If you call the Sunshine State home, then you have probably seen a fair number of solar panels popping up around your town on local businesses and residential properties. There are more than 60,000 billboards, businesses, and homes across Florida that are now relying solely on solar energy. Why shouldn’t your home be the next?
In a state literally known for being full of sunshine, you would think that solar power would be an obvious choice. That’s certainly what we think! If you’re considering it for your home, then you’re likely wondering about the initial cost. Well, we’ve crunched some numbers and are here to give you a general idea of what to expect when you decide to go solar.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Florida?
The average cost of installing solar power in Florida is $2.62 per watt. That comes out to approximately $13,000 for an average-sized installation. That may seem like a lot at first glance, but let’s look into a few more details before you decide whether or not solar is for you.
As you can most likely guess, the cost of a full solar system (which would include solar panels, wiring, and power storage) will differ depending on the size. Here is a simple chart to give you an idea of how size affects the price.
|System Size||Cost Based on Average|
You should also keep in mind that there is a Federal Investment Tax Credit for installing solar. This allows you to deduct 26% of the installation cost from your taxes, returning a hefty sum to your wallet. This is what the prices would look like after that tax credit:
|System Size||Cost Based on Average|
These are just estimates, but as you can see, that tax credit helps a lot. If you’re looking for an average price on a different size system, check out our easy-to-use solar calculator.
What Can Affect The Price of A Solar Installation?
Size isn’t the only factor to consider when you’re trying to figure out the cost of solar panels in Florida. Your home solar system will require a lot of wiring, an inverter, power storage, and possibly more.
Don’t forget that you may also need installation permits through your town or city before you can finish your installation. Some cities also require you to have your solar system inspected before use, which can also add to the overall cost.
Here are a few more things that affect the cost of your solar installation:
How Much Of Your Power Usage Do You Want To Cover With Solar Energy?
The most important thing to know from the beginning is how much power you actually need. Knowing this in advance will make it much easier for you to get an accurate estimate on the installation cost.
The simplest way to determine what you need is to find out how much power you use each month. Preferably, you should pull out your electric bills from the last twelve months and figure out your monthly average. If you don’t keep your bill statements, or you’re earth-friendly and go paperless, you should be able to get copies either through the electric company or their website.
Once you know how much power you use each month, it’s time to decide how much of that you would like to replace with solar. In an ideal world we would all choose 100%, but sometimes that simply isn’t possible. If you can’t afford to install a big enough system right away, talk to a professional installer about putting in a system that could be expanded later.
Even if you start by only replacing some of your energy usage with solar, every little bit helps. Not only is it better for the environment, but it is better for your wallet as well.
What Type Of Panels Do You Want?
This might not be a question that you can answer right off hand, but here is a little information that may help you decide.
There are two main types of solar panels: polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Polycrystalline panels have been around longer and are a bit less expensive. Unfortunately, they are also less efficient. There are a few particular situations where polycrystalline panels may be better, but nowadays, most people go for monocrystalline. Monocrystalline panels may be a bit more expensive, but they make up for that with increased efficiency.
The brand of your panels could affect the price of installation as well. Like all products, solar panels can differ significantly by manufacturer. If an installer gives you a price quote that is drastically below average, you may want to check the brand of panels they plan on using. The brand of the inverter and battery bank may be worth a look as well. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Check Out The Incentives!
We already talked about the Federal tax credit, but don’t forget, there are state incentives as well. Solar panels are exempt from sales tax in Florida, so no worries about the extra charges on the bottom of the bill. Not only that, but you can also get a tax cut on your property taxes for having solar. You’ll be saving money all the time.
Will I Truly Save Money By Switching To Solar?
All these elements are good to think about and remember, but we’re guessing that the real question you want to ask is, “Will solar help me save money?” The answer is: yes!
Most solar panels are designed to last 25 to 30 years and they often pay for themselves within the first few years. The amount of time it will take for your system to pay for itself depends on the size of the system and how much power you use, but even if it takes eight to ten years to pay for itself, that still leaves you with 20 years of completely free electricity.
Many Florida cities get an average of 230 to 270 days of sunshine each year. That is an incredible amount compared to the US national average of 205 days of sunshine each year. This, combined with the state incentives, makes Florida the perfect state for solar living.
If you’re not sure about investing in a full solar system yet, you can still take advantage of free, clean solar energy by using it to charge your devices or power your lawn decorations. If you need more ideas, check out a few of our reviews about our favorite solar-powered products.
The Cost of Solar Panels In Florida
Even though Florida is the ideal place for solar power use, the price of solar panel installation is below the national average. At $2.62/W, Florida falls at $0.14/W below the national average. Why is that? It’s hard to say. But what we can say is that investing in a solar system for your Florida home is a sure bet.
To get a general estimate of the solar panel cost in Florida you can use our solar panel cost calculator. For a more accurate and detailed estimate, you should ask a professional. Although it may be tempting to choose a big name company for installation, you may want to rethink that decision.
Nationwide solar installation companies may have slightly better prices, but a quick look through their customer reviews shows that their customer service is not always top-notch. Instead, choose a smaller, local business that will be able to provide you with the one-on-one assistance that you need throughout the installation process. They will also be more readily available to help you maintain your system throughout its 30-year lifespan.