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The State Of Solar Power In Florida

According to the Office for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the price of solar panels has dropped by nearly 50% since 2014. This decrease in price is good news – more Floridians are now able to experience the unique advantages of solar power. Florida currently ranks 4th in the nation for the number of residents who use solar energy, so many citizens are discovering the benefits of using solar energy as opposed to using electricity from the grid. Solar energy is currently one of the most popular sources of energy in the Sunshine state, and it is only expected to become more popular in the near future.

How Much Solar Power Does Florida Produce?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are more than 37,219 installed solar panel units across the state of Florida and there are more than 582 solar companies in the state. Altogether, the state currently produces enough solar energy to power roughly 380,128 homes, the state is expected to achieve the rank of second in terms of how many homes have solar panels (second only to California).

Is Solar Feasible In Florida?

Home solar in the the Sunshine State comes from SunPower

According to the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, Florida currently ranks 11th in the nation for solar market appeal based on factors such as the number of solar resources, energy policies, customer match load, and utility rates. This makes solar energy a very feasible choice in one of the hottest and sunniest states in the country. Using central air conditioning to cool a home can be remarkably expensive, especially during the summer months, and solar panels can offer a more cost-efficient method of cooling.

Solar power generation is not the only use for solar energy, water heating technologies can allow Floridians to save more than $30 million in annual energy costs and super-efficient solar installations are capable of reducing heating and cooling costs by more than 90 percent as opposed to traditional electrical sources.

How Much Does Solar Cost In Florida?

The SEIA reports that prices for solar energy have decreased on average by 34% over the past 5 years. This aligns with an overall decrease in solar costs as solar technology improves. Given that several factors affect the costs of installing solar panels there can be a variety of potential elements that contribute to the costs of specific solar projects. These can include:

  • Availability of local incentives in addition to the federal investment tax credit
  • Florida utility net metering policy, which can affect the revenue generated by returning surplus energy to the grid
  • The amount of roof space available
  • Surrounding trees or other obstructions (likely in some Florida homes)
  • The position and orientation of a home which may affect how much, and how strong sunshine might be to a roof installation
  • Where in Florida a home is located (amount of sun varies from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys!)

Up-front costs of solar installations do not accurately account for the long-term financial benefits of most solar systems. Going Solar is an investment that over the long term saves money on energy usages and can provide credits on electric bills based on selling surplus energy production back to the utilities. There is also maybe tax credits, incentives or other local or Florida State rebates that help the initial finance and ongoing costs of solar panels and their systems. Obviously, these programs can change, and utilities may decide to pay more or less for surplus energy, but over the long term solar is like most home improvements in that it will hopefully pay itself back in additional home value should a homeowner wish to sell. There is also the intangible value in helping the environment through the use of sustainable solar energy, and tangible savings as solar power replaces existing electricity usage.

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