If you think the Sunshine State is a good state for solar energy, you’re absolutely right! Lots of long, sunny days is a key reason Florida is one of the best places to get solar panels.
But there are other good reasons to go solar in Florida. These include great incentives, a 36% drop in solar panel costs in just the past 5 years, and high monthly electric bills.
All these can add up to BIG savings for homeowners who get solar panels for their homes.
There are other great benefits from solar as well. It’s great for the environment, it increases the value of your home and, if you get battery storage with your system, you can be energy independent.
Solar Panels Florida: A Guide For Homeowners
But getting solar panels is a big decision and there are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether it makes sense for your home or not. You have to look at costs, savings, financing, incentives and more.
This guide will help you make sense of these things and more. You’ll get an overview of the average cost of solar in FL, what incentives are currently available and when adding solar to your home may be a no-brainer!
And you’ll also find a great resource for getting a personalized solar savings estimate (without needing to have any salespeople come to your home).
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Florida?
We’ll share the average costs of solar in Florida with you below. But just know that number doesn’t mean all that much for you. This is because there are so many factors that go into the cost of a solar system, it’s hard to give a meaningful “average” price. Some of the main factors affecting solar costs are:
- The amount of electricity your home needs
- How many solar panels you need/can fit on your roof
- Whether you get battery storage with your system
- Your goals for solar (ie. do you just want to lower your electric bill or go completely off-grid)
- The panels you buy (manufacturer, efficiency, etc.)
- The solar incentives you are eligible for
- If you lease or buy your panels
With that all said, in Florida the average cost of a solar panel system on a home is around $11,500 for an average sized system. Estimates range from between $10,200 on the low end to $15,200 on the higher end.
The cost per watt for solar panels ranges from around $2.30 to $2.85, with $2.60 being a good average to expect. These numbers are lower than the average costs of home solar installations in the U.S.
Florida Solar Incentives
First the bad news. Florida used to have an amazing solar rebate program in place to help homeowners pay for their solar panels. That program, however, is no longer accepting new applications.
The good news, however, is that there are still some great incentives that Florida homeowners who go solar can take advantage of. Here’s an overview of the incentives you can still get.
Net metering is one of the best incentives solar owners can get. And Florida currently has some of the best net metering rules in the country.
If you’re not familiar with net metering, here’s an overview of how it works. Let’s say the solar panels on your home produce more electricity than your home needs. When that happens, you can sell your excess electricity back to the electric utility company.
Yep, the utility company will pay YOU for your electricity. Which helps your solar panels pay for themselves even more quickly.
In Florida, you can get net metering if you are a customer of one of the investor-owned utilities like Duke Energy or Florida Power & Light. If you generate excess electricity, you’ll get credit for that (at the FULL retail rate) on your next bill. That will carry forward for 12 months. At the end of that 12 months, the utility will pay you for any remaining amount you are owed at an avoided-cost rate.
Property Tax Exemption
Adding solar panels to your home will increase the value of your home (and homes with solar tend to sell more quickly). Which is a great benefit.
However, when your home increases in value, that often means you end up paying more in property taxes. In Florida (and many other states, for that matter), you won’t have to worry about that when you add solar panels.
That’s because there is a property tax exemption for solar. Florida has a Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property. Thanks to this, you will not pay any additional property taxes due to putting solar on your home.
Sales Tax Exemption
Not only will you not have to worry about property taxes, but you won’t have to worry about sales tax either. This is because the state has a Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption. The 6% sales tax rate in Florida does not apply to solar panels.
Local Florida Solar Tax Rebates, Credits and Loans
As mentioned already, the solar tax rebate in Florida is no longer available. However, all hope is not lost here.
There are a few cities that still offer rebates for those who get solar plus battery storage systems. For example, Orlando offers up to a $2,000 rebate and Jacksonville offers up to a $4,000 rebate.
Some cities also offer low interest loans to help residents go solar. There may be some other city/county level rebates or credits you can qualify for. That’s why it’s important to talk to a local installer who knows what incentives you may be eligible for. This will make sure you can take advantage of every incentive you can get!
Federal Solar Credit For Florida Homeowners
While there is no statewide solar tax credit in Florida, all FL residents can get a solar tax credit from the federal government. Just don’t wait too long.
This tax credit is currently 26%. But it drops to 22% in 2023 and then goes away in 2024.
