Wells Solar in the Media


texas solar

One of the first questions that we’re often asked about solar is, “Isn’t there a tax rebate?” The short answer is yes. We often see ads touting the Federal tax incentive for purchasing a solar system for your home, but what does that even entail? Tax season is fast upon us so we wanted to provide our community with some information about this lucrative credit. Chances are, if you haven’t added solar to your home, this credit will lower your overall payment dramatically.

The Federal ITC (investment tax credit) has actually been in action in some capacity for over a decade. It was originally established in 2005 by the Energy Policy Act. Originally, it was set to expire by the end of 2007, but a series of consecutive extensions pushed the date back to 2016. In late 2015, Congress passed an additional spending bill that makes the Federal ITC available to home and business owners through 2022.

Not all years are created equal, however. 2019 is the last year of the 30% maximum credit. After this year, the return will lower quickly until 2022.

2020 will offer a 26% credit, 2021 will offer 22% and in 2022 it will drop down to a 10% incentive for homeowners and 0% for commercial customers. Texas solar

So how does this credit work, anyway? It is surprisingly simple for a tax-related rebate. The credit is considered, “dollar-for-dollar.” That means if you are eligible to receive $2500, you will receive a $2500 credit either toward taxes owed or in addition to your return. Sweet, right?

Currently, there is no cap for how large the system is, and the amount is calculated from the overall cost of the project including the service and equipment.

What’s the catch? Well, for many people there isn’t a catch, but for a small number of individuals, there may be. The credit is claimed against your tax liability, so if you do not pay taxes or have a very low, yearly income, then you may not qualify.texas solar

The Waldrop family contacted Wells Solar in January of 2018 after a close family friend recommended that they look into adding solar to their new home. They had recently purchased a home in a neighborhood with higher-than-expected energy rates and their utility bill was through the roof (no pun intended), despite having a relatively efficient, new house.

After meeting with one of our energy consultants, they decided to enroll in our $0 down program. This program allows families to pay for their solar in small, low-interest payments that mostly replace their electricity bill. Their solar energy system was installed in March, giving them plenty of time to file for their incentive with their 2018 taxes.

The overall cost of their system was $18,576 which means they were eligible for a $5,572 tax credit. When they filed their taxes, that $5,572 amount was added to their return. The Waldrops were so excited to put that toward the sum of their solar system and enjoy low, budget-friendly payments for electricity for years to come.

Quick Facts

  • This credit cannot be applied to rental homes. The only exception to this is if you lived at the home with solar part-time.
  • Your go-to tax forms for this credit is the 5695.

Remember, we are here to be your solar experts, but tax law is not our area of expertise. Check with your CPA to ensure that there is nothing standing in your way from making the most out of the Federal ITC.

If you’re ready to learn more about solar options for your home, reach out to us here. We’ll partner you with one of our highly-trained and experienced energy consultants to get your solar project started before it’s too late to claim the 30% tax credit.

Texas Solar

The following article was written by one of our technicians, David Scally Jr. David is extremely experienced with solar technology.

When I’m on service calls in the field, I get this question at least once a week:

“I wanna go off-grid and kick these utility folks where it counts, can you help me?”

My answer is always this: “Yes, I can help you, but here’s the deal.”

I can set you up with a wonderfully economic solar PV power system and you can date or have a casual acquaintance with your system. You don’t even have to read your owner’s manuals (since most owners don’t anyway). But, if I get you “off-grid” so to speak, rest assured…we’re gonna have a full wedding, and there will be a ceremony and exam to kick it all off. You WILL be required to pass this exam. Then, for the rest of your chosen “off-grid” days/years/decades…you WILL have a committed relationship/marriage to your battery backed-up “off-grid” wonder. Ready for that?

…so far?  Absolutely -0- “off-grid” installations ordered. 

