It makes a lot of sense to go solar in Texas, there’s plenty of sunshine, and you can choose your retail electric provider to maximize your solar savings. But are there any other benefits to electric vehicles (“EV”) and solar ownership in Texas? Yes! Some retail electric providers offer discount rates to EV owners. At the time of this writing, the utility provider, MP Energy, allows EV owners to charge their cars for free during off-peak hours. Moreover, you also get cheaper rates for the electricity that powers your home during such hours.
State of Texas EV Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLIP)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality offers rebates if you purchase or lease a qualifying EV or plug-in hybrid. Eligibility for the program depends on whether there are any slots left for new applicants. Visit https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/ld.html to find out whether there are any rebate program slots available, what kind of cars are eligible, and other related info. Note, the amount that the rebate is worth is not stated on that website so be sure to do your own research.
MP Energy EV charging program
MP Energy’s EV charging program makes driving an EV a lot cheaper than driving a gas vehicle. Thanks to Texas’ abundant nighttime wind power, MP Energy is able to offer a rate plan to EV owners that enables them to charge their car for free late at night. The power to the entire home is also free during those late hours, which is a bonus for night owls! According to MP Energy, most drivers do more than 80% of their charging at home. That would make the electricity you use to power your car significantly cheaper relative to what you are would be paying at the pump each month for gas. [Author’s note: Ever since I replaced my old car with a plug-in hybrid, the savings on gas have actually covered my car payments!]
Austin Energy Plug-in EVreywhere
If you live in Austin and/or travel frequently in the Austin area, Austin Energy has a great deal for you. The Plugin EVreywhere program enables you to charge your EV for a flat monthly rate of $4.17 per month at over 1,000 charging stations. Flat rate charging is provided by level 2 chargers, which add about 20 miles of range to your battery in an hour. In a hurry? The Austin Energy plan provides a fast charging option for $0.21 per minute. Fast charging will give you about an 80% charge in less than half an hour.
Austin Energy also offers low, super off-peak charging rates at night for charging your car at home. The fastest way to charge at home is with a level 2 charger, which uses a 220-volt outlet, the same one an electric dryer uses. Austin Energy has a rebate program that covers 50% of the cost of buying and installing a wifi-enabled level 2 charger, up to $1,200, in your home. For non-wifi-enabled chargers, the rebate is a maximum of $900.
Other Texas retail electric providers
Texas’ deregulated electric market means there are several utility companies vying for your business. Be sure to check out what kind of rate plans they offer EV owners. Look for time-of-use plans with special off-peak rates for charging EVs. Learn how to find a retail electric service provider in Texas, and then find the right rate plan to maximize your potential solar and EV savings in Texas.