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How to Get Oncor to Pay You to Put Solar Panels on Your House

How to Get Oncor to Pay You to Put Solar Panels on Your House

It won’t be long until temperatures start going up again and our electricity bills start rising too.

We’re blessed with some pretty inexpensive energy here in North Texas, but it doesn’t change the fact that it costs a pretty penny to keep the house cool during those 100 degree-plus days. Aside from turning up the thermostat and sweating it out, what can you do about it?

You can make the sun work for you.

Thanks to incentives from Oncor and a hefty federal rebate, you can install solar panels on your house without needing a massive budget. Putting solar cells on your house allows you to collect energy and, essentially, run that A/C for free all summer long. If you generate enough electricity, you can even sell it to Oncor for a profit. Here’s how to do it.

Money back: 2015-16 federal solar panel tax rebate

The federal government provides a tax rebate of 30 percent of the cost of installation on your solar panels. That includes everything from labor to wiring and assembly. It’s valid through the end of next year.

There is no cap on the rebate, and in fact, if your rebate exceeds the amount of your 2015 tax liability, it will roll forward to the 2016 year. Congress hasn’t decided yet whether or not to extend it past 2016, but it’s likely that your rebate could roll even further forward. More info here.

Money back: Oncor solar panel rebate

If you’re plugged into Oncor’s grid, they’ll provide a rebate on the installation of solar cells if you use one of their preferred providers. The rebate is $538.80 kW AC and $0.3462 kWh AC.
If that doesn’t make much sense, it’s OK. Your service provider will give you an exact estimate on the rebate when they provide a quote for service. More info here.

Money back: Sell your power back to Oncor

To get the rebate for your solar cells, your house will still have to be plugged into Oncor’s system. Bad for survivalists, but good for people who produce lots of energy.

That’s because, if your solar cell system is big enough, the extra energy you collect can be sold back to your provider. You’ll need some extra equipment, there’s an additional set of guidelines for homeowners who are interested in doing this and you’ll need to negotiate your rate with your provider. More info here.
Nothing better than getting a paycheck for living under the sun, though.

Oncor approved contractors

Oncor serves a wide swath of North Texas, so to find a contractor that serves your specific area, you can use their tool here. Here are some examples for central Dallas: