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Florida’s year-round sunny weather makes it a great state for switching to solar energy to reduce your electricity bills and power grid dependency. In fact, the state ranks third in the country for solar power according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Florida also offers numerous solar incentives to help homeowners save money and maximize their solar investments. In researching the industry’s best solar companies, we’ve analyzed solar rebates and incentives across the country. See which incentives Floridians qualify for below.
Overview of Florida Solar Incentives
Here are the key incentives available in the Sunshine State:
|Incentive||Where It Comes From||What You Get|
Property tax exemption
No property tax on your system
Sales tax exemption
No sales tax on your system
Local utility companies
Money back for your excess electricity
Federal solar tax credit
30% of the system cost claimed on taxes
Florida Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates
According to the SEIA, clean energy has created more than 11,500 jobs in Florida, and 5.75% of the state’s electricity comes from solar panels. The state’s incentive programs encourage this momentum toward more sustainable energy usage. Here’s what Floridans can apply for to save money on their solar panel system.
Property Tax Exemption
When you add something to your property that increases its value, you typically have to pay more property taxes. Installing solar panels increases your home value considerably, which can make some property owners wary of raising their tax bill. However, Florida has waived the property tax on solar equipment. Your solar company is required to document exempt sales.
Sales Tax Exemption
Florida homeowners also don’t have to pay sales tax on their system. That’s 6% of the total purchase price you won’t have to pay. According to Energy Sage, the average cost of a Florida solar panel system is roughly $13,000, so that’s around $780 in sales tax you’ll avoid. Your solar company simply won’t charge sales tax on the final cost.
Net-metering is a rebate program that can help system owners earn money while saving on their energy bills. Through a net-metering program, you can sell any excess energy your system generates to your local utility company. That means that if your system generates more electricity than you need to power your home, utility companies will pay you to send it back to the electric grid.
Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light (FPL) are two of the biggest utility companies offering net-metering programs in the state. How much money you can get back depends on the system size. Most Florida homeowners fall into Tier 1, which is for system sizes under 10 kilowatts (kW). There’s no application fee for this tier, but higher tiers do have to pay to apply. For example, Florida Power and Light charges a $400 application fee for Tier 2 and $1,000 fee for Tier 3.
Duke Energy’s program is available statewide, while Florida Power and Light’s buyback program is only available in the following cities:
- Daytona Beach
- Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Lake City
- Port St. Lucie
- St. Augustine
- St. Petersburg
- West Palm Beach
- Florida Net-Metering
- Duke Energy Net-Metering
- Florida Power and Light Net-Metering
- DSIRE Local Incentives List
Federal Tax Credit
Perhaps the most lucrative way to save on solar panels is the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), also referred to as the Residential Clean Energy Credit. This is a nationwide program that originated with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It allows you to claim a percentage of your solar energy system’s cost on your federal tax bill the year you install it. This percentage has changed throughout the years, but it’s now set at 30% until 2033. With the average home solar system cost in Florida being $13,000, that’s almost $4,000 you can claim on your taxes. Only homeowners who purchase their system in cash or take out a loan qualify. Leasing and power purchase agreement (PPA) customers are ineligible because they don’t legally own their systems.*
The ITC is a onetime credit, but you can carry it over to the next tax year if you can’t use it all when you file. For example, if you owe $3,000 in taxes the year you install and get a $4,000 tax credit, you’ll owe $0 on that year’s federal tax bill and reduce the next year’s by the leftover $1,000.
You can claim the solar tax credit when you file your yearly federal tax return. Let your accountant know in advance. If you manage your taxes yourself, you’ll need to fill out IRS Form 5695.
*PPAs are currently not allowed in Florida.
Florida Solar Costs
According to Energy Sage, the cost of solar panels is currently $2.60 per watt in Florida. That means a 5kW system will cost $11,050 to $14,950, with an average of $13,000. The federal tax credit can drop installation costs to roughly $9,000 for those who qualify.
Is Going Solar in Florida Worth the Investment?
Yes, going solar in Florida is worth it. Florida is one of the sunniest states in the country, making it easy for solar panels to absorb sunlight year-round. Reducing your reliance on expensive nonrenewable energy sources helps to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on your utility bills. Thanks to Florida’s solar incentives, you can also significantly reduce how much you spend to go solar. Plus, your home’s value increases without upping your property tax.
We recommend going solar in Florida. There are so many benefits that homeowners are unlikely not to experience energy savings. If you decide to install solar panels, we recommend Sunpower, ADT Solar, and Sunrun due to their high panel performance, cost-effective pricing, and reputable customer service. Each company can answer your questions about solar incentives and help ensure you don’t miss out.
Learn more about the best solar companies in Florida.
Florida Solar Incentives FAQ
Does Florida have any solar incentives?
Yes, Florida has several solar incentives. It provides a property tax exemption, state sales tax exemption, and net-metering programs. Buyers who purchase their system with cash or via solar loan also qualify for the federal solar tax credit incentive.
What are the solar incentives for 2023 in Florida?
The solar incentives for 2023 in Florida include a property tax exemption, sales tax exemption, and net-metering programs. Florida residents who buy their system via cash or solar loan also qualify for the federal solar tax credit.
Is going solar worth it in Florida?
Yes, going solar is worth it in Florida. The state offers many solar incentives to help you save money on installation, and its sunny conditions make it easy to power your home primarily through solar energy, reducing your electricity bills.
Does Florida buy back solar energy?
Yes. Florida allows net-metering programs in which utility companies will buy back your system’s excess solar energy. The two biggest companies that participate in the area are Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light.
How We Chose the Top Solar Companies
We researched and analyzed dozens of solar panels and solar installation companies. We then formulated a rating system based on each solar installer or manufacturer’s services and products. We weighed several significant factors, including the quality and type of solar panels offered, the customer support network, warranty lengths and limitations, and additional benefits such as mobile apps for monitoring and customer service.
Speaking directly to representatives, we determined how each solar company personalizes its solar panel installation for each home. We also analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure their product and performance guarantees match or exceed industry standards.
We evaluated each provider based on their rating and history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches.
Read more: Our Methodology