The Cost Of Solar Panels In Florida. Is It Worth It? - Home Improvement Cents (2023)

As our state has abundant sun, it’s not a surprise that a lot of us want to go solar. But even if we are called the Sunshine State, we only rank third for solar potential and 14th for the number of rooftop solar installed in the United States.

Do we have enough sun? You’ll find the answer in the latter part of this guide, but for now, let’s see what are the advantages of switching to solar energy in Florida and other information you should know before investing in solar panels.

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What are the benefits of going Solar in Florida?

What is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)?

How much power can Solar Panels create in Florida?

Is there enough Sun?

How much money will a Solar Energy System cost?

Is it worth investing in a Solar Energy System in Florida?

How long do Solar Panels last?

What are the Pros and Cons of Going Solar in Florida?

Things you shouldn’t do before going Solar

How to find a Solar Contractor

What are the benefits of going Solar in Florida?

There are several benefits and incentives for switching to solar energy in Florida. You can be eligible for Investment Tax Credit, sales and property tax exemptions, and net metering.

1

Federal Government’s Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

One of the best incentives of going solar is a part of your installation cost can be reduced from your federal taxes. If you buy your own solar energy system this year, you will get back 30% of your solar installation and battery expenses. For example, if you bought your solar energy system for $20,000, the actual cost will be $14,000 after the investment tax credit. Sunrunrecommends that you contact a tax professional for a more accurate number of your ITC.

You should know that the percentage changes every year. It will drop to 26% by next year and then be reduced to 22% in 2021. Unfortunately, the solar tax credit will expire by 2021 for residential installation.

Note:This only applies to those who buy their solar energy system with cash or solar loan. You should also have enough income for the ITC to be relevant.

2

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Sales and Property Tax Exemptions

When buying your solar energy system, you don’t have topay the sales tax due to the Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption. This will save you 6% of what you would have originally paid.

For property tax, you will be exempted from the usual tax costs when adding value to your home. Florida has a Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property so you won’t see additional costs on your property tax bill.

Net Metering

Net metering depends on your utility company. ForFlorida Power and Light (FPL), they allow residential solar energy systems to connect to their grid. Homeowners will receive credit for the energy they produce, which will reflect on their energy bill. By January the following year, homeowners will get monetary compensation for unused credits the previous year.

For other utility companies, check them out here:Tampa Electric Company,Gulf Power, andDuke Energy

What is a Kilowatt Hour (kWh)?

Before we discuss what kilowatt-hour means, let’s find out what kilowatt means. Akilowatt (kW)is a measure of energy that pertains to one thousand watts of electricity. Solar panels, generators, and other similar appliances use this rate to show the maximum amount of power it can produce.

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is how much kilowatts an appliance or device uses per hour. This is the amount you see on your energy bill.

How much power can Solar Panels create in Florida?

The power a solar energy system will generate depends on the month, location, and the kilowatts of the system. One day in Florida usually has 5.2 hoursof ideal sunlight in a month. Ideal sunlight pertains to a sunny day with clear skies. Don’t worry, even if it’s cloudy, the system will still capture solar power, but it will be less than when there’s ideal sunlight.

If a 5kW solar energy system is installed, Florida homeowners tend togenerate the most energy in April with 6.41 kilowatts per day. The lowest energy captured is in December with 4.49 kilowatts per day.

The data above only applies to a 5kW solar energy system. If you get more panels, you can generate more power. When computing for the energy you can produce, you should know that each panel is not 100% efficient, but only 85% to 92% - this also applies to the new ones.

Is there enough Sun?

Yes, Florida receives 18,581.94 KiloJoules per square meter (KJ/m²) of sunlight every day. Solar panels in Florida receive 33% more than solar panels in New York State which only receives 13,933.79 KJ/m² of sunlight per day. Specifically, for every 1 kilowatt of solar panels on a south-facing roof in Florida, it produces an average of 1,351 kWh per year.

Compared to other states, we have 10% more amount of sunlight, so the lack of sun is not a problem for us. But even if we have more sunlight and have the name 'Sunshine State', why aren’t we the leader in solar energy in the United States?

We may have more sunlight but our state is actually not as sunny as other states. The top states with the biggest potential for capturing solar energy are in the southwest, those with lots of desserts, namely Arizona, New Mexico, parts of West Texas, and areas in southeast California.

How much money will a Solar Energy System cost?

