permit in San Antonio takes about 3- 5 weeks.


Understanding the Permitting Process 


The customer is required to sign an ACC form that is included in their final documents. The form is submitted to the HOA with a copy of the 3D custom design, and the Solar Panel Spec Sheet, and the House Bill 362.


After these simple steps, most HOA approvals are complete. Remember, legally HOA's are not allowed to stop you from going solar.


In certain cases, your Solar Panels will need to be installed on the front side of your home, and we'll take care of a more detailed production form in order to complete your permitting and HOA approval.


Every HOA committee has 30 days to review and approve each ACC request.


The permitting process with the City of San Antonio is quite easy. They require a Permit Application to be filled out and then 2 printed and stamped copies of the engineering.  These are then physically dropped off at the City Office for review. 


When the plans are approved our install crew can go pick up the plans so that they can have them to place on site for the city inspection once the install is complete.   



Solar Tax Credit


Do I get a Solar Tax Credit in San Antonio?


Yes, you can take advantage of the Federal Solar Power Tax Credit. The Tax Credit is currently 30% of the total purchase price of your Solar power system.


For example, if you Solar system costs $30,000, your Solar Tax Credit is then, $9,000. Yes, $9,000! That's a huge incentive for you to go Solar that the government is giving you, but the Solar tax credit is running out. The government is taking the tax credit away.


The Solar tax credit is currently 30% as of 2018 and will remain at 30% for 2019, but as of 2021, the credit will be to drop.


The federal tax credit allows a home owner to receive 30% of the value of their solar project back in an Income Tax Credit from the federal government. 


This tax credit is not a write off or a deduction but translates to full dollar for dollar subtraction of your total taxes owed OR refund of taxes already paid during the year. 


Take advantage of the Solar Power Tax Credit Now, Find out how much you can save with this Solar Savings Calculator!


Solar Tax Credit Examples


Scenario A: you are employed and have income taxes withheld every pay check. Lets say you make $75,000 per year and didn’t owe anything to the IRS at the end of the year.  Based on the tax bracket you fall into, this means you had roughly $18,000 withheld during the year.  If your federal income tax credit for going solar is $6000 then you would receive a $6000 refund.


Scenario B: take the same situation, but instead of having the entire $18,000 withheld from your check during the year, you only had $15,000 withheld.  This means at the end of the year you would owe the IRS $3000.  However, because you went solar, and the IRS now owes you $6000, then they would subtract the initial $3000 you would have owed and give you the rest of your tax credit, $3000, back to you in a refund.


Every situation is different and there are a few other variables to take into consideration.  We always recommend speaking with a licensed tax professional or CPA. 


However, the fact remains, there is a very large incentive just waiting for you to take advantage of to help your family go green and save money.


Even if they didn’t pay enough in taxes to get all of their tax credit back the first year, the federal government will give them up to five years to roll the tax credit over until they have recouped all of it.
Number two, the income tax credit is reducing to 26% after next year. This only gives people one and a half years to get the full 30%.

Solar Power Monitoring


San Antonio Solar


Your solar power system is monitored 24 hours 7 days a week. TriSMART Solar uses

Enlighten Enphase Monitoring which allows you to track your solar power system through the MyEnlighten App.


The app can be accessed on multiple devices and allows you to follow your solar power generation down to the kilowatt per panel.


See the Map Below to see the public profiles of each solar power system in San Antonio, Texas.

Solar Power Installations - MyEnlighten App

Download the the App via the App Store or Google Play Store.


The MyEnlighten App is very easy to use and shows your complete solar array. You can isolate each solar panel to see the actual power being generated.


The overview panel will show you things such as Power Production, Today's Energy in kWh, Past 7 Days or Production, Monthly Energy Production, and the Lifetime Energy Produced.

Solar App

San Antonio Solar Power Production


What is Net Metering? 


Normally, your power meter only runs in one direction which tracks how much power is being pulled from the grid to power your home appliances as needed. With Net Metering, the meter actually spins both way so that when you're generating more power than is needed, it's sent back to the grid.


Net metering is power system in which solar panels are utilized and connected to a power grid. Any unused power is then transferred to the grid, allowing the solar customer to offset the cost of the power drawn from their utility company.