Please note, I’m not saying I’m proud that I’ve discouraged anyone from a microgrid or self-contained power source. I AM proud that – if the goal is to just “get back at the utilities” with no sense of what that means or requires, then I have done my job as PV consultant in such scenarios. I want people to be happy that they chose solar, not loathe or even regret it later. To me, true “off-grid” is for mountainous, rural or new home development customers who are ready for the relationship and learning required to be off-grid.

’nuff said. 

Texas Solar
Our first employee spotlight is with our Service Manager Paul Gilbert. You may have spoken with Paul if you ever had a question during or after your solar installation. Paul is exceedingly patient and willing to help anyone on our team. He is a dedicated team player who has seen and helped Wells grow over the past few years.

Q. What’s your name and where are you from?

A. My name is Paul Gilbert. I’m from right here in Austin. I grew up in Oak Hill.

Q. How long have you worked with Wells Solar?

A. I’ve been an electrician since I was 19. I wired about 100 homes and worked on a few big commercial jobs until I joined the Army in Feb 2009. When I got out of the Army in 2012, I ended up working for Revolve Solar. It was a fun company but they shut their doors in 2016. Luckily, my dude, Matt Bice had the hook up on this sweet gig. I’ve been working as a Designer/Technician for Wells Solar since December of 2016. I’ve been here at Wells for a little over 2 years now and I gotta say it’s a great place to work.

Q. What do you do for Wells Solar?

A. When I started, I was making designs and electrical diagrams. Since then I’ve transitioned to a service management role scheduling our stellar technicians to fix customer systems if they go down.

Q. What do you think is the best benefit of having solar power?

A. Probably the best part is when I turn on a solar system and watch the customer’s electrical utility meter spin backward. That part never gets old.

Q. What is a solar myth you’d like to dispel? A. That “West is best” simply isn’t true. When determining which side of a roof to install solar panels, some people claim that the west face is the best location. Unfortunately for people who believe this, West facing systems produce less than South and East facing systems would annually.  The term “West is best” came from California’s PG&E time-of-use tier billing where PG&E would charge more per kilowatt in the evenings. In this situation, if you had a west facing system then yes, you would benefit because your peak solar hours would be later in the afternoon when most people get home from work. However, utilities in Texas use net-metering and do not charge more during evening hours.

Q. What is your spirit animal?

A.See photo 🙂

               

Q. Which do you prefer, salsa, guacamole or queso?

A. All three at once with a little ground beef.

Q. What is the best part of being part of the Wells Solar Family?

A. I really enjoy that the Wells Staff is mostly Millennials and Gen-X’ers. It’s nice that we’re all disproving the idea that millennials are lazy. We work hard and ‘We get the work done’.  

Big Solar Savings in Texas
Something we often hear in our office is, “I want solar, but it is too expensive!” While solar may seem like a pricey home improvement, it is, in fact, a fantastic, affordable investment opportunity that is much more accessible than you might think. And 2019 might just be the very best year for solar.

Here’s why:

The Federal Tax Credit for solar currently rebates homeowners up to 30% of the overall cost of the system. However, 2019 is the last year for the maximum, 30% return.

In 2020, the tax credit will diminish to 26%, and it will keep falling each, subsequent year.

30% sounds pretty good, right?

We work with each of our homeowners to ensure that their purchase makes sense for the budget. We have a variety of financing programs that in many cases, make payments for solar less than what you pay for electricity.

Not to mention, if you stick with your traditional energy provider, you are paying for electricity every single month for the rest of your life.

The price per kilowatt hour goes up every single year and is predicted to increase dramatically, especially in Texas.

When you purchase solar, you only pay for energy until the system has been paid off.

Instead of lining the pockets of the utility company until the end of time, you’re investing in a resource you must have anyway.

So what are you waiting for? The credits will decrease and the cost of electricity will increase.

2019 is your year for solar. Give us a call. Let’s make it happen.

Sign the petition to make Giddings a solar-friendly city.

Most electric companies and coops in Texas provide homeowners who have solar systems with at least a small credit for the energy that they produce.

