Rooftop solar power in Texas

Featured image from, courtesy of Vivint Solar.

Recent events have us looking into solar in Texas. We had the great freeze in February, where many were without power for a week and a few unfortunate souls died. The governor, legislature, and ERCOT have done nothing to winterize the grid and make things better. Things might be worse this winter.

Solar makes a lot of sense. Unnatural gas costs are escalating, with the current price equal to $190 an oil barrel equivalent. There are longer, hotter summers coming with the globe warming, the cost of electricity is lower compared to unnatural gas, and rooftop solar with batteries protects us from another outage. Additionally, we don’t need to burn fossil fuels to power most of our household activities. That lowers the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the environment.

There are two companies we are looking at, Tesla and SunPower. Both are publicly listed companies and well known in the solar industry.

Both companies have pros and cons.

Tesla pros: Cost is definitely in Tesla’s benefit. A quote for 8.5 kW in solar panels and a Powerwall battery came to $27,583 before the Federal rebate. Tesla’s solar offering would be included right in the Tesla app, which we already use often.

SunPower pros: SunPower seems to have the advantage concerning warranty length and depth, and solar panel efficiency. SunPower guarantees the panels will only lose 0.25% a year, and stay above 92% after 25 years passes. The company has only one distributor in Texas, and that distributor sources all parts from SunPower.

Tesla cons: Tesla’s warranty for the panels is only for 10 years. The efficiency is guaranteed to be above 80% after 25 years. This is much less than SunPower’s offering. I would hate having to increase my grid usage in later years after paying so much.

SunPower cons: Cost is definitely higher here compared to Tesla. This is offset that you can spread the purchase price over 25 years. My initial quote was for $86 per month for a 5.8 kW system. This was enough to cover 63% of our annual electricity usage.

How did our readers here choose their rooftop solar company? Please share with us in the comments below. We’ll write more once we get closer to a decision.

Our long term goal is to create sustainable, livable, low cost, high quality apartments, housing, and communities. The USA has a need for four million apartments in the coming decade. Help us bring this future to reality.

Warmest regards,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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