Florida is not called the “Sunshine State” for nothing — in fact, it ranks third among all U.S. states in terms of solar potential. More and more people are realizing that and installing solar panels on the roofs of their Florida homes.
And while solar energy systems have become more commercially viable than ever before, they’re still not a cheap investment. Luckily, the worldwide drive for sustainability and cleaner energy has spurred many government and private entities to offer great solar incentives to homeowners who are still on the fence!
Why Go Solar in Florida?
There are plenty of great incentives for homeowners who want solar panels on their roofs but can’t afford them at the current market prices.
Florida Net Metering
While solar panels are a significant upfront investment, they pay off massively in the long run. And net metering programs are designed to make those long-term benefits even bigger. These vary from state to state, but the essence of each one is to allow homeowners to sell their excess electricity from solar panels on the wider grid — and get even lower energy bills in the process.
And most homeowners with solar panels do produce more energy than their household uses. So selling even a tiny surplus can mean significant savings in the long run.
In Florida, there’s a statewide program called FL Net Metering. Any excess energy production from solar panels counts towards your Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). These will carry forward to your next energy bill for the next 12 months, according to the retail rate of your power company. At the end of this billing period, your utility company will pay you for your collected RECs.
Property and Sales Tax Exemption
Generally, any home renovation you make adds market value to the house — and your property taxes are raised accordingly. However, solar panels are an important exemption to that rule in the state of Florida. There’s a tax exclusion for residential renewable energy, allowing you to raise the value of your home with solar panels without paying more in property taxes.
Also, there’s an exemption from sales taxes for people who buy a brand new solar panel system. And that means you get a 6% lower price on the panels compared to what you’d need to pay otherwise — which is not a couple of bucks either.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
Finally, there’s the federal solar tax credit as well — available anywhere in the United States. If you decide to buy your solar panel system outright, you’ll be eligible for an Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Thanks to this rebate, you can lower the cost of this purchase by up to 26 percent.
However, this is only applicable if you buy the solar panels — either with cash or a solar loan. If you lease the solar energy system, you won’t be able to apply for this tax credit because your solar provider still owns the panels.