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Can Solar Panels Save You Money in Sunny Florida? Uncover Info on Pricing and Incentives

Are you interested in lowering your energy bills? Solar panels can help you cut your electricity costs and lower your carbon footprint.

Solar panels on a residential house in Florida with the sun just starting to rise.
It's just another sun-shiny day in Florida as dawn begins to break.
Glen Richard/Getty Images

Florida has abundant solar potential, ranking third in the nation for solar energy installations. The Sunshine State also ranked highly for new solar panel installations in the first half of 2022, second only to California. With enough capacity to power more than 1.1 million homes across the state, solar is becoming more popular in Florida. 

Florida tends to have a higher average electricity bill than the national average. Using data from CNET's corporate partner, SaveOnEnergy, and the Energy Information Administration, we know that Floridians tend to pay around $161.14 in energy bills per month. If you purchase a solar panel system that covers your energy needs, you could save up to $1,933.68 annually. However, energy prices tend to increase year over year, with the average electricity rate in Florida increasing 19.2% from August 2021 to August 2022. Solar customers could continue to experience cost savings with solar.

The cost of solar panels has fallen significantly in the last two decades, making the switch to solar more affordable. According to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report, solar system costs have decreased by 69% since 2000. Solar could be a good option if you live in Florida and are interested in saving money on energy bills while improving your home's carbon footprint.

Florida solar panel costs

Several factors determine the cost of a solar system, including the number of panels, add-ons like solar batteries and installation costs. Florida's average solar panel system size is 10.1 kilowatts, which is larger than the national average. This explains why Florida's average solar system cost is higher than the national average. However, the cost can also depend on the manufacturer, type of panel and other factors.

Here's a breakdown of the average size and cost of solar in Florida compared to the national average, per the LBNL report.

Florida vs. the rest of the US


System size (kW) Price per watt Total cost
Florida 10.1  $3.69 $37,281
Nationwide 8.4  $3.59 $30,205

Solar panels are a big investment, but there are financing options that can make the purchase easier. Some residents buy their system outright, while others finance it over time with a solar loan. Solar leases are also available in Florida, although the state does not allow power purchase agreements. It's important to point out that if you lease your system, you won't qualify for solar tax incentives.


Advertiser Disclosure: CNET's corporate partner, SaveOnEnergy, can help you find the right energy fit for your home. The SaveOnEnergy marketplace helps you search, compare, sign up and save on the right energy fit for your home -- all for free. If you're interested in solar, answer a few questions to get an exact price quote from our solar advisors.


Florida solar panel incentives and rebates

When considering the cost of a solar system in Florida, you should also factor in solar incentives, tax credits and rebates, which can significantly reduce the price. While Florida doesn't have a renewable energy standard or target like many other states, there are incentives you can qualify for if you purchase a home solar system.

The Residential Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the Investment Tax Credit) is a federal solar incentive that credits 30% of the total cost of a solar panel system back to residents when they file their income tax returns. Because this is a federal tax credit, it applies to every state, including Florida. The Residential Clean Energy Credit recently increased from 26% to 30% and was extended when the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in August 2022.

The Residential Clean Energy Credit could save Floridians as much as $9,743 on the average solar system, although there is no cap on the amount you can claim with this tax credit. You can apply for the federal tax credit by filling out IRS form 5695 (PDF). The IRS provides instructions on how to fill out the form. After the IRS reviews and approves your application, you will receive your savings in a credit when you file your annual federal tax return.

In addition to the federal tax credit, there are several Florida solar incentives. Some utility companies offer solar incentives, so check with your electricity provider for more details about incentives specific to your area. You can find a complete list in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Here are a few examples of Florida solar incentives. 

Program Description
Net Metering Programs Net metering lets you send extra solar energy generated by panels back to the power grid in exchange for credits on electricity bills.
Property Tax Exemption Installing solar panels on your home can increase the home's value, thereby increasing your property taxes. Florida exempts residents from paying increased property taxes after installing solar panels.
Sales and Use Tax Exemption Solar systems purchased in Florida are exempt from sales and use tax, saving you an additional 6% when you buy a solar panel system.

Florida solar panel companies

ADT Solar

ADT Solar grew into one of the largest solar installers in the nation when it purchased Sunpro Solar in 2021. It operates across Florida, including in major cities including Destin, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Miami. This provider offers a range of solar options and backup batteries, including products from Enphase and Tesla. ADT Solar does not offer solar leases, so you'll have to buy your system if you choose this company.

ADT Solar offers 25-year warranties on labor, manufacturer and the power production of its products. It also has an installation price-match guarantee. ADT Solar previously preferred to source panels from LG, which left the solar market in 2022. The company has since confirmed it will continue to extend 25-year manufacturer and production guarantees.

Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar has a smaller service area than the other providers on this list, but the company has established itself as a solid option in the 11 states where it operates. In Florida, Momentum Solar offers solar and battery storage installations. Customers can buy or lease their solar system with this provider.

