Austin Energy Rebate Guide
The Austin Energy solar rebate makes purchasing a solar power system even more attractive. Austin Energy customers with qualifying homes and businesses will need to meet the Austin Energy Solar Access guidelines and pass an energy audit if their home is older than 10 years old. (HE Solar LLC makes the process easy by assisting in the process)
Austin Energy requires customers to have an additional meter installed with solar. This meter will monitor solar production. Below is a breakdown of the residential and commercial programs.
Residential Solar Rebate:
Solar Access Guidelines: This outline covers the guidelines consumers should be aware of. Additional technical requirements are also required of the installer.
- Must be an Austin Energy Customer
- Systems must be installed by an Austin Energy Approved Contractor
- All solar equipment must be UL listed and be listed by the California Energy Commission.
- Roofs must be in good condition with at least ten years of usable life left.
- Older homes have specific rebate requirements
- Homes must have at least a 6 hour of shade free sun during the time frame associated with the direction your roof faces. A graph is provided on the Austin Energy solar access guidelines.
- System must be sized sufficiently for the homes usage.
Home Energy Efficiency Guidelines: Homes older than 10 years will have to meet the below standards. HE Solar works with great energy auditors that help streamline this process for consumers.
- Complete the Austin Energy Home Performance Audit. This often includes solar shading, adding insulation in the attic and duct sealing. If your home requires any of these it will be money well spent and the energy savings will be worth the expense.
- Exceed the levels set by Austin Energy Home Performance program. Customers that have done their own energy efficient measures over the years typically fall in this category.
Customer Requirements: The following customer agreements are required for the rebate.
- Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) must be signed over to Austin Energy unless project requires them for a LEED project. These credits are used for people/companies that want to invest in solar energy but logistically can’t at their physical location. Residential systems are typically too small to even attract companies in to purchasing these credits.
- Sign Micro Generator Form
- Customer Agreement stating the system will not be removed and will be properly maintained.
Residential Rebate Amount
- The current rebate amount is for $0.70 per watt.
- Calculating rebate: Take the overall system size in watts and multiply it by the rebate amount.
- (System Size) * (Current Rebate)
- $10,000 cap on the Solar Rebate
For Example: An 8.25 kW system using a 98% efficient SMA sunny boy would be calculated like this:
- 8.25 kW equals 8,250 Watts
- (8250) * (0.7) = $5,775 off your system!
- The remaining balance will be eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit if the consumer has tax liability.
Austin Energy Value of Solar
The current Value of Solar is 10.9 cents (effective January 1, 2016). Below is how they come up with the number:
- Austin Energy hires an independent contractor that evaluates current power generation market values. This gives Austin Energy their interpretation of solar’s true value.
- This value has been above electricity rates and is currently below it. It fluctuates with alternative power sources pricing (i.e. coal and natural gas)
- The recent lowering of value is believed to be attributed to natural gas being at an all-time low during the market review.
- Starting 2015 the Value of solar will be an average of the last few year making the price less susceptible to random market declines like what happened to natural gas last year.
An Austin Energy solar system will require an additional utility meter. This meter will monitor solar energy production, and the existing meter will monitor home energy consumption. Below is breakdown of how the billing process will work.
- Customer will continue to pay for energy consumed by their home. This includes the solar energy produced your own system. Energy consumption is calculated using kWh multiplied by electricity rate (cost).
- Customer will receive a positive credit for all solar production. System production (kWh) will be multiplied by the current value of solar rate.
- The Electric bill will have the Positive credit subtracted from the bill.
- For example
Commercial Solar Rebate
Austin Energy Production Based Incentive (PBI)
The Austin Energy commercial rebate allows consumers to earn credit on energy created solar systems. The term is for 10 years with the current rate being $0.07 per kWh. More information on the current tier can be found on the Austin Energy website.
- Systems under 20kW will be allowed to Net Meter. So if your solar is producing more energy than your building is consuming your excess solar will feed in to the grid. This excess energy will be credited to your account.
- Systems over 20kW are eligible for the rebate but cannot net meter. This means that excess solar production will be fed in to the grid but the consumer will not be compensated. Systems over 20 kW should only be installed when a majority of the production will be consumer by the building loads.
Note from HE Solar: All above information is subject to change by Austin Energy. Up to date and more detailed information can be found on their website at Powersaver Program. We recommend consulting a CPA for confirmation of all financial benefits from Solar rebates and Tax Credits.