Florida Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to Florida solar panels:

  • The steps you’ll need to take to convert your home to solar power
  • Typical Florida solar panel costs and how to save money using state incentives
  • How much solar electricity your panels are likely to produce in the Sunshine State
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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs
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Momentum Solar

Best Regional Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • Only available in 11 states

How to Get Solar Panels in Florida

The first step to getting a solar array installed on your home is to reach out to a local solar company. An employee of the company will assess your home and your energy needs to figure out what size system will be ideal for you.

If you need financing options, the representative might discuss solar loans, leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs). Once payment is squared away, the company will design your ideal system and pull permits for the equipment. Those will need to be approved before your system is installed and commissioned (turned on).

Going solar in FL is an outstanding opportunity for most residents. The abundance of sunshine and high electricity rates in the area lead to above-average savings, making solar worth it in the long run. The typical Florida solar customer will enjoy energy savings that cover the cost of the system and save an additional $21,000 or more.

What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Florida?

florida solar panels guide
Credit: Jeffrey Grospe / Unsplash

The exact cost of solar panels for your solar project is a tricky metric to nail down because many factors can affect pricing. However, the average price for photovoltaic (PV) equipment is around $2.53 per watt in FL, which is well below the national average.

Since most FL residents need a large, 11.5 kW system, the typical total cost is around $29,000 or closer to $20,000 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is considered. With the energy savings provided by the system, this total should be recouped within about 12 years, which is the national average for the panel payback period.

If you need more specific pricing or you’re interested in reading more about factors that affect the up-front cost of going solar, you can check out our cost guide for solar panels in Florida.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Florida

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Florida is ranked third in the country in terms of solar adoption.1
With the massive solar industry in the area, it’s not surprising that most of the major home solar equipment brands are well represented in FL.

Since Florida is one of the sunniest states in the country, residents usually don’t need to purchase the most energy-efficient panels to offset their electricity bills. More likely, residents will prioritize panel brands with sufficient warranty coverage, especially since the weather in FL can be erratic and extreme at times.

Below, we’ll include a short list of some of the most widely used panel brands in FL:

  • SunPower
  • Tesla
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • REC
  • Trina Solar
  • Mission Solar
  • Canadian Solar
  • Qcells
  • JA Solar

Is Florida a Good State for Solar Panels?

florida solar panels direction tip

Florida is largely considered one of the best states in the country for solar conversion. There are a few things the state has going for it that help make solar more valuable than in other areas. These include:

  • Low average cost of solar panels: As mentioned above, the average cost for solar equipment in FL is well below the U.S. average. This means residents pay less for panels, inverters and solar batteries, improving the overall value-to-cost ratio. For this reason, most residents find that installing solar equipment is worth it from a financial perspective.
  • Abundant sun availability: With the state’s nickname being the Sunshine State it should come as no surprise that FL receives plenty of sun for panels to generate sufficient energy. Residents enjoy an incredible 237 sunny days per year, which is quite a bit above the national average.2
  • Intense sunlight: Not only does FL receive more sun than most states, but the sunlight is more intense. Florida’s southern location near the equator means the sun hits the earth at less of an angle. More intense sun means greater energy production. Ultimately, this translates to greater energy savings and higher panel value.
  • Above-average energy consumption: The long, hot summers in Florida lead most residents to rely on air-conditioning for months at a time to remain comfortable. Florida homeowners use an average of 1,142 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each month, compared to the national average of just 893 kWh.3 Rooftop solar systems are more valuable in areas like FL with greater energy needs because there’s more on each utility bill to offset.
  • High risk of power outages: Floridians are no strangers to severe weather. FL might be sunny most of the year, but it’s also prone to hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical cyclones. These extreme weather conditions make blackouts more likely, so many residents install panels and solar batteries to maintain electricity through outages.

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Florida?

Solar panels rely on available sunlight to generate electricity. Not only can factors that affect available sunlight change your rate of energy production, but so can things like the energy efficiency of your panels and the size of your system. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most crucial factors to consider when estimating your energy production.

