When thinking about installing solar panels in the Sunshine State, you’ll find a few different options available. These options can vary but we are here to help navigate and find the best option for your home.
Solar Panel Installation in Florida
Some homeowners are hesitant to install solar panels in Florida due to many misconceptions about what they will gain from it. If you have your doubts about going solar, unraveling these misconceptions might help you make the switch to this renewable energy source.
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for its sunny weather throughout the year. With its abundance of sunshine, it ranks third in total solar energy capacity, and recent developments in the industry point to an even brighter future. In 2021, the state installed 8,205.55 MW of solar power compared to 1,660.00 MW in 2020.
After discovering the answers to many of their concerns about solar, an increasing number of homeowners realize the benefits of residential solar in Florida and invest in it. Here’s what you should know:
Do Solar Panels Increase Property Taxes in Florida?
Many homeowners are concerned that installing solar panels will affect their property taxes. While additions boost a home’s fair market value, they also translate to higher real estate taxes. Fortunately, installing solar panels in Florida is exempt from this rule.
The Sunshine State has a statewide policy excluding the value of renewable energy devices like solar panels and batteries from property tax assessment. The exemption applies to new and existing residential properties, and remains valid as long as the solar array is in place.
Additionally, Florida also offers a sales tax incentive on solar energy systems, exempting them from the additional 6% of the purchase price you would otherwise have to pay.
Does Florida Buy Back Electricity from Solar Panels?
Yes, it does. And for homeowners opting to install solar panels in Florida, knowing this fact significantly impacts their decision to transition to clean energy.
Unlike other states, Florida has strong, consumer-friendly net metering programs that lead to increased adoption of solar as a residential energy source. So it’s not surprising that solar panel installation in Florida has been on an upward trend in recent years.
Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, and Tampa Electric purchase their customers’ excess generated power from installed renewable energy systems, and send it back to the public grid for distribution. Under the net-metering arrangement, energy-producing customers earn credits based on agreed rates and supplied power.
Every billing period, received credits are offset against consumed power. After all, you need to draw electricity from the grid when your solar panels do not have an energy source, such as at night or on cloudy days. So if your production exceeds consumption, don’t worry—your credits are reflected in the next billing cycle.
Are Solar Panels in Florida Worth It?
In short, the answer is a resounding yes.
Although switching to sustainable energy is both sensible and sustainable, many homeowners remain wary of how much solar panels cost in Florida. The average installation expense in Florida will set you back at $2.59/W in 2022, which can potentially increase depending on the recommended system size and type of solar panels installed.
But don’t let upfront costs deter you: most solar systems pay for themselves and save homeowners considerable money for years to come.
Some buyers opt to finance their solar energy systems through an affordable and flexible loan instead of purchasing outright. Additionally, solar PV owners can fully recoup their investment through federal tax incentives.
Under the Investment Tax Credit program, those who own their solar panels can deduct 26% of total system costs from their federal tax liabilities. So if your solar energy system costs $10,000, you can save $2,600 on total taxes for the applicable year.
However, you must own the system rather than be under a lease or power purchase agreement. Second, the rate is only valid for new installations until the end of 2022, which lowers to 22% in 2023. Third, the tax credit is non-refundable; you can only claim it against liabilities. If you have no balance, you can carry it forward for five years.
Some who want the shift to clean energy may ask, ”Can I install my own solar panels in Florida?” Unfortunately, you cannot. Unlike other home improvement projects, a great deal of technical precision goes into installing power-generating systems like solar.
A solar installer has to estimate your electrical requirements, design the system, and consider the technical specifications to keep the solar array functioning for years and under different weather conditions. It is hazardous, and your cost savings on DIY may not be as much as opting for professional installation.