We all believe that access to electricity and light can radically improve human lives. However, in Florida, there has been another method of generating electricity which is freely available through the installation of solar panels.
As much as it is used to provide electricity in Florida, there are pros and cons of solar panels in Florida.
Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State because of its abundant sunlight and warm temperatures which is due to the closeness to the tropic of cancer and the equator when compared to other states in the United States.
However, it is one of the most solar-friendly states and home to the most solar employees in the country, and in terms of solar industry growth, it ranks fifth in the nation. Florida has a population of more than 21 million making it the third most populated state in the world.
Solar panels have been used to generate electricity by converting energy from sunlight with the use of photovoltaic cells to electricity. Solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment compared to any other energy source and it does not produce greenhouse gasses and does not cause water or noise pollution.
If you are looking to start enjoying the benefits of solar panels, you should also put into consideration not only the pros of solar panels but also the cons. This will help you in the decision-making process.
Keep reading as we discuss the pros and cons of solar panels in Florida.
Let’s get started
Pros and Cons of Solar Panels in Florida
The Pros of Solar Panels in Florida
- Improve the Value of a Home
- Benefits of Tax and Incentives
- Reduces Energy Cost/Saves Electricity Bills
- Low Maintenance Cost
- Versatile Usage
- Environmental Benefit
1. Improve the Value of a Home
Installing solar panels will actually increase the value of your home making it a smart long-term investment. The benefits of solar panels are the aesthetics of your home and the increase in property value.
On average, a home’s value can increase up to 5% with residential solar systems but you can also enjoy the benefits of a higher property value, without paying any extra taxes as your solar panel installation qualifies for a property tax exemption which is a compounded benefit of solar panels in Florida.
2. Benefits of Tax and Incentives
Many homes are provided with a tax incentive or lower tax for solar power Installation since buying a solar panel isn’t as cheap as we think.
A great way to encourage residents to install solar is by helping bring down costs. Florida is one of the better states regarding solar tax benefits and incentives. Such benefits are the federal tax credit, net metering, property and sale tax exemption, and Florida Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing.
3. Reduces Energy Costs/Saves Electricity Bills
A solar panel is powered by available sunlight. The electricity generated is effectively free. The only expense generated is the cost of maintenance. So converting to solar is a viable way to lock in your energy expenses and keep them from increasing in the future.
An average homeowner in Florida will save $21,632 in energy bills alone over their solar panel’s lifespan.
4. Low Maintenance Cost
If Solar panels are kept clean and free of debris, they should continue to function without any additional action or be on low maintenance by the consumer for many years.
5. Versatile Usage
Solar energy is used in diverse ways and can provide power not only to our homes and appliances but channeled to remote, off-grid regions, satellites and boats.
They can even sell extra energy back to the utility company to turn rising electricity prices to their advantage by the use of a new metering policy.
6. Environmental Benefit
Solar energy produces clean energy that contributes to a cleaner environment, less pollution, and helps counteract global warming thereby reducing your reliance on fossil fuels that emit harmful carbon dioxide and methane.
Solar panels produce no carbon emissions and don’t hurt the environment nearly as badly as, for example, hydroelectric power plants.The installation of home solar systems decreases the carbon footprint of a household by 25%.
The Cons of Solar Panels in Florida
- Dependent on Weather Conditions
- Affordability Cost
- Lack of Portability
- Technological Upgrade
- Difficult to Install
- Space Constraints
1. Dependent on Weather Conditions
The weather condition of a place affects the efficiency of the solar panel. Florida, being the Sunshine State, receives abundant sunshine throughout the year but is highly prone to tropical storms and hurricanes that can put panels at risk of damage from fallen trees and limbs and blowing debris reducing the reliability of solar.
2. Affordability Cost
Affording solar panels is expensive as it saves money. Upfront costs of solar panels and installation can easily exceed $10,000. Residents of Florida pay an average of $29,095 for solar panels before the federal tax credit, which some homeowners find quite expensive.
3. Lack of Portability
It can still be frustrating to leave behind a system you spent a great deal of money to install behind when relocating. This is because it can’t be uninstalled after being installed as it is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. They’re often best considered an investment in the structure or property they’re added to.
4. Technological Upgrade
As technology progresses, the features of solar panels increase, such as the storage capacity making it more efficient. You may find yourself wanting to upgrade your solar system as in time yours will become outdated.
5. Difficult to Install
Solar panel installation can look simple but complicated if working with electricity makes you uncomfortable. Hence the panel is being installed on the rooftop some might find it scary to get up the roof.
However, Installation should be done by a professional only. Secondly, installation doesn’t work for every roof, some roofing materials used in older homes, like slate or cedar tiles, make it difficult for installing panels.
6. Space Constraints
In a less spacious resident, finding enough space with adequate sunlight exposure can be difficult especially when installing a large number of panels. For a solar panel to be installed an unlimited space needs to be guaranteed.
Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar Panel
1. Your Home’s Energy Use
The typical consumption in Florida is 1,142 kWh, which means that solar panels will be worth the investment by the majority of homeowners in terms of future energy savings.
