Florida, verily called "the Sunshine State," seems a natural location to adopt solar energy. And true to those expectations, solar power is already deployed in Florida in a big way. In 2021, Florida ranked just #3 in the nation for solar energy deployment. The state produces enough solar energy to power over 1.1 million homes.
However, most of that solar deployment is in the utility and commercial / industrial sector. Rooftop solar panels on private residences tell a different story, with only 90K homes converted to solar by 2021, ranking 31st in the nation. Oddly enough, it seems that Florida energy leadership thinks more in a "big picture" sense rather than focusing on one rooftop at a time. Solar incentives for homeowners in Florida are thin, but a few are available.
Do you live in Florida? Find out what incentives you qualify for!
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
As usual, Uncle Sam's Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit applies the same as it does in any state. This saves Florida residents 26% off the cost of installing solar in their home off the top. This credit is applied as a deduction from your next year's IRS tax filing. To take full advantage of this credit, you have to owe more than the total on your next tax filing - which isn't a difficult condition to meet for more homeowners.
For the current implementation, the solar panels must be installed by December 31st, 2022. Note that in 2023, the Federal ITC will drop from 26% to 22%, barring any changes introduced by new legislation. We are probably looking at a renewed legislative consideration for this plan.
Florida Net Metering Credits
Like most states, Florida utility companies offer an energy buy-back program to residents who generate their own solar energy.
This is normally not something we'd mention, but this time we have an opportunity to clear up some confusion. A recent bill passed Florida legislation which would have slashed the net metering system by 2029. However, governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill, so it is business as usual as of 2022. Variously, we have people out there who have only heard part of this story, so share it with your neighbors: Florida net metering is steady as she goes for now.
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Tax Exemptions For Installing Solar Panels In Florida
Florida residents get a couple of perks when installing solar panels. There is a property tax exemption, called the Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property incentive. Since solar panels on a home can raise the taxable value by as much as 4%, this provides a tax relief.
There is also no state sales tax charged on solar panel equipment and installation in Florida. Florida's sales tax, at 6%, doesn't apply to your solar install. It isn't much, but it helps.
Solar Panels Are Still Worth It In Florida
Florida has one strong advantage in the solar market: Plenty of sunshine. Studies have concluded that, simply with net metering, solar panel installs pay for themselves within ten years and sometimes even five years. For further information and to keep an eye on budding incentive measures, visit Florida's own Office of Energy.
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Florida residents can enjoy the Federal Solar Investement Tax Credit, Net Metering Buy Back programs and a Renewable Energy Property Tax Incentive.
Studies have concluded that, simply with net metering, solar panel installs pay for themselves within ten years and sometimes even five years