NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As North Texans face skyrocketing electric bills, more and more are considering switching to solar power.
“The call volume is about double that,” said Craig Thrush of Kosmos Solar, a solar installation company.
Homeowners are dealing with high electricity bills, while dealing with extremely high summer temperatures, and they are looking for ways to save money.
Concerns about the reliability of the state’s power grid are also driving the surge in interest.
“That’s one of the biggest things people are asking right now is how can I lower my bill?” said Lily of the valley. “How do I stop paying these ridiculous increases? How do I make sure I’m not going to lose power during these heat waves when it’s just dangerous?”
Homeowner Julia Loughridge installed solar panels on her North Richland Hills home a few years ago.
“As the summer continues to be crazy and super hot this year, I’m grateful because I can get my air conditioning to work and I don’t care at all,” she said. “That’s the beauty of it. My bill, the highest in two months with all this heat, is around $20. I can’t really argue with that.”
The solar panels on its roof generate enough energy to cover almost all of its daily use. Even financing the cost of the installation, Loughridge says it was worth it.
“It always came on a monthly basis that was lower than our average monthly electric bill, so it was kind of a no-brainer,” Loughridge said.
Installing solar panels on your home is an investment, but energy experts say it’s probably worth it if you want to lower your monthly bills, go green, or reduce your reliance on the state power grid.
“I predict that in the future it will be a good financial decision to make as electricity becomes more and more expensive,” said Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M.
You need to weigh your personal financial situation and your overall energy consumption. Your home may also not be ideal for solar power, depending on the direction it faces or if you have HOA restrictions.
Solar panels alone won’t keep your lights on if the state power grid fails again, as it did during the winter storm of 2021. You also need to install a backup battery system, at a additional cost, if you wish to have electricity during an outage.
“Right now there is tax relief now,” Dessler said. “You get a 26% tax credit, which means the government will pay for around a quarter of your installation.
That’s why Dessler says now is the time to go solar if you’re serious about making the switch.
For many families, the proof is in the paper bill they receive each month.
“As soon as they go solar, what’s their next bill going to be – they call it an ‘electricity credit statement’ because it’s not even a bill anymore,” Thrush said. “It’s a negative number.”
Thrush recommends doing your research before installing solar panels on your home or business. Find a local installer who is recommended and can offer you the best system.