Solar Panels: All You Need to Know!

Now that summer’s heat has finally hit, you might be starting to dread those monthly utility bills—and it’s no wonder. Air conditioning a home is costly, even during a relatively mild Austin summer like the one we’re enjoying this year. That’s why a growing number of Austin homeowners, like Blairfield Realtor® Kevin Haines, have gone solar. Kevin installed solar panels in 2009 and couldn’t be happier with his decision to do so.


Kevin Haines, Blairfield Realtor®


“I opened up my City of Austin utility bill in June, and there was a $4.00 credit on my account for (our household’s) electricity usage in May! Our next bill was around .50, I think.” Taking advantage of his home being situated at an ideal angle to catch the sun’s powerful rays, Kevin is now reaping the benefits of City of Austin and federal rebates that made installing solar panels relatively inexpensive. And although he installed his system when tax incentives were higher, he also states that solar prices have fallen dramatically, which has helped offset any decrease in the rebates currently being offered.

Kevin acknowledges that he did have to shop around a bit for a company that was willing to take the time to assess his property and design the optimal setup for his home, but he’s glad he did. “We felt a little pain with the initial investment, but we’ve already broken even,” he said.

Interested in finding out more about the cost and benefits of solar energy? Blairfield Realty has put together some good resources to help:

  • Is solar right for me? Read what Solar Austin, a small coalition of non-profit groups and businesses who have the goal of promoting renewable energy and educating the public on a clean energy strategy in Austin, has to say. Then check out Austin Energy’s take.
  • What solar energy incentives, solar rebates and tax credits are available in Texas? Use the handy online estimator provided by Solar Reviews, a free public service serving the solar and wind energy communities since 2000, to find out. And get more info about the Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Rebate, available through Austin Energy’s Powersaver Program.
  • Why have solar rebates declined over the past few years? Austin Energy weighs in.
  • Are there any low-interest loans available to help me get started? Learn about Austin Energy’s partnership with Velocity Credit Union to provide loans to customers who install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in their homes.
  • What about federal tax credits for installing solar systems? 

From Kevin and everyone at Blairfield Realty, hope you’re having a great summer!