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February 21st, 2012
City approves first solar panel rebate

A solar panel installer works on the home of Todd Derkacz and Betsy Robertson. The homeowners were the first San Marcos Electric Utility customers to receive a city distributed generation rebate for new solar installation. SUBMITTED PHOTO


The city of San Marcos issued its first solar rebate to San Marcos electric customers Todd Derkacz and Betsy Robertson under a rebate system approved in October 2011.

The San Marcos City Council established the distributed generation rebate program to encourage residents to install alternative energy systems such as solar photovoltaic and wind generators.

The program also sets in place a system through which residents can sell back any excess power they produce.

Derkacz and Robertson installed a four kilowatt rooftop solar system on their home located on Progress Street.

“These residents already have a very efficient home, so it is the perfect location for alternative energy,” said the city’s conservation coordinator Jan Klein. “They are already producing excess energy and returning it to the City’s distribution system.”

“We’re proud to be the first family to benefit from the City of San Marcos’ solar rebate program and really grateful to the city for offering it,” Robertson said. “We get a kick watching our meter run backwards when the sun is shining.”

The rebate for solar photovoltaic systems is $2.50 per watt up to $5,000, and the rebate for wind generators is $1 per watt up to $5,000. The rebate cannot exceed 50 percent of the installed cost of the system.

The program is open to all City of San Marcos electric utility customers, and the system must be interconnected to the City electric distribution system. For more information, visit the website at or call 512-393-8310.

Robertson is a former city council member and Derkacz retired as fire chief in 2004 after more than 27 years with the San Marcos Fire Department.

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6 thoughts on “City approves first solar panel rebate

  1. “McCarthy, 20, a graduate of Dripping Springs High School now attending Texas State, said he would make San Marcos “the greenest city in Texas” by promoting the use of solar panels and other “budget-friendly” energy alternatives that would not only provide the power the city needs, but allow it to sell the overage back to the Lower Colorado River Authority.” San Marcos Record, San Marcos, TX — October 29, 2008

    Nice idea Daniel…maybe everyone is finally listening!

  2. Wait, so they are only paying for the power up to 50% of the cost of installation? So after a while you are just donating power back to the San Marcos grid? Seems fair considering you were paid 10,000 times the value of the energy for those watts, but why not just give a fair market price after 10% of the initial cost, say. Homes/businesses would still be saving money on energy while recuperating cost and then it’s not a burden on other taxpayers.

    This is a good idea, but like many things in this city, it has been poorly thought out.

  3. We need to think big. Solar panels are a great idea when is sunny and for limited use. Let’s encourage a creation of a nuclear energy power-plant. We have the land and the water. What San Marcos need is energy alternatives.Nuclear energy is cheap and reliable. China and Japan are successfully using those source of energy and their economy are growing more then ours.

  4. That was not exactly what was said “the greenest city in Texas” is not realistic for now. Lets think about our neighborhood first and go from there. Lets keep it real.

  5. @Susan, I agree with you Susan. Solar energy is great but it is not enough.
    San Marcos has all the resources and capability for a nuclear power-plant. We need to think in alternative power.

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