What’s the Cost of Solar Panels in Florida in 2021?

So, you’re wondering just what is the cost of solar panels in Florida?

As of 2021, the average solar panel cost in Florida is approximately $2.62/watt. Given a typical solar installation size of 5 kilowatts (kW), an average solar installation in Florida ranges in cost from $11,135 to $15,065, with the average gross price for solar in Florida coming in at $13,100. 

After accounting for the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives, the net price you’ll pay for solar will likely be around $8,239 to $11,148.

As it turns out, a state that calls itself the Sunshine State is a pretty great place to have solar panels. Florida is currently ranked fourth in the country for total solar energy production and it seems like just about every other house has solar panels in some neighborhoods. 

Despite that popularity, there is still a lot of potential for more and the state hasn’t even fully exhausted all the incentive measures that are available to help even more homeowners add solar panels to their homes.

Solar Panel Cost Florida: Prices & Data in 2021

As of July 2021, the average cost of solar panels in Florida is $2.62 per watt making a typical 5000 watt (5 kW) solar system around $8,239 to $11,148 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit currently available.

This is lower than the average price of residential solar power systems across the United States which is currently $3.00 per watt.

Florida Average Solar Installation Cost:

$10,000 – $15,000

Average Cost per Watt:

$2.32 – $2.83

There are several factors that determine what the overall cost will be for a solar installation in Florida, and the actual size of the installation will be only one factor. 

System SizeCost (High)Cost (Low)Avg Cost
Per Watt
3 kW$7,860$5,816$2.75
4 kW$10,480$7,755$2.69
5 kW$13,100$9,694$2.64
6 kW$15,720$11,633$2.58
7 kW$18,340$13,572$2.56
8 kW$20,960$15,510$2.53
9 kW$23,580$17,449$2.48
10 kW$26,200$19,388$2.46
Average solar panel cost by system size in Florida

Calculating the Cost of Solar Panels for Your Home in FL

Installation costs for solar in Florida will vary with your location and the size of your home’s electricity bill (Read up on what it takes to power an air conditioning or refrigerator via solar panels) as well as several other factors, such as your roof’s condition, the size of the installation, ongoing maintenance costs, and several other considerations. For instance, some of the factors that will play a role in the cost of solar panels in Florida are:

Roof Condition

This one should be pretty obvious – the size of your roof will determine how many panels will be needed based on your home’s power usage. The bigger the roof, the more panels can be installed. Other factors that play a role can include how steep the pitch of your roof is, how many levels your home has, and if there are other roof-mounted components such as satellite dishes that may need to be installed around. 

In short, the complexity of the install will have a direct impact on the bottom line. Finally, the age of your roof should be taken into consideration as well. Since solar panels have an average lifespan of 20-25 years, it may make sense to replace your roof at the same time as the solar installation to maximize the useful life of your new solar panels.

Maintenance costs

Once you have your shiny new solar system installed, it’s usually fairly easy to keep running without much effort. But that being said, some maintenance will still be required to keep your system operating at tip-top efficiency. The two main maintenance items will be regular cleaning of your system, and an annual inspection to alert you if a problem arises.

Professional cleaning services average $3 – $10 per panel, or a flat rate of at least $100. Cleaning your own panels is an option but make sure to do your research on how to do this safely (both for your own safety and that of your new solar panels) before attempting to do this on your own.

Annual inspection costs about $150 per year. During this inspection, the inspector will be looking for both physical and circuit-based issues with the system. Be sure to ask your installer if they offer this as a service, or if they offer any warranties that may cover this service should any issues arise.

Home Value Increase

While not a ‘cost’, per se, one overlooked benefit of installing solar is the potential for a home value increase when you go to sell or refinance your Florida home. In a recent study, the average U.S. home with solar power has a 4.1% increase in value when compared with similar homes without solar panels. The following table shows some potential values of that increase:

CityAverage Home ValueAdditional Value from Solar
Tampa$302,156.00$12,388.40
Orlando$292,716.00$12,001.36
St Petersburg$276,731.00$11,345.97
Ft Lauderdale$389,706.00$15,977.95
Miami$402,203.00$16,490.32
Home value increase due to solar panels

What Other Factors Affect the Cost of Solar Panels for Your Home?

