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 Panel Buyer’s Guide for St. Petersburg, Florida
The sunshine state is known for its beautiful beaches and tropical climate. Its ample sunshine and geographic conditions provide tremendous potential for solar energy. Many considerations must be taken before installing a solar panel system on your home or business. These should include finding cost saving rebates, policies, and incentive programs, as well as finding a contractor, and obtaining permits before starting the project. The information below is designed as a quick buying guide to help point St. Petersburg residents in the right direction.
About St Petersburg Climate and Solar
St Petersburg receives approximately 53 inches of rain per year with an average of 248 sunny days. Residents can expect 97 days with measurable precipitation and zero days of snowfall per year. Temperatures average 90 degrees in July with an average of 53.9 during the month of January.
Solar Basics for St. Petersburg
Solar panels utilize an array of photovoltaic cells to capture and convert sunlight — photons — into usable electricity. This clean, renewable energy source from our sun is capable of providing a limitless supply of cheap, clean energy. The solar arrays are typically installed on residential and commercial rooftops or on the ground when space limitations are not a concern. The power generated from the solar panels supplements power received from the grid, reducing the costs of traditional electricity. When the panels produce surplus electricity, it is diverted back into the grid, often resulting in a credit on your utility bill. This process is called net metering, and is a major benefit of converting to solar. If over the span of 12 months your panels consistently produce surplus electricity, utility customers can expect a check or credit from the utility company at the end of the year.
Benefits of Solar in St. Petersburg
Many benefits for you, both economic and environmental, are achieved when installing a solar panel system on homes and businesses. These include:
- Solar power provides you with a sense of self-reliance by allowing you to produce your own power and reduce or eliminate your dependence on big utility companies.
- Solar power provides protection against the constant rate hikes common with traditional power companies as the power they generate is not subjected to their pricing policies.
- Solar power makes financial sense as an investment, as most solar panel owners can expect a Return on Investment (ROI) of 20% or more.
- Solar power reduces your carbon footprint by reducing 3 to 4 tons of carbon emissions per year based on a typical residential system.
- Homes equipped with a solar panel system can expect a higher property value over those that do not. Since many prospective homebuyers are part of our nation’s green movement, the panels provide you with an excellent marketing tool should you decide to sell.
- Since solar power is cheaper than the electricity produced by big utility companies, you save money on your energy bills each month.
Solar Panel Installation in St. Petersburg
Although it is possible to install your own solar panels, because of the complexity of the technology, licensing and permitting requirements, it is to your benefit to hire a local contractor or solar company to design and install your system. Solar contractors carry the knowledge, experience and required licenses, insurance coverage and certifications necessary to install solar panels according to the State of Florida Building Code. You can obtain a list of registered and state certified solar contractors by visiting www.myflorida.com.
Solar Permit Process in St. Petersburg
Applicable permits are required to install solar panels in the State of Florida. Although your solar contractor is responsible for obtaining the necessary permits, you can contact the St. Petersburg Construction Services and Permitting Department in person at One 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, or by phone by dialing (727) 893-7231, fax (727)892-5447, or email permits @stpete.org for additional information.
Solar Rebates and Incentives in St. Petersburg
While the state’s solar policies — ranking 17th for installed solar capacity — lack versus other states with more favorable policies, programs exist that can reduce the costs of solar installation in St. Petersburg. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allows taxpayers to claim a credit of 30% on qualified expenditures such as solar power systems. Most utility companies in Florida offer different incentive or rebate programs and they are constantly changing, expiring or being refunded. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to view a current listing of all the available solar and energy efficiency rebate and incentive programs available for the City of St. Petersburg, Florida.