Austin Solar Panels in 2024: Costs, Incentives, Top Companies & More

Local Solar

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By Smartpowr

As electricity costs continue to rise and concerns about the environmental impact of traditional energy sources grow, more Austin homeowners are turning to solar panels as a clean, renewable alternative. Solar panels offer a way to significantly reduce or even eliminate your monthly electric bills while also doing your part to combat climate change.

The great news is that generous rebates and incentives offered by Austin Energy make going solar more affordable than ever in 2024. By educating yourself and choosing a reputable local installer, you can join the thousands of Austinites already powering their homes with sunshine.

Austin Solar System Installation Costs

While the upfront cost of solar panels can seem intimidating at first glance, it’s important to consider the long-term financial benefits. The average cost of solar panels in Austin is $2.77 per watt as of 2024, which equates to $13,150 after the 30% federal tax credit for a typical 5 kW system.

Austin average solar system
Austin average solar system

Several key factors impact the total cost of your solar installation in Austin:

  • System size – Larger systems have a lower cost per watt but a higher total price tag. Each additional kilowatt costs around $1,500-$2,500.
  • Solar panel brand and quality – Higher-efficiency, premium solar panels from top brands cost more than budget options.
  • Roof characteristics – The age, material, and configuration of your roof can affect installation costs. Repairs may be needed prior to mounting panels.
  • Permitting and paperwork – Austin requires permits and inspections for solar installations, which add to overall project costs.

On average, a 5kW residential solar system in Austin costs around $13,000 before incentives. But don’t let that number scare you – there are many ways to reduce your out-of-pocket costs and speed up your payback period.

Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates

Austin Energy, the municipal utility company, offers one of the best solar incentives in Texas. Homeowners can earn a $2,500 rebate by completing a free solar education course and installing a qualifying PV system using a registered contractor.

In addition, you can take advantage of the 30% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). For a $13,000 system, that’s an additional savings of $3,900! The ITC was extended by Congress in 2022 and will remain at 30% through 2032 before stepping down to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

Solar Tax Credits
Solar Tax Credits

Austin Energy also offers a Value of Solar Tariff that pays you $0.097 for every kilowatt-hour your panels generate. That’s more than the current residential electric rate, so you’re actually earning a profit on the energy you produce.

Finally, Texas offers a property tax exemption for the added home value from your solar panels. That means your property taxes won’t go up even though solar increases your home’s resale value.

When you combine the Austin Energy rebate, federal tax credit, Value of Solar Tariff, and property tax exemption, you can easily save thousands on the cost of going solar in Austin. Be sure to discuss all available incentives with your installer to maximize your savings.

What to Look for When Installing Solar

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge on solar, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you get the best system for your needs. An experienced installer can help evaluate your home and make expert recommendations.

When it comes to your roof, you’ll want to assess:

  • Available unshaded space – You need about 100 sq ft per kilowatt of solar. Austin Energy requires a minimum of 300 sq ft to qualify for the rebate.
  • Direction and tilt – South-facing roofs with a 30° tilt are optimal in Austin, but east- and west-facing roofs also work well.
  • Age and condition – If your roof will need to be replaced in the next 10 years, it’s best to do so before installing solar panels. Any repairs should be made prior to installation.

For the solar panels themselves, consider:

  • Production – Look for high-efficiency panels that will maximize your electricity generation based on the size of your roof and your energy needs.
  • Durability – Choose panels with robust frames and high-quality materials that will withstand the elements for decades. Premium panels often come with a 25-year product warranty.
  • Aesthetics – While not as important as performance, you may want to consider the look of the panels since they’ll be visible on your roof. Black panels with black frames and backsheets tend to have the sleekest appearance.

Finally, choosing the right solar installer is critical to the success of your project. When evaluating solar companies, be sure to:

  • Verify they are a registered Austin Energy contractor in order to qualify for the $2,500 rebate.
  • Get multiple quotes and compare the details of each proposal, including cost, equipment, warranties, and production estimates.
  • Check their certifications and experience, including North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) accreditation, a Texas electrical contractor license, and proof of insurance.
  • Consider how long they’ve been in business – a company that’s been around for 5+ years is more likely to be there to honor their warranties and provide ongoing support.
  • Read customer reviews and ask for references to get a sense of their track record and customer service.

Taking the time to thoroughly vet your installer will give you peace of mind that your solar investment is in good hands.

Top Austin Solar Companies

With over 60 registered solar contractors in the Austin area, you have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the top local companies based on reputation, experience, and customer reviews:

Freedom Solar

Freedom Solar has been in the business since 2007 and is undoubtedly one of the best choices out there, sporting 4.8 stars from over 250 Google reviews.

  • Location: 4801 Freidrich Ln Suite 100, Austin, TX 78744
  • Phone: 512-730-2560

Wells Solar

Wells Solar has a rating of 4.7 stars from over 200 Google reviews. Recent reviews have nothing but good things to say about the Wells Solar team.

  • Location: 3900 Drossett Dr, Austin, TX 78744
  • Phone: 512-382-7956

Longhorn Solar

With over a hundred Google reviews, Longhorn Solar sports 4.6 stars, putting them in our top 3. They have been in the industry for more than a decade, having started in 2009.

  • Location: 1905B Kramer Ln #600, Austin, TX 78758
  • Phone: 512-436-0110

512 Solar

If you’re eager to start on your solar journey, then 512 Solar is a great choice. They have a perfect 5-star rating from almost a hundred Google reviews.

  • Location: 1250 South Capital of Texas Highway Bldg 3, Suite 400, Austin, TX 78746
  • Phone: 512-329-2117

TriSMART Solar

TriSMART Solar is another top contender, with 4.8 stars from nearly a hundred Google reviews. According to their customers, they’re definitely top-notch!

  • Location: 7801 N Lamar Blvd A130, Austin, TX 78752
  • Phone: 512-856-4954

Solar Service

Solar Service is another solar company that boasts a perfect 5-star rating from over fifty Google reviews. As an added bonus, they also operate 24/7.

  • Location: 1801 East 51st Street STE 365, #250, Austin, TX 78723
  • Phone: 512-537-0459

Alba Energy

Last but not least is Alba Energy. With 4.9 stars from 48 Google reviews, this Austin Energy registered contractor is a solid choice.

  • Location: 440 E St Elmo Rd suite b, Austin, TX 78745
  • Phone: 800-238-3112

While these are some of the most reputable solar companies in Austin, it’s still important to get multiple quotes and do your own research before making a decision. Check out our guide on how to choose a solar installer for more tips.


Going solar is a big decision, but it’s one that can pay off hugely in the long run – both for your wallet and the environment. By taking advantage of Austin Energy’s generous $2,500 rebate and the 30% federal tax credit, you can significantly reduce the upfront cost of your solar panels.

Over the 25+ year lifespan of your system, you can expect to save tens of thousands of dollars on electricity while also reducing your carbon footprint. Solar panels are also proven to increase your home value without raising your property taxes in Texas.

Of course, to get the best return on your investment, it’s important to choose a reputable and experienced local solar installer. By following the tips in this guide and getting multiple quotes, you can feel confident in your decision to go solar in Austin.

The sun is shining bright on Austin’s solar future – will you be part of it? Now is the time to join the clean energy revolution and start saving with solar.

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