How Much Can You Save on Solar in Florida?
Floria is the 10th sunniest state in the U.S., with an average annual sunlight of 4,859 kJ/m^2. As of 2022, solar installations accounted for 9,791 (MW), enough to power over 1.1 million homes. The state projects that over 10,001 MW will be installed in 2027.
In 2022, there were about 452 solar companies in Florida, offering approximately 11,761 solar jobs to Floridians.
Based on the data published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Florida’s total energy consumption per capita in 2020 was 185.6 Million Btu. Of this number, 56.4 Million Btu was consumed by residences while commercial establishments consumed 42.1 Million Btu.
Federal and State Solar Energy Incentives available to Floridians
|Florida Solar Incentives||State or Federal||Program Overview|
|Net Metering||State||Allows solar customers to earn credits with excess solar energy that can be used to pay future utility bills.|
|Federal Solar Tax Credit||Federal||Credits a percentage of the solar installation cost to a solar customer’s income tax liability for the tax year, depending on when the system was installed.|
|Property Tax Exemptions||State||Prevents a solar customer’s property taxes from increasing after solar system installations.|
|Sales Tax Exemptions||State||Waives all sales tax on solar equipment|
|Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)||State||A solar loan option that adds a solar customer’s monthly payments to their annual tax bill|
As of 2021, the average retail cost of grid electricity per kilowatt hour in Florida was 10.67 cents. The average price of solar panels per watt was $2.41.
|State||Number of solar Installations||MW Installed||Average cost for grip power (2021)||Average cost per watts|
The cost of installing a 6kw solar system in Florida is $13,920. As of 2021, eligible homeowners could save $3,062 with a Federal tax credit. If the solar system were installed in 2023, it would be 4,176. This is because the federal tax credit for 2023 is 30%.
|State||Cost of installing a 6kw system||Federal tax credit value 2021 (30%)|
As of 2021, about 6% of Florida’s electricity was derived from renewable resources like solar, biomass, and hydropower. Approximately 70% of this renewable energy was derived from solar. In 2023, Florida ranked 4th in total solar power generating capacity. Approximately 84% of the solar generation came from large-scale installations (1 megawatt or larger).
Florida has a Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center with 75-megawatt solar power in Martin County. The plant has nearly 200,000 mirrors and 1,100-megawatt natural gas-fired power.
What are the major renewable resources in Florida?
Florida has about 1,200 megawatts of biomass-fueled generating capacity derived from plants that process municipal solid waste and those fueled by wood and wood waste.
About 8% of the United States biomass-fueled electricity generation comes from Florida.
Florida also has many landfill gas facilities, which accounted for about 6% of the state's biomass generating capacity. The state has other biomass resources derived from citrus pulp, agricultural residues, invasive trees and plants, forest residues, animal waste, sugarcane waste (bagasse), and yard waste.
Although Florida has no significant energy derived from wind power. it has few hydroelectric plants that produce a small amount of power.
All Solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032 are eligible for a 30% tax credit. For residential customers, the tax credit decreases to 26% and 22% for solar systems installed in 2033 and 2034, respectively.
In contrast, tax credits for commercial customers goes from 30% ITC or 2.6 ¢/kWh to 15% ITC or 1.3 ¢/kWh for solar systems installed between 2033 and 2035. Federal renewable energy tax credit covers the following expenses:
Generally, solar customers can take advantage of Florida tax credit for solar panels without worrying about it affecting their federal incentives. This is because Florida's solar panel tax credit does not reduce federal tax credits and vice versa.
Florida homeowners can only claim federal solar tax credits if their solar PV system:
To be eligible for the business federal solar tax credit, the solar system:
Here is how to claim the federal solar tax credit in Florida:
Step 1. Download the necessary form
Floridians can print Form 5695 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. Fill out the form accurately. Individuals can contact the solar company hired to install the solar system to get basic information about the solar system.
Step 2. File the IRS form
After filling out the IRS Form 5695, file it for free on the IRS website. Individuals can also use third-party tax software to file their forms. This software will automatically prompt users for information about solar conversion.
