There’s a reason Florida is known as The Sunshine State. Officially adopted by the state legislature in 1970, it was named the Sunshine State because of its abundance of sunshine year-round – about 230 days per year of sun. Residents of Florida, and tourists, enjoy the mild climate and sunny skies, making the state one of the most popular and the 4th most populated state in the country. One of the state’s biggest hot spots is Tampa. Known for its tourist attractions, fine dining, craft beer, and outdoor activities, Tampa, Florida is also quickly becoming known for something else: solar energy.
Tampa Sun Statistics
Harvesting solar energy has really gained steam in recent years, and with that, the research surrounding this type of energy production has really fueled the development of more sustainable, reliable, and robust products. With the surge of the green economy and interest in solar panel installation, the average cost of installing residential panels was about $25,000 to $35,000 per home in 2009. Hefty price tag, huh? Driven to attract customers to the use of clean energy, several federal and state tax incentives were offered, companies offered rebates, and prices started dropping to allow for more and more people to install solar panels on their roofs. Flash forward to 2017 – prices to install solar systems have dropped around $10,000 to $15,000 in the past five years alone. That’s a big savings!
What does this mean for Tampa residents? Well, considering the average number of sun hours per day is 5.67, ranging from 5.26 in the winter and up to 6.16 in the summer, the potential cost savings from using solar energy are great. If you live in Tampa – you are at a great advantage over a lot of the United States to really benefit from harvesting energy from the sun and reducing your reliance on the grid.
Tampa-Area Cost Savings from Using Solar
When it comes to solar energy, residents who are interested in solar panels for their homes are usually interested in two questions: how much does it cost? and how much will I save? We discussed cost a bit above. Go to Tampa Electric’s website to use a solar calculator to estimate average cost, amount of electricity generated per month, and even final costs with relevant tax credits and rebates applied. How much can you expect to save? Project Sunroof provides Tampa residents with estimated savings per year based on your solar system, over the lifetime of your unit, and also the monthly breakdown of savings (monthly electric bill without solar vs. your monthly electric bill with solar). All you have to do is enter your address!
Benefits of Going Solar?
You’ve naturally heard of the environmental benefits of going solar and have now learned the cost benefits of going solar. . .but what about legislation-wise? The great news if you’re a Tampa resident is that there is a great variety of rebates and incentives you are eligible for should you decide to install a solar energy system. Let’s take a look:
Incentives, Rebates, and Benefits
- The Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allowed for a 30% savings off the total cost of your solar energy system. Though this tax credit will expire on 12/31/2019, the incentive carries a lot of bang for its buck – and has really contributed to the boost in solar sales in recent years.
- Florida State Sales Tax Exemption: Florida Law exempts any sales and use tax to be used on solar energy systems and products.
- Net Metering: Tampa Electric allows solar customers to connect into their grid to allow for continuous energy supply even when it’s dark or you run out of solar energy to power your home. An added bonus is that for any unused solar energy you generate, if you feed it back into the grid, the utility company will credit your account for use of energy you supplied to the grid. Call it a solar bonus!
- Residential Property Tax Exemptions: Solar systems are exempt from property taxes for Florida residents.
- Utility Rebates: In addition to net metering, Tampa Electric offers commercial energy efficiency rebate programs, residential energy efficiency rebate programs, and solar rebate programs.
Who Can Install a System for You?
Now that you’ve understood the benefits of being a Tampa resident and harvesting solar energy. You want to install solar panels – who should you call? Tampa has an excellent selection of solar energy system installers. The following installers have been rated as some of the best in the Tampa-area:
- Greater Tampa area
- Tampa Bay
- St. Petersburg
- Greater Tampa area