Net metering in Texas
When your solar system produces more electricity than your home uses, say during the day when you’re away from home, the excess electricity is sent out through your electric meter to be used by your neighbors. In most places, solar homeowners receive a credit on their monthly utility bill for this excess electricity their system produces. This is known as net metering. It ensures solar homeowners receive fair credit for the electricity their systems generate and helps them see a return on their investment into solar.
Thirty-eight states require utilities to offer net-metering. Texas is not one of them. (If you live in a municipal-owned or rural electric cooperative utility-service area, check with your city or cooperative about their net-metering program). However, due to the state’s unique competitive energy market, prospective Texas solar homeowners have other options to access the benefits of net metering.
Solar buy-back programs
If you have solar or are thinking about going solar, you should find a Retail Electricity Provider (REP) that offers a solar “buyback” program. These buyback plans are an approximation of net metering with terms set by your REP. The chart below is a comparison of solar buyback plans in Texas provided by the Texas Solar Power Association, based on a conference presentation given in 2017. Buyback programs vary considerably. The highest buy back rate may not necessarily be the best deal if it also means you are paying higher prices for the non-solar electricity you purchase from the grid.
|Company||Plan name||Rate/kilo-watt hour||Rate type||Term|
|Reliant||Reliant Solar Sell Back Plan||0.113||Variable||Month-to-Month|
|TXU||Clean Energy Credit Program||0.075||Variable||Month-to-Month|
|Green Mountain||Renewable Rewards®|
Renewable Rewards® 12
Renewable Rewards® 24
|MP2 Energy||MP2 Solar Buyback Program|
MP2 Net Energy Metering Program
|$0.106 - $0.114|
$0.106 - $0.114
$0.081 - $0.102
$0.117 - $0.125
$0.096 - $0.106