Florida Solar Panels Pricing and Incentives

Is solar right for your home?

home with solar panels on the roof

[glenrichardphoto] / Shutterstock

Solar power in Florida

The self-described Sunshine State is unsurprisingly a wonderful place to invest in solar panels. Florida is currently ranked 5th in the country for solar energy generation. Despite the popularity of solar power in Florida, the state still has a lot of untapped potential. Florida hasn’t introduced many of the solar incentives and rebates that have become commonplace in other states. However, there are nearly more than 480 solar panel installation companies in Florida offering their services. And most Florida homes are great candidates for residential solar panels because of the amount of sun. This could allow Florida residents to produce most if not all of their electricity right at home.

Florida solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels has come down in recent years. Now, there is a greater interest from manufacturers, along with advances in technology and a decreasing price on materials. The cost of solar panels is normally expressed in dollars per watt of energy generated. An average home solar system costs between $3 – $5 per watt, with a total price tag of between $15,000 – $25,000. But this total cost is before factoring in solar incentives like the solar federal tax credit, which will reimburse you 26% of the cost of your solar system.

While the sticker price is high, investing in a solar system can create significant energy savings over time. The average payback period for a home solar system is between 6 – 9 years. Solar panels typically have a lifespan of between 20 – 30 years. This leaves most homeowners who buy Florida solar panels with decades of self-generated electricity after recouping their initial investment.

Florida solar panel incentives and rebates

Incentives and rebates are some of the ways that governments motivate people to install solar panels in Florida. The upfront cost of solar panels can be offset by tax credits, rebates, and other Florida solar incentives.

Florida offers some solar incentives and rebates that can help you to lower the cost of your solar panel purchase. One statute established that sales tax wouldn’t be charged on solar panels, and various cities have special incentive programs for renewable energy generation in their area. Low-interest loans are available in some areas to spread out the costs as well. 

Net metering is another Florida solar incentive that lets you sell back excess solar energy to the power grid, earning bill credits when your panels generate more energy than you use. Florida Senator Jennifer Bradley recently filed a bill (SB 1024) that would change the state’s net metering program and require participants to pay a surcharge to maintain the power grid. However, Florida residents who install a solar system before January 1, 2023 would be grandfathered into their previous compensation rate for the next 10 years. So, Floridians who are on the fence about purchasing a home solar system should make their decision before the end of 2022.

The U.S. federal government has also extended a major 26 percent solar tax credit for those installing solar panels in Florida in 2021 and 2022. This tax credit may take some time to arrive, but when you receive the money from your tax refund, you can cover more than a quarter of the cost of solar panels in Florida.

Why choose Florida solar power?

There are many reasons why residents and businesses in Florida are turning to solar power. Among the top factors include lowering energy costs long-term, increasing energy independence from the power grid, and improving their environmental impact.

Lower energy costs

One of the most practical reasons to opt into Florida solar power is that, over the life of the panels, the kilowatt-hours of electricity they produce are much cheaper. The upfront cost may seem daunting, but installing Florida solar power means you’ll generate your own electricity at no cost after your payback period. Considering the average electricity rate for traditional power in Florida, those who invest in home solar panels can save more than $900 a year in energy costs. 

Increased independence from the power grid

Any time a power outage from a Florida hurricane leaves you without electricity, it’s tempting to become more energy independent. Many turn to Florida solar panels, especially those that have a solar battery installed, because it lowers their reliance on the power grid in order to have electricity. Surges in demand on the grid won’t impact your electric rates on your personal solar panel costs, and issues with the power supply will have less of an impact on your home system.

Go green

Many Floridians also want to have a positive impact on their environment. Solar panels are one way to reduce your environmental footprint, since your home is one of the places where you can have the most impact as an individual. Clean energy doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, allowing you to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that you create in a given year, all while saving on your electric bills long-term.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels in Florida?

Many consumers consider a solar lease, where a solar company installs solar panels on your home, you use the electricity in your home, and the company keeps ownership of the panels. You would be charged a fee every month to cover the lease of the panels. While the rate you pay may be lower than the conventional electricity rate in your area, there will never be a time when the leased panels are “fully yours.”

Buying solar panels outright, on the other hand, requires an initial financing choice: you’ll either need to search for a solar loan or pay upfront for the panels. Once you have made your purchase, however, every year that you use your solar panels moves you towards a return on your investment. Many people experience a return on investment within 10 years. And for those who sell their homes, the increase in resale value is normally around $15,000.

A third solar option that many communities are starting to offer is the chance to invest in a large offsite solar facility through a community solar program. Depending on the structure of the program, you may be able to secure a very competitive green energy rate for solar without having the upfront costs of a solar system on your own roof.

Important solar installation factors to consider in Florida

While Florida is known for sunny skies, it’s not without its cloudy days. Solar panels can still generate electricity on rainy and cloudy days. These days just produce a lower output, meaning they will not generate as much electricity. However, if your home is shaded by trees or never receives much sun, that will impact your solar installation’s effectiveness and the length of its payback period. 

The state, age, and angle of your roof can also impact efficiency. By reading up on what makes solar panels work well, you can determine whether your home’s roof is a good candidate for solar panels in Florida. 

Lastly, HOAs and neighborhood associations may have an approval process or regulations regarding solar panels, so go through all the appropriate channels before initiating this investment.

Florida solar panel companies

There are more than 480 Florida solar panel companies that offer installation for your home. Many of these Florida installers can customize a solar system that is ideal for your household. Begin your research into the solar industry with the guides and resources on this page. Once you know the basics of solar panels, finding the right Florida solar panel installer should be much easier.

Solar energy generation in Florida

Florida’s sunny weather means it is a leader in the solar energy production space, ranking fifth in the country. Recent growth in utilities who are investing in solar farms has brought the percentage of electricity generated by solar panels up to a little over 3%. This is strong growth but has room for improvement. TIA Solar is among the largest solar installations in the state, generating 1 MW or enough power for 175 homes, but big things are still in store – the state is poised to see even more growth in the solar sector in coming years.

Florida solar power FAQs

How much would solar cost in Florida? Expand / Collapse Toggle

The cost depends on your installer and the price per watt for your solar panels. It also has to do with the size and style of your roof. In general, prices range from $15,000 to $25,000 for residential solar panel installations before factoring in the solar ITC and other local rebates and incentives.

Is solar power a good investment in Florida? Expand / Collapse Toggle

You’ll want to factor in your own location and the weather there. You should also think about your own energy usage and how much your solar panels will generate. In many cases, though, solar panels in Florida have a payback period of under 10 years, leaving 10 or more years of “free” energy afterwards. This makes them a good investment for many consumers who live in Florida.

How much could I save by investing in solar in Florida? Expand / Collapse Toggle

If you consider the average traditional energy bill in Florida compared to a typical solar bill, you could save more than $900 a year in energy costs by switching to solar. If you narrow that down to monthly savings, the average solar bill would be approximately $77 lower than a traditional energy bill.

Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Florida? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Florida offers a variety of good solar panel installers. Be sure to do your research before signing a contract with an installer. Read reviews, ask for customer references, and research the company’s track record before making your decision. SaveOnEnergy offers a host of tips and guides to make understanding the solar panel industry easier.

How does Florida solar power help the environment? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Compared to fossil fuels, solar power doesn’t emit carbon dioxide or pollutants. The sun is a renewable resource, unlike oil reserves in the ground. When you invest in solar panels, you lower your home’s carbon footprint because you are using electricity from a green, renewable source. This creates less carbon in the atmosphere even if you continue to use a similar amount of electricity.