It's a great time to take advantage of this new style of billing system. Net Metering is basically a credit that solar power system owners get for generating power back to the grid. For example, if a San Antonio home has a solar powered system on the roof, it will most likely generate more power during the daylight hours. When the home is net-metered, the power meter will actually spin backwards to provide the homeowner with a credit. During the night or other times when the power usage exceeds the solar power output, the grid will send the power back to your home. Solar Power customers are only billed for their actual usage!


During the day, the solar power system is generating a lot of power from the sun and therefore any excess power that's not being consumed by the customer is sent back to the grid.


Every kilowatt hour produced from the solar modules is used by the home first. The utility grid are un-aware of the total solar power produced by the panels, because the power only registers as generation at the meter when the home is not using the power being created, therefore it is very common for a system to produce more kWh's than the grid is made aware, because the home consumes the majority of the power before it reaches the meter. 


Net Metering Example

Example:

Total Solar Production: 1000 kWh's

Solar Production not used by home: 300kWh's (Indicates 700kWh's consumed)

Utility Total Billed Consumption: 1300 kWh

Utility Solar Credit: (300 kWh's)

Actual Billed kWh's from

Utility Company: 1,000 kWh'sTotal kWh's Consumed: (700 + 1300 = 2,000)

This means that 700kWh's that the customer consumed would not show up on their utility bill, because it was used by the house before registering at the meter.  The Utility Company would only show 300kWh's being generated when in fact the system generated 1000 kWh's. The reliable production of the system will be found by logging into whatever site (ie. Enlighten) that tracks and monitors total solar production.

The utility bill will only show the production being credited.



Are solar panels cover by insurance?


The top 6 insurance questions are all answered live with an insurance agent.


Will my solar panels be covered by my home insurance?



TriSMART Solar brings you Pro Tips with First Line Insurance Agent, Brett Hubbard of Keller, TX. Get all of your solar power questions answered such as the solar insurance cost, solar insurance companies, damage of solar panels, and claim service of solar panels.


TriSMART Solar brings you, PRO TIPS with Brett Hubbard from First Line Insurance in Keller Texas.


• Will my insurance cover solar panels?


In most cases the insurance companies are fine with adding solar panels to the home insurance. I've come across some companies that won't add them, but for the most part, adding solar panels onto your insurance coverage is a pretty easy change.

• Will solar increase my premium?


So, the only reason I've seen solar panels add increase premium is because now to replace the home is more expensive because now we have this $20,000 dollar system in the home that we need to account for. So, if we increase it about $20,000 on the dwelling, you might be looking at a $100 per year, so only a few extra dollars per month.

• What is the claim process in case of damage to the panels?


You know like a normal claim for hail damage, if there is damage to the solar panels and you have a contract to own the solar panels, there is coverage to fix or replace the solar panels just like they would the roof or windows or anything else on a house.

• What questions should I ask my insurance agent before moving forward with solar?


So, definitely ask if your going to own or lease the panels, how transferrable it is, if you were to sell the house, how that works with the transferring of the contract with the solar panels. Certainly understand that you should reach out to your insurance company to see if their ok with the adding the solar panels or if you may need to change insurance companies.

• What valuation does the insurance company use for my solar panels?


The standard home insurance policy, most insurance companies are all replacement cost, and it's the same thing on solar panels. So, if they were to be damaged to a point where you couldn't fix them, they had to be replaced, it would be on a replacement cost basis. Say, it's 3 panels, and their $1000 each to replace, then they would pay that value to replace them.

• How do I get my panels repaired with multiple parties involved on a claim?


Yeah, a lot of times if you have extensive damage, whether it be a tornado or even hail in some situations where damage has been caused to several things to windows, to roofing, the roofing contractor isn't going to replace windows, you have to get different parties involved. Insurance companies will understand if there are different parties to deal with and they will take control of that.


In Summary


Solar Power in San Antonio is a very lucrative investment. Take advantage of the Tax Credit that is being offered and act now before it's too late.


San Antonio is a great place to go solar because HOA's cannot deny anyone from going solar, and permitting is relatively smooth in the area.


Set up your net metering service and take advantage of the amazing rebates that are offered by CPS.


Do you want to find out how much you can save by going solar? It only take a few seconds to find out. Solar Saving Calculator

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