Thinking of installing solar in sunny Florida? You’re not alone! The state ranked 17th in the most solar installed in the US in 2015. Not too bad considering Florida lacks many of the incentives that heavily discount the cost of going solar. However, the state sees excellent weather for producing your own renewable energy and homeowners can take advantage of numerous tax incentives to save even more money going solar!
If you’re looking for information on going solar in specific cities in Florida, check out our articles on Going Solar in Orlando, Going Solar in Central Florida, Going Solar in Gainesville, and Going Solar in Ft Lauderdale.
#1 Are Solar Panels Worth it in Florida?
Florida has some excellent policies to both encourage the growth of the solar industry and make going solar as easy as possible for homeowners. Unfortunately, though, financial incentives like rebates are a huge hole in the state’s solar outlook and their general lack of financial incentives has plagued the solar industry in the state for years. Florida Solar is buoyed up a bit by the state sales tax exemption and property tax exclusion and Florida homeowners are also eligible for the 30% federal tax credit as well.
The financial savings is still lower than other states with pro-solar policies, you can still save thousands of dollars going solar in Florida!
#2 Options for buying solar panels in Florida
Florida homeowners have plenty of excellent options to own their own solar installation, from cash upfront to PACE financing. Really it’s just a matter of deciding which financing type most suits your needs. Each has their own drawbacks and benefits.
#3 Solar Policy Information
Florida has some very supportive policies for residential solar. In fact, they’re some of the best in the southeast, if not some of the best in the country! On top of all this, the state sees sunny skies perfect for producing good, clean energy. It’s no wonder SolarCity, the largest solar installer in the country just decided to start working in the state in December 2016.
#4 Financial Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits
Florida has some excellent policies to encourage the growth of solar, including streamlined interconnection processes as well as guaranteed net metering incentives for customers of investor-owned utilities like FPL.
Unfortunately, all those great steps forward are weighed down by the state’s serious lack of financial incentives for solar. While Florida does offer a sales tax exemption and property tax exclusion for rooftop solar, the state doesn’t offer any rebates themselves nor do they mandate utilities to offer them, as in other solar-friendly states like California and Oregon.
If you’re looking to go solar in Florida, you’ll have to eke out as many savings as possible, though with the 30% federal tax credit that’s not too hard.
Federal Tax Credit
All homeowners across the country who install solar are eligible for the federal residential renewable energy tax credit. This tax credit is equal to 30% of the total installation cost and goes to the owner of the installation (so if a homeowner leases the installation or finances through a power-purchase agreement, the credit goes to the installer though they usually pass these savings on indirectly through a decrease in homeowners’ monthly bills). Originally the tax credit was supposed to phase out at the end of 2016, but lawmakers extended the credit to the end of 2019, which then decreases to 26% until 2021, and 22% until 2022.
Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction, so in essence, homeowners who purchase their installation through cash or loan enjoy a 30% discount on their installation! Homeowners apply for the credit when you fill out your next tax return.
What to Do Next?
Going solar in Florida is a smart choice to save money and contribute to a healthier environment, but you need to make sound decisions towards financing to ensure you see the financial savings you expect. Choose your financing wisely and take advantage of every tax incentive you’re eligible for! If you do that, you’ll be sitting pretty with a beautiful solar system that helps both the planet and your wallet!
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