Bluebonnet Electric Coop customers with solar, for example, earn “buyback” credits when their system produces excess electricity.

This makes solar a smart investment for the homeowner. 

Let’s compare two homes with a solar system. Home B is in Bastrop and connected to Bluebonnet Electric Coop. Home G is in Giddings and connected to the city of Giddings electric.

During the day, the family who lives in Home B is gone at work and school, while sunshine is being turned into power by their solar panels and then sold back to the utility coop. When the family returns home in the evening and starts to use their lights, and electricity-run appliances, the power that they use is primarily paid for by the credit they generated with their system during the day.

At the end of a billing cycle, many Bluebonnet Coop customers with solar may owe very little or even nothing to the electric company.

None of this would be possible with Home G the way that the city of Giddings electricity company is set up. Home G would not be able to earn any credits with their utility provider. As it stands now, individuals who choose to add solar to their home are not able to get the most out of their investment.

Sign the petition to show the city of Giddings how important solar is to their community members.  

In honor of Valentine’s day, we decided to introduce you to our Solar Power Couples (pun, totally intended). In this article, you will meet Nick and Ashley. Nick is one of Wells’s first energy consultants. Ashley joined the team part way through 2018 in the customer service department and was quickly promoted to manager. They are quite the dynamic duo and extremely valuable members of the Wells family.
  1. How did you start your career in the solar industry?

  • Nick –  I was introduced to Matt, our sales manager, through a friend. I interviewed right away because I’ve always been a big believer in solar power and started with Wells when we only had 3 sales employees!
  • Ashley – I had known the Wells Solar folks for a while and as soon as the opportunity struck, I went for it. I became the only customer service employee and was in charge of building the department from the ground up, the rest is history.
  1. Tell us the number one benefit of solar power in your opinion.

  • Nick – Sustainable energy that gives you independence from the power companies.
  • Ashley – It helps push the way our world is powered in a more renewable, green direction.
  1. Tell us what you enjoy doing in your free time.

  • Nick – Playing in my band, disc golf, I love taking Sunny, our solar dog, to Zilker Park.
  • Ashley – Improving my art skills, working out, cooking, lounging around our new house with our doodle, and of course spending time with Nick.
  1.  How do you support each other at work? How do you turn off work and have fun?

  • Nick –  Ashley helps me see the company from the customer service perspective, she helps me improve my skills after the project has started. She has a gift for helping people and has so much compassion for our customers. We have a lot of fun right now decorating the house we just got! It is a good distraction from the never-ending solarcoaster.
  • Ashley – Nick is a huge reminder that there is more to this company than what I experience on the day-to-day, which is extremely grounding. He’s so willing to go out of his way to help me get caught up or organize my thoughts and provides extra insight which ultimately helps me succeed. We’re a couple of homebodies but every now and then we’ll get out to catch a show, play a round of disc golf, or catch a flight across the world.
  1. Why do you love being a part of the Wells Solar family?

  • Nick – I love the fact that I’ve been given the opportunity to grow with the company. I have so much loyalty for Wells and trust in my co-workers. I have happy customers all over central Texas from Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Belton.  It really feels like a family as cliche as it sounds. Starting when we were selling out of a small duplex to where we are now has really been a treat to be a part of.
  • Ashley – Quirkiness is definitely a prerequisite for landing a job here and trust me, there’s plenty to go around! The “family feel” of Wells is so ingrained into the DNA of this company and that’s what makes me love my job, that’s what leaves me excited about coming into work every day. I’m very privileged to be a part of this living and growing company.  
To schedule a free solar consultation with Nick, click here!
In honor of Valentine’s day, we decided to introduce you to our Solar Power Couples (pun, totally intended). In this article, you will meet Taylor and Madison. Madison started with Wells just under a year ago and quickly became one of our star energy consultants. She brings light and compassion to each of her meetings and to Wells as a company. Taylor joined about six months after Madison and has become a top seller as well. Read more about how they support, educate and cheer each other on in solar and in life.
  1. How did you start your career in the solar industry?

