Florida is known as a sunshine state. With beautiful sunny shores and lots of land to protect, Florida seems like a natural choice when it comes to adopting solar energy. After all, it didn’t earn that name for nothing.
With all the sunlight that Florida receives year round, solar energy has the potential to be one of Florida’s biggest renewable energy sources.
And with rising utility costs and high energy prices, wouldn’t you like to find out how you could save by producing your own energy?
Solar in Florida Simply Makes Sense
Florida’s climate is uniquely suited to taking on solar energy as a main source of renewable energy. Florida receives ample sunlight year round.
With all that in mind, solar has the capacity to help you save a significant amount of money on your already high utility bills.
Should Florida choose to take advantage of this, it could potentially be a leader in both solar energy and renewable energy.
Florida’s RPS and the Bright Future
Unfortunately, Florida does not have a RPS plan in place. A RPS, or renewable portfolio standard, calls for a certain percentage of energy to be produced by renewable energy.
Florida does not have a RPS plan in place at all, which is certainly unfortunate since a RPS plan is one of the best way to encourage both utility companies and residents to adopt solar electricity.
Florida RPS Carve-Outs
And because Florida does not have a RPS plan in place at all, solar carve-outs are not in the picture as well.
Florida has a lot of potential when it comes to solar energy so it is a shame that Florida hasn’t taken the steps necessary to encourage it.
You Can Save Money By Going Solar in Florida. Here’s How
Despite the fact that Florida is decidedly lacking when it comes to legislative encouragement, Florida actually has a lot to offer when it comes to opportunities to save with a solar panel.
After all, consider Florida’s climate. Florida is fairly warm year round and receives ample sunlight to boot. By going solar, you can actually significantly reduce your utility bills.
Florida Case Study
Let’s consider the average 5kW system. This is about average when it comes to residential installations:
Most systems of this size will typically cost you about $21,000 to purchase and install. The initial investment, however, will drop when you consider the 30% Federal solar tax credit, which now brings the total of your purchase to about $14,700 dollars.
Add in your potential energy savings, which can be about $775 in your first year and many residents find that their 5kW installations can typically pay for themselves within 12 years, give or take.
Your home value will increase by about $15,000 and over a period of over twenty years, your system may turn a profit of up to $15,989.
A little bit goes a long way. And when you’re saving almost $800 on your utilities every year, there’s a lot to smile about.
The figures above are just an estimate. Every home is different, and so the Panels cost may vary.
Don’t Wait to Purchase Your Solar System
When you consider all the potential energy savings available to you, you don’t want to wait to purchase your solar system.
Solar energy can be a fantastic way to help you save money on your utility bills. In some cases, you can even turn a profit on the system.
But how much you can expect to gain from your solar PV system depends a lot on your energy needs and your personal situation?
Florida Homeowner Solar Incentives, Rebates and Tax Breaks
Lower Your Utility Costs
In Florida, your utilities will typically cost you about $0.12 a month. This is right along with the national average, which is about $0.13.
But even though it seems low on paper, you know that it can quickly add up. Considering the fact that Florida relies on fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources for their energy, making the switch to solar electricity both a way to save on your utilities and reduce your reliance on harmful nonrenewable energy sources.
Unfortunately, Florida does not have any statewide rebate programs available.
Florida residents may have to find another way to offset the initial solar panel cost.
Since there is no statewide income tax, there is no state solar tax credit to redeem (which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view).
Luckily, you still have the Federal solar tax credit, which covers 30% of the system’s total cost.
This tax credit is available until the end of 2022 and is available for systems installed before or during 2022 so if you would like to take advantage of this tax credit, act quickly.
Property Tax Exemptions
What is good, however, is that Florida offers a 100% property tax exemption for solar panel systems. This is welcome news when you consider the fact that solar panel systems can add up to $15,000 in additional home value to your property.
At the very least, you won’t be charged extra for the increased home value.
Surprisingly, Florida succeeds in this regard. Florida actually offers 100% sales tax exemptions on purchases of a solar panel system, making it easier for residents to obtain one of their own.
