Electricity Laws and Incentives in Texas

The list below contains summaries of all Texas laws and incentives related to electricity.

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel Use and Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

State agency fleets with more than 15 vehicles, excluding emergency and law enforcement vehicles, may not purchase or lease a motor vehicle unless the vehicle uses natural gas, propane, ethanol or fuel blends of at least 85% ethanol (E85), methanol or fuel blends of at least 85% methanol (M85), biodiesel or fuel blends of at least 20% biodiesel (B20), or electricity (including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). Waivers may be granted for fleets if the fleet will operate primarily in areas where neither the state agency or a supplier can reasonably be expected to establish adequate fueling infrastructure for these fuels or the agency is unable to obtain equipment or fueling facilities necessary to operate alternative fuel vehicles at a cost that is no greater than the net costs of using conventional fuels.

Covered state agency fleets must consist of at least 50% of vehicles that are able to operate on alternative fuels and use these fuels at least 80% of the time the vehicles are driven. Covered state agencies may meet these requirements through the purchase of new vehicles or the conversion of existing vehicles. State agencies that purchase passenger vehicles or other ground transportation vehicles for general use must ensure that at least 25% of the vehicles purchased during any state fiscal biennium, other than exempted vehicles, meet or exceed federal Tier II, Bin 3 emissions standards.

(Reference Texas Statutes, Government Code 2158.004-2158.009)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Registration Tracking Program

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) collects data on the number of AFVs registered in the state. TxDOT must submit an annual report to the Texas Legislature detailing the results of each data collection year. For the purpose of this program, AFVs include plug-in electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and natural gas vehicles. (Reference Texas Statutes, Transportation Code, 502-004)

Authorization of Governmental Alternative Fuel Fleet Grant Program

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will establish and administer a grant program for governmental alternative fuel fleets to provide grants for the purchase or lease of a new vehicle and the purchase, lease, or installation of alternative fueling equipment. Eligible alternative fuels include natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and electricity. State agencies and political subdivisions are eligible to apply for a grant under the program if the entity operates a fleet of more than 15 vehicles. Mass transit and school transportation providers will also be eligible for grants.

TCEQ will establish standardized vehicle grant amounts based on the incremental costs associated with the purchase or lease of different categories of motor vehicle, including the fuel type, vehicle class, and other categories TCEQ considers appropriate. TCEQ will also establish standardized fueling equipment grant amounts.

(Reference Texas Statutes, Health and Safety Code 386.153)

Public Utility Definition

Electric vehicle charging service providers are not regulated as a public utility in areas of customer choice, where utility customers have the option to choose an alternate electricity supplier. (Reference Texas Utilities Code 39.105)

State Incentives

Clean Fleet Grants

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) administers the Texas Clean Fleet Program (TCFP) as part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP). TCFP encourages owners of fleets containing diesel vehicles to permanently remove the vehicles from the road and replace them with alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) or hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Grants are available to fleets to offset the incremental cost of such replacement projects. An entity that operates a fleet of at least 75 vehicles and commits to placing 20 or more qualifying vehicles in service for use in the Clean Transportation Zone may be eligible. Qualifying AFV or HEV replacements must reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides or other pollutants by at least 25% as compared to baseline levels and must replace vehicles that meet operational and fuel usage requirements. Neighborhood electric vehicles do not qualify. For more information, including current application periods, see the TCEQ TERP website. The program is not currently accepting applications (verified July 2019). (Reference Texas Statutes, Health and Safety Code 386 and 392, and Texas Administrative Code 114.650-114.658)

Clean School Bus Program

Any school district or charter school may receive a grant through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to pay for the incremental costs to replace school buses or install diesel oxidation catalysts, diesel particulate filters, emission-reducing add-on equipment, and other emissions reduction technologies in qualified school buses. Furthermore, funds may also be used to purchase qualifying fuels, including any liquid or gaseous fuel or additive registered or verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (other than standard gasoline or diesel) that provides particulate matter emission reductions. Additional rules and conditions apply. For more information, see the TCEQ Texas Emissions Reduction Plan website. The program is not currently accepting applications (verified July 2019). (Reference Texas Statutes, Health and Safety Code 390, and Texas Administrative Code 114.640-114.648)

