Florida is known as the Sunshine State for good reason. It has been gifted with 237 days of sunshine each year, which reveals the enormous potential for solar energy in every Florida county and municipality .
In fact, solar energy has already had a successful launch in Florida, and in just a few short years’ time the state has become a haven for solar homeowners. Florida currently ranks third in the United States in solar energy generating capacity, reaching 10,111 megawatts by the end of 2022 . As of now solar is responsible for just over five percent of the electricity produced in Florida, and that is a number that has the potential to expand significantly .
Solar installation costs have been dropping everywhere, as the price of solar panels has fallen by 53 percent over the past decade . As of 2023 the cost of a solar panel purchase and installation in Florida had decreased to just $2.58 per watt of generating capacity, which is nearly 40 cents below the price for the US as a whole .
Factoring in the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar energy, an owner of an average-sized home in Florida could install a six-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on their rooftop for just $10,823 . For a 10-kilowatt system on a larger home, the cost would be $18,060 .
Despite the advancements it has already made, Florida remains ripe territory for solar energy expansion.
A study by Project Sunroof found that up to 91 percent of all Florida buildings are suitable for solar panels, and if all of these sites did install solar energy systems they could produce up to 158 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year .
Best solar companies in Florida
|Solar Company||Greentumble Rating Score|
|Solar Energy World||4.8|
|Affordable Solar Roof & Air||4.7|
|Efficient Home Services||4.7|
|A1A Solar Contracting||4.3|
|Blue Raven Solar||4.0|
Best solar company in Florida: SunPower
As the most acclaimed name in solar energy in the United States, SunPower is a national contractor with a local orientation. What that means is that homeowners in Florida who choose SunPower as their solar energy provider will be working closely with local experts who know everything about solar power in the state.
Here’s what SunPower has to offer Florida homeowners:
#1 Superb solar panel engineering: SunPower’s solar panels are the most efficient available on the market, converting 22 percent of the sunlight into usable electricity.
#2 SunPower Equinox System plus SunVault Battery Storage in one package: The integrated Equinox/SunVault solar energy production and storage system ensures round-the-clock reliable performance, and maximum money savings in the long run.
#3 Fully vetted network of licensed master dealers and installers: SunPower dealers are found in every major Florida city and in many other convenient locations. SunPower dealers employ their own trained installation experts, eschewing the use of subcontractors who may or may not be trustworthy and professional.
#4 25-year warranty on parts, labor and equipment: SunPower is the only solar company to issue warranties that covers your entire solar energy system, including the solar panels, electrical wiring, batteries, inverters, mounting equipment, etc., for an industry-leading 25 years.
#5 Innovative digital solutions for solar design and management: Using the patented SunPower Design Studio software, you can design a customized solar power system that matches your architectural and aesthetic preferences. With the SunPower mobile app you’ll be able to monitor and manage the functioning of your solar photovoltaic system from anywhere in the world.
#6 Generous financing packages: While you can pay in cash, SunPower also has solar leasing options and will provide solar loans with customer-friendly terms to those who struggle to find sources of financing elsewhere.
SunPower has earned its reputation as the most reliable solar energy company in Florida through its commitment to excellence. If you choose SunPower to supply and install your solar panels, you’ll be following a safe path guaranteed to produce praiseworthy results.
Runner Up: Solar Energy World
Now widely recognized as one of the premier names in solar power, Solar Energy World has been serving home and business owners up and down the east coast of the United States admirably for the past 15 years. Its office in Tampa has become one of its busiest locations, as prospective solar homeowners in Florida are anxious to do business with a solar dealer that has gained a reputation for outstanding customer service.
Solar Energy World offers customized rooftop installations performed by skilled professionals hired and trained by the company (subcontractors won’t find work from Solar Energy World). Its solar panels uphold the highest industry standards for efficiency and its rock-solid warranties will protect you from any type of malfunction for virtually the entire life of your solar system.
Noted for their responsiveness and helpfulness, Solar Energy World representatives will be there to answer questions and provide you with information before, during and after your solar installation, to make sure you’re 100 percent satisfied with their company’s performance.
