If you live in a state that is known for its perpetual sunshine, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that and capitalize on renewable energy systems in Florida? Not only do you get the benefits that come with solar incentives at the federal and state levels, but you even improve your property value.
Some people may be a bit skeptical where solar energy systems are concerned in Florida, and across the US. Here is some easy-to-digest information about your potential installation to help alleviate your concerns about solar power and green energy.
How Much Will Your Solar Panels Cost in Florida?
Realistically, the answer to this question will depend on when you ask it. For example, at the time of writing, if you want to get solar panels set up in Florida, you’re looking at an average cost of $2.58 per Watt.
Doing some quick math and using a standard 6 kW solar system, you are looking at $15,660 as an average cost of solar energy farm in Florida. Note that this cost is before the claim of any solar incentives. Therefore, if you do claim the 30% solar tax credit available in the state (this percentage will also change or be non-existent depending on the time of reading), you’re looking at $10,962.
Is There a State-specific Tax Credit?
There is no state level tax credit available in Florida. While you may hear people mention the “Florida solar tax credit,” many of them simply don’t understand that this is applied at the federal level and not at the state level. In other cases, the understanding is there, but it’s just a matter of word choice.
These solar incentives are available across all the state making solar power get enough attention in Florida. Put simply, it allows you to claim a percentage of the cost of a solar system as an income tax deduction. The percentage varies from one tax year to the next, and unless Congress decides differently, will no longer exist after 2035. The claim must be made in the tax year that the solar system purchase was made. Bear in mind that apart from the panels, solar storage, labor costs, and other approved charges can also form a part of your claim.
Should your tax liability be lower than 30% of the solar system cost, the remaining balance can be carried over to the subsequent tax year, and this can continue for up to five years. This makes solar energy beneficial in Florida.
PACE Financing Availability
in Florida, PACE financing is available on offer from localities for solar projects. It’s akin to a loan, but it’s paid via an increase in property tax to your local government. Any energy-efficient upgrades can fall under the umbrella of PACE financing, so it’s not limited to just solar energy systems. Note that if you decide to sell your home, there is the option of passing on the loan balance to the new property owner.
Unlike some other financing options, there is no lien on your property with PACE financing, but it also tends to bear a higher interest rate than a Home Equity Line of Credit, and other common financing options. That’s why there can be so many questions about solar energy in Florida.
How Long Will It Take for the System to Pay for Itself?
Unless you’re using a power purchase agreement or solar lease, these systems tend to always pay for themselves with time. The official term used to speak to the time it takes for the cost to be recovered and pure savings to begin is the “solar panel payback period.” Typically, estimating this timeline will be a factor in determining the feasibility of a solar setup in a home. On average, Florida homeowners will see a payback period of 13 years, with most people falling somewhere between the 10 and 16-year mark.
Looking at things across the entire US, the average payback period is 12 years, with most people seeing a timeline that falls between nine and 15 years.
Benefits of Going Solar
Clearly, the initial costs associated with solar energy in Florida can be prohibitive. Nevertheless, you never want to lose sight of the potential benefits that such a decision can bring. Consider the following:
- Since Florida allows for net metering, there is the potential for greater savings. Essentially, if you produce excess electricity, you technically sell it to an electric company for unique credits that can be used for bill savings.
- Solar panels are not high-maintenance fixtures. You will probably need to brush off some debris here and there, but there isn’t much of an upkeep requirement otherwise.
- Your solar energy system is environmentally friendly. After all, the sun is a renewable energy source, and that’s where the electricity is generated from.
- Once you get past the solar panel payback period, your monthly utility bill savings start to stack up.
What Are Some of the Ways to Evaluate if Solar Panels Are Worth It for You in Florida?
As great as solar energy is, it’s not necessarily going to be feasible for everyone in Florida. This is why some of the best solar contractors out there are those that will evaluate your unique situation instead of just trying to sell you a system. Here are some of the factors you can use to decide if you will see benefits from having a solar setup at home:
- What does your roof’s exposure to the sun look like?
- Is your home’s energy use at a level that would yield benefits from an installation?
- How do you feel about the cost of going solar in Florida?
- Are the average buyback rates suitable?
Choosing a Good Solar Company
If you’re going to have solar panels installed in Florida, you will need to work with a contractor to do so. Don’t just choose the first one you come across to take care of your solar energy project. To get the job done it’s always a good idea to look into the reputation and some of the past projects that the company has been involved in. Additionally, pay attention to how the interactions work. Florida solar incentives are also a thing to keep in mind when you want to benefit from Florida solar potential. Also, be sure to consult with an electric company to comply with all the regulations existing in the state.
Is the contractor coming off as salesy, or is there a genuine sense of getting to the most optimal situation for you? If you are not feeling the latter, look elsewhere. You can find a bunch of well-established solar energy contractors in Florida so DYOR.
The Bottom Line
Going solar in Florida is a big step. Sure, you can save on the costs of your electricity bill when you start generating power this way, but not everyone will see it as beneficial. Consider the information above as you make your eventual decision.