How much do solar panels cost in San Antonio and why are solar savings so high when CPS Energy rates are relatively low?
Published on June 15, 2018 by Andrew Sendy
Last updated on January 11, 2019
4 minutes read
As of 2019, San Antonio ranks 6th in America in terms of cities with the most installed solar PV at 161 MW. Given power in San Antonio, and Texas generally, is not as expensive as it is in many other leading solar states the question becomes why is solar so attractive.
The answer is a mix of high levels of sunshine and excellent supporting policy.
How much electricity do solar panels produce in San Antonio?
Solar panels installed in San Antonio produce approximately 4.4 kWh (kilowatt hours) per day in San Antonio or 1606 kWh per year for every 1kW DC. CPS Energy's solar rebate program and how does this affect solar panels cost?
In April this year, CPS energy dedicated another 15 million dollars to their solar rebate program. The current rebate amount is set at $0.60 per AC watt installed. The rebate total increases to $0.70/kW if the panels and inverter are local although with few, if any, local manufacturers then $0.60 per AC watt is the norm.
To work out how much this rebate will save an average homeowner in San Antonio we first need to work out the size of the system a typical home in San Antonio needs. A standard 2,500sq ft family home uses roughly 1,678kWh of power per month in San Antonio. On CPS Energy's standard residential rate this would give a monthly bill of $146/mo.
Since 1kW of installed DC produces 1,606kWh per year the average family home in San Antonio needs a 12kW system. Given the derating factors from DC peak capacity to AC watts this is around a 10 kW system AC and so the rebate available from CPS Energy is $6,000 for the average home.
How many solar panels do you need for your home in San Antonio?
The number of solar panels your home needs in San Antonio assuming an average home size is approximately 42 x 280-watt solar panels making up a 12kW system. If you have a federal income tax liability then 30% of your solar system cost can be claimed as a deduction to your taxes. This incentive is claimed when you do your taxes. To receive the incentive sooner it is best to do your taxes for the year after purchasing your solar system.
How many solar panels I need for my home in San Antonio
How does the CPS' rebate and the 30% tax credit work together to reduce the cost of solar panels in San Antonio?
After claiming your rebate from CPS energy you can then claim 30% of the remaining balance as a deduction to your federal tax liability.
Average solar panels cost for specifically sized homes in San Antonio
The following table shows the cost before and after incentives for homes of varying size in San Antonio.
|Home Size</th||Av. monthly usage||Required System Size||Cost of solar before CPS Energy rebate||Solar panels cost after claiming the CPS Energy rebate||Cost after claiming the 30% federal solar tax credit|
Does CPS Energy provide net metering?
Within the city of San Antonio, CPS Energy are required by law to provide net metering to their solar customers.
How does net metering work?
When your solar system produces more energy than what is needed in your home the excess energy is sold to CPS energy through the grid. Each kWh of unused solar generation sent to the grid offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid (often at night when your solar panels are not producing)
A visual look at how net metering affects your power bill.
|Service Availability charge||$8.75|
|Energy Consumed from the grid||500kWh|
|Energy Exported to the grid||450kWh|
|Energy use charges||$3.46|
|Total Electric bill||$12.21|
What if my solar system exports more energy than my home draws from the grid?
Remaining credit at the end of the month is carried over to be used on the next month's bill although only at the avoided-cost rate (about 2¢ per kWh).