You’ve heard of Ted Talks. We bring you Solar Talks. Have you recently looked into “Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems” but simply needed a few more questions answered? We are Fresh Energy Solar, a leading provider in solar installation throughout the Texas hill country.

How does solar energy work?

The solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (D/C) electricity throughout the day. An inverter device converts your D/C energy stored in your solar panels into the A/C needed for use within your residence. Your utility meter that measures your energy usage has the opportunity to go backwards if you are providing more energy than you currently need. This process is called metering. Solar energy receives its best results facing south along with the proper azimuth degree as the panels draw directly from the sun.

What is photovoltaics (solar electricity)?

The word itself helps to explain how photovoltaic or solar ecletric technologies work. First used around 1890, the word has two parts: photo, derived from the Greek phos, meaning light, and volt, a measurement named for Alessandro Volta, a pioneer in the study of electricity. Photovoltaics literally translates to light-electricity. And that’s just what PV devices do; they convert light energy to electricity. as Edmond Becquerel and others discovered in the 18th century.

“We’re proud to be making a positive difference in Austin and San Antonio”

Can you explain more on net metering?

Of course! Electric utility providers will install the standard meter we are all familiar with. This records energy usage and reports it to your utility. A net meter is a separate device installed with your new solar system. The meter is able to spin both backwards and forwards to record the power produced and power used.

Fresh Energy Solar: Austin Texas Hillcountry - Photovoltaic PV Systems - Home Installation View
Is there a tax rebate?

Yes! A tax payer may claim a 30% tax credit, known as the Federal solar tax credit. It gives you a 30% on the cost of installing a solar energy system. Something other experts won’t tell you is that this rate is changing. In 2020 the credit will drop to 26% and in 2022 you will only be able to deduct 22%. Unfortunately, after 2022 you will only be able to deduct 10% from your solar energy system.  So for the best ROI, the best time to make your decision on solar energy is now!

When buying a new energy system, I’ve hear there is a property tax exemption?

Yes, there is an amazing incentive that I love to tell people about when they’re interested in solar. Texas tax code 23.26 allows an exemption of 100% of the appraised property value increase after installation of a solar or wind-powered energy device.

What is the installation turnaround time?

Average time for a full install is 7-8 weeks. We immediately begin designing your project, big or small, at the proper energy efficient rating for your home. There are a few necessary steps. We will inform your local utility provider of a change of power at your address. We will file all the required permits and find out if HOA approval is necessary for your neighborhood. Permits with the city are approved in 2-5 weeks. if HOA was filed, approval is based on a review board applicable to each neighborhood. Once final paperwork is stamp approved, we will schedule you for an install date. Our PV professional installers will finish the project within 1-2 days. Final inspection and Turn On System by your utility provider can take up to 2-3 weeks.

Fresh Energy Solar: Austin Texas Hillcountry - Photovoltaic PV Systems - Home Installation View
What is my return on investment (ROI)?

Prices have dropped dramatically in the last 5 years. An average 6kW system can now be paid back in 6-9 years. ROI is not the only money math to consider when dealing with solar. After your solar array is installed you will instantly begin to save money off your utility bill. If you were to buy the energy from the solar system, the cost is under 7 cents per kW-hour, which is well below today’s current utility rates. The Federal tax credit of 30% is changing the game all together and practically has everybody on board.

Who is Fresh Energy Solar?

Owner T.J. Wendel served 5 years in the Navy and has 5+ years of installation experience in the solar industry. NABCEP certified owner Shad Haigwood has 8+ years experience installing solar. As our friendship and trust grew over the years we decided to create something bigger in life—a solar installation company called Fresh Energy Solar and we opened our doors in July 2016.

We are exceedingly dedicated to growing an industry that is changing the way we live. We take a huge sense of pride in helping each and every client. With the proper guidance towards a renewable energy system and we hope you will grant us the opportunity to design and install your next solar project!

For more Solar Talks

Check out We are local and always available to answer any questions while you make your decision: [email protected].


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