Solar Panel Costs in Florida: 2023 Guide (Expert Reviewed)
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If you’re considering switching to solar power in Florida, you’ll be happy to know installation costs are lower than most states. Our research shows that solar panels cost an average of $15,480 for a typical 6-kilowatt (kW) system—$3,480 less than the national average for a system of the same size.
Numerous factors can increase or decrease your total solar panel cost in Florida. Our guide breaks down the factors that impact your price and the best ways to save money. We’ve also recommended the top solar companies in the state to help you start your transition.
*Cost data averaged from SunPower and EnergySage.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Florida?
We reviewed several industry reports and found that solar panels cost an average of $2.58 per watt in Florida. This is markedly lower than than the national average of $3.16 per watt, as reported by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
That amounts to $15,480 for a 6-kW system before applying any solar incentives, rebates, or tax credits. This is just a baseline estimate. Additional factors, such as your specific energy needs and selected solar panel type, affect the total price. Below is an overview of the different solar panel types available:
- Monocrystalline panels: These are the most popular solar panel type due to their high-efficiency rates. However, they’re also the most expensive.
- Polycrystalline panels: These are more affordable than monocrystalline panels, but their efficiency rate is lower.
- Thin-film panels: Thin-film panels are the least efficient and cheapest option. These panels are best for small-scale solar projects, such as an RV or shed, rather than full residential installations.
Average Costs by System Size
Solar companies will design your solar system by analyzing your utility bills and energy needs. The average solar system is around 6 kW but can be smaller or larger to meet your needs. Here are the average solar panel costs based on system size:
|Solar Panel System Size||Florida Solar System Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Remember that these prices are just estimates. They may seem high, but incentives and tax credits can reduce your total costs. For example, the federal solar tax credit provides a tax credit equal to 30% of your installation costs. We applied this credit to the price of each system in the above table to show you the potential savings. When applied to a 6-kW system, the average cost of a solar panel system in Florida reduces from $15,480 to $10,836.
Factors That Affect Solar Installation Cost
Several factors affect your total solar panel installation cost, including your location, roof structure, home size, and climate. We’ve detailed these factors below.
- Labor costs: The size of your system, installation complexity, and average pricing in your area will all impact labor costs. These costs vary between solar installers but should be outlined in detail in your initial quote.
- Location: Installation prices vary between states due to system size, climate, and individual solar companies’ pricing. Residents in warm or cold environments will have different power needs to keep their homes at comfortable temperatures.
- Permitting: Permitting is required for solar installations. Your provider will submit this paperwork and add all associated fees to your solar panel quote.
- Roof type: Installers may need additional equipment to complete the job depending on your roof style. Available roof space also affects the size of the panels they can install.
- Roof age: Though solar systems are not necessarily heavy, they need specific mounting equipment called racking that sits securely on your roof. An old, weak roof could begin to sag under the added weight and fail to support the solar panels over time.
- Solar panel type: High-quality solar panels with top-tier efficiency rates cost more than lower-quality alternatives. Selecting cheaper panels won’t necessarily save you money; you may need more panels to compensate for the low efficiency.
- System size: Solar systems are built to accommodate your household’s energy usage. Larger homes have higher energy needs and require more powerful systems.
Along with these factors, consider how you’ll finance your solar panels. Selecting long-term payment methods, such as a solar loan, will keep monthly payments down but increase your total costs due to interest rates. Paying outright for the system is the best way to avoid added interest. However, it requires a large amount of cash up-front.
How To Save on Solar Panel Installation
Floridians can access several solar tax incentives. Property tax exemption prevents Florida residents from paying additional property tax due to the added value of their solar system. Additional solar incentives may be offered through specific utility companies, municipalities, or cities as a one-time credit or rebate. Check with your local government site or utility company for more details, or visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
Florida Solar Tax Credits and Incentives
We’ve broken down Florida’s state-wide solar incentives below.
- Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption: This incentive exempts you from paying sales and use tax for your solar system. It was made permanent in Florida in 2005.
- Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property: This law exempts homeowners from paying property tax for new residential solar energy systems, solar energy collectors, inverters, and photovoltaic (PV) modules. It also provides an 80% property tax abatement for nonresidential systems. Florida solar panel systems will qualify for this tax exemption until Dec. 31, 2037.
Florida homeowners can receive additional savings with the federal solar tax credit, which provides a tax credit equal to 30% of your solar system installation costs. This credit only applies to new systems and can be applied once per household. The rate will reduce to 26% in 2033.
You must own your solar panel system to qualify for these incentives. This includes homeowners who pay for their system outright or take out a solar loan. Choosing a solar lease, which allows you to rent your system for a set period, disqualifies you from these incentives.*
*Some solar companies also offer power purchase agreements (PPAs), which allow you to pay for only the solar energy you use. However, PPAs are banned in Florida.
- Arizona Solar Incentives
- California Solar Incentives
- Colorado Solar Incentives
- Florida Solar Incentives
- Illinois Solar Incentives
- Maryland Solar Incentives
- Massachusetts Solar Incentives
- Nevada Solar Incentives
- New Jersey Solar Incentives
- New York Solar Incentives
- Pennsylvania Solar Incentives
- Texas Solar Incentives
Florida Net Metering
Net metering programs provide additional savings by allowing homeowners to sell their excess power back to the grid. The accumulated credits are applied to your future electric bills or paid out at the end of the year, depending on the program.
The Florida Public Service Commission adopted its current net metering program in 2008. Residents can take advantage of the program through privately owned utility companies, called Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), within the state. Customers of the following utility companies can benefit from the program:
- Duke Energy Florida
- Florida Power & Light (FPL)
- Florida Public Utilities Corporation
- Tampa Electric Company (TECO)
These companies, which provide electricity to almost 80% of the state, follow the state’s net metering guidelines. Customers receive rollover credit for the excess energy they generate each month. These credits are based on the retail electricity rate of each company and are applied to the next month’s bill. Any remaining credit at the end of the year gets paid to the customer at a lower rate.
The remaining 20% of the state receives its power from publicly owned municipal and rural co-ops. These companies’ net-metering programs are not regulated by the state and can vary in payouts, policies, and regulations. If you receive power from a smaller co-op, check with your provider for details on net metering.
Solar customers are not obligated to participate in net metering. As an alternative, you can install a solar battery to store your excess energy. You can use this energy during power outages, limited sunlight periods, or poor weather conditions that reduce your system’s output.
3 Top Solar Installation Companies in Florida
Once you’ve decided to invest in a solar panel system, it’s crucial to pick the right company. There are nearly 200 solar providers in Florida, which may feel overwhelming. We’ve researched the best solar companies in Florida and highlighted our top three choices below to streamline your search.
Florida’s solar panel market boasts lower-than-average pricing and several solar incentives to further reduce costs. Keep in mind that estimated costs can double with the size of your system, solar panel choice, and installation fees. Cost per watt may also vary throughout the state and could be higher or lower than the average $2.58 per watt price.
We recommend getting quotes from at least three companies to find the best price. The quote should be detailed and include information about each component of your system, plus permitting, installation and labor costs, and financing information.
FAQ About Solar Panels
Is it worth it to go solar in Florida?
Yes, it is worth it to go solar in Florida. The state has several solar incentives and rebates, a net metering program, and abundant sunlight.
What is the typical life expectancy of solar panels?
The typical life expectancy of solar panels is 25–30 years but could increase to 35–40 years with regular system maintenance and upkeep. This doesn’t mean your solar panels will stop working after 25 years. Instead, your solar panels will degrade over time and become less efficient.
Investing in high-quality solar panels with low degradation rates will give you a better return on investment. Conversely, cheap solar panels degrade faster and negatively impact your potential savings.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar service providers is on a 100-point scale based on five factors:
- Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of the four options it provides.
- Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score.
- Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
- State Availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
- Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at email@example.com.