Solar-Powered Homes: Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about going solar? Here are some common questions and answers about how it works.

Will solar power impact my home’s value?

It will, in a positive way. Your return on a solar investment is often better than for a kitchen upgrade. And most owners of residential solar systems receive their investment back in energy savings within 10 years. Solar systems even increase your home’s curb appeal.

Should I buy or lease?

A lease means a company installs your system. As the owner, that leasing company keeps federal, state, or federal credits. So you miss out on the financial benefits of ownership if your panels are leased. The benefit to leasing is you’re not paying for the whole system up front.

Are there tax breaks for owning a system?

Texas offers a 100% tax break for the rise in your home value after you install solar power. There is also a federal incentive. You cannot apply for it in a year that you don’t owe taxes—but you may carry it over into a later tax year.

How will the physical presence of panels impact my home?

Researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego found that a panel system helps insulate a house. In Texas, where we use a lot of air conditioning in the daytime, it’s worth knowing that a building’s ceiling stays 5 °F  cooler under a solar panel system than a ceiling under a roof without solar panels.

So, solar power works for Texas residents?

Texas has no shortage of sunshine, and cities with municipal power plants are nationally recognized for their output. Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio are notable solar leaders.

Overall, owning a solar system is not only possible for many Texas homeowners—it’s also an attractive investment.