The average price of a solar energy system in Florida is $2.97 per watt as of October this year. For the specific cost, it will depend on the size of the solar energy system, equipment, installation company, and other factors. So if you wanted a system with 5 kilowatts or 5,000 watts, this would probably cost you $14,850, excluding incentives such as ITC and other tax exemptions. With ITC, you can get it for $10,395.

To give you a better estimate of the system you will need, the average size used by Florida homeowners is a 9.5 kW solar energy system. This will cost around $28,215 before ITC or $19,750.50 after ITC. On the other hand, the national average cost of solar panels per watt is $3.05, which is higher than Florida’s. But the average size of solar energy systems in the United States is only 6 kW, making it less expensive.

Is it worth investing in a Solar Energy System in Florida?

Yes, because even if we need to shell out more money to get a system installed, we have lower solar energy costs than the national average. A household in Florida typically uses 0.11 kWh or 1,078 kilowatts per month. According to the United States Energy Information Association (EIA), the average cost of energy in Florida is 11.90 cents per kWh. This is lower than the national average of solar energy cost, which is 13 cents per kWh.

If you get a 5 kW solar energy system, you will already be saving $4,455 thanks to ITC. For energy cost expenses, you will save $91.25 per month or $1,095.04 annually. This varies depending on the size of your system and electricity usage. You can maximize your savings by replacing your appliances with energy-efficient models.

Aside from saving your money, going solar will also help the environment. Some people prefer using clean and renewable to decrease their carbon footprint.

How long do Solar Panels last?

Your solar energy system should last more than 20 years. Most systems also have more than 25 years of warranty.

With this in mind, if you spend $10,395 on the installation of a 5 kW solar energy system and save $1,095.04 from your energy bill, your payback period will be around 10 years. In 20 years, you could save about $10,950.40.

What are the Pros and Cons of Going Solar in Florida?

If you are not sure about switching to a solar energy system, here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of going solar in Florida.

(Video) A look at the cost of solar energy access and who benefits from it

Pros

  • 30% federal tax credit (as of 2019)
  • Property and sales tax exemption
  • Net metering
  • Capture plenty of solar energy since we have a lot of sunshine
  • Environmentally-friendly solution
  • Quick payback period
  • Great investment and saves money in the long-run
  • Lower cost per watt for installation than the national average
  • Lower solar energy costs than the national average

Cons

  • Lower savings and returns compared to other states
  • There are no third-party ownership PPAs available*
  • *Other states offer this financing option which allows third-party solar developers to own the system installed on the client’s property and sell the captured solar energy back to them. Our state laws only allow public utilities to sell the electricity, which is available to the general public.

Things you shouldn’t do before going Solar

LDS reliance shares the seven most common mistakes to avoid to efficiently capture solar energy.

1.

Do not confuse sun hours with daylight hours

Sun hour is a measurement for the hours a solar panel can get the most energy out of the day. Even if you have 15 hours of daylight during summer, you are only getting 7 sun hours (assuming that your solar panel is working efficiently). It still works for the other hours but at a reduced rate.

2.

Do not underestimate your energy consumption

You can find out how much power you consume by:

  • Getting a device to measure the electricity consumed.
  • Check the manufacturer’s information of each appliance for its estimate power consumption (the important appliances you should check are air conditioners, heaters, blow dryers, microwaves, refrigerators, and stoves).
(Video) Is Solar Worth It? My experience after two years owning Solar Panels

3.

Do not forget to decrease your usage

Decrease your usage and make upgrades before going solar so you can save some money. Before installing a solar energy system, you can maximize your savings by upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and more.

Do not have unrealistic expectations

If you want to go solar to save money or even if you just want to reduce your carbon footprint, don’t forget that there will be limitations and it will vary depending on your solar energy system. If you just got a 100-watt solar panel kit to power a 600-watt appliance, the system will not be enough to power it. To get a good grasp of your system’s capability, start with something small, like a light.

5.

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Do not install a solar panel system without plans

There are important variables you need to consider when installing solar panel systems, for example:

  • The angle of the solar panel should be equal to the latitude of your location.
  • Surprisingly, solar panels do not like heat and best runs when it is cool. This means you should have enough air gap between the roof and the solar panel.

6.

Do not rush decisions

Do not immediately accept an offer, especially unrealistic deals from grid-tied or lease systems. If someone is offering you a free solar energy system that can eliminate your energy costs, it probably has hidden drawbacks. Always check the fine print before signing.

