With a nickname like Sunshine State, it’s no wonder Florida has more than 400 solar companies, and that the state ranked 16th nationally for solar electric capacity installed in 2015. As technology improves, the cost of moving to solar power has been declining, and a variety of incentives and tax credits are helping to drive solar’s popularity in Florida. Find information for solar energy in Florida, including solar panel installers, research resources, and state electricity costs.

Florida’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

Florida Electricity Costs at a Glance

Residents are beginning to see the benefits of solar: currently there are almost 26,000 homes in the state powered by solar, and Florida ranks 10th in the nation for utility-scale solar power. Although renewable energy sources still account for a small fraction of Florida’s electric power, that number is likely to rise as electricity costs increase.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Florida Breakdown:
Polices, Incentives, Credits

Florida Solar Policies & Incentives

With its reputation for sunny skies and clear days, Florida has some of the best climatic conditions in the nation for going solar. To take advantage, the state government has instituted a number of incentives and solar policies to benefit the economy and residents’ pocketbooks. Individual consumers can apply for personal tax credits and rebates, and businesses can take advantage of financing and corporate tax deductions. In addition, the state utilities commission has ensured that solar customers receive a credit for producing power that exceeds their usage.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Miami-Dade County Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Finance Program

Financial assistance is available for residential and commercial property owners seeking to improve their properties by adding renewable resources, including solar photovoltaic installations. Applicants must be the property’s legal owner, and current on any mortgage. Loans are limited to 10 percent of the value of the property.

City of Longwood Raising Energy Efficiency Program

Owner-occupied residences in Longwood are eligible for rebates of up to $500 per year for making energy efficiency improvements to their properties, including installing solar photovoltaics. Applicants must use local contractors and suppliers.

Orlando Utilities Commission Residential Loan Program

Customers are eligible for low-interest loans up to $20,000 to install solar photovoltaic systems. Loans are repaid in three to 10 years, with interest rates from 2 to 5.5 percent. Properties must be owner-occupied single-family homes, townhouses or duplexes.

City of Tallahassee Utilities Solar Loans

Owners of photovoltaic systems may be eligible for loans up to $20,000 with an interest rate of 5 percent. Loan payments are made via monthly utility bills. An energy audit is required for all installations.

St. Lucie County – Solar and Energy Loan Fund

The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund offers low-interest loans for solar photovoltaic systems added as energy efficiency upgrades. Loans must be paid back within 15 years.

None for commercial specifically

POLICIES

Net metering

Florida’s investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to offer a net metering program to their customers. Investor-owned utilities have specific standards where net excess generation is carried forward as a credit on the customer’s utility bill. Specific net metering standards are not set for municipal utilities or electric cooperatives. Each utility uses different forms; find your utility here.

Renewable Energy Easements and Rights Laws

Florida law prohibits the prevention of the installation of solar collectors, including on residential rooftops. Easements, created to maintain exposure of a solar energy installation to sunlight, must be in writing and recorded as any other legal document relating to the property.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX CREDITS

Florida has no state income tax, so no credits are applicable.

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

EXEMPTIONS

Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemptions

Equipment and hardware needed to collect, transfer, convert or store solar energy for electricity are exempt from Florida’s sales and use tax. Purchasers can print out a form and present it to the seller, who is required to keep records of the exemption.

Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property

Solar systems are exempt from property taxes to encourage homeowners to invest in solar energy.

None for commercial specifically

Florida Solar Panel Installers, Companies & Contractors

Find out more about some of the companies that offer solar installation in Florida.

Brilliant Harvest

Brilliant Harvest offers residential and commercial solar system design, installation, financing and monitoring.

Where it operatesSarasota, Bradenton and Venice, FL

Year of opening2009

Compass Solar Energy

Compass Solar specializes in the design of photovoltaic solar systems and solar thermal applications.

Where it operatesPensacola, FL

Year of opening1998

ECS Solar Energy Systems

The state’s first solar contractor offers various home solar options; its founder has been inducted into the International Solar Hall of Fame.

Where it operatesGainesville, FL

Year of opening1977

Florida Solar Design Group

Florida Solar Design Group offers sales, installation and consultation throughout the state, specializing in solar pools, solar electricity and solar water heating.

Where it operatesFort Myers, FL

Year of opening2015

Fafco Solar Energy

This family-owned business has more than 40 years experience, and installs solar PV systems throughout southwest Florida.

Where it operatesCape Coral, FL

Year of opening1974

Florida Power Services

Florida Power Services designs, installs and maintains solar electric systems, handling large residential and small commercial projects.

Where it operatesTampa, FL

Year of opening2008

Green Energy Shield LLC

This family-owned company serves the entire state of Florida and focuses primarily on residential solar systems.

Where it operatesWinter Garden, FL

Year of opening2014

IQ Power

IQ Power offers maintenance-free solar applications with minimal roof penetrations.

Where it operatesSanford, FL

Year of opening2008

Independent Green Technologies

IGT offers solar PV assessment, installation and financing connections for residential, commercial, and government clients in the Tallahassee and North Florida areas. The company utilizes American products to help customers reduce or eliminate their electric bills. Additional products and services include solar hot water, solar storage, solar pool heating and pool pumps, and solar attic fans.

Where it operatesTallahassee, FL

Year of opening2008

Kurt Johnsen Energy Systems

Locally owned and operated, Kurt Johnsen installs solar arrays in Alachua County and its surrounding areas.

Where it operatesGainesville, FL

Year of opening1989

Peak Solar LLC

Peak Solar offers turnkey systems for residential, commercial and industrial properties and has served over 2,500 customers.

Where it operatesHillsboro Beach, FL

Year of opening2010

Pure Energy Solar

Pure Energy Solar provides solar installations in Florida, the Southeast and the Caribbean.

Where it operatesGainesville, FL

Year of opening2009

Simpler Solar Systems

Simpler Solar offers solar installations ranging from small, standalone off-grid systems to advanced, commercial grid-tied systems.

Where it operatesTallahassee, FL

Year of opening1974

Solar-Ray Inc.

NABCEP-accredited Solar-Ray focuses on perfecting the design and installation of photovoltaic arrays. Building both residential and commercial systems, Solar-Ray has installed more than 15 MW of solar power.

Where it operatesOrlando, FL

Year of opening2003

Solar Source

Solar Source works on both residential and large-scale commercial solar projects.

Where it operatesLargo, FL

Year of opening1984

Superior Solar Systems

Superior Solar specializes in solar electric, solar water heating and solar pool heating for both homes and businesses.

Where it operatesOrlando, FL

Year of opening1984

Urban Solar Group

Urban Solar provides a full range of solar installations for residential and business customers in South Florida.

Where it operatesBoca Raton, FL

Year of opening2001

Florida Solar Research Resources

Florida has a wide range of resources and information about renewable energy. Read more in the links below.

Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy

This coalition of residents, businesses, manufacturers and others is dedicated to creating jobs and economic benefits through renewable energy and public policy.

Florida Solar Energy Center

This site for Florida solar consumers provides news and information about solar energy use.

Florida Energy Systems Consortium

Created by the state government, this consortium is supported by 12 universities to perform research on innovative energy systems that provide alternative energy strategies for the state.

Natural Resources Defense Council – Florida Page

This website provides information about state-specific renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, and discusses how using renewable energy benefits the environment and wildlife conservation.

Solar Energy Industries Association

Find out more about the state’s solar policies and facts about the solar industry in Florida.

U.S. Energy Information Administration – Florida State Profile

Use the data provided here to find out more about Florida’s overall energy use.