How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar in Miami, FL
Miami experiences 249 sunny days a year making it the perfect location for solar energy systems. Whether you invest in solar panels and/or a solar water heating system, you’ll be able to dramatically decrease your monthly utility bills (and in some cases eliminate them) while decreasing your overall environmental impact. There couldn’t be a better time to invest in solar either. Advances in technology, along with the increase in solar manufacturers and installers, has caused prices to plummet 70% since 1998.
A South Florida family hoping to obtain 25% of its power from the sun typically spends at least $8,000. If you want to go totally solar, the cost will likely be more than $40,000. If you are in the market for a solar hot water heater, you may spend about $4,500. In contrast, a basic electric water heater may be purchased for less than $250. When you consider what you would pay for traditional fossil fuel based energy over the next 25 years, the initial cost of a solar energy system is well worth the investment.
What Type of Solar is Best for Me?
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are one of the most popular types of solar technology for homes and businesses in Miami. PV systems absorb sunlight and convert the sun’s energy into direct current (DC) electrical energy. Panels are typically mounted at a fixed angle facing south, southeast, or southwest, or on a tracking device that moves to follow the sun, allowing the cells to capture the most sunlight over the course of a day. The electricity travels from the solar panel to an inverter, which converts the DC power into alternating current (AC), the current you use every day.
The energy created travels to your breaker panel, where it is ready for use in your home or business. Any time your system generates more than you can use, the excess electricity is sent to the grid for your use at a later time. If you need more electricity than your system generates, you can get the remainder from the grid. This system is called net metering.
Solar Net Metering in Miami
Net metering allows FPL customers who connect approved, renewable generation systems such as solar panels to the electric grid to buy and sell electricity to FPL. When you generate electricity from your solar array for your home or business, it reduces the amount of energy you purchase from FPL. It also lowers your monthly electricity bills. If your system produces more energy than you need, the excess power is sold back to FPL’s grid. That amount of energy is deducted from your monthly bill or credited toward a future bill in the same calendar year.
Available Rebates and Incentives
Florida Power & Light (FPL) offered solar rebates to customers who installed photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating systems in their homes or businesses. Concluding this year (2015), the solar rebate program was part of a 5 year pilot program authorized by the Florida Public Service Commission to promote clean solar power and reduce energy consumption. Throughout the course of the pilot program, FPL served 116 schools, 8 demonstration projections, and over 5,600 customer rebates.
Though FPL’s rebates are closed, you can still receive a federal tax credit for your solar system–up to 30% of the cost of your system with no maximum. Existing homes and new construction qualify for the credit, as well as principal residences and secondary homes. Rental properties are not eligible for the credit. These credits expire on December 31, 2016. Credits are available for both solar panels and solar water heaters.
An additional incentive is that solar energy systems have been exempt from Florida’s sales and use tax since July 1, 1997. Additionally, Florida excludes the value of a solar electric system (includes solar water heaters) from your annual property taxes. So if you install a solar electric system on your home and your property value goes up as a result, you will not have to pay increased property taxes as a result of the increase in value from the solar system. That said, it is always wise to consult with a tax professional or an attorney with respect to any commercial or rental properties to which you add a solar energy system.