Florida solar panels: local pricing and data

Over 26,000 homeowners in Florida have used EnergySage to receive & compare solar panel installation quotes!

Updated 6/8/2019

Solar Data Explorer:

Out-of-pocket cost  
Net 20-year savings  
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Solar installation costs do not include the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit or local incentives.

Save money by installing solar panels in FL.

They don't call it the Sunshine State for nothing – all that sunlight means Florida has some of the best solar potential in the country.

Solar in Florida

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Welcome to the Sunshine State! Florida stands up to its name with plenty of days of sun per year. Floridians can take advantage their sunny days by going solar with the aid 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 rebates and solar programs help make Florida an ideal area for property owners to consider going solar.

How much do solar panels cost in Florida?

Florida’s average cost of a solar panel installation ranges from $11,305 to $15,295. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, a solar panel installation in Florida ranges in price from $2.26 to $3.06.

Another calculation that potential solar buyers have to consider is the solar payback period. This term tells us as at what time you will recover your initial investment through electricity savings from your solar system. For Florida, the average solar payback period is 9.47 years.

Additionally, it is important to consider how the consumer will pay for a solar panel system. Fortunately, there are many financial options available to ensure the customer can afford installations. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. If an upfront purchase isn’t right for you, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.

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$11,305 – $15,295

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What solar panels should I install in Florida?

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For property owners, you now can customize your solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and batteries, as well as the general aesthetic of the installation. This customizability has made it important for solar consumers to understand these various factors. For example, the best solar panels available may have premium efficiencies and warranties, but will typically be more costly. However, depending on the size of the installation, you’ll need to determine whether high-efficiency solar panels that can produce more electricity are worthwhile. Also, your appetite for risk can help determine which solar warranties best fit your needs. These are just a few of the many factors to consider when selecting solar panel equipment.

How much energy can I get from solar in Florida?

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Aside from the power output of the solar equipment you choose to install, the amount of energy you generate with solar panels in California is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. California is one of the sunniest states in the U.S.; therefore, a solar panel installation in the state will likely produce more energy annually than a system of the same size installed elsewhere, such as in the Northeast.

There are additional factors that determine how much solar electricity you can produce: shading, panel orientation, and panel angle are all important in calculating your production estimate, a prediction of how much energy your solar installation will produce over time. You can see an estimate of how much you can save with solar using the EnergySage Solar Calculator – the calculator will take into account site-specific conditions like shade and geography.

Florida solar incentives

Florida is becoming known for its great solar incentives and programs, which are considered some of the best in the country. Learn more about why solar panels are such a great investment in Florida.

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What rebates and incentives are there in Florida for solar?

One of the best solar incentives across the U.S. is the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC allows you to deduct 30 percent of the total system cost from your federal taxes. For example, a solar energy system installation that costs $15,000 out of pocket will qualify for a tax deduction of $4,500. The 30 percent tax credit lasts until the end of 2019 – starting in 2020, the tax credit amount steps down to 26 percent before falling to 22 percent in 2021. The federal ITC is set to expire entirely for residential solar installations after 2021, but commercial solar energy system owners can still deduct 10 percent of a commercial solar system cost from their taxes in 2022 and beyond.

Beyond the federal ITC, Florida has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. The Sunshine State’s net metering programs allow your solar panels to continue to work to save you money, even when you are out of the house. What’s more, Florida has established generous property and sales tax exemptions, helping you get the most out of your solar purchase. To learn more about Florida’s best financial incentives for solar, check out our complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.

Solar panel installations in Florida

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True Cost of Solar Guide™ for Florida

Download EnergySage’s DIY worksheet to better understand what solar should cost in your state

Don’t get sold on the hype! Find out what solar should actually cost before you talk to your first sales rep. This PDF worksheet will walk you through the simple calculations you can make to determine what size solar PV system you need, and approximately how much it should cost.

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History of solar policy in Florida

Although Florida is known as the Sunshine State, solar growth has only recently begun to take off in the state, as a result of low electricity prices and laws that were unfriendly to solar development. At present, Florida ranks 8th in SEIA’s national ranking with over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity installed throughout the state. Even more noteworthy is that the SEIA projects the state to rank 2nd in solar capacity within the next five years.

One of the first notable policies that stimulated the residential solar industry in Florida is the state’s Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption. After taking effect in 1997, Floridians became exempt from the state’s sales and use tax when purchasing solar energy systems. Although originally set to expire in 2002, the financial incentive was extended three more years and, eventually, made permanent in 2005. The 6 percent savings Floridians receive from this exemption can make a big difference on the upfront cost of installing solar panels.

Florida’s most notable regulatory policy for its residents has been its net metering program. Despite being introduced later than net metering policies in other states, when Florida’s net metering program was enacted by the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2008 it marked a turning point for renewable energy for Floridians. For any customers of investor-owned utilities with their own solar systems, it became much easier to cut prices on their electricity bills: any surplus energy or net excess generation (NEG) produced by a solar system is carried forward as a credit at the full retail rate to the solar owner’s next bill. Eventually, at the end of a 12-month billing period, the utility pays the solar owner for any remaining NEG at the utility’s avoided cost rate.

The last major solar policy permanently enacted by Florida is its Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property. Passed in 2013, this law provides a 100 percent tax exemption for residential renewable energy properties as well as 80 percent property tax abatement for non-residential renewable energy properties.

Outside of these solar specific policies, Florida historically has trailed other states in setting and increasing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Most states successfully contributed to the growth of the renewable energy industry with RPS policies; however, Florida remains one of the few states to not have any such policy.

While Florida’s solar policy history has not always trended in the right direction, residents can still be optimistic for more clean energy on the horizon. Much of the state’s total solar capacity was built in just the past three years and meets only 1 percent of the state’s electricity needs, meaning there is plenty of room for growth in Florida. And with strong commitments to build solar from Florida Power and Light, one of the main utilities in-state, the solar industry in Florida appears set for major growth in the coming years.