U.S. solar installations grew by 95 percent in 2016, and there’s no question that 2017 will be another great year for clean energy technology. Texas is one of the leading states in this rapidly growing industry, ranked in the top ten for installed solar and #3 for solar jobs in the country. While Austin has long been recognized as one of the top cities for solar in the U.S. thanks to an incredible array of solar incentives, there’s a new solar star rising in Texas.
Thanks to some major developments with CPS Energy and local installers, San Antonio has become the “brightest” city for solar in the Lone Star State – it was just ranked the sixth best city in the country in terms of total solar capacity. In this article, we’ll explain what you can expect to pay for a solar panel system in San Antonio and why it’s such a hot spot for rooftop solar.
How much do solar panels cost in San Antonio, Texas?
As of the end of 2016, the average cost for a solar panel system in San Antonio was $3.31 per watt. The price tag for a 5 kilowatt (5,000 watt) solar system in San Antonio will range from roughly $7,000 to $17,000 before the hefty CPS solar rebate.
The CPS solar rebate and other incentives for San Antonio solar shoppers
Thanks to an awesome program that was recently revamped by CPS Energy, the roughly 780,000 customers of San Antonio’s main utility qualify for a major rebate when they purchase a solar panel system. The rebate pays $0.60/watt of solar installed, which means that a 5,000 watt (5 kW) system would get an additional $3,000 removed from their gross cost. That takes the sticker price from $16,550 to $13,550. Here are the details for the CPS rebate program:
- The updated rebate, which was extended in early 2017, pays $0.60 for every watt of solar energy installed until the $15 million funding cap is reached
- The rebate maxes out at $25,000 per residential project and $80,000 per commercial, and will pay no more than 50 percent of the gross cost
- The rebate applies only to installers that are registered/approved by CPS Energy
$13,550 is already an extremely attractive price for a 5 kW solar panel system, but the incentives don’t stop there for San Antonio residents. To estimate your final cost to go solar, deduct 30 percent from the post-rebate cost due to the federal Solar Tax Credit available across the United States. (Just keep in mind that this incentive, like many other rebates & tax credits, is only applicable if you choose to buy your system with a cash purchase or loan. Third party leases do not qualify for the credit.)
The federal tax credit takes almost a third off of your solar panel system costs and makes your final installation cost only $9,500, meaning you would only be paying an unprecedented $1.90/watt for solar.
Solar panel cost for CPS customers in San Antonio for different system sizes
|System size||Cost of solar for all San Antonio homeowners (post ITC)||Cost of solar for CPS Energy customers|
Even more San Antonio solar incentives
The CPS Energy rebate combined with the awesome federal ITC benefit for solar add up to major solar savings for San Antonio residents. If you choose to buy locally produced solar energy equipment, you’ll save even more.
When the utility announced the extension of their solar rebate program, CPS Energy also noted that any participant who chooses solar panels manufactured by Mission Solar, a San Antonio company, will receive an additional $0.08/watt on their rebate. If they also choose local inverter manufacturer KACO New Energy, they get an additional $0.02/watt. In total, shoppers who source their solar equipment from local providers will get another $0.10/watt taken off their price, which could take anywhere from $400-$1,000 off the price of their solar installation. With this in mind, you could think of the overall CPS incentive as a $0.70/watt incentive.
Overall, San Antonio has some of the lowest prices and best incentives for solar in the country, and it’s easy to see why San Antonio has become the 7th best city in the U.S for solar energy. For San Antonio homeowners that would like to see a customized solar estimate specific to their roof and a savings estimate specific to their current monthly energy bill, try our Solar Calculator. If you’re interested in receiving quotes from pre-screened solar installers local to their their area, check out EnergySage’s San Antonio Solar Marketplace.