You may also find a less expensive solar panel while doing your research, but you shouldn’t buy it immediately. It probably has B-grade cells or won’t work efficiently as stated. Get some guarantees before purchasing solar equipment.

7.

Do not buy a solar system if you haven’t planned what to do with it

You should first determine how you will use your solar system before purchasing one. Similar to buying a house, one should first know how many people will be living in it and determine their needs. Even if there’s a great deal for a one-bedroom place, you shouldn’t just get it. What if you are a family of 5?

Always do your research and ask people who have solar energy systems to help you decide on which system to get.

How to find a Solar Contractor

If you are planning to get a solar energy system installed, you should know that the cost will still depend on the system, equipment, size and angle of your roof, and contractor who will do the installation.

To get an estimate of your cost, you can check it using The EnergySage Solar Calculator. Input your address and estimated average electricity bill per month, and you will see estimates based on your roof and bids in your location.

You can also check out the top 20 residential contractors in Florida. There is also an option to see the best contractors by city.

If you are looking for a specific service, here are Florida Solar Installers that can be filtered by services and zip code. You can look for contractors who offer Residential Solar PV Installation, Residential Solar Hot Water Installation, Home Energy Audits, and more. You’ll find the address and phone number with the results.

FAQs

Is it worth the investment to add solar panels to your house in Florida? ›

Yes, going solar is worth it in Florida. It's one of the sunniest states in the country, and it offers solar tax incentives and net-metering programs to maximize savings.

Do solar panels count as home improvement? ›

The simple answer is yes, installing solar panels on your home generally increases its value. Perhaps you're wondering why homebuyers are willing to pay so much more for a solar-equipped home. Most importantly, you can reduce or even eliminate your electric bill when you live in a solar-powered home.

Does it make sense to go solar in Florida? ›

With a lower-than-average price for solar equipment and a much higher energy consumption than in most states, the majority of Florida residents find that going solar is a worthwhile investment.

How much does solar increase home value in Florida? ›

A few studies have shown that solar installations increase a home's resale value by up to $6,000 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, or by about 4.1% of the home's value.

Do solar panels increase property taxes in Florida? ›

Florida enhances that value by being one of several states that provides a 100% property tax exemption for residential solar panels, plus any accompanying battery storage devices. This means that although your home value may increase, you won't pay any additional property taxes because you got solar panels installed.

How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves in Florida? ›

Solar energy systems in Florida usually take about 10 years to pay for themselves, but the payback period can also be as quick as just 5 years. Some important factors that affect your repayment time are: Your overall electric usage. The size of your solar system.

What I Wish I Knew Before Getting solar panels? ›

15 Things to Consider Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels
  • Does your roof need repairs? ...
  • What is the shape of your roof? ...
  • Which direction do the slopes of your roof face? ...
  • How much weight can your roof handle? ...
  • Where will the water go? ...
  • What about nature's other surprises? ...
  • How do you connect to the grid?

What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy? ›

Solar Cons
  • Standard home solar does not “work” at night.
  • Home solar panels are not attractive.
  • DIY solar installation is difficult (if not impossible) for most homeowners.
  • Not every roof configuration is ideal for maximum solar power generation.
  • Solar manufacturing is not good for the environment.

Do you still have to pay bills if you have solar panels? ›

After your solar panels have been installed, it's time to enjoy the benefits! You'll be generating clean energy and helping to reduce your energy bills. However, you will still have to pay for any energy you use that you don't generate yourself.

Is there a downside to having solar? ›

Disadvantages of solar energy include a high initial cost, an inability to work on every roof type, and it may be difficult to find a local installer depending on where you live.

What is the no cost solar program in Florida? ›

There are no statewide solar panel rebates in Florida. However, tax credits can make the installation more affordable. Sales Tax Exemption: Under Florida's Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption, Floridians are exempt from paying the 6% sales tax on solar panels.

How long do solar panels last in FL? ›

Typically, solar panels last for 25-30 years in Florida. In this long run, thousands of dollars are saved (as much as $30k to be exact) throughout the life of the system.

Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels? ›

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more than those without.

Do solar panels devalue your house? ›

In terms of property value, solar panels can certainty add value to your home and can make your property more attractive to buyers. Ultimately, solar panels are a long-term investment that residents must be prepared for.