The credit applies to ALL the costs included in your solar installation. That means the panels themselves, labor costs, other equipment and even batteries are eligible for this 26% tax credit.
Let’s say the total cost of your solar panel installation is $15,000. In that case, come tax time you are eligible for a tax credit of $3,900. And that’s a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. That means if you were to owe $4,000 in federal taxes, then you would only end up paying $100 thanks to the tax credit.
If you owe less than $3,900 in taxes, your credit can rollover for up to 5 years.
Are Solar Panels Worth It in Florida?
So should you get solar panels in Florida? Are they really worth it?
When you consider:
- The current low cost of panels
- The incentives and tax credits still available
- Florida’s long, sunny days
- High monthly electricity bills
- The current 26% tax credit
For many Florida homeowners, solar panels do make a lot of sense.
Estimates show that many Florida homeowners can make back the money they invest in solar in about 10 – 11 years. And, over the lifetime of the panels, homeowners can end up saving $20,000 or more on electricity costs by going solar in Florida.
And that doesn’t even take into account rising electric prices. (Just in the past year, electricity costs have risen from 11.65 to 12.45 cents per Kilowatt hour in the state).
Really, it comes down to this…
… If you own a single-family home in Florida, have an electric bill that averages more than $100/month and your roof gets a decent amount of sunshine each day, solar may be a no-brainer for you just from the financial side of things.
And don’t forget about the other benefits of going solar. It will increase the value of your home and help it sell faster. Going solar will also let you produce clean energy which is great for the environment.
Plus, if you get a battery back up system with your solar panels, you can become energy independent. This will not just lower your electric costs. But, if the power goes out in your area, you’ll be able to keep the lights on.
But Is Solar Worth It For YOU?
Solar, however, does not make sense for everyone. The number of panels you can fit on your roof, how many panels you need, the angle of your roof, the amount of sunlight it gets, how much energy you use and more all help determine if solar makes sense for you or not.
There’s really just one way to figure out whether it’s worth it for your home. And that is to get a savings estimate for a trustworthy local solar panel installer.
They’ll be able to assess your property and energy usage, tell you what your actual costs will be, the incentives/credits/rebates you are eligible for, if you can get $0 financing and, ultimately, how much you can save with solar.
We highly encourage you to get in touch with local installers through UnderstandSolar.com. They are the #1 solar advisor in the U.S. and have relationships with the most trusted local solar installers in Florida. And since 2014 they’ve helped over 400,000 homeowners make smart decisions about going solar.
It takes less than a minute to get a savings estimate from them. Just click the button below, answer a few questions and you’ll see how much solar could save you.
Why Now Is The Best Time To Go Solar in Florida (And Why Waiting Too Long May Be Very Costly)
If you even think solar could make sense for your home, now is the time to take action. Because if you wait too long, you may miss out on some of the lowest costs for solar we’ll see in a long time. This is because…
- While solar prices have dropped a lot in recent years (36% in the past 5 years in FL), prices look like they may go up quite a bit in the near future. This is due to tariffs on imported panels, material shortages, supply chain issues and surging demand for solar worldwide.
- As already mentioned, the 26% federal solar tax credit won’t be around much longer. It drops to 22% in 2023 and goes away completely in 2024. Not getting this credit could mean missing out on $1000s in savings.
- A bill recently filed in the Florida State Senate would change Florida’s net metering rules and make participants pay a surcharge to help maintain the power grid. However, if you go solar in 2022, you will be grandfathered into the existing rules and be exempt from the surcharge.
- The statewide tax rebate is no longer available in Florida. And while there are still some local incentives available, they may not last much longer as money for these programs runs out due to more and more people going solar.
- An increase in extreme weather and an aging power grid don’t mix well. This is causing more frequent (and longer lasting) power outages all across the country. By getting solar storage with your solar system, you don’t have to be left in the dark if the power goes out in your area.
- The longer you wait, the more you miss out on the huge potential savings on your monthly electric bill thanks to solar.
It’s at least worth getting an estimate if you even think solar could make sense for your home. That way, if you decide to go solar, you can take advantage of the low prices and incentives before they go away.
So, take a minute, head over to the UnderstandSolar.com site, answer a few questions to get a savings estimate and connect with a trusted, local FL solar installer who can help you make a smart decision about going solar.
In the end, you may decide that solar does not make sense for you. But at least you’ll know you’ve made an informed decision.
Get started here to see exclusive deals in Florida and find out if solar makes sense for you and your home.