Why Are Solar Panels Illegal in Florida?
The short answer to this question is that solar panels are not illegal in Florida. However, you may have come across this question while researching solar power options in Florida. If you’re wondering why people are wondering this, we’re here to let you know not only is it legal to power your home with solar panels in Florida, but it’s also a pretty smart investment.
If you’re in the market for solar panels in Florida, keep reading for more about the Florida solar law as well as a few secrets on how going solar can benefit you in more ways than one!Going Solar in Florida
The Florida Solar Rights Act
First, let’s go over the Florida law on solar energy.
Florida Statute 163.04 forbids any binding agreement between HOAs or otherwise to prohibit a property owner from installing solar panels. Period. They can try to tell you where on your roof to put them (maybe the HOA doesn’t want them to be in plain view,) but if their desired location or requirements doesn’t meet an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south, they cannot stop you from installing solar panels on your roof that provide the highest efficiency for you.
Florida HOAs and Going Solar
Even though your HOA can’t stop you from going solar, we would recommend letting them know beforehand, just to save yourself a headache. You’d still want to follow their procedures and file all necessary paperwork with them to avoid any possible litigation during or after your installation.
After you let them in on the secret, you just have to reach out to a certified installer like Sunpro Solar, and you’ll be on your way to savings! There is one catch, unfortunately. The state of Florida requires all solar panel arrays to be grid-tied for one reason: safety.
Florida law supports the idea that, if there were ever a power outage, and your solar panel system was feeding extra power back into the grid through a process called “Net Metering,” it could put utility workers at risk of injury. As such, Florida does require each solar panel array to be tied into the power grid, so when the power goes out (for whatever reason,) ALL power goes out. But, before we carry on, let’s discuss briefly the difference between being grid-tied and off-grid and the process of net metering.Going Solar in Florida
Being Grid-Tied vs. Being Off-Grid
The key difference is simple: being tied to a utility company’s power grid means your solar power system will be connected to the company’s power meter, whereas being completely off the grid means, well, you’re not tied to any meter but your own.
Being completely off the grid requires a lot more money up-front, whereas being grid-tied may not require as much, as you still have the flexibility of choosing whether to have backup batteries installed and participate in your utility company’s net metering program.
What Exactly Is Net Metering
Net metering, or net energy metering (NEM), is a system used by electric utility companies to determine your electric bill based on your net power consumption. It allows you to be fully credited for the electricity that your panels contribute to the grid. That means that you will only be charged for the difference between the amount electricity you use, vs. the electricity produced. Basically – if you don’t use all the energy harvested by your solar panels, the power company will buy that energy back, which equals more savings for you!
How Net Metering Works
Here’s an example – let’s say your house only used 700 kWh of electricity one month, but your panels produced 850 kWh. Your utility company would then credit you for that additional 150 kWh on your next bill. Boom. Money in the bank!
Just make sure you check with your utility provider to make sure they know you’re going solar and that you want to enroll in net metering. You’ll likely have to fill out a few forms and disclosures; and they may have to come to your home and replace your current meter with one that can correctly measure excess power you may supply to the grid.
Wait…what’s that? You’re looking to be MORE energy-independent in Florida? You want to save even MORE on your power bill? Totally doable – enter: the backup battery.
Why Get a Battery?
Solar batteries help your home stay powered during any outage, including natural disasters. Oh, and it’s completely legal in Florida. Here at Sunpro, we’ve partnered with Tesla and are certified installers of their top-of-the-line Powerwall 2.
The Benefits of A Battery Backup
Coupling your solar panel array with Tesla Powerwall 2 is a pairing like milk and cookies. Naps and rainy days. Florida and oranges. Pairing solar panels with a battery backup just makes sense, and their operation is simple.
- Your solar panels begin powering your home at sunrise.
- Excess energy charges the Powerwall.
- When the sun goes down (or when it gets REALLY cloudy,) your Powerwall kicks on and powers you though the darkness.
That’s it. Seamless. With the Powerwall 2 comes the Tesla mobile app, where you can monitor your home solar production, battery power flow, and household consumption in real-time from anywhere.Free Solar & Tesla Powerwall Quote
So, How Much Are We Talking?
Great question, love where your head is at. The unfortunate answer is: it depends.
The price of going solar varies widely depending on how many panels you need to power your home. The cost can also vary widely depending on the brand you choose. Think about it in terms of purchasing any other type of equipment: the high-end brands can be pricier, but they will last longer, produce better output, and will come with long warranties. These are all extremely important factors considering the price of initial installation and that these panels should last you over 20 years.
Florida Solar Incentives
There are PLENTY of incentives you can take advantage of to help bring the overall cost of going solar down. We already talked about net metering, but you can also receive state and federal tax credits and sales tax exemptions. And, depending on where in Florida you live, you may be able to qualify for a PACE loan, which can finance 100% of the cost of going solar, which makes bundling a Powerwall 2 backup that much more reasonable!Going Solar in Florida
The Bottom Line of Going Solar in Florida
There’s no better time than now for the Sunshine State to utilize more sunshine! Going solar in Florida is completely legal and easier than ever with the help of Sunpro Solar. While your solar array will have to be grid-tied, you can certainly reach near-independence from the power company with a Tesla Powerwall 2 to keep as much money in your pockets as possible.
With financing options, federal and state tax credits, and other incentives, going solar in Florida couldn’t be more cost-effective. With hurricane season on the horizon, it isn’t too early to make the switch and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with owning your own power and battery backup system.
If you are entertaining the idea of going solar, then you have come to the right place. Sunpro Solar offers turnkey solutions that will allow you to go solar with zero stress and all the benefits. Contact us today for your free consultation to learn more!Free Solar Quote