The 'Take a Load Off Texas' Program, Explained

Rhythm Research Team
Rhythm Research Team on Monday, June 17, 2024
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The 'Take a Load Off Texas' Program, Explained

Take a Load Off Texas is a collection of energy efficiency and incentive programs offered by Oncor to residential customers, businesses, governments, schools, non-profit organizations throughout the utility’s service area in Texas. Keep reading to learn more details about the programs, and how they can help reduce your energy use while saving you money.

What is Oncor?

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC is a regulated utility based out of Dallas. They operate the largest transmission and distribution system in Texas, with a territory that serves approximately 13 million residents of the Lone Star State.

According to their 2022 Corporate Sustainability Report, they spent more than $995 million on Take a Load Off Texas between 2002 and 2022, helping one million customers reduce their energy usage. Through the programs, they also provided around $44 million in energy improvement incentives to low income customers.

Take a Load Off Texas Program Overview

The Take a Load Off Texas programs aim to reduce energy consumption and lower electricity bills, as well as educate the public on the benefits of renewable energy generation and ways to be as energy efficient as possible. To maximize the benefit of these programs, there are several key steps that customers must take:

  1. Understand your energy consumption

  2. Have a home energy audit (online or in person) to identify potential problem areas where energy use could be reduced and bills lowered

  3. Consult an energy advisor to find out what solutions should be implemented in your home or business

  4. Review the appropriate energy efficiency incentives offered by Oncor

  5. Check your eligibility prerequisites

  6. Apply for the incentives you believe will work best for your life and property.

The 5 Types of Take a Load Off Texas Programs

Improvements such as home upgrades can significantly reduce energy loads during certain periods of the day, helping Oncor customers improve their energy efficiency and mitigate climate change. On Oncor’s website, there is also ample information and advice on reducing your energy usage at little or no cost.

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Low-Income Weatherization

Designed to help low income households (those operating at less than 200% of the Federal poverty line) save money, this program gives financial aid to residents and businesses who improve the weatherization of their home through low-cost and highly effective solutions such as caulking, insulation, and other forms of weatherization. By decreasing the flow of heat through windows, walls, and ceilings, as well as around the windows and door frames, the overall energy load of a home can be reduced (saving you money).

Home Energy Efficiency

Created with all residential customers in mind, this program is most effective when it combines weatherization with a more efficient heating and cooling system – since air conditioning is a major draw of electricity in Texas. The financial incentives in this program are based on two factors: the size of the space that is to be heated and cooled and the energy-efficiency rating of the appliances that may be purchased.

Commercial Standard Offer Program

For business customers, this program offers incentives for high-efficiency lighting and HVAC systems. Many commercial customers see the benefits of these improvements immediately after installation. Insulation is also covered, allowing businesses to save electricity, reduce their carbon footprint, and demonstrate their commitment to smart environmental practices.

Residential Solar Photovoltaic

The residential solar photovoltaic program, installing solar panels on homes, also creates an immediate benefit, decreasing the energy load on the grid by enabling homes to produce some of their own energy. A rooftop solar system is installed and excess electricity can even be sold back to the grid. Not only do these programs help alleviate strain on the local power grid and save you money on your energy bills, they can also improve the value of your home.

Commercial Solar Photovoltaic

Similar to the residential solar photovoltaic program, but for businesses, the commercial solar photovoltaic program empowers Texas businesses to produce their own energy with financial support. Not only is the energy efficiency of relevant buildings increased, businesses also do not suffer from seasonal fluctuations in the price of energy. Combining commercial solar PV systems with thermal envelope insulation, smart thermostats, and a good energy plan can help Texas businesses save a lot of money. Note that contractors are limited and so this upgrade may take a while, but businesses can expect immediate savings after the upgrade is installed.

Eligibility requirements

Oncor will work with you as a residential or commercial customer, to help you find out what incentives you may qualify for. Requirements include:

  • Owning your own home

  • Experiencing high electric bills

  • Being billed for delivery fees by energy providers

  • Recently upgraded to a Smart Meter

  • Passing a Site Survey.

How to Participate in the Process

Most energy efficiency programs are available from January to November, on an annual basis. When the programs are open for new participants, you can find an approved list of service providers by starting at Oncor’s Take a Load Off Texas web page. The service provider is solely responsible for the performance of the work and contract fulfillment, as they are not associated with or endorsed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Simply click on one of the four links – residential, commercial, contractor, or next energy solutions to learn more.

Overcoming Challenges and Limitations with the Take a Load Off Program

There are a few challenges with the programs, which Oncor is continually working to address and improve. First of all, once you have found the program you are looking to qualify for, it is wise to check to see whether funds are available, since the budgets for all incentives are on a first-come, first-served basis. If the budget is already spent for the year, you may need to wait until the following year to make your upgrades.

The application process can be complex, and there can also be limited availability (and so a wait time) both for audits and for improvements. And since these financial incentives come in the form of reimbursements, you’ll be responsible for upfront costs to make your energy efficiency improvements. To learn more about how to get started and set yourself up for success, visit Oncor’s Take a Load Off Texas page or contact them at 888.313.6862.

How Rhythm Energy supports the 'Take a Load Off Texas' initiative

At Rhythm Energy, we’re not only all about renewable energy, we’re also about increasing energy efficiency, reducing strain on the grid, and helping to save our customers money. That’s why we’re excited about Oncor’s Take a Load Off Texas programs, because they can help you see both immediate and long-term benefits of making improvements.

Of course, we also have 100% renewable energy programs that draw only from 100% Solar Power and 100% Wind Power, as well as offering a free concierge service for homeowners and businesses that are wondering whether to install solar panels, at our Solar Hub.

To learn more about how to reduce your energy bills, read our article called How to Save on Energy in Texas (Cut Your Bill Today).

FAQ

What is Take a Load Off Texas?

A collection of programs offered by Texas utility Oncor, aimed at increasing energy efficiency in homes and businesses and helping Texans lower their utility bills. The programs offer financial incentives to make improvements such as weatherization, insulation, and installing solar panels.

Am I eligible to participate?

If you own your home, are experiencing high electricity bills, are billed for delivery fees by a retail electricity provider, recently upgraded to a smart meter, and pass a site survey then you may qualify. Learn more at oncor.com/takealoadofftexas.

What are the benefits of participating?

Not only will you help reduce strain on the power grid and support a brighter future for energy in Texas, you will also save money on your monthly electricity bills.

How do I get started?

Get started at Oncor’s Take a Load Off Texas page or contact them at 888.313.6862.

Categories: Energy Saving Tips
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