How much do solar panels cost for a 2000 square foot house in Florida? ›

Solar Panel Cost in Florida per Square Foot
House SizeAverage Cost (Installed)
1,000 sq.ft.$4,460 - $22,960
1,500 sq.ft.$5,740 - $26,760
2,000 sq.ft.$8,920 - $28,700
2,500 sq.ft.$13,380 - $34,440
19 Aug 2022

How much of a tax write off are solar panels? ›

Solar PV systems installed in 2020 and 2021 are eligible for a 26% tax credit. In August 2022, Congress passed an extension of the ITC, raising it to 30% for the installation of which was between 2022-2032.

Does homeowners insurance cover solar panels in Florida? ›

Yes, most insurers cover solar panels as long as the cause of damage is covered by your policy. That means if they're damaged by wind, fire, lightning strikes, hail, or a fallen tree, you'd likely be covered for solar panels repairs or a new system.

How many times can I use the solar tax credit in Florida? ›

You can only claim the Florida solar tax credit from the federal government for one year on every residential system installed. This means you cannot get tax credits for two years or more for the same solar PV system because your tax liability is lower than the estimated credits.

What happens after you pay off solar panels? ›

Once you pay off your loan or buy your system outright you will essentially be getting energy for free. When it comes to payment, those who are using solar energy will still get a monthly utility bill. This will show how much energy you produced versus how much energy you used for the month.

How can I get free solar panels in Florida? ›

Currently, there are no programs offering free solar installations in Florida. However, you can go solar for $0 upfront by getting a loan or by signing a lease or Power Purchase Agreement. This way, you can start saving on electric bills right away, and those savings can be used to pay the loan/lease/PPA.

Can you pay off solar panels early? ›

Yes, you can prepay full or partial amounts at any time without penalty. Even if you pay off your loan early, your home solar system and roof warranty will continue to be provided.

Why you dont want solar panels? ›

High upfront costs for your solar energy system. This is usually because solar equipment and/or installation costs are expensive where you live. Space restrictions mean that you can't install a solar panel system large enough to deliver adequate electric bill savings.

What are 4 main problems associated with installing solar in your home? ›

There are several key areas that solar panel providers should focus on when installing residential solar panels, including:
  • Roof assessments.
  • Rushed, inaccurate installation.
  • Interrupting roof water flow.
  • Not keeping up with regular maintenance and inspections.
25 Mar 2019

What is the biggest problem with solar panels? ›

Intermittency. One of the biggest problems that solar energy technology poses is that energy is only generated while the sun is shining. That means nighttime and overcast days can interrupt the supply.

Are solar panels a good 2022 investment? ›

But there are other reasons why 2022 is an especially good year to invest in a solar panel system. Electricity rates across the country are rising and even doubling in some states. As those rates rise, the savings that come from installing solar only increase.

Do solar panels cause roof leaks? ›

In virtually all cases, the answer is no. Roof leaks after solar panels are extremely rare. When roof leaking after the solar panels are fitted does occur, however, it usually becomes evident very quickly after the installation process is finished.

Can I run my house on solar power only? ›

With a modern solar energy system, including power storage, you can definitely run a whole house completely on solar power. Today's high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries make it cheaper than ever before to power an entire home exclusively using solar energy.

Why are my solar panels not saving me money? ›

Your Home Is Using Too Much Power

If your solar panels are not reducing your bill, it can be because: Your system is generating less electricity than you use. You're using too much electricity at night when panels aren't generating it. Too many appliances or devices are plugged in.

How long do you need solar panels to pay for themselves? ›

As it takes typically about 15 years to recoup your installation costs, if you're considering moving, solar panels probably aren't worth it (though see the point below on whether this could be offset by them pushing up the value of your home).

What is the biggest drawback to solar energy? ›

High upfront cost

The large upfront cost is one of the biggest drawbacks of solar panel systems. As of January 2022, the average cost of solar in the U.S. is about $3.00 per watt. So, a 6 kW solar panel system would run you around $18,000, on average, before the federal tax credit is applied.

Can I go off grid with solar panels in Florida? ›

“Going off-grid” – disconnecting from a utility power source and instead relying on alternative energy sources like solar power – is fully legal in Florida.

Is solar sales tax exempt in Florida? ›

Section 212.08(7)(hh), F.S., provides that solar energy systems or any component thereof are exempt from Florida sales and use tax.

Does hail damage solar panels? ›

In short, yes hail can damage solar panels, and most home insurance policies cover that damage. However, the chances of hail actually damaging panels is slim to none.

