If You’re a Florida Resident, Here Are 8 Fantastic Reasons to Get Solar Panels Now

Solar panels are no small investment. But what if there were ways to offset the cost of choosing this renewable energy source? Florida homeowners may find this project to be more accessible than they anticipated.
Katie Flannery Avatar
A view of Florida homes with solar panels on their roofs.
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What You Need to Know

  • Most parts of Florida see a significant amount of sunshine throughout the year, which is ideal for harnessing solar power.
  • Florida homeowners may find that their relatively high energy costs, combined with the state’s comparatively low solar panel cost per watt, make going solar a reasonable choice.
  • State and federal tax exemptions, net metering, and special financing programs can make paying for solar more manageable for eligible Florida homeowners.
  • Outside of financial considerations, going solar may be worth it to environmentally conscious homeowners who want to offset their carbon footprint and prioritize renewable energy.

Q: I’m interested in installing solar panels on my home, but are solar panels worth it in Florida? Are there any incentives or tax breaks to make it worth spending the money on installation?

A: Yes, solar panels are absolutely worth considering in Florida. Florida offers significant benefits because of its abundant sunshine and supportive incentives. Because Florida sees an average of over 260 sunny days per year, solar energy in Florida has become an efficient and reliable power source. While there are no free solar panels in Florida, financing programs, state and federal tax exemptions, and other incentives can mitigate the initial cost of solar panels for homeowners. In addition to Florida’s solar incentives, the state’s relatively high energy demands and low solar cost per watt are further reasons to consider solar, not to mention the environmental advantages of solar energy

Utility companies also offer Florida solar rebates and net metering programs, which can also make using solar power in Florida more appealing. Considering the pros and cons of solar panels in Florida, the long-term savings on electricity bills and the environmental advantages often outweigh the up-front costs. A representative from one of the best solar companies in Florida (like SunPower or Momentum Solar) can further assist homeowners in assessing whether solar is the right choice for their home.

are solar panels worth it in florida
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1. Florida’s sunny climate makes it an ideal location for harnessing solar energy.

Florida’s nickname—the Sunshine State—isn’t just a catchy slogan. It perfectly captures one of the state’s greatest assets: its abundance of sunshine. With all those sunny days, homeowners who install solar panels can generate a significant amount of electricity. Because of the potential for energy production, solar panels in Florida can pay for themselves relatively quickly. The energy they produce can significantly offset reliance on the traditional power grid, which can lead to savings on electricity bills. This means a faster return on investment (ROI) compared to areas with less sunshine. Solar panels typically last between 20 and 30 years, and most systems pay for themselves within the first 6 to 10 years. Annual cleaning by one of the best solar panel cleaning services can prolong the life of the panels by removing dust, dirt, and debris that can block sunlight absorption and reduce energy production. For many homeowners, the cost of solar panel cleaning is worth it to realize further savings on their electricity bills.    

2. Energy costs in Florida are relatively high due to high demand, so homeowners may see significant savings by going solar. 

Since Florida has relatively high energy costs due to the state’s reliance on air conditioning, homeowners there tend to see significant savings after switching to solar power. Solar companies can typically conduct a home energy assessment to estimate a home’s potential solar energy production and cost savings. This can give homeowners a clearer picture of how much they might expect to pay for their solar bill. 

While Florida’s electricity rates hover around the national average, residents typically pay more on their electric bills. This is because Florida’s sunny climate results in a higher electricity demand, especially for air conditioning. The average Florida homeowner pays $165 per month for electricity compared to the national average of $142. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) even though renewable resources only supply about 7 percent of the state’s electricity, three-quarters of that renewable energy comes from solar power.

3. The solar panel cost per watt in Florida is also lower than the national average, meaning residents may pay less for their system than they would in other states. 

The cost per watt for Florida solar panels is about $2.29, which is lower than the national average of $2.86 per watt. For a typical 5 kilowatt (kW) system, a homeowner can expect to pay somewhere between $9,747 and $13,187, with an average cost of $11,467, before any tax breaks or incentives. It’s important for homeowners to remember that these prices are just estimates. 

