Texans are set to gain new boasting rights as the state with the most solar panels if they are interested. Combine an article published Friday by Market Watch claiming the solar industry may be “heating up” with the SB 1626 bill which Governor Abbott signed into Texas law, and anything is possible.
The Dallas Morning News explained Abbott’s law cleared the way for Texans who reside in a state that sucks up so much electricity that it possesses its own power grid to rival Californians in the number of solar panels installed in homes. Among other things, no longer can homeowner associations nix the addition of solar panels because they are unsightly. Currently California is the state leading in going green with solar panels.
Someone must have mentioned to Solar City, a big solar player in California, that Texans are famous for a boastful pride outsiders consider downright provincial. The company has geared their marketing to appeal directly to that pride. First, the company tips its hat at Texans for always being an “energy leader, from the oil boom that began in the twentieth century to wind power.” The ad mentions that “Texans can enjoy the stars at night that are big and bright” while leading the way with solar power. Finally, the ad pushes Texans to show “energy independence, go solar and pay less for electricity.” Native Texans might consider the ad a tad condescending, but there it is.
According to the Temple Daily Telegram an average 2,000 square feet home uses approximately “6.2 kilowatts of power, or 20-24 solar panels.” Costs estimates run “between $14,000 and $20,000.” A solar panel system, per most solar companies, will pay for itself between seven years and eight years.
The immediate cost factor may give many Texans pause before leaping to take advantage of lower electricity bills promised by solar power experts; however, one must remember that Texas, under the leadership of former Republican Governor Rick Perry and now Republican Governor Abbott, is already the state touted as having the most growth in jobs. If Texans want solar panels, likely many Texans won’t have a problem fronting the investment costs.
Even tanking oil prices can’t dent the robust Texas economy causing CNN Money to warn:”Oil prices can’t mess with Texas.” If Texans don’t buy into solar panels, it’s unlikely cost will be the reason.
In the meantime, Texans considering solar panels might want to keep an eye on the ongoing feud between California utilities and residents with solar roof panels. If it turns out that utilities end up tacking such a high fee on residential solar panel users that any savings are negated, buying into solar might end up being seen as only a possible investment in the planet instead of a pay-off in the pocketbook.