My friend Katrina recently built a home in Florida and wondered whether adding solar panels to her home was worth it. I spend 10 hours researching and collecting data online to establish if solar panels are worth it in Florida.
In other words, are solar panels worth it in Florida? Generally, solar panels are worth it in Florida if you use at least 500 kWh per month. The average energy consumption in Florida is 1,142 kWh, meaning for most homeowners, solar panels will be worth the investment in future energy savings.
I have compiled my finding in this blog post to save the hustle of searching endless websites for the answer.
Besides answering the main question, I also wanted to know if solar panels can increase home value and if there are incentives for homeowners with solar panel systems.
If you live in Texas, you might also wonder, are solar panels worth it in Texas? I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
Are Solar Panel Systems Ideal For Florida?
Florida is undoubtedly one of the best states for solar panel installation in the United States. It is third, behind California and Texas, providing abundant direct sunlight and financial incentives to help in energy production.
Besides abundant sunlight, Florida is also experiencing declining solar panels cost, available at an average cost of $2.58 per watt before tax incentives. Florida also provides generous tax incentives and better utility programs to encourage residents to embrace solar power technology.
The state also allows localities to provide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for various solar projects.
I would say that incorporating solar as an alternative energy source in Florida is better than ever before.
What Determines If Solar Panels Are Worth It In Florida?
Many factors influence the decision of whether solar is worth it in Florida. While most Floridians may benefit greatly from installing solar panels, it may not be ideal for some homes.
In this in-depth analysis, I explain the factors that influence the value of a solar panel in Florida and the available incentives that could reduce installation costs. You will also unravel the pros and cons of going solar in Florida.
Consider the answers to the following questions before committing to solar panel installation on your roof or ground:
- What is your home electricity consumption?
- What is the average cost of going solar in Florida?
- What is the average solar payback period in Florida?
- Does Florida have a net metering policy?
- Does your roof get adequate sunshine?
- Is the Florida climate ideal for solar?
Let’s answer these questions one by one.
What Is Your Home Electricity Consumption?
Knowing your home’s energy consumption can help determine if it is worth investing in solar panels. Your concern should be the size of the solar energy system needed to cover your electricity needs and the amount you will save on the electricity bill from the system.
Here is the general rule: if your monthly energy consumption is below 500kWh, investing in solar panels is not worth it.
However, the average energy consumption in Florida is approximately 1,140 kWh, suggesting that most homeowners in the state need to invest in solar panels.
What Is The Average Cost Of Going Solar In Florida?
Knowing the average cost of solar panels, you can establish if you will save in the long run by investing in solar.
Solar panels cost approximately $2.53 per watt in Florida, slightly lower than the country’s average.
And since most Americans require 11.5 kW to offset their electricity bills, they will pay $20m366 after tax incentive for solar panels in Florida.
You may conclude that solar panels are expensive; however, in the long run, the project will pay for itself in terms of savings. This is especially true where electricity consumption and the rate are high.
Considering that the average energy use for Floridians is $1,142 kWh, investing in solar panels in Florida will definitely lead to long-term savings.
What Is The Average Solar Panels’ Payback Period In Florida?
If Florida’s average solar payback period is lower than 16 years, solar panels will be a worthy investment.
People invest in solar panels even if their initial cost is higher because, in the long run, they pay for themselves unless you acquire your system through a power purchase agreement or solar lease.
So, I asked Katrina to estimate her solar panels’ payback period.
The payback period will let you know how much you will save in the long term and what value the solar system adds to your home.
Most people who purchase their solar panels in Florida with cash realize the payback period averages 10 years.
The repayment period is often determined by factors such as:
- The size of the solar system
- Your home electricity usage
- The amount of power you use during the day
- Your home electricity plan
So, based on the payback period, I would say solar panels are worth it in Florida.
Does Florida Have a Net Metering Policy?
Yes, Florida accepts net metering; however, it allows utility companies to determine how much they will pay for excess energy from the solar panels they supply to the grid.
This means that companies may have varying compensation policies, so ensure you confirm with your provider before committing.
If your utility company offers low retail rates for the electricity you have supplied, you can resort to solar power storage battery solutions to save energy for future use.