Knowing how many solar panels are needed depends on the home’s energy use. Homes using more energy will need a larger system capacity, which is measured in kilowatts. A larger home might need 25 to 30 panels, while a smaller home might only need 10 to 15 panels. The final price for the solar panel system depends on the specific types of panels, roof pitch, the size of the system, and the installation company. 

are solar panels worth it in florida
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4. Florida offers both property tax and sales tax exemptions for home solar installation, which can make the cost of the system more manageable. 

Florida goes above and beyond to make solar power an attractive option for homeowners by offering financial incentives to help offset the up-front investment. One major perk is a complete property tax exemption for solar panels. In Florida, any increase in a home’s value due to installing solar panels won’t be factored into the property taxes. This means a homeowner can enjoy the added value of their solar-powered home without worrying about a higher tax bill. There’s also a sales tax exemption on solar panels and solar equipment, which can further reduce the cost of a solar system. These solar incentives in Florida can make a significant difference when homeowners install a home solar panel system. 

Solar programs and incentives are constantly changing, and new ones may be introduced at any time. To make sure they’re taking advantage of all the available financial benefits, homeowners will want to double-check for the latest incentives before installing a solar system in Florida. Some trusted resources that have the most up-to-date information include city and county websites and the local utility company’s website. Solar installers also stay informed about these programs, so homeowners may want to ask them about this during the consultation process.  

5. Florida residents are also eligible for the federal solar tax credit to offset the cost of their solar system. 

Homeowners in Florida who are thinking about making the switch to solar power may still wonder if solar panels are worth the cost. Florida’s state-level incentives can be combined with the 30 percent federal solar tax credit to help homeowners save more money. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is an initiative that allows homeowners to recoup a portion of their total solar investment when they file their federal taxes. The ITC for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032 stands at 30 percent of the total system cost after local incentives and the Florida solar tax credit. For a solar system costing $10,000 after state and local incentives, the federal credit would be $3,000, which can significantly reduce the up-front costs. 

are solar panels worth it in florida
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6. Florida is one of only 3 states to offer financing through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

While the up-front cost of solar panels in Florida can be expensive, financing options such as leases can help make the switch more manageable. Deciding to lease or buy the solar system depends on the overall budget and weighing the pros and cons of each. Florida stands out as one of the few states offering PACE financing for homeowners who want solar power without a large up-front payment. As long as an applicant’s property taxes, mortgage payments, and financial situation meet the program’s requirements (including no past-due balances and no bankruptcies), the PACE program can be a way to finance a solar panel system. 

PACE financing operates similarly to a loan but with a twist. Instead of making monthly payments on one of the best solar panel loans, a homeowner borrows money to cover the solar panel system and repays it through an increase in property taxes over a period of time. The PACE program can also be used to finance a variety of energy-efficient upgrades to a home, making it a viable option for eco-conscious homeowners. However, if the house is sold before the PACE balance is paid off, the amount is transferred to the new owner’s property taxes. For this reason, it’s important to discuss PACE with potential buyers during the selling process. 

are solar panels worth it in florida
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7. If homeowners find that their solar system generates more energy than they need, they can take advantage of the state’s net metering program to earn credit for the excess energy. 

Florida’s net metering program is another reason solar power is so attractive for homeowners in the Sunshine State. When solar panels generate more electricity than the home uses, the excess energy gets fed back to the power grid. Florida’s net metering program allows homeowners to receive credits for this excess energy by essentially selling it to the electric company. When the sun isn’t shining enough to cover a home’s energy needs, these credits can be applied toward the electricity the home pulls from the grid. In many cases, this system reduces (or even eliminates) a homeowner’s overall electricity costs. 

8. Finally, eco-conscious Florida homeowners may find it worth converting to solar for the environmental benefits. 

Eco-conscious homeowners who want to know “Is solar worth it in Florida?” will find that switching to solar power is a win-win. According to the EIA, solar panels generate clean electricity without polluting the air or releasing greenhouse gases. While the financial advantages of going solar in Florida are substantial, the environmental benefits are equally compelling. 

Florida, with its beautiful coastlines and ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Solar power helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which is a significant step toward mitigating climate change and protecting Florida’s environment. Solar energy is a clean and renewable resource. By generating electricity with solar panels, homeowners can rely less on traditional power plants that emit greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. It also reduces dependence on nonrenewable resources and promotes cleaner energy sources for generations to come. 

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