Here Are The New Florida Solar Incentives


by Eric Lam - Published 1/10/2024


In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of solar incentives in Florida. Florida boasts significant potential for harnessing solar energy, and understanding the various incentives available is crucial for homeowners and businesses looking to make the transition to solar power.

From federal tax credits to sales tax exemptions and property tax incentives, we will explore the array of financial benefits and opportunities aimed at promoting renewable energy adoption in the state.

Join us as we uncover the current landscape of solar incentives in Florida and discuss the future outlook for renewable energy support in the state.

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida offers a variety of incentives to promote the use of solar energy, including tax exemptions and rebates.
  • These incentives are important for promoting renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, and saving money on energy bills in Florida.
  • To qualify for these incentives, individuals and businesses must meet certain criteria and follow specific steps, such as installing eligible solar energy systems.

Why Are Solar Incentives Important in Florida?

Solar incentives in Florida play a critical role in encouraging homeowners and businesses to adopt solar energy, fostering both economic and environmental benefits. Florida, known for its abundant sunshine, offers a conducive environment for solar power generation, making it an attractive option for residents looking to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.

  1. Net Metering: Florida's net metering policy is particularly beneficial, allowing solar panel owners to sell unused energy back to the grid. This setup can lead to significant savings on electricity bills and provides an opportunity for solar panel owners to get credited for the excess energy their systems produce, enhancing the financial return on their solar investment​.
  2. Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): On top of state-specific incentives, Florida residents can also benefit from the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which offers a 30% tax credit on the installation cost of solar systems. This substantial financial incentive reduces the initial investment required for solar installations, making solar energy more accessible and appealing.
  3. Property and Sales Tax Exemptions: Florida provides property tax exemptions for the added value that solar installations contribute to a property, ensuring that homeowners don't face increased property taxes due to their solar systems. Additionally, the state exempts solar energy systems from sales tax, offering an instant 6% savings on the purchase. These exemptions reduce the financial burden of going solar and further incentivize the transition to renewable energy​.
  4. PACE Financing: The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Florida offers another avenue for financing solar installations. This program allows homeowners to install solar panels and make repayments through an assessment on their property tax bill, spreading out the cost over a long period and reducing upfront expenses.

These incentives not only make solar energy more affordable for Floridians but also contribute to the state's environmental goals by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions. The combination of state and federal incentives, alongside the natural advantages of Florida's sunny climate, positions solar energy as a financially viable and environmentally responsible choice for the state's residents.

What Is the Future of Solar Incentives in Florida?

The future of solar incentives in Florida seems stable and encouraging, especially with the extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) under the Inflation Reduction Act. This extension maintains the ITC at 30% of the total cost of a solar installation, including equipment and labor, for systems installed before 2032. After this period, the credit will decrease to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034, with no renewal mentioned beyond 2035. This significant incentive is crucial for Florida residents, offering a substantial reduction in the overall cost of going solar, with the average credit value considerably higher in Florida compared to most states.

State-level incentives further enhance the appeal of solar in Florida. The solar and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Sales Tax Exemption eliminates all sales tax on solar equipment. This upfront saving is automatic at the point of sale, reducing the initial cost of solar installations. The Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property is another valuable incentive, preventing an increase in property taxes due to the added value from solar installations. This exemption is applied automatically, offering long-term savings over the life of your solar panels.

Moreover, the state supports programs like Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, offering low-interest loans to facilitate solar installations for those who might not afford or qualify for traditional financing options. While PACE financing presents an attractive solution for making solar energy more accessible, it's worth noting its impact on selling the property, as the remaining loan balance can transfer to the new owner​.

Net metering policies in Florida also offer ongoing benefits, allowing homeowners to earn credits for surplus energy generated by their solar systems. These credits can offset future utility bills, enhancing the savings from solar installations over time. However, potential changes to net metering programs could affect these benefits in the future​.

Florida remains a solar-friendly state with its abundance of sunshine and supportive policies. While the federal tax credit offers immediate financial relief, state-level incentives and net metering policies contribute to the long-term savings and sustainability of solar installations. As solar technology continues to evolve and policies are updated, the outlook for solar incentives in Florida remains positive, encouraging more homeowners to consider solar as a viable and beneficial energy solution.

Florida Solar FAQ:

Q1: What are the primary solar incentives available in Florida? A1: Florida offers a range of solar incentives, including the Federal Solar Tax Credit, Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Property, Net Metering programs, Sales Tax Exemption for Residential Solar Energy Systems, and Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption for businesses.

Q2: How does the Federal Solar Tax Credit work for Florida residents and businesses? A2: The Federal Solar Tax Credit allows Florida homeowners and businesses to deduct a percentage of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. This incentive significantly reduces the upfront expenses associated with solar installations, making solar energy more accessible and affordable.

Q3: What is the impact of Net Metering on solar energy users in Florida? A3: Net Metering in Florida enables property owners with solar systems to earn credits for surplus energy generated and fed back into the grid. This helps reduce electricity bills and supports the efficient use of solar energy, encouraging more residents and businesses to adopt solar power.

Q4: What are the criteria to qualify for solar incentives in Florida? A4: To qualify for solar incentives in Florida, individuals and businesses must meet specific criteria such as installing eligible solar energy systems, ensuring the system meets energy capacity requirements, and complying with program standards set by the state.

Q5: What is the future outlook for solar incentives in Florida? A5: The future of solar incentives in Florida looks promising, with continued growth expected due to evolving policies, technological advancements, and increased market competitiveness. This growth will likely enhance the accessibility and affordability of solar energy for both residential and commercial users in the state.