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September 6, 2022

Fast facts about solar power

Have questions about solar? Check out BTU’s most frequently asked questions about the service. If you have questions about installing solar panels, please contact our Energy Management Department

at 979.821.5715 or

Will I still receive a bill from BTU?

Most solar systems are not designed to cover a home’s entire energy usage; so many customers will still receive bills for kilowatt-hours consumed. If the solar production does cover the home’s monthly usage, customers inside the City of Bryan city limits will still receive a bill for the monthly customer charge, any security lights, water, wastewater, and solid waste charges. Customers outside the Bryan city limits will still receive a bill for the monthly customer charge and any security lights. Solar systems that produce excess power will be credited a dollar amount based on the amount of solar generation above metered consumption and BTU’s then current fuel rate. This credit will be applied to any remaining bill charges or carried as a credit on the account.

Will a solar system provide power during an outage?

Unless a solar system is equipped with a battery backup or installed in tandem to excite a generator, the system will not provide power during an outage. Solar systems are designed to be inoperable during an electrical outage to prevent back-feeding of electricity onto power lines and endangering line workers.

How long until I’m paid back for my investment?

Return on investment (ROI) for solar systems is variable depending upon the size of the system, the customer’s usage, the weather, the pitch and azimuth of the system, the interest rate for loans, possible tax credits, and myriad other factors. Customers should consider all factors prior to determining whether solar is right for them. BTU has seen a median price at $5.10/watt of installed solar, with prices ranging from under $2/watt to nearly $6/watt.

What tax credits can I receive?

Currently, the tax credit for a solar system is a nonrefundable credit at 26% of the system cost. A nonrefundable credit means the credit is only taken off a taxpayer’s total federal income tax liability, or the amount owed for taxes. If you do not owe any taxes, you will not receive the credit as a refund. The current credit is set to expire in December of 2023.

Will solar protect me from energy price increases?

Some solar companies will claim that electricity prices will triple in the next five years. BTU takes a detailed and thorough approach to the electric rate-making process and will do its best to notify customers of any future rate increases ahead of time. For reference, BTU has not increased base electric rates in the prior five years.


Does BTU partner with a solar installer?

As a public entity, BTU does not partner with any specific installers. We do recommend that customers do their due diligence in researching solar installation companies and determine all costs before deciding whether solar is right for them.

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