Key takeaways

  • The total cost of solar depends on the number of panels, your energy usage, hardware and soft costs.
  • After applying the federal solar tax credit, the cost of solar in Florida averages between $13,000 and $23,300.
  • Federal, state and local incentives are available to offset the cost of solar.
  • Using solar power for your home could save you over $17,500 on electricity costs in Florida over time.

Solar power in Florida

Installing solar panels on your Florida home can help you save money due to rising electricity costs. The state receives an average of 5.7 peak sun hours daily, an ample amount of sun for panel efficiency and production. With a nickname like The Sunshine State, it is no surprise that Florida is a prime location to invest in solar energy. 

Florida ranks among the top 10 US states with the highest monthly electricity bills; rates increased over 12 percent from Jan. 2022 to Jan. 2023. Homeowners looking to reduce their reliance on the electricity grid should consider using solar to power their homes 

The total cost of solar for your home will vary based on energy usage, system size, installation costs and other factors. Federal and local incentives are available in Florida to offset the cost. 

Florida solar panel cost

The cost of solar panels depends on several factors, including the number of panels in your system, your home’s annual energy usage and potential roof repairs or electrical work. Find Energy data states the average price per watt in Florida is $3.70 with an average system size of 9 kilowatts (kW). This is very close to the national average from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which is f $3.67 per watt with the US average system size of 8.6 kW, making the average nationwide total cost of solar $31,558. 

The following table displays the cost of solar in Florida for different system sizes before applying incentives. If you want to cover your entire home’s energy usage, you will need a larger array. If you only want to cover a portion of your energy needs and still use some electricity from the grid, you can install a smaller size. You may be able to add more solar panels to your system later, but the overall cost could be greater due to additional installation labor and permitting costs. 

System size Total cost
7 kW $25,900
9 kW $33,300
12 kW $44,400

How much do solar panels save?

The total amount of monetary savings varies based on how you pay for your system. If you make a cash purchase, you will save more money over time than if you finance with a solar loan due to interest and other fees. Federal and local incentives, including net metering, can further offset the overall costs. 

You can calculate your payback period (the time if takes to experience the equivalent in bill savings to your initial solar investment) with a simple equation. 

(Total cost – 30 percent tax credit) ÷  (Average monthly bill x 12 months) = payback period

The average electricity bill in Florida of $174.59 making the average payback period about 11 years. Most solar panels t have warranties extending 25 years, with many brands lasting far beyond the standard warranty. You could save over $29,000 on electricity bills throughout the panel’s warranted lifetime. These savings do not account for increasing electricity rates and your savings potential could be even higher. 

Here’s how we calculated the average savings:

  • (174.59 x 12 months x 25 years) – (33,300 – (33 ,300 x .30)) = 29,067

Breakdown of solar costs

Solar prices decreased by 53 percent over the last decade, but there is no set cost for residential systems. The total price for your system will be determined by your selected solar company, location and equipment. Regardless of the variable aspects, the amount you pay is comprised of hardware and soft costs. Hardware costs include the physical materials like the panels, solar batteries and racking equipment. Soft costs include permits, inspections, installation labor and solar company overhead. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outlines the following factors common to solar installation expenses. 

  • Equipment: Includes the hardware components of the solar system, such as solar panels, inverters, racking and solar batteries. The price will depend on the brand of solar equipment you choose and your solar system size.
  • Installation: The labor costs of paying workers to install solar panels on your home which may vary by solar company.
  • Overhead: The marketing, sales and administrative costs of the solar company. You do not specifically pay for overhead, but it is factored into the price.

We recommend getting quotes from multiple solar companies and comparing prices to find the best solar company for your budget. 

The best Florida solar panel incentives or rebates

Solar incentives in Florida offset the total upfront costs. The federal Residential Clean Energy Credit reduces the price by 30 percent and shows as a credit on your income taxes. The full credit applies to homeowners who install solar panels from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. 

The following table details solar incentives available for Florida residents. 

Program Description
Net Metering You can sell excess electricity from your solar system back to the utility company for credits towards your next energy bill. Check with your utility company for specific details. 
Residential Clean Energy Credit A 30 percent federal tax credit applied to the purchase of solar systems from the beginning of 2022 until 2032. The credit decreases to 26 percent in 2033, 22 percent in 2034 and expires in 2035. 
Property Tax Exemption Residential solar panel systems are exempt from property taxes, so you will not pay any additional tax for the value solar panels add. 
Sales Tax Exemption Solar energy systems are exempt from sales taxes. 

Solar panel incentives in Jacksonville

JEA is the main utility company in Jacksonville, providing electricity to 488,000 customers. The company offers several residential solar programs to encourage the transition to green energy. The JEA SolarSmart program is a community solar initiative for residents who do not want solar panels on their homes but still want to use solar energy for power. Customers can choose their level of participation and receive energy from a nearby solar farm. Participants in the SolarSmart program pay $0.075 per kWh without fluctuation, so you know what to expect on your bill each month if you keep up with your energy usage. 

Solar panel incentives in Miami

Customers can receive solar panels at a discounted rate through bulk purchases thanks to Solar United Neighbors offer in Miami. The solar co-op program requires that yousign an individual contract for your home but are grouped with 50 to 100 neighbors purchasing solar at the same time. The co-op hosts workshops and other events for those who want to learn more. 

Solar panel incentives in Orlando

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is a utility company providing electrical services to the Orlando area. OUC offers solar options, including community solar and installing panels on your home. The OUCollective Solar program allows customers to receive wholesale prices and installation services from esaSolar Energy, a local contractor. OUC also offers a $900 solar thermal rebate for current residential electricity customers who install a solar water heater. 

Solar panel financing options

Buying your solar panel system outright is the best way to experience a large return on your investment, if you can afford the upfront cost. Paying with cash is not ideal for every budget. Thankfully, there are several other payment methods to make solar more affordable upfront.

  • Personal loans: A reliable and predictable option. Personal loans offer fixed and variable monthly rate payment plans, plus you can claim the lucrative incentives. 
  • FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans: Easy to qualify mortgage loans to finance your home and solar panel system together. Great options to consider if you are purchasing or renovating your home and want to install solar panels at the same time. Be aware of high-interest rates. An FHA 203(k) loan combines financing for home purchases, remodels and repairs. Fannie Mae HomeStyle loans combine mortgages and refinances. Freddie Mac’s CHOICERenovation mortgage provides loans for home renovations.
  • Home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC): Consider a HELOC loan if you have a lot of equity in your home. These loans typically have variable interest rates so your monthly payment may change throughout your contract. The interest paid may be tax-deductible and lower the amount you owe for taxes. 
  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A solar company claims ownership of the panels and you pay the company a monthly fee to use the generated power. The upfront costs are low but you do not qualify for solar incentives. 
  • Community solar: A subscription-style service to receive green power from nearby arrays. An excellent option for renters or anyone who does not want to purchase and own a solar system.

Financing options make powering your home with green energy from solar power in Florida a great choice for any budget.