Are Florida solar panels worth the investment? Your professional 2022 savings guide

As more homes become aware of the enormous savings solar energy offers, the Sunshine State has recently witnessed a boom in solar panel installations.

The dropping cost of solar panels, which are currently accessible in Florida for an average price of just $2.58 per watt before subsidies, has increased solar’s value proposition.

Going solar in Florida is now more affordable than ever because to lower solar panel costs, hefty federal subsidies, advantageous utility programs, and Florida’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

How much do home solar panels cost in Florida?

As of August 2022, the price per watt for solar panels in Florida is $2.58. Accordingly, the cost of a typical 6 kW solar system is $15,660 before any incentives and $10,962 after the 30% solar tax credit.

Although that is a lot of money, after all incentives are taken into account, you will actually pay much less.

Florida’s solar panel prices are also less expensive than the $3.00 per watt national average for home solar energy systems at the moment.

What solar incentives are available in Florida?

Solar incentives currently available in Florida:

  • Solar tax credit (30%)
  • Net metering
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE program Florida)

What is the Florida solar tax credit?

For Florida, there is no state-specific solar tax credit. When individuals talk about the “Florida solar tax credit,” they most likely mean the 30% solar tax credit, which is officially known as the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

There are 50 states that are eligible for this government incentive. It enables homeowners who pay taxes to deduct 30% of the cost of their solar system from their income taxes. In other words, you receive a 30% discount on your solar system thanks to the federal tax credit. You can carry over the leftover debt for up to five years if your tax burden is less than 30% of the cost of your solar system.

How do I apply for the solar tax credit? 

When you file your taxes after getting your solar system, fill out Form 5695. You can use the following instructions to submit a claim for the solar tax credit.

What is Florida net metering?

In Florida, there is a solar incentive program called net metering that enables you to sell excess solar electricity to the grid at the full retail rate.

Florida has a lot of sunshine, so it stands to reason that sometimes your solar system will produce more electricity than you need for your home. This is where net metering comes in handy. Due to net metering, your utility is required to reimburse you at the rate you pay for electricity when this extra energy is exported to the grid. Solar energy pays for itself since every kilowatt hour (kWh) of power sent to the grid reduces your electricity cost by 1 kWh.

If you appropriately size your system, you should be able to completely eliminate or at least significantly reduce your electric bill.

Are solar systems in Florida exempt from property tax and sales tax?

Yes, Florida exempts solar power systems from both property tax and sales tax.

The sales tax exemption translates into a 6% upfront cost reduction for a rooftop solar installation.

The property tax exemption, meanwhile, results in continued cost savings on your yearly property tax bill. This is especially advantageous because going solar will increase the value of your home, whether it is on a new roof or an existing one.

This is a fantastic selling factor when putting your house on the market for sale, in addition to the energy savings.

Does Florida offer any other rebates or tax credits? 

The city of Longwood once had a minor rebate program, but it is no longer in use. Sadly, Florida has no further state tax breaks or rebates for solar energy. In the same way, rebates work.

Fortunately, the dual effects of current subsidies and improvements in manufacturing technology have resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of solar power for the typical Florida household.

What is solar PACE financing?

Local governments in Florida are permitted to offer PACE financing for solar installations. PACE financing functions similarly to a loan but is repaid by increasing your local government’s property taxes. PACE finances most energy efficiency improvements in addition to solar installations. If you decide to leave, the outstanding loan sum may be transferred to the new owner of the home.

However, PACE financing does establish a lien on your home and can have higher interest rates than other financing choices, such Home Equity Line of Credit. It’s frequently advised to finance your solar project via a standard bank or solar loans as PACE financing has also been criticized by consumer campaigners for taking advantage of those with poor credit scores and incomes.

How do I sign up for PACE Florida? 

One choice is to inquire about the PACE programs that are available in your area with your county.

Speak with a local solar installer as an alternative and simpler course of action. They can help you organize the necessary documentation and give you advice on your alternatives.

Do I qualify for PACE? 

You should have no issue meeting the PACE eligibility requirements as long as you don’t owe any back taxes, mortgage payments, or are involved in a bankruptcy case.

How much can I save by purchasing a solar panel system?

You can save up to $80,000 in avoided energy expenditures in Florida by installing a correctly sized renewable energy system. For the USA, this falls somewhere in the middle.

The savings that solar energy could provide for a typical Florida home are illustrated in the example below.

save by purchasing a solar panel system

Your exact savings will depend on a variety of elements, such as the price of solar panels, utility prices, and your local environment. Above all, how much you ultimately save will depend on how much electricity your household uses. The more electricity you use, the more money you will save using solar panels.

Enter your address into the Florida solar savings calculator below to receive a customized solar savings estimate based on your location and circumstances.

How long will a solar installation in Florida take to pay for itself?

The payback period for solar energy systems in Florida can be as short as five years, but it typically takes them approximately ten years to pay for themselves. These are a few significant variables that determine how quickly you repay:

  • Your overall electric usage
  • The size of your solar system
  • Whether or not you use a lot of power during the day
  • Your electricity rate plan

Reduce your usage as much as you can to optimize your savings because doing so will result in your solar system sending more energy to the grid, which your utility will have to pay you for.

Your solar repayment period is greatly influenced by the time of day that you use the most electricity. Your solar system will export less electricity to the grid if you are home during the day when it is producing the maximum energy. Your utility must pay you less in net metering credits the less energy you send to the grid. This will raise your utility bills, however they will still be less expensive than without solar.

Should I install a solar battery system in Florida?

You might be considering if batteries are ideal for you given the significant media attention that devices like the Tesla Powerwall are receiving.

The truth is that a battery storage solution’s hefty initial cost isn’t justified given that net metering is possible in Florida. Batteries are simply not worthwhile because net metering “stores” the financial value of your excess electricity for no additional upfront cost.

However, Orlando and Jacksonville are the only two cities that provide incentives for solar battery backup systems. In Orlando and Jacksonville, you can recover up to $2,000 each. Here are further specifics for each program:

  • Orlando Utilities Commission – Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Jacksonville Electric Authority – Solar Battery Incentive Program

Are solar panels resistant to extreme weather?

Most respectable solar panel manufacturers test their products in winds of 140 mph, or speeds comparable to a hurricane. Your solar panels are quite unlikely to increase the risk or sustain damage during the majority of extreme weather occurrences.

You shouldn’t be concerned about hail storms either. International Standard IEC61215 compliance with solar panels is mandated by law. A solar panel must be able to endure being struck by a hailstone that is 25mm (approximately 1 inch) in diameter and traveling at 51.4 mph in these circumstances. Some high-end solar panel brands are rated to resist blows from even bigger hailstones traveling at even faster speeds.

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