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Let’s learn about some of those incentives, the utility policies associated with interconnection and setup, and special solar financing plans for solar panels and systems in Florida.

Florida Solar

Florida is one of the sunniest places in the United States and boasts over 74,000 solar system installations across the state. Florida is the third-most populous state and is home to the large cities of Tampa, Orlando and Miami, which is the seventh largest metropolitan area in the US. Despite relatively low energy prices and a lack of government rebates, the tax incentives, strong utility policies and sheer abundance of sun make Florida a favorable place for businesses and residents to install solar panels and battery systems.

Let’s learn about some of those incentives, the utility policies associated with interconnection and setup, and special solar financing plans for solar panels and battery systems in Florida.

Florida Solar Incentives

Florida provides multiple solar energy rebates and incentives that help to reduce the overall cost of solar systems. Our EnergyPal Advisors can help you navigate all of the solar incentives available in Florida and also apply them to the available solar panel offerings.

In summary: 

  • No sales tax on solar panels, systems and related equipment
  • No property tax on any increase in property value from installing solar
  • If you live in Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA) pays you up to $4,000 for battery storage systems.

Florida Rebates and Tax Breaks

Here are more details about the incentives available in Florida:

  • The Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption is a tax break where you don’t pay any sales tax on solar panels, systems or related equipment in Florida.
  • The Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property is a tax break where you won’t pay additional Florida property taxes if your property value increases when you add a solar system (and with solar, your property value does go up!).
  • If you live in Jacksonville or Orlando, your local utility company can pay you up to $4,000 for a battery storage system that can compliment your solar system. Visit the Jacksonville Energy Authority(JEA) or Orlando Utility Company (OUC) to learn more.

Other Solar Energy Incentives

The US federal government helps residents and businesses pay for their solar systems. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) allows for a tax deduction of 26% of the cost of a solar system currently. Tax credits can be rolled over if you can’t use the whole credit this year. The ITC cannot be claimed for solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs) where the third party financier takes the credits themselves, but that is typically baked into a reduced lease/PPA monthly for you. For the actual US government bill, see 4908 of the HR 133 (It’s a giant file, so watch out!).

If you purchased a $20,000 system, your savings from the federal tax credit would look like this:

$20,000 X 0.26 = $5,200 savings

So if you spent $20,000 on that system, your cost would go down to $14,800. Depending on where in Florida you live, additional rebates could save you even more.

Utility Policies

Utility policy factors determine what your utility provider pays you for the excess power you produce and what you save on your power bill by reducing electricity usage. Florida gets a high score for utility policies.

Net Metering and Interconnection Policy

One important policy for solar customers is called Net Metering. Net Metering is a billing mechanism that allows solar customers to push electricity to the grid for credit that can be used later, like at night when your solar panels aren’t generating power. This incentivizes people to go solar, provides clean energy for others to use and prevents waste. Some states have poorer net metering policies than others, meaning that credits may not be able to be rolled over to the next month or year, or that you don’t earn full watt-for-watt credit for your excess energy.

Florida’s Net Metering program is favorable. You are paid the full retail amount for your excess energy in the form of a bill credit. Credits can be carried over into the next month but expire at the end of the year, when you are paid at a lower cash-out rate. The exact details depend on your electricity provider’s policies.

Solar Setup Fees

You must have a bi-directional meter (necessary for Net Metering), which is usually installed at no cost if your system is less than 10 kW in size. Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy, the two largest utility companies in the state, do not charge interconnection fees for these small systems either.

Electricity Prices

Electricity prices in Florida are on the low end. Usually you don’t want high prices, but with solar, the higher the prices, the more you save, and the more economical a solar system becomes.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average total cost of electricity in Florida is $0.120 per kWh for residents. The national average for all states is $0.134 per kWh, ranging from $0.967 to $0.288 per kWh.

Rate Design

Rate designs are comprised of monthly fees and either a flat or tiered rate you pay for electricity. Good rate designs, which save you money when you conserve energy, are tiered and have low fixed monthly fees. Poor rate designs have flat rates and high fixed monthly fees. 

Florida is about average when it comes to the quality of its electricity bill rate design. It has many tiered rate programs but variable fixed fees (around $10–$20 per month). There are also time-of-use rate structures. With this plan, the rate you pay for energy and the rate you receive for excess energy is lower during the day, which benefits solar customers with a battery.

You still pay fixed monthly fees when you go solar because you are still tied to the grid. Being tied to the grid is a good thing, because otherwise you might not have power at night or if your system stopped working suddenly. Even if you go off of the grid and rely on a battery source, the high cost of the battery would not outweigh the low monthly fee and the savings obtained from a net metering program.

PACE Programs

PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a financing program available in most counties in Florida. You can finance your solar system, but the low-interest, long-term loan is not attached to you; it’s attached to your home. It is paid back as a Local Improvement Charge (LIC) on your property tax bill. Some of the various provider options in Florida are listed here.

Other Energy Financing

Solar systems can be financed by bank loans, solar installer financing, new home mortgages, energy loans and home equity loans or lines of credit. Cash works too. 

Talk to your EnergyPal Advisor about financing solar options in Florida. We regularly source the best deals and terms for our customers.

RENU loan with low interest rates and no cost reamortization that allows you to finance up to 100% of your solar project ($50,000 limit).

Get a free quote
and EnergyPal offers.

Call (800) 990-3725 or complete the questions and an EnergyPal Advisor will contact you with comparative quotes.

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