Solar Panel Installers

Florida’s sunny weather makes it an ideal place to switch to solar power. Additionally, the state experiences severe storms that can knock out power, highlighting the need for an alternative power source. If you’re considering a solar system, contact ESD Solar for a free quote. As expert solar installers, they can help you harness the sun’s energy efficiently and reliably.

What Should I Know About Going Solar in FL?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Florida ranks third in the nation for solar energy. Solar power makes up 6.75% of the state’s electricity, with 223,873 solar installations and 471 solar companies. Florida has invested $20 billion in solar power, and this investment continues to grow. Over the past decade, solar prices in the state have dropped by 47%.

Here are some things you should know if you’re among the many Florida homeowners who want to go solar.

What is the cost of a solar system in Florida?

According to EnergySage, the average cost of a 10-kilowatt solar panel system in Florida is $24,328. By applying for federal solar tax credits and other incentives, you can save thousands of dollars.

What are Florida solar incentive programs?

Florida offers several solar incentives including solar sales tax exclusion, property tax abatement, net metering, and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. There may also be local incentives available in your area. For example, in Boynton Beach and Dunedin, we found rebate programs.

What terms should I be familiar with when it comes to solar energy?

Before the average homeowner can understand how solar energy works and what to buy, they need to study. Here are some solar terms you should know:

  • Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline: These terms refer to the types of solar cells used in panels. Monocrystalline panels perform better but cost more.
  • Backup Solar Battery: You will need at least one solar battery to store the excess energy produced by your solar panel. You can use the stored energy from a backup battery to power your house during power outages or cloudy days. This product provides greater energy independence and resilience against grid failures.
  • Inverter for Solar Power: An inverter converts the direct current (DC), which your solar system gets from the sun, into alternating current (AC), which powers your home.
  • Solar Panel Efficiency Rating: This shows the percentage of solar energy that a panel can convert into usable electricity. The higher the efficiency rating, the more energy is produced. Scientists are constantly working to improve solar energy systems, but it is not possible for them to function at 100% efficiency today. Most panels are between 15% and 22.2% efficient, while leading brands are at least 20.0% efficient.

How can I pay for solar panels?

There are a few options for paying for solar panel systems. You can buy your solar panels upfront and own the system immediately. Solar loans are also available, allowing you to make monthly payments while owning the system. Solar leases can be cost-effective, but they don’t allow you to own the system or receive solar incentives. With a solar lease, you can lease the system and pay monthly without the high interest rates that come with loans. However, Florida does not allow financing through power purchase agreements, according to state statute 366.02.

In a 2024 survey of 1,000 solar consumers, nearly half of the users paid for their systems in full upfront, 23% financed their purchase with a loan, and 11% opted for leasing.

What are the warranties that come with solar panels

Solar companies often provide a manufacturer’s warranty, while your solar panel installers will give you a workmanship or labor warranty. Many leading companies also offer a performance warranty for your solar panels.

What you need to know about each of these:

  • Manufacturer’s Warranty (or Product Warranty): Protects individual solar system components in case they are defective.
  • Warranty on Workmanship: Covers installation issues due to poor workmanship, faulty materials, or incorrect installation.
  • Performance or Power Production Guarantee: Ensures that the solar system is producing power as specified in your contract.

 

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Solar Panel Installers

What Is the Cost of Solar Panel Installation in Florida?

Installing solar panels costs an average of $24,328 in Florida for a 10 kW system. This size typically powers a two-story home and is significantly less expensive than the national average cost of $29,410. The location, system size, type of panel, and efficiency rating will all affect your total cost. It’s best to get quotes from providers to better understand the price. S

Solar incentives, such as the federal tax credit for solar energy, can help you save thousands of dollars.

System Size Average System Cost Average System Cost After Federal Tax Credit
3 kW $7,298 $5,109
4 kW $9,731 $6,812
5 kW $12,164 $8,515
6 kW $14,597 $10,218
7 kW $17,029 $11,921
8 kW $19,462 $13,624
9 kW $21,895 $15,326
10 kW $24,328 $17,029

The average payback time for solar buyers in Florida is 7.41 years. Over the first 20 years of ownership, you’ll save $48,695 in energy costs.

What Solar Incentives Are Available in Florida?

Florida offers several solar incentives that can make switching to cleaner energy more affordable. In our survey of 1,000 solar consumers, 75% used solar incentives to increase their return on investment. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed applied for a federal tax credit. Another 32% used net metering, while 30% received a local rebate. Below, we’ve listed the best incentives and credits available in Florida.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

Florida residents can take advantage of the federal tax credit, even though Florida’s incentives are relatively small compared to other states. The tax credit covers 30% of the cost of solar panel installation. This credit is available for a variety of solar equipment, such as solar roofs and rooftop panels. Installing a standalone solar battery can also qualify for this credit.

Net Metering

The state’s Net Metering Program is available to solar customers. This program credits your electric bill if you send the excess energy your system produces back to the grid. The Florida Public Utilities Commission mandates net metering statewide. It includes a retail payback rate that requires utility companies to pay for excess electricity at the same rate they charge customers.

