Did you know solar panels can be included in a new home loan in Texas? Here’s how.

Home with Solar Panels in Austin, TexasNew homes today are often built from the ground up to be more energy efficient, particularly those that are ENERGY-STAR certified. With the addition of solar on a new home, homeowners can eliminate their electric bill altogether while doing their part to reduce carbon emissions associated with conventional energy sources. 

Builders who offer solar panels as an option on a new home are on the leading edge of a nationwide trend to build net-zero homes. Net zero homes are just like any other home—except they are built to a higher standard from an energy standpoint. The Department of Energy defines a net zero home this way:

A zero energy home is not just a “green home” or a home with solar panels. A zero energy home combines advanced design and superior building systems with energy efficiency and on-site solar panels to produce a better home. Zero energy homes are comfortable, healthy, sustainable homes. But are they affordable?

Green Mortgages for New Homes

Aerial of Texas new neighborhood construction with solar panelsWith the introduction of green mortgages in Texas, net zero homes are now a reality for many Texans. A green mortgage helps the home buyer pay for energy and water-saving home improvements, including solar panels, as part of their initial mortgage.

Green mortgages were first introduced in Europe as a way to improve home building standards. Today, green mortgages are becoming more common in Texas through mortgage companies like Guardian Mortgage and through “green banks” such as the Clean Energy Fund of Texas.

Guardian Mortgage offers the GreenChoice Mortgage for energy efficiency improvements, including solar. The mortgage is structured like a construction loan, but without the higher interest rate. With this option, the home buyer can finance their new home and include solar panels and installation costs in the mortgage, as well as any other energy-saving home improvements.

Green Loans for Existing Homes

Guardian also offers green mortgages for homeowners who want to pay for solar as part of a home refinance, which can offer better terms than a home equity or personal loan.

Through the Clean Energy Fund of Texas, homeowners can finance solar for existing homes through the Sunrise Home Improvement Loan. Homeowners can choose from several eligible energy upgrades, including solar panels, roof repairs, battery storage, energy efficient HVAC systems, EV chargers, electric generators, and more.

The Clean Energy Fund also helps owner-occupied businesses and nonprofits make energy-efficiency improvements including solar energy, battery storage, windows and lighting retrofits.

Choosing a Solar-Ready Builder

The easiest way to go solar in a new home is to choose a builder that offers solar-ready homes. This means that the home has been pre-wired for solar as part of the construction process. Pre-wiring saves the buyer time and money because a solar installer can easily connect to the conduit without having to retrofit.

For more information on green mortgages and solar-ready homes, contact Juan Facundo, our Home Builder Program Manager, at Juan@Longhornsolar.com.