Solar Panels in Florida: Pricing, Savings, and Financial Benefits
As of 2023, Floridians pay $2.60 per watt of solar energy. This figure compares favorably with the national average of $2.93 per watt. Floridian residents pay an average of $210 monthly or $2,520 yearly for electricity, about 16% higher than the U.S. monthly average of $177.75 or $2,133 annually.
Florida averages 237 sunny days yearly (about 3,000 hours of sunlight annually) and ranks as one of the most important markets for solar panel manufacturers in the United States
Like most states in the U.S., solar panel cost in Florida rises with increased wattage. Florida solar panel cost ranges from $7,800 to $26,400 without the solar tax investment credit (ITC) for wattages between 3 kW and 10 kW solar panels.
For instance, 5 kW and 6 kW solar panels cost between $13,000 and $15,800 to install in Florida without solar credit. However, these figures reduce to $9,240 and $11,060 after applying the Federal ITC.
Average Solar Panel Cost in Florida
|Size||Solar Panel Installation Cost||System Installation Cost After Solar Credit||Home Size|
|3 kW||$7,800 - $8,000||$5460 - $5,600||< 1,00 sq ft|
|5 kW||$13,000 - $13,400||$9,100 - 9,380||<1,000 sq ft|
|8 kW||$20,600 - $21,000||$14,420 - $14,700||1,100 sq ft|
|9 kW||$23,200 - $23,600||$16,240 - 16,520||1,300 sq. ft.|
|11 kW||$27,600 - $28,000||$19,320 - $19,600||1,700 sq ft|
|13 kW||$32,800 - $33,000||$22,960 - $23,100||2,100 sq ft|
|14 kW||$35,300 - $35,600||$24,710 - $24,920||2,300 sq ft|
|15 kW||$37,800 - $38,000||$26,460 - $26,600||> 2,400 sq ft|
The residential electricity rate in the U.S. ranges between 6 and 71 cents/kWh. The national average is 20 cents/kWh. Florida's solar energy cost is 10.42 cents/kWh.
This figure is lower than the 10.62 cents/kWh for grid retail energy.
Solar panels are available through leasing or outright purchase options and each offer unique benefits. Cash purchase (or solar loan financing) will give you outright ownership of the solar energy system while a solar lease or a PPA is third-party ownership (TPO).
Under Solar leases/Power Purchase Agreements, the solar installation company installs the solar panel system on the property and charges for the electricity produced at a predetermined rate.
Typically, the contract is for 25 years and at a rate that is 10 to 30% lower than the average electricity cost. If you want to decide what payment method will meet your needs, you may need to consider its pros and cons.
Ultimately, the better option is the one that meets your energy needs and is within your budget.
|Type of Solar System Financing||Pros||Cons|
|Solar Leases/Power Purchase Agreement||
The number of solar panels you need depends on your energy consumption. In addition, it also depends on the solar panels' wattage. Irrespective of the energy consumption, you will require less number of solar panels with a higher wattage.
For instance, you will need fewer 400-watt than 200-watt panels to meet your energy consumption.
The average Florida family consumes 11,000 kW of energy yearly. To determine the number of solar panels that will meet your energy needs, the following are important and should be considered.
Calculating the number of solar panels
To calculate the number of solar panels you need to produce 17 kWh of energy using a 10 kW system consisting of 400-watt solar panels, apply the following steps.
Number of solar panels = System Size / (Production Ratio x Panel Wattage)
11000 kW / (1.7 X 400) = 16 Solar Panels
To produce enough energy to meet the needs of a 3-bedroom house in Florida, you will need ten 3.5 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar panels. The energy consumption of a 3-bedroom home is about 2,645 kWh.
Note: kWp is the rate at which the solar panels produce electricity at peak performance on sunny days.
To meet the energy needs of a 4-bedroom house in Florida, you need fourteen 5 kWp solar panels. A 4-bedroom home consumes an average of 3,700 kWh of electricity yearly and has a roof space of 301.4-square-foot. This measurement should be adequate to accommodate the required number of solar panels.
Solar panels do not produce the same energy under similar conditions. The size of energy produced depends on the solar panels' wattage, quality, and efficiency.
For instance, monocrystalline panels in Florida may generate more energy than polycrystalline types because they are more efficient. In addition, the quality of the solar panels contributes to the energy output.
Popular brands, such as Tesla solar panels in Florida, may produce more energy than the lesser-grade ones. In Florida (and the rest of the U.S.), residential solar panels' wattage range from 250 watts to 400 watts. Solar panels with higher wattage tend to produce more energy under similar conditions.
The best solar panels for homes in Florida must have an impressive power temperature coefficient to function effectively under hot and humid conditions.
The power temperature coefficient of solar panels is the amount of electricity loss due to temperature build-up in the solar cells. Power loss results from an increase in electrical resistance with temperature rise.
Before you buy solar panels for Florida homes, check the power temperature coefficient rating.
There are three types of solar panels, these are:
The different types of solar panels in the Florida market come with varying qualities, as outlined below.
Monocrystalline solar panels
These solar panels are manufactured by placing “seed crystals” of silicon into a vat of pure molten silicon at high temperatures. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient and have 17% to 22% efficiency ratings.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
These are mid-tier performance solar panels with an efficiency range of between 15% and 17%. Polycrystalline solar panels are made of multiple silicon cells that prevent the easy movement of electrons, leading to decreased efficiency.
Thin-film Solar panels
These solar panels are the least efficient, they offer single-digit efficiency ratings as of a few years back. Recent research has produced thin-film solar panels with higher than monocrystalline panels.
However, commercially available thin-film solar panels are the least efficient of all solar panel types.
In addition to the qualities outlined above for the different solar panels in the Florida market, monocrystalline solar panels are the most resilient under Florida’s intense heat and humid conditions. Also, monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency and produce consistent energy over time. These features make monocrystalline solar panels the best option for homes in the state.
Yes, you can run a house solely on solar panels in Florida. However, this may require a considerable financial investment. The cost of running a home solely on solar power depends on your monthly energy consumption.
To use a solar panel system to run a building, you need power storage to store energy for use during off-peak periods. Although solar installation costs in Florida are dropping in recent years, they may be on the high side for Florida residents.
However, federal tax credits for newly installed solar systems and the various local incentives help reduce costs. In addition, you apply energy-saving methods to reduce the energy you consume where necessary.
For instance, you can use the following tricks to save on energy consumption and maximize the power from your solar panel system.
To go off-grid, you need a solar system that can produce enough power to meet your energy needs. Before you go off-grid, you need to determine the number of solar panels that will generate the energy you need and install a storage system to store energy. You can calculate the number of solar panels you need through the following steps.
Determine your monthly electricity needs. Ask your utility company for information on your electricity consumption.
Determine the amount of usable space available for installation.
Determine the days of direct sunlight in your location and the best position for maximum exposure.
Consider your budget and the best solar panels that will meet your needs.
You can calculate how many solar panels you need through the formula below.
((monthly electricity consumption / monthly peak sun hours) x 1000) / power rating of the solar panel
Depending on your energy needs, the table below shows different sizes of solar panel systems and their estimated costs.
|System Size||Number of Panels||Estimated Space||Estimated Cost.|
|5 kW||26||289 sq. ft||$62|
|10 kW||52||578 sq. ft||$125|
|20 kW||105||1,168 sq. ft||$242|
|50 kW||255||2,838 sq. ft||$605|
|100 kW||510||5,676 sq. ft||$1,200|
|200 kW||1020||11,352 sq. ft||$2,400|