Clean Vehicle and Infrastructure Grants

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) administers the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) Program and Rebate Grants Program as part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP). The ERIG Program provides grants for various types of clean air projects to improve air quality in the state's nonattainment areas and other affected counties. Eligible projects include those that involve replacement, retrofit, repower, or lease or purchase of new heavy-duty vehicles; alternative fuel dispensing infrastructure; idle reduction and electrification infrastructure; and alternative fuel use. The Rebate Grants Program provides grants to upgrade or replace diesel heavy-duty vehicles and non-road equipment. Qualifying projects must reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides or other pollutants by at least 25% as compared to baseline levels and must meet operational and fuel usage requirements. For more information, including eligibility and the application form, see the TCEQ TERP website. (Reference Texas Statutes Health and Safety Code 386 and Texas Administrative Code 114.620-114.629)

Light-Duty Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) administers the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program for the purchase or lease of a new light-duty vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, hydrogen, or electricity. CNG and propane vehicles, including bi-fuel vehicles, are eligible for a rebate of $5,000 for the first 1,000 applicants. Electric drive vehicles powered by a battery or hydrogen fuel cell, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a battery capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours, are eligible for a rebate of $2,500, for the first 2,000 applicants. One rebate is available per eligible vehicle. The program is currently accepting applications (verified November 2019). For more information, including eligibility requirements and the application form, see the TCEQ Texas Emissions Reduction Plan website. (Reference Texas Statutes Health and Safety Code 386 and Texas Administrative Code 114.610-114.613)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Grant Program

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provides funding for eligible medium- and heavy-duty on-road alternative fuel vehicles or engine repowers and replacements, as well as for associated electric vehicle and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Both government and non-government entities that own and operate diesel fleets and equipment are eligible for funding. This grant program is funded by Texas’ portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including how to apply, see the TCEQ Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program website.

Utility/Private Incentives

Electric Equipment and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Incentive - Entergy

Qualified Entergy customers are eligible to receive incentives in varying amounts for the purchase of select on- and off-road electric vehicles and Level 2 EVSE. For more information, including eligible technologies, see the Entergy eTech website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Incentive - Austin Energy

Plug-in electric vehicle owners in the Austin Energy service area may be eligible for a rebate of 50% of the cost to purchase and install a qualified Level 2 EVSE, up to $1,200. For additional information, see the Austin Energy Home Charging website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – United Cooperative Services (UCS)

UCS offers residential customers a rebate of up to $500 to install a Level 2 EVSE. For more information, including eligibility and how to apply, see the UCS Energy Rebate Programs website.

Multi-Unit Dwelling (MUD) Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Austin Energy

Austin Energy offers a rebate for MUDs to install approved EVSE for use by all residents. Austin Energy provides a rebate of 50% of the cost to install approved Level 1 or Level 2 EVSE, up to $4,000 depending on the equipment, and provides rebates up to $10,000 to MUDs that install a DC fast charger. For additional information, see the Austin Energy Multifamily Charging website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Pilot Program - CPS Energy

CPS offers a rate option for qualified customers for charging PEVs. The flat rate option is $60 annually for each PEV. For rate information, including how to qualify, see the CPS Energy Electric Vehicles website.

Workplace Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Austin Energy

Austin Energy offers a rebate for commercial customers to install approved EVSE at workplaces. Austin Energy provides a rebate of 50% of the cost to install approved Level 1 or Level 2 EVSE, up to $4,000 depending on the equipment, and provides rebates up to $10,000 to workplaces that install a DC fast charger. For additional information, see the Austin Energy Workplace Charging website.

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