In 2021, Florida produced nearly 10MW of solar energy. This comes as no surprise, considering the amount of sunlight the Sunshine State receives. Even with little support from the government, homeowners should consider purchasing solar panels in Florida for massive financial savings.
Want to learn how to cover the cost of your electric bill? With some of the highest utility rates in the country, you might want to know where to start. We’ve got you covered in this guide; from average costs to potential savings, keep reading for everything you need to know about solar in the Sunshine State.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Florida
Before even considering social influences, the cost of solar panels in Florida is already pretty good. Homeowners in the Sunshine State can expect to pay about $2.58/W, which equals around $15,480 for the typical 6kW system. This rate is nearly $2,000 less than Northeastern states for the same solar array.
The relatively low price for solar energy couples well with Florida’s incredibly high electricity costs. Homeowners in the Sunshine State use more power than 90% of the United States, and even with decent electric rates, monthly bills average $142.18. Offsetting that with solar would result in major savings over the course of a system’s lifetime.
If you’re already getting excited about solar energy in Florida, there’s even more good news; owners that purchase an array in 2023 could qualify for a 30% federal solar tax return. This incentive would lower the rate of a 6kW system from $15,480 to $10,836.
How Much Solar Do Floridians Need?
The example above generalizes the cost of solar panels in Florida, but that number could change depending on where you live in the state. To budget for an array more accurately, you’ll need to know the peak sunlight in your area as well as your typical daily electricity usage. Dividing your power requirements by peak sun helps you determine how much wattage your system needs to be. Let’s use Florida’s averages as an example.
Studies show that the Sunshine State receives 5.67 hours of peak sun (the most direct sunlight) per day when we divide the daily power usage of 38.1kW by that peak sun, we discover that our solar panel system needs to produce 6.7kW an hour. By Florida’s average rate of solar, this system would cost $17,321.34 before incentives.
Now that you know how to determine the amount of solar you need, you can start to budget for an array. You can find the peak sun hours for your city on this Florida sun chart.
Florida Solar Cost Factors
To emphasize, one of the most influential factors that affect the cost of solar panels in Florida is peak sun. Because of the Sunshine State’s location along the equator, the typical amount of peak sun is similar across the board. However, that number starts to drop the further north you go, as can be shown in the cost of solar for nearby states. These include:
Additionally, the overall cost of an array can fluctuate based on the type of solar panels used. While monocrystalline equipment is more efficient, Floridians can save money with polycrystalline. They’re not as powerful, but with such good sunlight, they don’t need to be.
Finally, you want to consider the quality of your solar installers. While you might find a good deal on an affordable company, you don’t want to risk a poor install. When looking for the right installation company, experience matters; those with years in the industry are more likely to stand by the life of your panels. In the Sunshine State, where dozens of companies fight for your business, take plenty of time reviewing each installer before making a decision.
Best Florida Solar Installers
When it comes to searching for solar installers in Florida, the market is spread wide. To help sift through the sheer number of companies, EnergySage is endorsed by the SEIA and the US Department of Energy for its solar reviews. The company recommends using installers that meet a list of qualifications which include:
- Years of experience in the solar industry
- Proper licenses and certifications
- Quality equipment and warranties
With its headquarters located in Clearwater, Florida, Affordable Solar, Roof, & Air is one of the largest local installers in the state. The company has over 10 years of experience installing solar panels and has earned its reputation. With licenses in solar as well as roofing and HVAC, this is a one-stop shop for every task you might need.
However, if you’re looking for a smaller local company, take a look at Circuit Electric Solar. These installers might not have the reach that ASR&A does, but with 20 years of experience, their work speaks for itself. Circuit Electric Solar is family-owned and they back their work with 30-year warranties, which is the gold standard for solar installations.
Can Solar Energy Save Floridians Money?
You might find yourself considering solar panels in Florida, but one question still goes unanswered: how much would it save in the long run, if any? Fortunately for homeowners in the Sunshine State, huge financial benefits come for those that switch to solar energy.
To determine how much Floridians could save with an array, we’ll first need to know how long it would take to cover its cost. If a 6kW solar panel system offsets Florida’s average annual electrical bill of $1,706.16 ($142.18/mo), homeowners could pay it off in 9.1 years. This outpaces most states and results in higher overall net savings.
With solar panel systems having a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, Floridians are in a position to see incredible returns. After paying off a solar panel system, homeowners in the Sunshine State could see net savings of $18,597 to $27,128. This kind of return is higher than in most places, making solar worth it in Florida.
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Florida
While Florida has few incentives for those who switch to solar, residents of the Sunshine State can reduce solar costs and save through net metering, tax exemptions, and performance programs. Under the federal solar tax credit, homeowners can get 30% credit back on taxes for buying solar arrays. Those with excess solar also receive credits.
Solar Panels in Florida: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
In some states, a list of benefits can help make solar more affordable for low and middle-class households. Surprisingly, Florida is not one of these states. Despite great sunlight and high electricity costs, it seems the Sunshine State is content with using traditional power sources.
Still, this should not deter Floridians from exploring renewable alternatives. Those interested in solar can still take advantage of the federal tax credit, which could drop the cost of an array by over $4,500. And depending on where you live in Florida, you could still find benefits. To see what incentives are available in the Sunshine State, check out our incentives list.
Solar Panels in Florida: Further Reading
Although the state falls behind in supporting renewable energy, homeowners can drastically reduce the cost of electricity by using solar panels in Florida. Considering great sunlight and high power bills, it makes sense to switch. For more emerging technology in the Sunshine State, check out the articles below.
Owning an EV in Florida: Charging, Cost, Incentives, and More – Here’s how much it would cost to own an EV in the Sunshine State.
The Largest Tech Companies in Florida – From personal computers to online security, these Florida companies are at the top of their industry.
Solar Panels in Arizona: Cost, Savings, and Rebates – How do Florida’s solar rates compare to one of the most affordable states in the country?
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