Is there a lot of upkeep with solar panels? ›

Do solar panels need to be maintained? Solar panels generally require very little maintenance in order to function, so yes, you can usually just let them be. The only thing they need is a periodic light cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris aren't obstructing the sun's rays.

Does FPL buy back power? ›

If your system produces more energy than you need, the excess power is sold back to FPL's grid. That amount of energy is deducted from your monthly bill or credited toward a future bill in the same calendar year.

Do solar panels increase home value realtor? ›

Solar technology not only cuts a property's energy costs but can earn the homeowner a premium at resale. Homes with solar panels tend to list 56% above the average home price, according to a new analysis from Porch.com, a home improvement resource.

Does solar void roof warranty? ›

In most cases, solar panels will not void a roof warranty. However, you have to be cautious of some companies that may install solar panels without considering the consequences of some actions, such as drilling holes in your roof.

Is solar worth the hype? ›

There are various ways solar panels pay off, from reducing your carbon footprint to increasing your home's value. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that homes with solar power increased in value by $20 for every dollar saved on energy. That is a 20-to-1 return on investment (ROI).

Do solar panels Increase home value 2022? ›

In fact, one study confirmed that solar installations increase a home's resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, and another estimated an increase of 4.1% of the home's value.

How long until solar panels are worth it? ›

For most homeowners in the U.S., it takes roughly eight years to break even on a solar panel investment. For example, if your solar installation cost is $16,000 and the system helps you conserve $2,000 annually on energy bills, then your payback period will be around eight years (16,000/2,000 = 8).

Is going solar worth it in Florida? ›

Yes, going solar is worth it in Florida. It's one of the sunniest states in the country, and it offers solar tax incentives and net-metering programs to maximize savings.

Does Florida have solar incentives? ›

Incentives, Tax Credits, and Solar Rebates in Florida*

The 22% federal tax credit is available for purchased home solar systems installed by December 31, 2022. Property tax exemption on the added home value from the rooftop solar system. 6% home solar system state sales tax exemption.

Is Florida offering free solar panels? ›

Currently, there are no programs offering free solar installations in Florida. However, you can go solar for $0 upfront by getting a loan or by signing a lease or Power Purchase Agreement. This way, you can start saving on electric bills right away, and those savings can be used to pay the loan/lease/PPA.

What is the average cost of solar panel installation in Florida? ›

Price estimates indicate Florida solar panels cost between $10,300 and $12,600, with the federal tax credit, and the average cost per watt ranges from $2.32 to $2.83. This can be significantly lower than what it would cost in other states, where the average solar power system is currently at $3.00 per watt.

Will Florida cover the cost of solar panels? ›

Florida Solar Rebates and Tax Credits

There are no statewide solar panel rebates in Florida. However, tax credits can make the installation more affordable.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves? ›

Solar panels typically pay for themselves within nine to 12 years. Solar panels reduce or eliminate the cost of electric utility bills. Utilities may pay solar panel users through a process called net metering.

How long do solar panels last in Florida? ›

Typically, solar panels last for 25-30 years in Florida. In this long run, thousands of dollars are saved (as much as $30k to be exact) throughout the life of the system.

How long do residential solar panels last? ›

The Lifespan of Solar Panels

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels, are made to last more than 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed as early as the 1980s are still working at expected capacity.

How much does it cost to put solar panels on a 2000 square foot home? ›

The average cost range for installing solar panels for a 2,000 sq. ft. home is between $15,000 and $40,000. Your costs are determined by how much electricity you use each day.

How many solar panels do I need for a 2000 square foot house? ›

To make the average amount of energy used by a home in America, a 2,000 sq. ft. home would need between 16 and 21 solar panels. That's assuming the home has a good south-facing roof that gets a full amount of sunlight every day.

How many solar panels do I need in Florida? ›

A typical home needs between 18 to 26 solar panels to cover 100% of its electricity usage. While there are many elements you can analyze to determine the ideal size of your future solar panel system, we want to discuss the four that are most worth your time: Your household energy consumption.

How much does solar Add to homeowners insurance? ›

How much does solar panel insurance cost?
Dwelling LimitAverage Yearly Homeowners Premium
$200k$1,180
$250k$1,407

Can you sell back solar energy in Florida? ›

According to HB-741, customers who have solar panels installed by January 2024 will be grandfathered in, and they will be able to sell their excess electricity back to the utility at full retail rates for the next 20 years.

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