How to choose the best solar company in Florida
Some of the best and most reliable solar sales and installation companies operate in Florida. They offer generous solar packages that include high-quality equipment and first-class installation services at reasonable costs.
When choosing the best solar company in Florida, you should consider several factors to ensure you get top-notch service and the best value for your investment. Here are some helpful tips to guide you through the selection process.
#1 Evaluate solar contractor’s services and costs: Take the time to thoroughly assess the services offered by each solar contractor. Look out for any hidden or unnecessary costs that might inflate the overall price. Reliable companies offer comprehensive solar packages with high-quality equipment and professional installation services at reasonable rates.
#2 Check guarantees and warranties: Be sure to pay enough attention to the guarantees and warranties provided by the solar company. Strong guarantees give you peace of mind, knowing that they stand behind their work and equipment. Avoid companies with weak or non-existent warranties, as they may not prioritize customer satisfaction.
#3 Seek recommendations: Reach out to your neighbors or other solar homeowners in your community through social media or direct conversations. Their firsthand experiences often provide valuable insights into which solar sales and installation companies are highly regarded in your region.
#4 Read online reviews: A company’s online reputation can speak volumes about their performance and customer satisfaction. Check for positive online reviews to gauge the reliability and professionalism of the solar installer you’re considering.
#5 Ask questions: When interacting with solar company representatives, don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. Pay attention to their responses and evaluate how well they address your concerns. A trustworthy and experienced company will be willing to provide thoughtful and detailed answers, helping you make an informed decision.
#6 Trust your instincts: Trust your instincts when selecting a solar installer. If you feel confident in their professionalism and trustworthiness, it’s a good indicator that you’ve found the right contractor. Feeling comfortable with your choice is essential for a smooth and successful solar installation experience.
By following these tips and doing your due diligence, you can find the best solar company in Florida to partner with for your solar energy needs. A reputable and reliable solar installer will not only provide exceptional service but also help you make a positive impact on the environment while enjoying the benefits of renewable energy.
Solar incentives in Florida
When you install solar energy systems in the United States, there will always be credits, rebates and other forms of financial incentives available to help you save money and reduce the total cost of your investment.
Here’s what you’ll discover in Florida:
#1 Florida Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption
If you install solar energy systems and associated solar components, sales taxes and use taxes will not be added to the purchase price of these goods. The sales tax exemption will result in a savings of six percent on the total cost of your solar home installation project .
#2 Florida Solar Property Tax Exemption
Solar photovoltaic energy systems, storage (battery) systems and all supporting equipment installed by Florida homeowners will inevitably boost your property values, but that will not be reflected in your property tax assessments .
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion is one example. It is a personal tax exemption which can be applied to energy conservation measures on houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, or even boats. An “energy conservation measure” includes solar energy installations primarily intended to decrease electricity or natural gas consumption.
According to the definition of “energy conservation measure,” utility rebates for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems may potentially be exempt from taxation. If you are interested in utilizing this subsidy for a new solar system, you should consult your eligibility with a tax professional to understand the specifics of the project. If eligible, though, you may receive up to 100 percent subsidy.
#3 Municipal and County Government Rebates, Grants and Loans
Several Florida localities offer extra incentives designed to reward homeowners who install solar panels on their rooftops. For example, the municipalities of Boynton Beach and Dunedin offer rebates and grants of between $1,500 and $2,500 to help new solar homeowners defray the costs of installation .
In Jacksonville and Orlando solar users who install battery backup systems can apply for rebates that range from $2,000 to $5,000 . A significant number of Florida communities offer solar loan programs, which can be helpful if you’re having problems finding a bank or credit union willing to finance your solar purchase .
The City of Tallahassee offers a loan program with a 5% interest rate, providing support for various energy-saving measures like photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water-heating systems. This program is available to City of Tallahassee residential electric and natural gas customers, allowing them to borrow up to $20,000 for solar panels.
Financing options are also accessible for a range of energy-saving appliances, measures, and systems, with a requirement of a free home energy audit for many of these loan measures.
The financing terms are generally up to 5 years, however solar energy installations and certain qualifying items in historic homes can have extended repayment periods of up to 10 years.
Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
The non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) is to support qualifying Florida homeowners with unsecured personal loans for a variety of home improvement projects, including (as the name itself suggests) solar energy adoption. This includes even solar thermal systems and photovoltaics.
The best part? SELF offers home improvement loans up to $50,000, and they base their loan approvals on your ability to repay, not just your credit score. So, even if you’ve had some financial challenges before, don’t worry, you may still be able to access this benefit.
For more details, you can find additional information on the project’s official website.
#4 Miami-Dade County – Green Building Expedited Plan Review
Miami-Dade County is committed to green building standards, aiming to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in communities. This program incentivizes environmentally conscious building practices.
To encourage energy-efficient construction, the county offers a Green Building Expedited Plan Review program. Eligible projects must meet these criteria: the plan is limited to new construction of residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Additions, alterations, repairs, and accessory structures do not qualify. The project must have a value of $50,000 or more.
Applicants must submit a letter from either the Florida Green Building Coalition or the United States Green Building Council, certifying that the design is registered or certified as a green building. This of course includes even the solar energy system added to the structure.
#5 Florida Net Metering
In Florida net metering is available to homeowners who produce excess solar electricity and would like to reroute it back to the grid in return for credits on their utility bills .
Florida Power & Light’s Net Metering program allows you to connect renewable energy systems to the grid, providing electricity to your property without buying it from the utility. Any extra energy your system generates is subtracted from your monthly usage, reducing your bill. If you produce more than you use, the surplus credits carry over to the next month.
Once your system is approved and installed, a special meter measures the direction of electricity flow. The energy your system makes is used first, and any excess goes back to the grid, shown on your bill as “kWh sent to the grid this period.”
In Florida, you can’t get credit for more electricity than you used from the grid in a month, but extra credits roll over at the full retail rate to the next month. At the year-end, remaining credits are compensated at a lower rate based on the utility’s wholesale energy cost.
Florida classifies solar systems by size: Tier 1 (up to 10 kW), Tier 2 (10 kW to 100 kW), and Tier 3 (above 100 kW). Tier 1 systems, which includes most homeowners like you, have streamlined permitting, no insurance requirement, and no application fee. Tier 2 systems have additional fees and need up to $1,000,000 in liability insurance – but these are used the most by the commercial scale solar projects.
#6 Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal policy that can make going solar more affordable for you. If you are a homeowner looking to install solar panels on your property, the ITC offers a generous 30% tax credit. That means you can get back 30% of the installation costs as a tax credit, effectively reducing the overall expense.
Thanks to the ITC, the U.S. solar industry has grown significantly, creating job opportunities and driving technological advancements. By taking advantage of this tax credit, you can not only contribute to a cleaner environment but also enjoy long-term savings on your energy bills.
Taking advantage of this incentive is a cost-effective way to embrace clean energy and reduce your reliance on traditional power sources.
#7 Florida PACE Programs
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows property owners to finance energy improvements, including energy efficiency, water conservation and solar energy generation. The financial amount is repaid through a special assessment on the property over several years.
As the assessment is linked to the property, not the owner, if the property is sold before the assessment is paid off, the balance transfers to the new owner without any additional approvals needed.
The specific qualifying improvements and program provisions are determined at the local level. You as a property owner must meet certain requirements of the program. This includes being up-to-date on property taxes for the previous three years, and the total assessment cannot exceed 20% of the property’s value. Local governments may collaborate to finance and administer PACE programs.
To avail of PACE financing, check if a local program is available at the city or county level in your area, as eligibility varies. Examples of active local PACE programs in Florida are offered by Flager County, City of Kissimmee, Leon County, Miami-Dade County, Town of Lantana, Town of Magnolia Park, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Tequesta, Lake Worth, Cutler Bay, Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Miami Shores.
Solar energy is unstoppable in Florida
Florida homeowners pay approximately $219 for electricity annually . This means that a solar energy system that meets all your needs could save you up to $2,628 each year, which in turn would mean your energy savings would cover the cost of a typical solar installation in four to eight years.
Current projections estimate that solar companies will install 10,868 megawatts of solar energy generating capacity in Florida by 2028 .
This will more than double the state’s total solar output, which shows that Florida homeowners are serious about taking advantage of the impressive economic benefits that solar energy offers.