Momentum Solar extends a 25-year warranty on its solar systems, which covers the equipment and the quality of work. With Momentum Solar, you can receive real-time system monitoring at no additional cost through its mobile app. This app will also provide updates, details, and important dates during installation.

Palmetto Solar

Palmetto Solar is one of the 10 largest solar providers in the US offering home solar systems that you can buy outright or through a lease. Most of Palmetto's customers choose to buy their solar panels because owning the system provides the most savings over time.

Palmetto provides a variety of high-quality solar equipment and a subscription called Palmetto Protect. This service tracks how much electricity your solar system produces and offers tiered levels of support if the solar panels are underperforming, damaged or fail. Palmetto Solar extends a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty, and Palmetto's solar panels have an efficiency rating above 19.8%. 

SunPower Solar

SunPower Solar is at the top of CNET's best solar companies list for several reasons, including outstanding warranties and solar panels. SunPower's Equinox solar panels have an efficiency rating of up to 22.8%, higher than its competitors. SunPower offers a solar equipment bundle, which includes solar panels from Maxeon, Enphase microinverters and mounting equipment. 

SunPower's warranties stand out in the market as well. This provider guarantees 92% production capacity for 25 years. SunPower also offers solar battery installations under the brand name SunVault. These batteries also come with a warranty, guaranteeing they'll retain 70% of their charge for 10 years. This solar company operates in all 50 states, so Florida residents can check out SunPower's solar options.

Sunrun

Sunrun is America's largest solar company, with about 13% of the residential solar market share, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie. This company focuses on solar leases, which can provide a more affordable means of switching to solar. It should be noted that if you sign a solar lease you won't own your solar system. Generally, you will save less money over time and you won't qualify for solar tax credits or incentives.

People who sign a solar lease with Sunrun will receive "bumper-to-bumper" coverage on maintenance and monitoring. Those who buy solar panels outright from Sunrun will rely on the manufacturer's warranties, which can vary in coverage and quality. Sunrun offers a 10-year quality warranty to cover roof damage and installation issues.

Installation factors to consider

Before investing in solar panels, there are several factors to consider that can impact whether solar is right for you. Here are some installation aspects to think about ahead of time.

  • What is the age and condition of your roof? If your roof is older or in poor shape, you should consider repairing or replacing it before installing solar panels. Additionally, the size, shape and slope of your roof can affect how much electricity your solar system produces. The Department of Energy says solar panels are most efficient on south-facing roofs with a slope of between 15 to 40 degrees. 
  • Are there neighborhood or HOA regulations where you live? Some HOAs or neighborhood associations may have an approval process, regulations or design requirements for solar panels. Before installing panels on your property, be sure to check the regulations in your neighborhood.
  • Can you insure your solar system? Most homeowners' insurance policies cover rooftop solar panels. After installation, contact your homeowner's insurance agency to update your policy, so it includes coverage for your solar panels. 
  • Does your home receive adequate sunlight? Solar panels will produce more electricity in direct sunlight (although they can still generate some electricity in indirect sun). A solar panel system will be most efficient when it receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. Florida tends to experience more sunny days than the national average and solar panel systems usually run efficiently for Floridians. However, if your home gets shade coverage throughout the day, your solar panels won't generate as much power as they would in direct sunlight.
  • Are you renting your home? If you rent your home or live in an apartment, condo or townhouse, you may not be allowed to install solar panels. Consult with your landlord or property manager to confirm whether rooftop solar is an option. If you're prohibited but still want to switch to solar energy, community solar programs present an alternative. Community solar (sometimes called shared solar) lets you subscribe to electricity from solar panels at another location. You then receive a credit on your energy bills. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Florida leads the nation in community solar capacity, accounting for more than 30% of US power generated by shared solar projects. 

Florida solar power FAQs

Are solar panels good for the environment?

Solar power is a renewable resource and tends to be greener and more sustainable than coal or gas, which are fossil fuels. While manufacturing solar panels can have an environmental impact on the surrounding area, fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide), which have been directly linked to global warming, air pollution and climate change. Scientists warn that we need a rapid transition from fossil fuels to avoid worsening climate change. Solar energy is greener than fossil fuels because the sun will always produce energy and converting solar energy into electricity doesn't produce greenhouse gases. 

Are solar panels worth the investment in Florida?

Yes. Solar panels can be a good investment in Florida because the state receives many sunny days, meaning solar systems can produce more electricity than in other states. What's more, Florida tends to experience more expensive residential electricity rates, making switching to solar a good investment. 

How can I find a solar installer in Florida?

There are a growing number of solar installers in Florida. Before signing a contract with a solar company, research and review your options, including reading customer reviews. It would be best if you also got multiple quotes from installers in your area. You can review CNET's choices for the best solar companies.