If you live in Florida then you might have noticed an uptick in the number of solar panels on homes. The Sunshine State offers homeowners more clear days of bright sunshine than almost any other place in North America. Couple that with the fact that there are numerous government incentives like Florida’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program as well as plenty of ways to finance solar panels without any out-of-pocket costs. Going solar in Florida is a win win for everyone.
What does it cost to install residential solar power in Florida?
The average cost of solar power in FL is $2.70 per watt, which happens to be the lowest in the US. That means that a 6kw solar system would cost around $16,300 in total. And this is before adding on any government incentives. Incentives will definitely take a good chunk of money out of that cost. For the remainder of the cost, there are financing plans available to ensure you don’t pay anything upfront. In fact, your solar panel financing can be set up in a way that it literally replaces your current utility bill. And the best part is that while energy costs continue to rise year over year, your loan payment amount will never change. Once the loan is repaid, you will no longer have a monthly bill associated with electricity.
What solar incentives are there in Florida?
Solar incentives currently available in Florida:
How Does the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Work?
According to seia.org, the residential ITC is currently a 26% federal tax credit ‘claimed against the tax liability of residential (under Section 25D)’. This allows the you as the homeowner to apply the credit to their personal income taxes. When you install solar panels on your home, this credit is applied. In order to get the full details you should consult your solar installer.
Net metering is a billing system that gives energy credits to solar array owners in exchange for the power their solar system generates. It allows residential and commercial customers to essentially sell back excess electricity they generate to their local utility company. Many states, including Florida, have passed net metering laws, making it mandatory for energy companies to offer credits to customers who provide green electricity to the grid.
This is important to utility companies because recent regulations require a percentage of their generated power to be coming from a renewable source, such as solar or wind. It’s a win-win situation as the utility companies depend on customers to supply the grid with clean energy while the homeowners/commercial businesses receive credits to redeem during solar downtimes.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) in Florida
The residential PACE program offers Florida homeowners the ability to finance renewable energy installations and other improvements deemed eligible for their homes using private outlets for capital. PACE programs are generally set up via state legislation and approved by local government municipalities.
According to energy.gov, over 200K residential homeowners have made $5 billion in energy efficient home improvements to their residences through some type of PACE financing program. Energy efficiency improvements include fixing or replacing broken or malfunctioning heating and cooling systems, hot water heaters, and water conservation measures, to name a few. PACE programs for residential use are currently available in Florida (4 active programs) as well as California, which has 10 active programs, and Missouri, with 3 active programs.
Property tax exemption
Typically, building an addition or updating your home would cause your property tax bills to increase. When it comes to solar and renewable energy, this is not the case. With the establishment of newer laws throughout important solar states, adding a solar panel system to your home will not cause you to incur any additional costs. For example, Florida’s Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property. Your solar rep should know this information, but the more you know going into getting solar, the better.
Sales tax exemption
Additionally, state laws in Florida exempt homeowners and businesses from paying sales tax on their solar panel systems, thanks to a law that’s been around since July of 1997. A 6% percent savings is huge when you’re talking about a 5-digit solar system cost!
Now that you have a little more information on what solar panel costs and rebates/incentives are, you can be more prepared when speaking with solar reps. A good solar company should come prepared with all of this information. If you ask incentive and qualification questions, make sure the rep(s) are on the same page as you. As previously mentioned though, laws do change from year to year, and state to state.
If you’re looking for a great solar company and want to see if you qualify for solar on your home, check to see if your roof qualifies here, or feel free to text us anytime for more info 401-293-2043.