Here’s a link to an article in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram that details all of the Energy Incentives and Programs that Oncor is unveiling this year. Since Oncor operates a deregulated electric area of Texas, they’re bound to put forth a number of energy efficiency programs to help customers save money. They’re required to grow energy efficiency
Basically, everyone should look into these programs and see what fits for there. There’s all kind of different opportunities here, and many of them are available to all income classes. But one thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that most of them operate on a first come-first serve basis. I’ll highlight some of the things below that are available.
Oncor is increasing their funding of this program by almost 50% from last year, from 1.4 million to 2.3 million. Customers should get on the waiting list for this ASAP. One customer they spoke with says the incentives covered about half the cost of his solar panel installation, which was about 20,000. So half of that. Plus, any extra energy that is created by the panels is sold back into the grid, so the customer can make money. Green Mountain Energy will buy the first 500 kWh back at the same rate customers are buying FROM GME, so customers can make money from this process. Additionally, TXU has recently launched their own solar programs, which could bring even more incentive money for panel installation to customers. This is the biggest Oncor program, and solar energy is the most recognizable form of green energy.
Home Energy Efficiency
This is the title in the article for this section, but it’s really just Home Insulation. By law, the savings are passed onto the contractors themselves, but they in turn often pass the savings onto the customers. ONCOR has a list of trusted contractors on their website that customers should consider contacting first. Consumers often overlook insulation, and most people in Texas have about half the recommended insulation, which is 12 inches. This program basically helps customers get more insulation at about 1/3 the price.
Home Performance with Energy Star
This program gives customers up to $1500 dollars for customers who have an energy audit performed. Now, the customers have to pay for the energy audit themselves, but that $1500 can then be applied to any of the changes the auditor recommends be made to the home site. This may seem like You Pay For It, We Pay You Back kind of situation in regards to having to pay for the energy audit out of hand, but some electricity providers like Bounce Energy have offered Energy Audits in the past as part of their different plans, so that might be something for a customer to explore further. All of this money just keeps showing that Texas electricity continues to push people towards green energy.
Note: These plans are only available for people who have ONCOR as their TDSP (North Texas, Dallas area). However, Centerpoint (Houston area) and the other TDSPs should have similar programs for customers to take advantage.