If you, or your neighbor, have recently invested in solar panels, there is a good chance that you are still waiting for the expensive investment to provide any power. A large backlog is responsible for slowing down the process of getting the systems connected to the grid.

Brian Hiatt was one of those people as he looked at an elaborate stand-alone solar array next to his home in Waller County, “I was really curious and excited to get the chance to turn it on.” The project has been under construction for months, designed to provide more than 21 kilowatts of electricity on a sunny Texas day.

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Despite all the potential power production, “I got zero, right now,” he said. “I do not have permission to operate, from CenterPoint, at this time.”

The Texas Public Utility Commission sets rules for connecting solar systems to the grid, and CenterPoint is responsible for inspecting and greenlighting each project in its jurisdiction. There are many projects. Texas has the second highest solar capacity, behind California, according to an industry analysis. CenterPoint was unable to continue, leaving some customers, like Brian Hiatt, out of money.

“I’m actually paying for a system that provides nothing. So I’m basically paying double my monthly electric bill, right now,” he said.

In a statement to FOX26, CenterPoint said, in part, “…that the processing time for solar panel installations has increased due to the increase in the number of applications… more than 100% since the beginning of 2022.”

MORE: Nearly 40 Houston-area homes go solar, save money with new co-op

To address the problem, CenterPoint said it is hiring more people to handle the load, using an updated process that allows applications to be approved faster, and trying to quickly resolve even what problems can be identified in a project.

Brian Hiatt hopes it works, soon. She was tired of waiting, “I’m 12 weeks in, after the installation. That’s more than the two to four weeks I expected when I started this process in March.”

Despite some complaints from frustrated solar customers who emailed FOX 26, who believe there is an incentive for the approval process to be slow, because it takes money from the grid, CenterPoint insists it supports renewable energy, including the installation of solar panels. . Solar ‘popularity’ may be outpacing ‘capability’ at the moment.

If you want to check the cost of installing solar panels, in your area, click here for more information.

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