Going Solar in Florida: Everything You Need to Know

August 3, 2023

Are you curious about going solar in Florida? If so, you’re sure to enjoy some amazing benefits including lowered utility costs and increased property values. Tax credits and other incentives also make it a great time to choose solar power for your home or business. However, you might wonder how solar works and how to get started with a solar installation.

To learn more about going solar in Florida, consider:

  • Rebates and tax credits
  • Solar programs available to Florida residents
  • Standard pricing
  • The process of designing a solar array
  • The process of installation and connection

If you’re not sure where to start when it’s time to go solar in Florida, keep reading! We’ve done all the research for you and can make the process much simpler overall. Also, never hesitate to contact a solar installation contractor. They’re usually more than happy to answer your questions about clean, green solar power.

going solar in Florida

What You Need to Know About Going Solar in Florida

Going solar in Florida is not a difficult process. In fact, a solar installation contractor usually designs a program that fits your budget and needs. They’ll also check on available incentives, regulations, and other details. Then, they’ll explain the process to you and walk you through it step by step.

However, to ensure you make the right decision about solar power for your property, check out some of those details here. This information can ensure you know everything needed to decide if going solar in Florida is right for you!

Solar programs in the Sunshine State

Currently, Florida has several solar programs aimed at promoting solar energy. Note that this information can change over time. In turn, you’ll want to check with a solar installation contractor about any changes to the programs below.

  • Florida has a net metering policy, crediting solar energy system owners for excess electricity fed back into the grid. This can be used to offset the electricity consumed from the grid when the solar system is not producing enough energy.
  • Some areas offer Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs. PACE allows property owners to finance upfront costs of solar installations. Then, they repay the loan through their property tax bill over an extended period.
  • Solar co-ops are community-based initiatives that bring together homeowners interested in installing solar systems. With group purchasing power, solar co-ops negotiate discounted prices and provide support to individual subscribers when it comes to navigating solar ownership.
  • Some utility companies in Florida offered solar programs and incentives to their customers. These might include bill credits and solar leasing options.
  • Florida had specific laws protecting the right of property owners to install solar energy systems on their properties. These ensure that homeowner associations and local governments cannot unreasonably restrict solar installations.

Incentives by county

Various Florida counties offer specific incentives to invest in solar power. Check with your local utility company to find out about any programs in your county! Note a few examples so you know what you might expect in your area:

  • In Boynton Beach, the Energy Edge program offers a $1500 rebate to install energy-efficient improvements. This rebate includes solar panels.
  • The Florida Keys solar loan program offers loans of up to $35,000 for a solar installation. The loan extends for 10 years, and property owners can repay it early without penalty.
  • In Dunedin, property owners can earn $0.25 for every watt generated by solar panels, for a maximum grant of $2,500.

Tax credits and other financial incentives

Currently, property owners can take advantage of tax credits and other financial incentives for solar in Florida. Check out just a few of these here but remember to discuss them with your accountant or tax preparer. There are often requirements to take advantage of these and they also change over time!

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The federal government offers a tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations. As of 2022, the ITC provides a credit equal to 30% of the total cost of the solar system.
  • Sales Tax Exemption: Under Florida’s Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption, Floridians are exempt from paying the 6% sales tax on solar panels.
  • Property Tax Exemption: Florida’s Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property incentive is currently set to run through 2037. With this incentive, homeowners are 100% exempt from paying property taxes to improve their homes with solar panels.

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What Is the Process of Going Solar in Florida?

There has never been a better time to choose solar of your property! Note the basic process of choosing and installing solar on your property. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you call a solar installation contractor near you:

  • Assess your property's solar potential. Consider factors such as roof orientation, shading, available space, and local regulations. A solar installation contractor can help with this step and tell you what to expect with solar power.
  • When you’re ready to find a solar installer, look for companies with a good reputation. Also, check their experience in solar installations as well as appropriate licenses and certifications.
  • Some solar installers may conduct an energy audit of your property. This helps them determine your energy consumption patterns and the appropriate solar system size.
  • Your chosen installer will usually then design a solar energy system tailored to your needs and property.
  • Your contractor should also help you find financing options for your solar project. These may include a cash purchase, solar loans, or leasing arrangements.
  • Also, your contractor can help find available incentives, tax credits, and rebates from federal, state, and local governments. They should also explain any utility-specific programs.
  • Your solar installer will typically handle the necessary permits and paperwork required for the installation. This may include building permits and utility interconnection agreements.
  • Once they’re obtained permits, the solar installation process begins. This involves mounting the solar panels, installing the inverter, and connecting the system to your electrical panel.
  • After installation, a local inspector may visit your property to ensure the system complies with safety and building codes.
  • Your installer connects your system to the grid. This allows you to send excess electricity back to the grid and receive your net metering credits.

Note that the process of installing solar usually takes several weeks if not a few months from start to finish. Your timeframe depends on how long your city takes to approve permits.

Also, many contractors order solar panels from the manufacturer rather than having them stored. This ensures those panels haven’t suffered wear and tear before installation!

Additionally, if your panels need inspection, the inspector’s schedule also affects your timeframe. Your solar panel installation contractor can give a more specific idea as to your expected solar installation schedule.

How Much Does It Cost to Go Solar in Florida?

The cost of going solar in Florida varies depending on several factors. These include the size of the solar system and the type of panels and inverters used. Also, consider your installation complexity, available incentives, and the solar installer's pricing.

Residential Solar Systems

  • For a small residential system with a capacity of 3-6 kilowatts (kW), the cost could be in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 after incentives. This could vary based on panel quality and installation difficulty.
  • A medium-sized system of 6-9 kW might cost around $15,000 to $25,000 after incentives.
  • Larger systems with capacities of 10 kW or more could cost $20,000 to $35,000 or more after incentives.

Commercial Solar Systems

Commercial solar installations typically have larger capacities, and their costs can vary widely based on size and complexity.

  • Small commercial systems (10-50 kW) might range from $20,000 to $100,000 or more after incentives.
  • Medium-sized commercial systems (50-200 kW) could cost between $100,000 and $500,000 or more after incentives.
  • Large-scale commercial and industrial systems (200 kW to several megawatts) could have costs in the millions.

Remember that various incentives including tax credits and rebates could further reduce the overall cost of going solar in Florida.

going solar in Florida

Is Going Solar Worth It in Florida?

Going solar in Florida is financially and environmentally beneficial for many homeowners and businesses. Check out some reasons why you might consider solar for your property:

  • Florida has relatively high electricity rates, making solar more attractive as it helps offset or even eliminate those bills. By generating your electricity from solar, you reduce reliance on the grid and lock in lower energy costs for the long term.
  • Florida's sunny climate makes it an excellent location for solar energy generation. The state receives an abundance of sunlight year-round, which results in higher energy production from solar panels.
  • Florida has a net metering policy. This allows you to receive credits for excess electricity your solar system generates and feeds back into the grid. These credits offset your electricity consumption during periods when your system is not producing enough energy, such as at night.
  • Going solar reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to the adoption of clean, renewable energy sources. These are essential for mitigating climate change and protecting the environment.
  • Installing solar panels increases property values, making it more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell.

A Word From Our Solar Crew

Sarasota Solar Solutions is happy to discuss going solar in Florida. You can call our team when you’re ready to talk to a Sarasota solar installation contractor. We’re happy to answer any additional questions and prepare a FREE quote for solar power on your property.

 

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