The complete list of Florida solar incentives and tax credits for 2023, plus how to take advantage.
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Although it’s known as the Sunshine State, Florida only gets a little more than the average peak-sun-hours in the U.S. No matter, going solar is still a great idea in the land of Key Lime pie.
If you’re interested in going solar in Florida, do it fast. Not only is the federal tax credit set to drop down and then expire in 2022 and 2023, but net metering may also be on the chopping block in Florida. For now, net metering policy in Florida is fairly generous, so lock in those terms and conditions while you can!
Floridians can also take advantage of sales and property tax exemptions and exclusions and, depending on where you live, you may be eligible for a local solar rebate too.
Florida Solar Incentives
|State sales tax exemption||Sales tax exemption for solar electrical systems including associated equipment – saving 6%|
|State solar loans||The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) offers can be used to install solar PV and other solar equipment|
|State property tax exemptions||Statewide property tax exclusion for residential renewable energy property, including solar energy systems|
|Utility solar incentives||Clay Electric offers its customers rebates for solar water heating systems and solar window film|
|Net metering||Net billing, where customers receive one-for-one credits for surplus electricity. Credits carry forward month to month and customers get an annual check for credits at avoided cost rate|
|City solar rebates in Florida||Some counties and municipalities offer their own rebate and grant programs for solar PV, solar heating, and solar storage|
Solar loans in Florida
Floridians can also access the Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) which offers somewhat low-interest loans to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The fund can also be used to install a solar water heater, solar pool heater, solar pool pump, or solar attic fan, as well as window film and solar screens.
The loans administered by the SELF are unsecured, with interest rates as low as 7%, on 3-10-year terms, for up to $50,000.
Clay Electric also offers its customers a loan program. Homeowners can apply for loans up to $7,500 to install solar thermal water heating and solar pool heating. Customers must have a good credit history and a good payment record with Clay Electric. You’ll also need to have had service with Clay Electric for at least one year, and you’ll need to commission an energy survey of your home to qualify for the loan.
Lower-cost solar loans may be available to homeowners in Florida. Check our picks of the best solar loan providers for more information.
State sales tax exemptions in Florida
Florida offers a sales tax exemption for solar electrical systems. This saves homeowners a quick 6% off installation costs right off the bat. The exemption includes “solar energy systems or any component thereof,” meaning you shouldn’t have to pay sales tax on the panels or other parts of your system, such as mounting racks, inverters, and even battery storage.
Check with your solar installer for any additional local sales tax incentives and to ensure your quote accounts for the statewide sales tax exemption.
State property tax exemptions in Florida
Florida also offers a Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property. The exclusion includes solar energy collectors, photovoltaic modules, and inverters as well as any “equipment that collects, transmits, stores, or uses solar energy.”
This exemption means that any value added to your home by installing solar is excluded from the taxable property assessment. Given that solar can add around 4% to your home’s value, this can be a considerable cost saving for many homeowners!
Net metering in Florida
The Sunshine State offers net metering, for now! Under the current policy, any excess energy produced by your home solar energy system is carried forward as a credit at the full retail rate for up to 12 months. At the yearly billing anniversary, customers get a check for any outstanding credit. This is not a full retail credit though. Instead, the utility will convert credits to payments at an avoided-cost rate, which is substantially lower than the retail rate.
In Florida, then, as in so many states, it’s a good idea to set your billing anniversary at the end of winter, when you’re more likely to have used up any remaining credits by heating and lighting your home in the darker, cooler, months. Or, if you spend a lot of money on electricity to cool your home in summer, but you aren’t home much in winter, set your billing anniversary for when your highest energy demands start to taper off.
You might also consider installing battery storage, so you can charge your batteries to use up any remaining credits before your anniversary rolls around. That way, you’re getting one-for-one on energy instead of losing out each year.
Utility solar incentives in Florida
Clay Electric offers its customers rebates for solar water heating systems and solar window film. The current incentives for solar (window) shade screens are $0.44 per square foot of glass, up to a maximum rebate of $440 combined with window film. The solar water heating rebate is set at $0.01 per output BTU, up to a maximum rebate of $600.
Florida cities offering solar rebates and grants
There is no statewide solar rebate program in Florida, but various counties and municipalities offer their own rebate and grant programs for solar.
For instance, Jacksonville offers rebates of up to $2,000 for solar battery backup. The Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA) also offers its customers a $400 rebate on new solar water heaters.
The Beaches Energy Service Rebate program offers a $500 rebate for installing solar water heating, and the Ocala Utility Services program offers a $450 rebate on solar water heating systems.
Smaller rebate and grant programs also exist in certain areas, including Boynton Beach’s Energy Edge Rebate Program. This program offers up to $1,500 in rebates for systems with a capacity of 5 kW or more and panel efficiencies of at least 17.5%, as long as the solar array is installed by a certified solar contractor.
Dunedin also offers its own Solar Energy Rebate Grant Program. This incentivizes solar installations by offering rebates of $0.25 per watt of solar power generated, up to a maximum grant of $2,500. This program has exhausted its funding for the 2022 fiscal year but interested residents and businesses can submit applications again beginning October 1st, 2022 and can sign up to the email notification list through the link above.
Orlando Utilities Commission offers residential electric customers a rebate of $900 for installing solar water heating systems. OUC also offers residential electrical solar PV customers a rebate of $2,000 for a solar battery with capacity of at least 8 kWh and at least a 10-year defect warranty.
City of Tallahassee residential and commercial electric customers can get a $450 rebate for installing solar water heating systems. Residents can also access low-cost (5% interest) loans for solar water heaters and solar photovoltaic system, with loan payments made on monthly utility bills.
Other counties and municipalities may offer their own solar rebates and grants in Florida, so check with your local government before installing solar. Many such programs require pre-approval to be eligible for rebates and grants.
Final thoughts on state solar incentives in Florida
Florida is a great place to install solar at home. There are state sales and property tax exemptions, several local rebate programs, and decent net metering options.
That said, Florida’s governor just vetoed a bill that would have gutted net metering in Florida. The bill, which was allegedly heavily influenced by utilities including Florida Power & Light, was sent back to the state’s legislature for consideration. It will require two-thirds of the members voting in each house to override the veto.
All in all, if you’re thinking about going solar in Florida, go get some quotes from solar installers. With net metering still in place and the federal tax credit now increased to 30% thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, it’s a great time to switch to solar energy.