  • Taylor – I had been in the real estate sector for seven years, I had been liking it and was doing well but saw an opportunity to try something different for a change and decided to take a chance! My girlfriend was pretty successful with it throughout 2018, and I wanted to try my hand at it too.
  • Madison – Taylor found this job for me in early 2018 from a Facebook posting that our Sales Director, Matt, made. He thought it might be something I’d be good at and it has taken off! I’ll be coming up on my 1st anniversary with Wells this February!
  1. Tell us the number one benefit of solar power in your opinion.

  • Taylor – Coming from a real estate background, one of the main advantages of going solar for me is the option to own your energy vs. continuing to rent it. I always show folks what they will pay to the utility company for 20 years, and it’s usually more than double what they pay for power if they go solar over that same time.
  • Madison – Saving money is a great benefit to going solar but saving the environment and reducing our planet’s carbon footprint is hugely important as well!
  1. Tell us what you enjoy doing in your free time.

  • Taylor – When I’m not on the road going to meetings in Killeen, Temple or Belton I like painting and working on my career as an artist, I also want to play golf and go to the bars on Rainey Street where I live!
  • Madison –  I love working out at lifetime fitness and being outside at commons ford park or any hike and bike trail in Austin is refreshing.  Seeing my friends and family of course on the weekends always makes my week a little sunnier!
  1. How do you support each other at work? How do you turn off work and have fun?

  • Taylor – I think Madison and I work great as a team. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other, and we’re good at turning off work when we need to take a break from it! It’s essential to have the right balance to stay sane.
  • Madison – Getting the first start, I’ve had a chance to help Taylor get his bearings when he started this fall. He’s also taught me a few things as well! Being a couple that works together helps us a lot. We usually get out of our offices and do something active outside to turn off the solar talk for a little bit!
  1. Why do you love being a part of the Wells Solar family?

  • Taylor – Wells is such a unique work environment for me, I’ve known Matt and Cade since high school. I also have also a close friend I’ve known since first grade on the sales team. My brother’s girlfriend working in the office alongside my own it feels a lot more like a family than any other workplace I have been in previously!
  • Madison – I love working for Wells! It feels like we’re one big family. Working with an energetic sales and development team that is passionate about solar and making a change in Central Texas is very exciting. I’m pleased to be working with such a supportive and great company.
To schedule a free solar consultation with Taylor or Madison, click here!
On Saturday, February 2nd, poor old Punxsutawney Phil, the legendary groundhog, will emerge from his burrow to determine how much of winter remains. If Phil sees his shadow, it’s believed that we will have six more weeks of winter. However, if he sees only sunshine, we can look forward to early spring. What does this mean for us? Specifically our electric bills? More than you might think. The Farmer’s Almanac predicted a “teeth-chattering” cold winter for our usually temperate state, which has proven correct for many areas of lone star land. Six more weeks of winter can translate into more money spent on heating our homes. Homes heated by electricity, versus gas, are especially prone to higher energy bills. The average heater can use up to 3x the power as cooling a house. Six more weeks of winter can mean six more weeks of higher energy usage and big bills. Many Texas homeowners have natural gas to heat their homes. A more extended winter affects these customers too. For natural gas users, the EIA states that it is standard for those “six weeks more of winter” to inflate gas bills by more than 30%. The average temperature in Texas during the month of February is 61 degrees, offering a brief, comfortable reprieve from the colder winter months and the sweltering heat just around the corner. This is the time that most homeowners use little air conditioning or heat and solar owners can get even more out of their system. Despite Punxsutawney’s nickname as “the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of All Prognosticators,” more often than not, his shadow-sighting or lack thereof has little to do with the actual outcome of our weather. The one accountable factor we at Wells all agree on is that no matter the season, solar is the only thing you can always trust to keep your energy bills low.
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Wells Solar provides solar powered panels and clean, renewable energy systems to the San Antonio and Austin areas. Go green today! 


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