Does Texas have net metering?

Thirty-eight states require utilities to offer net-metering, but Texas is not one of them.

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Grace Coates
Grace Coates

Former Clean Energy Associate, Environment Texas

In states with net metering, when solar panel owners generate more energy than they need at a given point in time they can export this energy to the grid in exchange for credit. They can then use the credit to pay for electricity they receive from the grid later, when their solar panels aren’t generating enough energy to provide for their needs. On average, about 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output is exported back to the electric grid, helping meet the need of nearby customers with clean, locally produced solar energy. The credits collected by system owners can help them recoup initial investments made in PV systems, often in eight years or fewer.

Texas doesn’t require electric companies to offer net metering, but a few retail electric providers (REP) and utilities do have buyback programs for surplus generation. If you live in a part of Texas where you choose your REP, you can try to find a plan that has a good solar buyback rate – make sure to shop around!

In 2009, legislation was filed to set a minimum buyback rate, but unfortunately the bill did not pass.

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Grace Coates

Former Clean Energy Associate, Environment Texas

Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air and water, parks and wildlife, and a livable climate. Luke recently led the successful campaign to get the Texas Legislature and voters to invest $1 billion to buy land for new state parks. He also helped win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; helped compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and got the Austin and Houston school districts to install filters on water fountains to protect children from lead in drinking water. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks. He is a board member of the Clean Air Force of Central Texas and an advisory board member of the Texas Tech University Masters of Public Administration program. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.