  • System size: The number of panels you install on your Florida home will usually be the most significant factor when it comes to production. More panels means more energy generation. Just keep in mind that installing more and more panels is not always ideal, and your system should be sized appropriately for your home.
  • Shading on your property: Whenever sunlight is not hitting a portion of your panels, production will dip. That means that you’ll generate less solar electricity if your roof is shaded during the day by tree coverage, buildings and even smaller things like utility poles and electrical wires.
  • The orientation of your home: The intensity of the sun hitting your roof can be affected by the direction your roof faces. South-facing roofs in Florida get the most direct sunlight and will produce the most energy.4
  • The panel brand you install: Different solar panel brands have different base efficiency ratings, which dictate the maximum portion of the available sunlight they can convert to electricity for your home. Higher-efficiency panels will, of course, produce more power in all situations.
  • The weather: The weather plays a role in solar production as well. For the most part, Florida residents enjoy sunshine. However, cloudy days will cause your generation rate to dip.
Solar Power System Size (in kilowatts) Expected Daily Energy Generation Expected Monthly Energy Generation Expected Annual Energy Generation (megawatt-hours)
9 kW 30 kWh 900 kWh 10.8 MWh
10 kW 33.3 kWh 1,000 kWh 12.0 MWh
11 kW 36.6 kWh 1,100 kWh 13.2 MWh
12 kW 40 kWh 1,200 kWh 14.4 MWh
13 kW 43.3 kWh 1,300 kWh 15.6 MWh
14 kW 46.6 kWh 1,400 kWh 16.8 MWh
15 kW 50 kWh 1,500 kWh 18.0 MWh

If you’re looking for more customized estimates for panel production, you can use our solar calculator to see how much energy your home could produce.

Solar Panel Policy History in Florida

While Florida is an outstanding place to go solar because of the low equipment cost and abundant sunshine, the state has done little to promote solar installations and renewable energy altogether.

In 1997, FL passed the solar and CHP (combined heat and power) sales tax exemption, which waived sales tax on all solar and clean energy equipment. This benefit saved most homeowners a few hundred dollars, but it expired in 2005 and has yet to be renewed.

It wasn’t until a decade later, in 2008, that FL implemented its next pro-solar program: net metering. A net metering program credits you for the excess energy you produce with your panels.

These credits — paid at the retail rate — can be used to pay down future energy bills, and they are cashed out at the end of each 12-month billing cycle. That means your utility company pays you for all net excess generation (NEG).

Keep in mind that net metering is only mandated in FL for investor-owned utilities (IOUs). These include electric companies like Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light (FPL), Gulf Power, Florida Public Utilities Company and Tampa Electric Co (TECO).

Finally, in 2013, Florida passed the property tax exclusion for residential renewable energy. This law made it so that the bump in home value your solar panels produced would not cause an increase in your property taxes.5

Unfortunately, Florida has yet to put into place a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. If it does, the local solar industry is likely to expand rapidly.

What Are The Solar Panel Incentives in Florida?

Along with the general lack of pro-solar legislation in Florida comes scarcity in terms of benefits for installing solar energy systems. There are just a handful of perks available, which we’ll mention briefly below.

  • Net metering: As mentioned above, net metering credits each solar customer for excess energy generated with PV equipment. You can use the credits to reduce future bills or get cash payments for the excess at the end of the year.
  • Federal solar tax credit: The federal tax credit — commonly called the ITC — is for 30% of your system cost. That amount — which averages out to around $8,700 in FL — gets credited to your income taxes owed for the year you install your system.
  • Property tax exemption: In an effort to reduce the negative effects of installing photovoltaic equipment on your home, the State of Florida offers a property tax exemption to ensure going solar doesn’t cause your taxes to go up.
  • Local solar rebate programs and incentives: Finally, there are several local cash-back programs and other solar incentives offered in certain municipalities. These include Jacksonville’s cash-back perk for battery storage solutions, Boynton Beach’s Energy Edge Rebate Program and the Solar Energy Rebate Grant from Dunedin.

If you need more information on available incentives or are curious about additional local offerings, you can read through our Florida solar incentives guide.

Find a Local Installer in Florida

According to the SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), there are nearly 200 solar installers that serve FL.6 Researching all of these to decide which is the best one would take extensive time and effort.

While it’s not realistic to examine every installer in-depth, it is important to choose a reputable and reliable provider. The company you pick will have a massive impact on the customer service you receive, the warranty coverage you get, the price you pay for your system and your overall experience.

To help narrow down your options, we’ll include some links below to the best solar companies in some of the larger cities in FL.

Aerial view of Boca Raton in FL
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Boca Raton

Skyline view of Jacksonville, FL
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Jacksonville

View of the Tampa skyline from the water
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Tampa

Gorgeous water feature in Pembroke Pines
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Pembroke Pines

Desoto Bridge
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Bradenton

View of the Fort Lauderdale city skyline
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Fort Lauderdale

Downtown area in Hollywood, FL
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Hollywood

View of the Miami skyline at night
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Miami

View of Orlando from the water
Credit: Domenico Convertini / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Orlando

Gorgeous shot of the sunrise over Boynton Beach
Credit: Kim Seng / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Boynton Beach

If you live outside of these major cities or just want a larger regional or statewide company to tackle your solar project, you can also check out our guide to the best solar panel installation companies in Florida as a whole.

Blog author image
Dan Simms, Solar Expert
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.