Averaging 237 days of sunshine annually, it should come as no surprise that the “Sunshine State” consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. states for solar. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Florida ranks 6th for the most residential solar installations in the country.
Despite not having a Renewable Portfolio Standard—solar-speak for a statewide law requiring utility companies to source a certain amount of energy from renewable sources—Florida still manages to surpass many states in the number of solar installations. In large part, this can be attributed to the incentives, policies, and tax credits available to the average Floridian homeowner.
“What might those incentives be?” you ask? Great question! Let’s explore the most significant and overarching benefits that can help Florida residents save money on their solar energy system.
(Note: Your eligibility can depend on your location, electric utility provider, income level, interest in battery storage, and more. This is not tax advice, and you should always consult a tax professional.)
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Most Florida residents are eligible to receive the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit—also known as the solar ITC. This allows eligible homeowners to deduct up to 26% of their solar panel installation cost from their federal income taxes. Many Florida homeowners also pair battery storage with their solar panel system. Conveniently, energy storage systems also qualify for the ITC when paired with rooftop solar.
To learn more about the ITC, visit our blog post on Everything You Need to Know About the Federal ITC.
Florida Net Metering Program
Most Florida homeowners who install solar panels are eligible for net metering. Net energy metering is a unique billing mechanism that allows you to earn credit towards your electricity bill.
When your solar panels produce more electricity than you are using:
- The excess electricity is sent to the electricity grid to power other homes and businesses nearby.
- Since you are offsetting the utility company’s need to produce that amount of electricity, they compensate you in the form of bill credits.
When you need more power than your solar panels can produce:
- Your electricity will come from the grid instead.
- Your electricity provider will record how much electricity you use and charge you for that amount, minus any credits that you’ve previously earned.
At the end of the month, your electricity provider will only charge you for the net usage: the total difference between the electricity your panels produce and the electricity you use.
In Florida, all four investor-owned utility companies and several electric cooperatives offer 1:1 net metering. This means the credit is the same value as the rate of electricity that the utility charges you. This is great, as states that don’t offer 1:1 net metering could give you less than what your solar power may be worth.
Those four utility companies are:
- Florida Power & Light (FPL)
- Duke Energy
- Tampa Electric (TECO)
- Gulf Power
Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are not governed by the same law, but many offer fair net metering credits. Palmetto works with the four large utilities above and the following local utilities, with plans to operate in more soon:
- Orlando Utility Commission (OUC)
- Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA)
- Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC)
- Seco Energy
- Clay Electric Cooperative
- Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO)
- Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC)
- City of New Smyrna Beach
- City of Winter Park
If you don’t see your utility listed but are still interested in installing solar panels, contact us.
Property Tax Exemption
Going solar can increase the value of your home. Florida enhances that value by being one of several states that provides a 100% property tax exemption for residential solar panels, plus any accompanying battery storage devices. This means that although your home value may increase, you won’t pay any additional property taxes because you got solar panels installed.
Sales Tax Exemption
In addition to a 100% property tax exemption for residential solar panels, Florida law also exempts solar from its sales and use tax. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the exemption applies to equipment and any component currently certified by Florida Solar Energy Center as a qualifying solar energy component. This may include:
- Solar panels
- Inverters and mounting hardware
- Electrical equipment including disconnect switches & wiring
- Energy storage unit (solar battery)
- Other accessories necessary for function
For more information, please contact a tax professional for any and all information pertaining to tax advice.
Local Utility Rebates
Some local electric cooperatives and municipal utilities may also offer solar rebate programs not listed here. To explore every available financial incentive in Florida that can help offset the cost of your system even further, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
Consider Palmetto as Your Florida Solar Company
Solar doesn’t have to be complicated. Palmetto is clean energy, simplified—and we’ll never leave you in the dark. We want to help everyone become their own clean energy provider, reduce their carbon footprint, and save money on their energy costs. If you’re considering going solar, click here to get a free instant quote from Palmetto today.
For more information on what it’s like going solar in Florida, visit our Guide to Owning Solar Panels in Florida.