Does Your Roof Get Adequate Sunshine?
Before investing in solar panels in Florida, you should determine if your home’s roof has access to adequate direct sunlight.
Fortunately, Florida receives quality sunshine; it is called Sunshine State. With impressive 237 days of sun in a year, investing in solar panels in Florida is worth it.
Nevertheless, you may still need to ensure that nothing is blocking sunlight on the roof. If you live next to tall buildings or trees that provide shading, you may want to reconsider investing in solar panels.
Additionally, it is vital that you consider your roof direction– ideal roofs should be south or west-facing for maximum sunlight absorption.
Therefore, if your roof is facing north and east, you may want to evaluate your solar panel investment because it may not be worth it.
Is The Florida Climate Ideal For Solar?
Although Florida has abundant intense sunlight, ideal for solar panels, it is often plagued by tropical storms and hurricanes. These harsh weather patterns can damage your solar panels when debris and fallen trees crush through the roof.
It can result in a huge financial loss if a hurricane strikes when the solar panels are barely new.
Overall, Florida is one of the best solar-friendly states in America. Many homeowners continue to install solar panels because it pays in the long run and saves the planet from harmful greenhouse gases.
Advantages Of Installing Solar Panels In Florida
Consider some environmental and financial benefits of switching to solar panels in Florida.
1- You Will Save On Electricity Bills
Floridians consume more electricity than the other states in the country. They pay an average of $128.64 monthly on electricity, and with energy shortages threatening across the globe, converting to solar power could help you lower your energy bills.
You can also take advantage of the net metering policy and supply excess electricity generated daily to the grid. You may end up paying $0 every month, allowing you to save up to $21,632 over the solar panels’ lifespan.
2- Lower Taxes
Switching to solar is beneficial in Florida, especially if you pay their full prices. You will receive a 30% federal tax incentive, making installing solar panels appealing.
In Florida, the investment tax credit for solar panels averages $8,728. You will also enjoy other incentives like property tax exemption on your PV equipment, net metering policy, and incentives from local utility companies.
3- Home Resale Value Increase
This is one of the reasons I suggested that Katrina invest in solar panels for her home.
If you have been asking- do solar panels increase home value? The answer is yes. Installing solar panels at your home increases your home’s resale value by around 4.1%.
The average home value in Florida is $356,350, meaning if you install solar panels, your home value increases by $14 610!
And considering that Florida offers a property tax exemption for those with the solar system, your taxes won’t go up with the increase in resale value.
4- Solar Panels Offer Clean, Renewable Energy
Investing in solar energy provides environmental benefits. Solar is clean energy that does not involve the release of carbon and other harmful gasses into the air.
Investing in solar panels reduces over-reliance on fossil fuels, contributing to less pollution and a cleaner environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint greatly by turning to solar energy.
Disadvantages Of Installing Solar Panels In Florida
Here are some drawbacks of solar panels in Florida.
5- High Upfront Expense
Many households find raising the initial capital needed to install solar panels challenging.
Solar panels and equipment prices are not encouraging in Florida with the high cost of electricity. The situation can get worse if you want to install a huge solar panel system.
6- Long Payback Period
It takes between 10 and 16 years to offset the system’s expense, but this can be like an eternity.
Of course, it will finally pay off, but some homeowners are discouraged by the waiting period.
7- Possible Bad Climate
Florida is known for its long sunny days but is also famous for tropical storms and hurricanes.
These extreme weather patterns can carry debris and tree trunks that could damage your solar panels before you recover your investment.
What to read next:
- How Many Solar Panels to Power a House?
- Can You Put Solar Panels on a Mobile Home?
- Can You Put Solar Panels on a Metal Roof?
Are Solar Panels Worth It For a Home In Florida?
With the rise in energy prices and consumption and a drop in prices for solar equipment, many Floridians consider going solar worthwhile.
Nevertheless, this does not mean investing in solar panels is for everyone in Florida. Before you decide to go solar, evaluate upfront costs, payback period, and the direction of your roof.
Hire a reputable solar installer to assess these factors and discuss how the investment will help you save money.