Other State-Specific Incentive Programs

Florida residents don’t have to worry about higher property taxes, even though installing a system can increase the value of your home. Florida’s Property Tax Abatement Policy for Renewable Energy Property prevents you from having to pay additional property taxes after installing a solar system.

Florida offers a Sales Tax Exemption to protect residents from paying sales tax on solar-related products. Residents can check with their city utility companies or local electric cooperatives for rebates that will help offset the costs of solar panel systems.

What Should You Look for in a Solar Company

Compare solar companies by considering the following factors.

Solar Services

Solar companies may use their own teams or hire contractors from outside to complete projects. In-house teams offer better communication, efficiency, and quality control. Third-party solar panel installers may not always be reliable and require constant coordination with a project manager. We recommend working with solar companies that employ their own installers.

Solar panel installers offering additional services like energy audits, mobile apps, and system monitoring are also worth considering. Audits can help prepare your home for a solar system and maximize energy-saving potential. Apps that monitor your system provide insights into your panels’ performance and can alert you to technical issues.

Customer Support

Look for solar panel installers who offer multiple contact methods, including email, online forms, and phone. Online chat is a popular tool, though results can vary. During secret shopping, we found that some chats use auto-generated replies, while others connect to live representatives. Other contact methods include SMS messages and in-app communications with technical support.

Payment Options

Most companies offer two or three options for financing solar panels. These typically include solar loans and upfront payments (cash). Both options provide the highest return on investment and qualify for many solar incentives. Solar leases offer limited financial benefits and are best suited for those who do not wish to own their panels. Note that Florida does not offer power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Warranty

Warranties for solar systems vary but usually last between 10 and 20 years. Look for companies that offer consistent warranty lengths. Most companies provide:

  • Manufacturer’s warranty (or product warranty): Protects against defects or issues from the manufacturer.
  • Warranty on workmanship (or labor): Covers problems caused by poor or faulty installation.

Some companies also guarantee power production, covering your panels over time. As solar panels age, their efficiency decreases. This degradation is accounted for in a power production guarantee, which ensures performance levels. Companies may replace or repair panels if they fall below specified levels or offer monetary compensation.

What to Ask Your Solar Installer

Choosing the right solar panel installers can greatly impact the performance of your solar system. It’s important to work with experienced and licensed solar installers who have excellent customer reviews. Here are some key questions to ask upfront:

  • Are you licensed and insured in Florida?
  • Are you NABCEP certified? What other certifications does your team have?
  • Can you assist in researching and applying for solar tax incentives?
  • Do you have any photos or testimonials from your customers’ solar projects in my area?
  • What additional solar services do you provide? What is included in my contract? What services are offered at no cost?
  • Do you use third-party contractors or in-house installers?
  • What are your financing options?
  • How much can I expect to save on solar energy, and how long will it take to pay back my solar system?
  • What additional warranties are included with my solar panels? Are there warranties for roof leaks or panel performance?
  • Do I need to make any repairs or upgrades before installing solar panels? Do you offer additional services, such as electrical upgrades or tree removal?

How Can You Save Money On Solar?

There are many ways to save on solar. Even though solar costs in Florida are below average, you can still reduce your expenses with these tips:

  • Be Smart About Finance: Get as much information as possible about your financing options from each provider you consider. Ask about the fine print, terms, interest rates, payment options, and lender options. Choose the option that makes the most financial sense over the long term and offers the greatest overall savings.
  • Compare Quotes: Get solar quotes from different companies and compare the prices. You might find that a less-known company offers the same or better products, services, and performance as a large industry name but at a much lower cost.
  • Use Solar Incentives: Your installer should help you determine which local, federal, and state solar incentives you are eligible for. By applying by the deadline, you can save thousands on your solar project.

Solar Panel Installers

What Can You Expect from a Florida Solar Installer?

Most solar panel installers follow the same general process, although there may be some variations.

Consultation: A company representative will contact you to discuss your interests and potential energy savings. You should have a current electric bill available to show what you are currently paying.

Site Survey: If you decide to proceed, the company will send a technician to inspect your roof to check for structural problems or design issues that might impact your solar installation. The technician will also assess if your property is the right size and layout for solar panels. He will advise you on any necessary services, such as tree removal and electrical upgrades.

Designing and Permitting: The firm will design your system based on what is most beneficial for you. You will choose the components of your system and any additional equipment you desire. You will receive a detailed quotation and sign the contract. The company will then handle all the necessary paperwork and apply for permits with local authorities. This could take a few weeks.

Installation: Your solar array will be installed according to the design agreed upon by your installation team. Our survey found that 34 percent of solar customers said the installation process took one day.

Inspection: Your solar panel installers will arrange for local officials to inspect the system to ensure it meets local codes. This could take up to a month.

System Activation: Your local utility company will approve the system after your installer has coordinated the grid connection. Once all approvals are received, your system will be ready to use.

Get a Free Estimate Today

Floridians benefit greatly from solar energy. The state’s sunny weather, tropical storms, and other factors make it a valuable alternative energy source. ESD Solar is our top recommendation for Florida residents. Its reputation for prompt customer service and high-performance panels makes it stand out among competitors. Call now to get a free quote!

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