May 17, 2023 -- The City of Houston, in partnership with Solar United Neighbors, announced today the launch of its second round of Solar Switch Houston, a program designed to help homeowners and small businesses learn about and install rooftop solar and battery storage. The first program garnered more than 1,600 sign ups between November 2022 and February 2023, the largest solar group buying program that Solar United Neighbors has organized to date in Texas.
Solar Switch leverages the power of group buying, and the expertise of nonprofit Solar United Neighbors to ensure participants get a quality system at a discounted price. Solar Switch vets qualified installers to compete for the group and runs a reverse auction to secure a competitively priced solar package.
"Everyone deserves to benefit from generating their own solar energy. That’s why we designed Solar Switch – to make installing solar affordable and straightforward for more Houstonians than ever before. I’m excited to see how much we can broaden the reach and benefits of solar group buying with the launch of our second Solar Switch Houston program," said America Garcia, Texas Program Director for Solar United Neighbors.
With the dropping cost of solar panels, new federal clean energy incentives, and the Solar Switch group discount, going solar is more accessible than ever. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), participants may be able to use the solar tax credit for residential solar and save an extra 30% on their total system cost. A similar tax credit is also available to small businesses, who are invited to take part in the program.
Recognizing the benefits of rooftop solar to homeowner’s wallets, grid resilience, local jobs, and reducing carbon emissions, the City of Houston has set a target of generating 5 million MWh per year of local solar by 2050.1 Solar Switch Houston is another step towards reaching this target.
“Growing Houston’s investment in renewable and resilient energy is an important goal of the Climate Action Plan. The Solar Switch Houston program aligns with our work to accelerate the growth of rooftop solar – creating jobs, making our local grid more resilient, reducing emissions, and saving Houstonians money in the process,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are pleased with last year’s campaign results, and I look forward to another successful program and more solar going up around the city.”
Residents are encouraged to sign up by May 31, when the installer auction will take place. Registration is free and there is no obligation for homeowners to purchase solar panels. Houstonians will have the option to move forward with a solar installation based on program-negotiated pricing that includes the group discount. Visit SolarSwitch.com/Houston to register and attend an informational webinar about how the program works.
Residents who participate are expected to save an average of $5,000 on a typical-sized solar installation. The federal tax credit can reduce costs by an additional 30%.
About Solar Switch Houston
Solar Switch Houston is a no-cost program to the City of Houston. The program is offered through Solar United Neighbors – a 501(c3) non-profit organization, dedicated to solar education, advocacy, and consumer protection – and iChoosr, international experts in solar group purchasing.