What is the Texas Solar Buyback Program?

If you’re considering going solar in Texas, you have the advantage of living in a state with a highly competitive energy market, which ideally positions you to get the best deal for your home’s energy! Texas’s deregulated energy market has created a competitive landscape, leading to lower prices and increased affordability for solar energy options.

Among these options, Texas solar buyback programs are crucial in making solar power an attractive choice for residents. Understanding the benefits of these programs is essential to realize the feasibility and financial advantages solar energy can bring to your family. We’ll explain how solar buyback works, who can use it, and why it benefits people with home solar systems.

Retail Energy Providers (REPs) in Texas offer solar buyback programs for Texas solar owners who generate more energy with their home solar panels than they use. Essentially, the program allows them to sell their excess power back to the grid at a predetermined rate and pays them for the energy they create with their rooftop solar. The specifics of a Texas solar buyback program — including buyback rate, eligibility, and contractual terms — differ between REPs and regions. Some plans offer a fixed rate for excess energy, while others may have a variable rate specific to time or market price.

“Net metering” and “solar buyback” are terms used interchangeably in the context of solar energy systems, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on the region and specific program.

White brick house with brown shingles and solar panels
White brick house with brown shingles and solar panels

How Solar Buyback differs from Net Metering

While the general idea of net metering and solar buyback is the same — i.e., getting compensated for sending unused solar energy back to the grid — these programs have different rate structures and compensation mechanisms.

With net metering, which is more common outside of Texas, customers receive credit for extra kilowatt-hours they produce at a rate that is determined by state policy. By contrast, Texas solar buyback programs involve the retail electricity provider setting the rate, which may differ from the retail value. Additionally, net metering programs credit a customer’s electricity bill to offset future power consumption, while REPs decide how their buyback customers are compensated — either through bill credit or direct payment — for the excess energy they feed to the grid.

It’s important to know that “solar buyback” is often used to refer to both programs, as the terminology varies based on region and program. That’s why you need to know the specifics of what your local government and utilities offer in your area.

Axia has partnered with Chariot Energy to offer customers one of the best solar buyback plans in Texas. Chariot Energy’s buyback plan provides customers with credits for 100% of the excess electricity produced by their solar panels. Axia customers can take advantage of rate plan offerings from Chariot Energy through this partnership, making it a win-win situation for solar owners.

With Chariot Energy’s Rise 12 Solar Energy Buyback plan, customers can enjoy a fixed-rate plan for any electricity not produced by their solar panels. This means that even when the panels are not generating enough power, customers can benefit from an affordable and consistent energy plan. Furthermore, Chariot Energy purchases the excess solar energy at a dollar-for-dollar, watt-for-watt rate, allowing customers to monetize their surplus electricity.

By going solar with Axia and signing up for Chariot’s solar buyback plan, customers can:

Maximize the benefits of their solar energy production
Receive compensation for the energy they contribute to the grid, reducing energy bills.
Lock in their energy rate for additional control over electricity costs
Power meter
Power meter
Icon of money in hands

How You Are Credited

The Chariot Solar Buyback Plan gives you bill credits for excess energy that is generated by your solar system. This occurs when your solar system produces more electricity than you need at a given time. The credit appears in your electricity bill and will be applied against any electricity you use from the grid when your solar system is not producing power.

With Chariot Energy’s solar buyback plan, if you don’t use up all your bill credits, they keep rolling over to the following months. And! If you decide to renew with Chariot, all your credits will roll into the new term. ​

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Why Choose Chariot Energy

Most of Texas is a deregulated market. This means you can choose your electricity service provider out of many in the state. However, not all electricity providers offer solar buyback plans. Therefore, you are not taking advantage of the credits you can receive from the excess energy sent to the power grid from your solar system. Chariot Energy offers one of the most competitive solar buyback plans in the Texas market with credits that roll over every month.​

You must meet a few key criteria to be eligible for Texas solar buyback plans. Here are the essential qualifications:

Smart Meter: You must have a smart meter installed by your utility company. Smart meters enable accurate measurement of your electricity consumption and the excess energy your solar panels generate, which is essential for participating in a solar buyback program.
Solar Panels: You need to have solar panels installed on your property, which are the primary source of renewable energy generation for your home and allow you to generate your own clean energy.
Interconnection Agreement: An interconnection agreement with your utility company establishes the terms and conditions for connecting your system to the grid, ensuring the safe and reliable transfer of electricity.
Deregulated Area: Solar buyback plans are typically available in deregulated areas where you can choose your electricity provider. Texas residents can choose their provider from a competitive Retail Electric Providers (REPs) market. This competitive environment encourages innovation, promotes cost savings, and gives consumers greater control over their energy choices.
Residing in Texas: Finally, you must reside in a state that offers solar buyback programs. In this case, the information provided is specific to Texas, where solar buyback programs exist to incentivize renewable energy generation.

Meeting these qualifications allows you to take advantage of solar buyback plans in Texas, enabling you to earn credits or payments for the excess electricity your solar panels produce and contribute to the grid.

House with solar panels, porch, lights at night
House with solar panels, porch, lights at night

Benefits of a Texas Solar Buyback Program

Participating in a Texas solar buyback program offers several advantages for homeowners and businesses. Here are some key benefits:

Promoting Solar Energy Access: By selling electricity back to the grid in Texas through a solar buyback program, you are helping others access clean and renewable energy. This supports the transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy system.
Cost Savings and Reduced Energy Bills: Alongside solar panel loans and financing and the federal solar tax credit, solar buyback programs make green energy more affordable. By receiving bill credits for the surplus energy you generate, you can offset or even eliminate the need to purchase as much electricity from the grid.
No Upfront Fees or Maintenance Costs: Participating in a solar buyback program typically requires no upfront fees or additional maintenance costs. Once your solar energy system is installed, you can benefit from the program without incurring additional expenses.
Expert Assistance with Credits: Solar buyback programs often involve complex credit calculations and billing processes. By working with a professional company experienced in solar energy and buyback programs, you can rely on their expertise to calculate and manage your energy credits. This allows you to focus on enjoying the benefits of your solar investment without the hassle of navigating the administrative aspects.

Taking advantage of solar buyback in Texas empowers you to positively impact the environment, save money on energy bills, and benefit from the expertise of a dedicated company. It’s essential to research and choose a reliable and reputable provider that offers a Texas solar program suitable for your needs and location.

Locations Served

We’re here to help you electrify your life the simple way. You can work with our team in and around the following locations.

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Frequently Asked Solar Buyback Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that we get about solar buyback programs.

Why does solar buyback exist?

Solar buyback programs incentivize the adoption of solar and promote the generation of clean, renewable power. By providing financial incentives for feeding excess electricity back into the grid, these programs encourage homeowners to invest in solar energy systems. Additionally, solar buyback programs contribute to grid stabilization and demand management. By utilizing rooftop solar panels, these programs help balance electricity supply and demand, reducing strain on the grid during peak periods.

Solar buyback programs also promote energy independence by making it easier for homeowners to produce their own electricity with solar and reduce reliance on the utility grid. From an environmental standpoint, these programs encourage using clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional energy generation. They even stimulate economic development by creating job opportunities in the solar industry and attracting investments in renewable energy.