2019 Solar Buyback Programs and Net Metering in Texas
SOURCE: Solar Panel Incentives in Texas
Solar photovoltaic systems are a source of clean power, having simple maintenance needs and typically
lasting for more than two decades. The main challenge when using solar panels is managing their variable
energy output: they generate electricity based on the availability of sunshine, unlike a diesel generator that
provides power on demand. Generation from a solar power system can exceed consumption at times,
especially in homes that are empty during the day.
Utility companies often deploy programs to reward solar PV system owners for surplus generation. These
programs are varied, but their common purpose is making surplus generation more valuable for the client.
Ready to go solar? Iâ€™ll guide you from quote to installation. - Mary Pressler, Sunfinity Solar Dealer
What is net metering?
- Net metering basically subtracts solar generation from electricity consumption, and you are only
billed for the difference. If generation exceeds consumption, the rules change depending on the utility
company: in most cases you get a credit that is rolled over to the next month, and in some rare cases they
actually pay you for surplus energy.
- Feed-in tariffs are rates that apply for surplus electricity exported to the grid. While net metering
values consumption and generation equally, a feed-in tariff provides a different price tag for surplus
generation. FITs are normally smaller than the retail kWh price, but utility companies may set them
higher to incentive solar power in new markets. If the FIT and the retail kWh price are equal, you are
basically getting net metering.
- Performance-based incentives reward you based on generation, even if you donâ€™t have surplus
production. This means you get the incentive regardless of whether you consume or export the electricity
Keep in mind that utility companies may create hybrid programs. For example, you may find a company that
gives you net metering for all generation below your consumption, switching to a reduced feed-in tariff to
pay balances in your favor.
This article will provide an overview of the solar buyback and net metering rules used by electricity retailers
in Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.