Going Solar in Tampa
With an average of 244 days of sunshine a year the Tampa Bay area is a prime location for solar electric systems. The costs of almost year-round air conditioning, not to mention heating your pool, can make your energy bills prohibitively expensive. Installing a solar electric system can reduce, and possibly eliminate your monthly energy bill, all while helping you to lead a more sustainable life, decreasing your environmental footprint.
Now is a great time to invest in solar as prices have plummeted 70 % since 1998. The average residential solar system in Tampa costs between $15,000-25,000. Factor the price of running your home with fossil-fuel-based energy over the next 25 years, and you’ll find that a solar energy system provides a considerable return on your investment.
What are Your Solar Options in Tampa?
While there are lots of ways to integrate solar technology into your home, the three most popular methods in the Tampa/St. Pete area are:
Residential Solar Panels: Rooftop solar systems are the most popular option for homeowners because residential roofs usually have enough space and are well-maintained for maximum energy production. Your roof should be clear and panels should ideally be south-facing for best results.
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating: There’s no better feeling than hopping in a nice hot shower—except for knowing that you aren’t paying a single cent to heat up that water! That’s what solar water heating is all about, and it’s why many people are switching to using solar heating instead of a traditional hot water heater.
Solar Pool Heating System
A solar pool heating system usually costs between $3,000 and $4,000 to buy and install. This provides a payback of between 1.5 and 7 years, depending on your local energy costs. Solar pool heating systems also typically last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters. Installing a solar heating system for your pool will significantly cut down on the cost of heating your pool. Additionally, you can extend the duration of your swimming season throughout the year.
Rebates and Incentives for Floridians
You can receive a federal tax credit for your solar system–up to 30% of the cost of your system with no maximum. Existing homes and new construction qualify for the credit, as well as principal residences and secondary homes. Rental properties are not eligible for the credit. These credits expire on December 31, 2016. Credits are available for both solar panels and solar water heaters.
An additional incentive is that solar energy systems have been exempt from Florida’s sales and use tax since July 1, 1997. Additionally, Florida excludes the value of a solar electric system (including solar water heaters) from your annual property taxes. So if you install a solar electric system on your home and your property value goes up, as a result, you will not have to pay increased property taxes as a result of the increase in value from the solar system. It is always advisable to speak with a tax professional or an attorney. With respect to any commercial or rental property to which you add a solar energy system.
How Do Solar Panels Stand Up to Hurricane Season?
Solar panels can actually provide an additional level of protection to your home during a storm. Additionally, if there’s ever a problem with the roof that needs to be repaired, panels can easily be removed. Most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather to a mounted railing system. Installers use sealants to close any cracks. Often, metal flashing or other covers act as additional barriers against elements.
Do I Need to Get My Solar Energy System Approved by My Homeowners Association?
Yes, and no. Your right to install a solar energy system is protected by The Florida Solar Rights Act. The Act is a law that prohibits any person, even homeowners associations (HOA) from preventing the installation of solar. Other renewable energy devices for your business or home. That said, your HOA is not completely without rights. A lot of HOAs require a consultation prior to the system being installed. They may also impose restrictions on how the system is set up.
Any restrictions must be reasonable and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance (i.e. placing panels under trees or on a portion of the roof that doesn’t receive direct sunlight) or increasing the cost of your solar energy system.
Contact Us Now
ESD Solar is the best solar provider in the great Tampa Bay area, hands down. We have assisted homeowners and businesses make use of the power of the natural environment for a long time. This has enabled companies to cut expenses and boost profits. ESD has put in numerous solar panels. Our installers are experts who work with all kinds of solar panels available. Let us leverage our solar experience for you, call us today for a free consultation!