Step 3. Seek professional advice
Claiming federal solar tax credit can be tedious and confusing for first-time tax filers. Therefore, individuals can seek the help of Florida-licensed tax professionals. These professionals know how federal taxes work and can guide taxpayers through claiming solar tax credits.
Per F.S.§ 366.91, net energy metering is a renewable energy incentive in Florida that allows solar customers to sell the excess electricity back to the grid in exchange for electricity bill credits.
Only renewable energy systems with up to 2 megawatts (MW) capacity can be connected to the grid. Eligible solar systems include:
Florida homeowners with net-metered solar systems earn credits for each kilowatt (kW) energy their systems produce. Their monthly electricity bill will be calculated based on the total amount consumed minus the generated amount. Solar customers whose solar systems generated more energy than the amount consumed throughout the month will have their credit saved for future use. Local utility companies compensate solar customers for any additional credits not redeemed during the year. The customer will receive a fee based on a set rate per kWh of excess energy.
Individuals with renewable energy systems can enroll in net energy metering at local utility companies. Applications can be made online or in person.
Upon application approval, the utility company will replace the customer’s current electric meter with an eligible meter to correctly measure excess power supplied to the grid. Local utility companies must keep track of all solar systems linked with their NEM infrastructure.
They must also file NEM reports with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The report should contain information on the types of solar systems connected to the utility’s NEM infrastructure, the location, and the quantity of solar energy generated. Florida does not have an aggregate capacity limit for energy that is generated with net-metered solar systems.
Florida’s solar and CHP sales tax exemption is a benefit that excludes homeowners from solar systems sale taxes ( F.S.§ 212.08(7)(hh)). The Florida Solar Energy Center certifies the following solar energy system or component for sales tax exemption:
The Florida Department of Revenue requires solar system sellers to have proof of exempt sales. The Tax Information Publication (TIP) 19A01-09 has a suggested form to be signed by the purchaser for documentation.
The Florida Department of Revenue provides a property tax exemption for residential and non-residential owners with solar installations.
To calculate the property tax exemption, the property appraiser will not consider 100% of the increase in residential property value that results from solar energy (F.S.§ 193.624). In contrast, 80% of the increase in non-residential property value will not be considered.
Note: Florida's property tax exemption only applies to new and existing residential real properties with solar systems installed on or after January 1, 2013.
It also applies to non-residential properties where solar systems were installed on or after January 1, 2018. This excludes commercial properties where the solar installation was part of a planned project in a fiscally constrained county and for which country-specific amendment and development applications have been filed on or before December 31, 2017. Property owners with solar installations are not required to apply for property tax exemptions. This benefit goes into effect automatically upon eligibility.
Florid'sa Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program funds property owners seeking energy conservation and hurricane-hardening improvements to their private properties.
PACE’s interest rates are lower than any credit card interest rates for financing home upgrades. Interest rates are typically between 6% and 9%, and no down payment is required. The PACE financing program is divided into:
With PACE financing, property owners can cover 100% of the cost of qualifying improvements. Per F.S. §163.08, the qualifying improvements eligible for PACE financing are wind resistance, energy conservation and efficiency, and renewable energy improvements. Some examples of such improvements are:
The money obtained through the PACE program can be repaid through a special assessment added to the annual property tax bill. The PACE finance program has a fixed interest rate and an agreed-upon repayment term. Property owners can prepay
PACE assessments anytime, but R-PACE excludes prepayment fees. This is because the R-PACE assessment is attached to the property, not the owner. Therefore, if the property is sold before the end of the assessment term, the balance remains with the property. The repayment obligation will be transferred to the new property owner upon sale.
As of 2022, Florida had a resident population of over 22 million. In 2021, Florida had over 10 million housing units, with approximately 66.5% of them owner-occupied and 33.5% renter occupied. That same year, about 213,494 building permits were issued by city and county Building Departments. Between 2017 and 2021, owner-occupied housing units had a median value of $248,700. In contrast, the median gross rent was $1,301.