The cost of solar doesn’t just include the equipment and installation costs – it’s also made up of permitting costs, inspection costs, and installer profit margins. These different components are what make the price of solar fluctuate from one home to the next. Some of the factors that affect solar power system installation costs for specific homes include:

CostsCents per Watt
Tier 1 Solar Panels0.67
Inverter0.26
Racking and Balance of System0.26
Sales and Marketing0.39
Installation0.62
Permitting and Inspections0.13
Installer Margin0.26
Breakdown of other costs in an installed residential solar system.

The Amount of Electricity Your Home Uses

This should be a no-brainer, but the amount of power that your home uses directly affects how many solar panels you will need – and therefore how much your installation will cost. Although solar panels do get cheaper on a per-watt basis when you have a larger installation, the overall cost of the system will increase as more panels are added. 

The Time of Day You Use the Most Power

One of the biggest components that affects the overall repayment time for your new solar panels is the time of day that your home uses the most energy. This is because your solar installation will produce all of its power during the day when the sun is shining, so if you’re at home during the day when your solar system is producing the most energy it will mean your solar system exports less energy to the grid. The less energy sent to the grid, the less your utility is required to pay you for power generated. Likewise, many utility companies will charge different rates throughout the day as more households start pulling from the grid when the sun goes down.

The Type of Solar Panels You Buy

The solar panels that you choose will have a significant impact on both the cost of your installation and the overall efficiency of your system. Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels have drastically different costs and efficiencies for power generation. Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient and more expensive than other solar panels. Polycrystalline panels have a lower efficiency rating and come at a lower price point.

The Quality of Your Solar Installation

Unfortunately, like so many things in life, there are a lot of less than upright people who may not be entirely honest on their solar installation quote in order to try and get your business. If the price seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is. Many installers will use low-quality components, or an unsustainable pricing model that could put you or your home at risk. Make sure that your installer is charging enough that they will still be in business for the 25-year life of your solar panels.

Federal, State, and Local Solar Incentives

The overall cost of your solar panels in Florida will be influenced by the solar incentives available when you start your install. Florida homeowners can apply for a federal solar tax credit that makes installing solar more cost-effective by providing homeowners with a tax credit equal to 26% of the cost of their installed solar panel system as a deduction on their income taxes.

Local solar tax incentives and rebates can end up saving homeowners thousands more on a solar installation and will vary by the specific Florida county and city that they live in.

Solar incentives currently available in Florida:

  • Solar tax credit (26%)
  • Net metering
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE program Florida)

What is Florida net metering?

Net metering is a solar incentive offered in Florida that allows you to sell your surplus solar electricity to the electricity grid at the full retail rate and then get credits against your power bill during times that you need to draw power from the grid. Every 1 kilowatt hour (kWh) of power sent to the grid is 1 kWh off of your electricity bill; this is how solar pays for itself.

Provided your solar installer (link) sizes your system correctly, you should be able to wipe out all or at least most of your electric bill.

What is the Florida PACE program?

The state of Florida allows cities to offer loans which are paid for through property tax increases to the local government. The benefit of PACE is that you can start saving money on your utility bills from Day 1, and if you choose to move,  you can pass the remaining balance on the loan to the next property owner – thus increasing the potential sale price of your home. Contact your local county office or reputable Florida solar installer to see which PACE programs are being offered in your area. 

Conclusion: Are solar panels worth it in Florida in 2021?

When you calculate the average cost of utility power in Florida over 25 years without solar power, the cost of power comes out to around 16.5 cents/kWh. When you calculate the same cost of electricity with solar panels over that same period of time it averages about 5 cents/kWh. This is calculated using the current FPL rates and an average 3.5% annual inflation rate. While not an exact science, this confirms that the cost of solar in Florida is well worth the price.

When comparing the savings over 25 years to the upfront cost of installing solar, the actual payback period is relatively short and actually equates to a much better return on investment as compared to stocks or real estate.

So… Are solar panels in Florida worth it?

We at Solar Smarts would say this is a resounding ‘YES’. The cost of solar panels in Florida, compared with the short payback period and overall ROI make solar panels an easy choice if you are a homeowner in the Sunshine State.

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