Benefits of Solar Energy

Why should I install solar?

Solar energy is a valuable renewable energy source that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulate the economy.

By investing in a solar system, you can harness the sun’s energy to help power your home and sell excess energy back to the grid through our Renewable Rewards plan. Solar is not an option for everyone, but if you own a home, you can request a risk-free solar assessment.

Environmentally Friendly

  • 100% Pollution-Free—solar is one of the cleanest sources of energy because it does not emit any pollution when it is produced or consumed. Using solar energy can help avoid carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with conventional fossil fuel electricity generation.
  • Renewable Resource—solar is an inexhaustible resource with endless possibilities. The amount of energy from the sun that falls to the earth in one day could supply the entire world's energy needs for 27 years!1

Cost-Effective

  • Financial Return—a solar energy system can instantly reduce your electric bill and provide a long-term fixed energy rate for the life of your system (20-25 years)—that means cost savings now and protection against unpredictable electric prices in the future.
    • In addition, federal tax incentives, rebate opportunities and decreasing equipment costs make this a great time to invest in solar!
    • Plus, solar panels can increase your home’s resale value. One study found that solar systems added on average $5.50 per watt to a home's value above the cost of a comparable, non-solar home.

Support Energy Independence and Local Jobs

  • Solar installations produce more renewable energy at home, which helps secure America's energy future.
  • Job Growth—greater demand for solar creates employment opportunities in the green job sector, helping to stimulate our economy.

How does it work?

How Does a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System Work?

A solar PV system is a set of connected solar panels, or PV modules, that generate direct current (DC) electricity by absorbing energy directly from the sun.

Is it that simple? Almost! While these systems generate DC electricity, all of your household appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity. Therefore, the DC electricity from the panels must go into an inverter to convert it to AC electricity. Now it can be used by your house or go back to the electric grid.

There are many factors that affect the productivity of your solar PV system, such as:

  • The direction your panels are facing
  • The angle of the panels
  • Your home’s location
  • Shading

A qualified specialist will assess your property’s solar potential.

To learn more, visit our Solar Energy 101 page.

How long does it take to get solar panels on my house?

It depends. Every solar installation is customized to meet your needs. Typically, it can take several months to get solar panels on your house. If you are interested in installing solar panels, fill out the form here. (Link to Solar Lead Form)

What is the difference between my solar production and the excess energy?

There are a few different terms that describe energy your solar array produces and energy your house consumes, including:

  • Solar production—the total electricity produced by your panels
  • Solar consumption—the solar energy used to power your home
  • Excess energy—any leftover solar energy delivered to the grid

Grid usage—energy pulled from the grid when your panels do not produce enough electricity to cover your needs

Will my panels power my house during a blackout?

It depends. If you have an energy storage solution installed along with your panels, yes. Otherwise, you will have no power during this time.

Do I need my HOA’s approval to install solar panels?

You may. However, Texas has a “Solar Access” law that prevents HOAs from prohibiting solar panels. Learn more at http://www.gosolartexas.org/solar-rights-regulations.

Whom would you recommend to install solar panels on my house?

Green Mountain doesn’t install solar panels ourselves—we partner with panel installers whom we trust to provide high-quality solar panels and great customer experience. If you are interested in installing solar panels, fill out the form here.

What are my payment options for a solar installation?

You will work with your solar installer to come up with the best payment plan for installing your solar panels.

If I still have questions, whom can I talk to?

If you have questions about your electricity bill or plan, call Green Mountain at 1-866-785-4668.

Whom do I contact about interconnection to the grid and two-way metering?

Contact your utility below to learn more about interconnection to the grid and two-way metering:

Oncor
Phone: 1-888-313-6862
Email: contactcenter@oncor.com
Contact page: http://oncor.com/EN/Pages/I-Need-To.aspx

CenterPoint
Phone: 1-800-752-8036
Contact page: https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/business/customer-service/contact-us

Texas New Mexico Power
Phone: 1-888-866-7456
Contact page: http://www.tnmp.com/contact/general.htm

AEP Central and AEP North
Phone: 1-877-373-4858
Contact page: https://www.aeptexas.com/contact/

How much would this lower my electricity bill?

If your property is a good candidate for solar, the next thing to consider is whether it is a good investment. Let’s begin with a quick review of electricity basics:

  • Power is the rate at which energy is supplied—like the speedometer on your car that measures how fast you can go. Power is measured in watts (W).
  • Energy is the measure of power over time—like your car’s odometer, which measures how far you’ve gone. Energy is measured in watt-hours (Wh) or kilowatt-hours (kWh). 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour.

Solar panels will generate different amounts of energy (measured in kWh) depending both on their power capacity (measured in kW) and how many hours the panels have ideal access to sunlight.

  • The amount of money you can save depends on how much solar energy is generated, how much electricity from the grid you typically use, and your electricity rate in cents per kWh.
  • For example, if you have a 5-kW system, it could generate approximately 20 kWh of energy in one sunny day.

Over the course of a month, if the system generated 400 kWh, it would directly offset that quantity of grid electricity use. So if you typically pay $0.12/kWh for your electricity, installing solar could lower your electricity bill by as much as $48.00 per month.

Rebates & Incentives

How do I qualify for the SolarSPARC rebate?

There are three requirements that must be met in order to receive the SolarSPARC rebate:

  • You have signed the Solar Rebate Agreement with Green Mountain
  • You are given the permission to operate (PTO) and have the documentation to confirm

You sign up for Green Mountain’s Renewable Rewards plan or any Green Mountain plan

How long will it take to receive my SolarSPARC rebate?

Once all three requirements are met, you should receive a rebate check within three to four weeks.

If you would like to learn more about our residential buyback plan, click here.

What is the SolarSPARC rebate?

Green Mountain offers a SolarSPARC rebate that could save you thousands of dollars on average installation costs. For more information about our exclusive rebate, simply fill out our form and we'll be in touch.

What types of incentives are available to me?

Federal, state, local and utility rebates and incentives may be available in your area. Green Mountain can help you determine which, if any, may apply specifically to your home and enable you to go solar at the most competitive price.

  • Federal Tax Credit: All new installations are eligible for a 26% U.S. federal tax credit off the full system price after installation.
  • State, Local and Utility Incentives: Incentives vary but may include rebates, property tax exemptions and income tax credits.

Request information now to learn more about the federal, state and utility incentives that may be available for your home solar installation.