Fredericksburg SHINES

Leading the Way in Sustainability

Embracing Solar Energy Now

All over the country there is a growing excitement about solar energy.   Hill Country residents are becoming more familiar with rooftop solar power systems and are starting to embrace the idea of this alternative energy source.   Clean, quiet, and increasingly efficient solar photovoltaic power systems are becoming a practical renewable energy solution for homes and businesses.   The Hill Country is an ideal location for solar generated electricity because of the abundance of sunlight received throughout the year.   Solar energy has been a renewable energy option for many years, but now this alternative seems to be especially feasible.

I'm standing next to 3  solar installers on my own roof

I’m standing next to 3 solar installers on my own roof

Why choose solar now?
Many people are interested in renewable energy due to recent skyrocketing energy prices.   Others are increasingly concerned about climate change issues that are impacting our energy consumption practices already.   A concern for the environment and interest in sustainable practices have resulted in numerous policy changes that are driving solar photo-voltaic (PV) power system adoption in Texas, and across the country.    In particular a combination of financial incentives from federal, state, and local sources are promoting this transition.

Attractive Tax Incentives
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extends many consumer tax incentives from the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 further expands these policies and provides for  energy tax incentives for business, utilities, and even government entities.     These  generous Federal consumer energy tax incentives from the Department of Energy are increasingly attractive.

In addition, the State of Texas has responded with renewable energy property tax exemptions and some other statewide programs designed to encourage solar investment. The renewable energy system property tax exemption is a significant program achievement and rewards investment by exempting solar power generators from recurring taxes.     An overview of official Texas tax code incentives for renewable energy reveals one practical way  to which the state is promoting this positive energy transition.   One of the most important factors in solar energy adoption has been producer rebates from local electric service providers.

This solar pathfinder helps to determine placement for solar panels

This solar pathfinder helps to determine placement for solar panels

In these uncertain times, a perfect combination of factors is making renewable energy a sound choice for homeowners and business seeking to manage the costs and consequences of energy choices for every Texan. The lowest costs ever in solar equipment and strong policy measures make solar a wise investment and a good hedge on potential energy inflation costs. Given the long lasting performance of modern solar arrays, a reasonable return on investment can be expected over the lifetime of a solar PV system with little maintenance required.

Example of Texas Electricity Provider Rebates:

Austin Energy

San Antonio CPS Energy

Guadalupe Valley Electric Coop


Even more good reasons why you might want to embrace solar energy now
Now may be an even better time to embrace solar energy as prices of installed systems have dropped dramatically in a two year period between 2008 and 2010, according to a  March 23, 2010 article “Lower Costs Spur Solar”,  San Antonio Express-News.

The  Texas Legislature recently passed House Bill 1937, enabling Texas homeowners to  finance their solar panels through their property tax bills and spread out that cost  over a few decades instead of having to pay total costs  upfront.

Want to embrace solar now?   Contact us and we will try to help turn your dream into reality.   We’ll even help you lower your energy usage and increase your energy efficiency  so your investment in solar energy is maximized!


contributed by Mitchel Bell, Hill Country Solar, and  John Watson

  | 8/1/2009 and updated most recently by John Watson | 5/25/2013

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