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Are Solar Panels Worth It in Florida?

Florida is one of the leading states accelerating the number of residential solar installations. The question is: are solar panels worth it in Florida for the average home-owner?

The post will show you if solar panels are worth your time and money. The information will help you make up your mind about whether or not it is worth installing solar panels for your home.

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Florida?

As a general rule, solar is worth it in Florida. There’s the generous electricity buy-back rates. A well as the Florida state sales tax exemption and the property tax exemption.

We can’t forget about the Federal Solar Tax Rebate. All combined to give a great solar payback of 11 years on average, making solar worth it in Florida.

There is so much potential for solar power in Florida, the Sunshine State, but the number of homes using solar energy does not match the potential.

Are there solar incentives in Florida to help correct this? You bet.

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your Florida home, keep reading to learn all about the Florida solar incentives to make this idea more appealing.

Florida Solar Rebates and Tax Credits

The sunny state of Florida is the perfect place for residential solar systems. When it comes to solar, you can assured that the benefits outweigh any tax consequences. Thanks to Florida’s Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Properties.

This doesn’t mean a thing on tax day because no extra costs are acquired from installing a renewable energy property. Your house is subject to extra tax when an upgrade is installed but not when you add solar panels!

How long before solar panels pay for themselves in Florida?

A home owner in Florida can save a substantial amount each month on utility bills by using solar power. When you invest in solar panels, average Florida solar payback time is between 9 to 12 years  – after that you’re home free, with no electricity bills!

How Long Do Solar Panels Last In Florida?

Solar panels are typically guaranteed for 25-30 years. That doesn’t mean they’re done producing electricity after this time is up. Some solar panels can generate power for 50 years! Solar panels are worth it because they have a real-life lifespan beyond the manufacturer’s guarantee, up to 20% longer than promised.

Solar panels have a warranty that guarantees you will get the most out of your purchase for years to come. Professional installers also give an equipment warranty, in case any associated solar equipment fails in use due to quality issues.

Do solar panels decrease the value of your home in Florida?

No! Each $1 in energy bill savings (from your solar install) adds $20 to your home’s total value.

There are still good rates of return for solar installations in Florida, especially as competition is driving down installation cost and solar panels are becoming cheaper.  Zillow found that, while the average increase in home value in Florida after having solar installed was 4%, it increased for city area as well. In Tampa, Fl for example, it is almost 4.6%. 

There are so many benefits for installing solar and very few reasons not to, it seems. As well as enjoying cheaper electricity over the long term, you also stand to make a bigger profit when you sell your home.

By How Much Does Solar Increase Your Home’s Value?

This rule of thumb varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The location of your home. Installations in active solar markets like New Jersey typically yield higher returns than comparable installations in less developed markets.
  • The size of your installation. Property value increases are directly proportional to the number (and quality) of solar PV panels installed.
  • The value of your home. Larger houses usually receive higher nominal boosts in property value. However, this increase often represents a smaller percentage of the total home value.

The property value advantages of solar energy only increase as you scale up. Installing 5kW of solar panels adds an average of $29,555 to the retail value of a medium-sized home.

In addition, installing solar panels not only helps you fetch a higher asking price, but it can also help your home sell 20% faster as properties without solar installations. For homeowners who want to reduce exposure, paperwork, and wait times, this can be a huge advantage – especially in today’s sluggish housing market.

Fixed Electricity Rates

Many people don’t realize that their utility rates can fluctuate over time. Utility companies aren’t held to a fixed rate when charging customers for electricity, water, or gas. When you install solar panels, you are effectively fixing your electricity rates for the entire time that you rely on solar energy.

If you’re on a fixed income or need to stick to a strict budget, a constant, unchanging electricity rate is incredibly valuable.

Net Metering

Your solar panels in Florida can earn you money. When your solar energy system exceeds your electricity needs, the utility company purchases the excess power that is sent to the power grid. It’s referred to as a net metering credit that shows up on your electric bill. The credit is not a discounted rate. It is the full retail price of electricity.

Depending on the size of your roof and how your house is situated, you could potentially wipe out your entire electric bill. This happens when the system makes enough solar power to cover all of your electricity needs.

During the day, when the system is producing the most electricity, you are using the least amount of power. The excess power generated goes to the grid and earns you a credit. Later in the evening, when your system is not generating electricity, you draw on the excess power that the system generated during the day.

Eco-Friendly Alternative Energy

Generating clean energy via solar panels is much better for the environment than burning fossil fuels. Solar power produces 96-98% less greenhouse gases than electricity that is generated from coal.

Solar power also requires 86-89% less water, occupies more than 80% less land, is 95% less toxic, contributes 92-97% less to acid rain, and proves 98% less of a threat to marine animal life.

Of all of the forms of renewable energy available today, solar energy has the least environmental impact.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program 

PACE is a financing program. It offers to finance anyone who is upgrading their property to make it more energy-efficient, water-efficient and more conducive to renewable energy sources.

What do the loans cover? The PACE program covers solar panels, heating and cooling systems, insulation, energy-efficient windows, and “green” landscaping, to name a few.

What are the advantages of this type of loan? It’s a long-term loan, 100% financing with relaxed eligibility requirements.

Repayment of the loan is through the property tax bill as the loan is attached to the property, not the borrower. Repayment goes to the new owner if the home or building changes hands.

Who doesn’t love savings?

Probably the biggest advantage of solar energy is immediate electricity bill savings. No matter how small your installation, you begin receiving smaller monthly bills from your local utility company – from Day 1.

Answering this depends on 2 important factors:

1 – Solar energy is a modular technology, meaning you can install as many or as few panels as you like – whenever you like. Each new kilowatt of installed solar capacity brings you bigger electricity bill savings. With a large enough installation, it’s possible to reduce your energy bill completely. Thanks to solar energy, countless Americans already pay $0 a month to their local utility.

2 – However large your installation, you can expect your electricity bill savings to grow with time. As utility rates increase, clean energy from the sun remains consistently free. Solar is an investment that pays increasingly large dividends with each passing year.

In the charts below, you can see some average solar system costs and estimated 20-year electricity savings from a study conducted back in 2011. The cost of solar has come down tremendously since then, so the average savings in many states should be better for people who go solar today than they were for people who went solar in 2011. But in the end, it’s not about averages — it’s about how much you can save.

So is solar power worth it in Florida?

The message is simple – if you have the budget for a good quality system from a reputable installer, solar power is absolutely worth it. When sized up properly, it is possible to get a return on your money in as little as 3 to 5 years and have a problem-free investment that generates clean energy for decades – over 25 years with the better brands.

A 5kW system can save you up to around $50,000 on your power bills over the life of the system, money that is taken directly from the books of the coal industry.

Furthermore, solar storage is now available, enabling households to run their home almost entirely off solar power. Solar & Storage systems are quickly becoming the norm, as households look to increase their energy independence and maximise the consumption of solar power in the home.

More than 60,000 homes in Florida now have solar power because the numbers simply make sense. When sized up properly solar power costs as little as 5 cents a kWh.

Compare that to what you are currently paying and it quickly becomes apparent that solar power is worth the money for most Floridian households.

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