Are solar panels in Florida worth it? Your expert savings guide for 2023
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
With a combination of good incentives, low installation costs, and an abundance of sunshine, going solar in Florida can be well worth it for most homeowners.
Aside from the perks, solar is more affordable than ever across the U.S. In Florida, solar panels are valued at an average price of $2.58 per watt before any incentives.
Although Florida didn’t land a spot on our list for the Top 10 States for Home Solar in 2023, there are enough positives to give the Sunshine State an honorable mention; check them out below.
The average cost to install a typical 6 kilowatt (kW) solar system in Florida is about $15,480 before claiming any incentives. After the 30% federal solar tax credit, the total price drops to about $10,836.
Buying a solar system is definitely not cheap. Solar incentives are a great way to encourage residents to install solar by helping bring down costs. While some states offer more than others, the Sunshine State is one of the better states regarding solar incentives. The Florida solar incentives currently offered are:
While there is no state-specific tax credit for Florida, a 30% federal solar tax credit is applied to any solar system in the country installed by qualified tax payers.
Known as the federal clean energy tax credit, it allows tax-paying homeowners to claim 30% of their solar system’s cost as a deduction on their income taxes. In other words, the federal tax credit offers you a 30% discount on your solar system.
If your tax liability is less than 30% of your solar system’s cost, you can roll the remaining balance over to the next year for up to five years. You can apply for the tax credit by filling out Form 5695 when you file your taxes.
Now through 2032, the tax credit value is the highest it will be. After that, the percentage will slowly dwindle every year thereafter before being completely eliminated in 2035.
Besides the federal tax credit, one of the best incentives to look out for when investing in solar is states that offer net metering. Luckily, Florida is one of them!
Floridians are blessed with an excellent net metering policy. Under state law, utilities must credit customers for any excess energy their solar system produces at full retail value.
Why net metering is valuable in Florida: With all the sunshine in Florida, your solar system might produce too much energy for your home. This excess power is exported to the grid, and, thanks to net metering, your utility must compensate you for that extra solar energy at the same rate you pay for power. Every kilowatt hour (kWh) of power sent to the grid is 1 kWh off your electricity bill; this is how solar pays for itself.
Florida is also one of the few states that offer PACE as a financing option for homeowners who don’t want to pay for their system in cash. If you don’t have any overdue taxes, or mortgage payments, and you aren’t part of a bankruptcy filing, PACE can be an option for you!
Similar to a loan, you borrow money to fund your solar system. You pay back the borrowed amount through a property tax increase. PACE is available for more than just solar systems. This financing option can be used for most energy-efficient upgrades made to your home. If you choose to move before the balance is paid off, the loan can be passed on to the next property owner.
There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to paying for your solar system through the PACE program. For one thing, PACE financing puts a lien on your property and can have higher interest rates than other options, like Home Equity Line of Credit. Consumer activists have also flagged this financing option for taking advantage of people with lower credit and incomes. PACE could be the right choice for you – it’s just often recommended that you finance your solar project through a traditional provider, like a bank or a solar loan company.
How to sign up for PACE in Florida: One option is to check with your local county to see which PACE programs are in your area. The other, easier option is to check with your local solar company. They can give you expert advice about your options and help you sort out the required paperwork.
Yet another reason to get solar panels in Florida is that they are exempt from property and sales taxes!
On top of that, you do not have to pay the sales tax that gets when you install solar to your home. With Florida’s current sales tax at 6%, you’ll save big time. Not many states offer both sales and property tax exemption, so Florida residents lucked out!
The city of Longwood used to offer a small rebate program, but it has since expired. Sadly, there are no other state tax credits or upfront rebates for solar in Florida.
Not to worry – Florida is still one of the best states in the country for solar. With the dual impact of existing incentives and advancements in manufacturing technology, the cost of solar power in Florida has dramatically decreased for the average homeowner.
Installing a properly sized renewable energy system in Florida can eliminate a homeowner’s entire electricity bill! For the average Florida resident, that’s about $150 per month that stays in your wallet, or almost $50,000 in savings over the lifetime of the solar panels!
Keep in mind; this is just an average estimate. For example, if your monthly electricity bill is over $150, you can install more solar panels to cover your entire utility bill and maximize your savings. Your exact savings will depend on many factors, including solar panel costs, electricity rates, and how many solar panels you install.
To better understand how much you can save by installing solar panels in your location, enter your address into our solar savings calculator.
Solar energy systems in Florida take anywhere between 6 to 10 years to pay for themselves, but the payback period can also be as quick as just 5 years! A few different factors that impact your repayment time are:
If you’re looking to maximize your savings and shorten your payback period, you’ll want to cut down on your electricity usage as much as possible – this will mean your solar system sends more energy to the grid. This is where net metering comes in handy and can offset your electricity costs.
Florida is one of the best states for solar in the U.S. For one thing, Florida gets a decent amount of sunshine so solar panels can produce a lot of energy installed here.
The biggest reason, however, is the state’s net metering policy. Net metering across the country is under attack, and many utilities have opted not to pay solar homeowners the full retail rate for excess solar energy. Florida, on the other hand, has the best-case scenario for net metering, as utilities pay you full price for solar energy sent to the grid. Full-retail net metering makes the return on investment on Florida solar panels excellent.
However, net metering almost disappeared in the Sunshine State. Florida lawmakers passed a bill that sought to cut the state’s net metering policy, strongly favoring utility interests. Luckily, the governor vetoed the bill, and net metering was unscathed. But there’s nothing to say legislators won’t try to pass something similar in the future, so you should consider going solar sooner rather than later.
The truth is – since net metering is available in Florida, the significant upfront investment in a battery storage solution isn’t worth it from a financial standpoint. Since net metering ‘stores’ the monetary value of your excess electricity for no additional upfront investment – batteries just aren’t worth it.
Considering all the perks that come with it – solar is definitely worth it in Florida.
With great incentives, a solid net metering policy, and low installation costs, solar panels in Florida are more affordable than ever!
There are plenty of benefits to installing solar; some of these benefits include:
If you’re curious about just how much you can save on your Florida home specifically, enter your details into our solar calculator.