This can save you about 6% of the system’s estimated cost. Now if only Florida would offer more rebates, but this is actually a pretty welcome change for Florida.
Florida Financing Options and Getting Solar for Zero Down
Let’s admit it. $17,000 is a hefty investment for most people. While it’s certainly not as bad as the average cost of a solar PV system in other states, where it can be as much as $25,000, solar panel systems can be out of the way for most people.
Luckily, there are some financing options available for people. But Florida actually differs from other states when it comes to available financing options.
Florida is actually one of the rare states where solar leases are not available. If you want a solar system, you need to either pay all the cash upfront or consider seeking out a loan.
Unfortunate, when you consider the fact that solar states that allow for solar leasing open up residents to the option of obtaining a solar panel system for zero money down.
But still, consider the financing options available when making the decision of whether to purchase a solar panel system.
Is it Worth It to Invest in Residential Solar Energy in Florida?
When you consider the energy savings over time, solar energy can be a fantastic investment for many people.
Even though Florida does not offer the ability to lease a solar panel system, the many loans available from credit unions and banks can make obtaining a solar panel system a possibility.
Solar PV systems in the state of Florida have the incredible opportunity of turning a significant profit over the lifetime of the machine. So over the long run, it’s a great investment and definitely worth considering if you have the ability to make the initial payment.
How it Works
Since leasing is not an option in Florida, you may want to consider looking into a bank loan. An increasing number of banks both large and small have started offering solar panel loans, partly because of the fact that they can add an incredible amount of value to one’s property.
When considering a loan, consider the terms of the loan. Between regular loan payments, you’ll still save money on your utilities.
You will technically own the system as well. If you are considering a loan, be sure to compare interest rates between different banks and be sure your credit is in good shape before making the investment.
Whether you buy or obtain a loan for your system, you will be able to drop the cost of the system through the Federal tax credit and any small rebate programs available in your city or through your utility companies.
Research matters when it comes to rebate programs so be sure to understand whether you have any incentives available before making the leap.
Can I Lease the Solar System in Florida or Should I Buy it Instead?
Since you can’t lease the system at all, you’ll need to buy the system upfront. However, you also have the option of obtaining a solar loan to help cut down the cost.
Either way, making the leap to solar depends on whether you think it’s a beneficial investment.
Solar energy can be a great way to save money on your utility bills over the long run.
What About Net Metering?
Thankfully, you have the ability to consider net metering if you live in the state of Florida. Net metering is a process that requires you to hook up your solar PV system to the general electric grid.
This means that your system’s output can be measured. Any surplus energy can then be applied to your next utility bill as credits. You can either redeem these on future bills or continue rolling over these credits over a twelve-month period where any leftover credits will be purchased from you at an avoided-cost rate.
If you’re careful about your energy usage, this is a great way to save money and possibly earn a hefty profit from your solar panel system.
Florida is a naturally beautiful state. Its climate uniquely primes Florida as a state capable of adopting solar energy as an excellent source of renewable energy.
With year round sunshine, Florida could be a leader in solar energy production. By taking advantage of the sun, you can both contribute towards saving the environment and putting money back in your pocket.
Solar PV systems in Florida typically cost about $14,700 and can pay for themselves in approximately twelve years with just the energy output of the machine alone. Residents can also save about $800 a year on their utilities alone, which is average for most 5kW systems when you consider all the sunlight Florida receives.
It’s not called the sunshine state for nothing. Florida is decidedly lacking when it comes to rebates but the Federal solar tax credit and both property and sales tax exemptions really do help make up for this fact.
What is strange is the fact that Florida doesn’t offer a leasing program. So anyone who wants a solar panel system will either need to pony up the cash upfront or consider looking into a solar loan, which more and more banks are starting to offer due to demand.
Florida’s net metering program is excellent though, allowing you to either roll over credits or receive a check from your utility company at the end of the year.
It’s easy to join and it does prove that Florida’s at least starting to enter the fray when it comes to solar electricity.
There’s a lot to consider if you are thinking about solar energy in Florida. With a lot of potential savings, solar energy can be a surprisingly profitable endeavor for you, if only over the long run.