You should estimate your monthly energy consumption by doing so you will be able to know how much will be saved on electric bills in the long run. The history of your electric bills should be accessed to be able to make a decision.
2. Cost of Solar in Florida
The price of getting a solar panel is around $2.53 per watt, about $0.13 less per watt than the national average. An 11.5-kilowatt solar power system is needed by most homeowners to offset electric rates, allowing them to pay around $29,095 for panels in Florida, or after the 30% federal solar tax credit is offered they will be able to pay $20,366
3. Your Roof’s Exposure to the Sun
The more your roof is exposed to the sun, the more efficient your panels will be as energy is being gotten from the sun. Florida homes will receive plenty of direct sunlight as they enjoy 237 sunny days per year; this makes solar panels worth the investment.
Obstruction of sunlight from buildings like the shades of trees will make your panels less efficient overall. However, you should consider the direction of your roof in this aspect. Note that roofs facing southwards or northwards will receive more sunlight, thereby making solar panels worthwhile.
Solar Panel Incentives Available in Florida
1. Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit.
The Federal Credit Tax provides huge benefits to solar customers. In Florida, the ITC average is about $8,728 and is one of the most substantial solar tax incentives which is 30% of the full price of your entire system credited to your federal income tax liability.
Have in mind that the federal credit is not a rebate, so the entire amount is not guaranteed to get back. Instead, the credit amount gets applied to any income tax that you owe, which means you won’t be able to take the credit if you do not owe money on your taxes.
Claiming your credit takes just a few minutes and minimal effort. You can achieve that by filing a form 5695 on the IRS website with your basic information, such as the system size and value, when the solar was installed, and the name of the installation company.
2.Florida Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
Homeowners are able to afford and access solar loan options that add their monthly payments to their tax bill, this makes loan repayment as simple as possible.
The goal of PACE financing is to make solar financing accessible to persons found typically ineligible, especially lower-income households. Eligibility is still open to all Florida residents.
This benefit amount you can save varies based on the size of the system and monthly energy bills. Moreover, the average savings for a financed system in Florida totals around $15,500. Claiming this loan will take some time and effort but firstly you have to make an online application, fill in your basic information, and submit some paperwork to verify the value and location of your home.
You’ll be contacted by the program administrator, who will walk you through the next steps. Once you’re fully approved, you can move forward with the installation.
3. Net Metering
It is a local type of incentive that allows you to earn credit for excess solar energy with future utility bills paid off. The amount you can save varies based on the size of the system, energy consumption, and monthly energy.
To enroll for this benefit your utility provider should be contacted to ask if you have the proper meter to take advantage of net energy metering. If you don’t, your electric company should install and commission one.
4. Florida Property Tax Abatement for Renewable EnergyProperty/Property Tax Exemption
Your property value increases after installing solar panels. This tax benefit prevents your property values from rising after installation. With Florida’s current sales tax at 6%, you’ll save big time based on your system value, your country’s tax rate, your home value, and the amount saved can be estimated.
#5. Florida Sales Tax Exemption
Sales tax on PV equipment, including panels, batteries, inverters, electric vehicle (EV) chargers, racking equipment, and installation costs. are waived by Florida’s sales tax exemption initiative. An estimate of $1,745 on average can be saved.
You don’t have to do anything to claim the sales tax exclusion in Florida as the perks are automatically applied to all solar equipment sales, so you simply won’t pay tax on your system installation.
1. How much can I save by purchasing a solar panel system in Florida?
For the average Florida resident, that’s about $150 per month that stays in your wallet or almost $50,000 in savings over the lifetime of the solar panels. There are other factors such as electricity rate, cost of solar panels, and number of installed solar panels, to consider while estimating the save up amount. On the other hand, you can make use of the solar-saving calculator.
2. Are solar panels worth it in Florida?
Solar panels are more affordable in Florida as there are great incentives, a solid net metering policy, and low installation costs.
3. Do solar panels work in the rain?
Solar panels will continue to work in the rain, but the electricity generated may not be as high as on sunny days. Solar panels can still produce at about 10-20% of maximum output if it’s raining heavily and at least 30- 50% in cloudy weather. The use of solar batteries can provide backup power during rainy days for those relying completely on solar.
4. How long do solar panels last in Florida?
Depends on the warranties provided by the solar manufacturers and installers. Most resident solar panels last around 25-30 years.
Florida is known as a state of abundant and intense sunlight which is ideal for solar panel efficiency. There are a lot of pros to solar panels beginning with the help of generous property and sales tax exemptions, as well as favorable incentives like net metering programs, which allow your solar panels to save you money even when you’re not home.
Adding to the incredible solar potential of Florida, these benefits and solar programs help make Florida an ideal area for property owners to consider going solar it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of your particular goals and system but keep in mind that solar panels are a smart and eco-friendly choice for everyone.
So, do not wait, take advantage of the opportunity to gain energy independence, harness the power of the sun and join the growing community of solar-powered Floridians.
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