Residential Solar Panels in Orlando: Are they worth it in 2023?

solar panels in Orlando

If you’ve ever considered residential solar panels in Orlando, it can be difficult to know whether or not an installation will be worth it to you personally.

Although there is an argument to be made that the best time to install solar panels in Orlando has already passed, there is certainly no time better than the present to evaluate your options.

To determine if solar is worth it for you in 2023, let’s explore all of the benefits, costs, and savings you can expect from a home installation in Orlando.

Is it worth installing solar panels in Orlando, Florida?

Going solar is a long process that takes months to complete and even longer to recoup an initial investment. So while it may be easier to continue paying your ordinary energy bills each month than it is to work with a solar company that will design and install your system, many homeowners wonder whether or not the process will be worth it in the end.

Well, to sum it up in a few words, we can confidently say, “Yes, solar is worth it in Orlando.”

Top 3 Benefits of Solar Panels in Orlando

By installing a solar panel system in Orlando, homeowners can access a number of financial and lifestyle benefits. In 2023, nothing is more important to how solar panels benefit your home than reduced energy costs, a lower carbon footprint, and increased energy resilience.

1. Lower Carbon Footprint

First and foremost, a lower carbon footprint is the most obvious benefit of going solar in Orlando. If there is no price that you can put on the planet or the future of local air quality, then the environmental benefits of going solar alone may make an installation worth it for you and your family. 
Florida ranks third in the country for carbon emissions, with nearly 74% of the state’s electricity generation coming from natural gas. By going solar at home, you can immediately offset multiple decades worth of carbon emissions with your own renewable energy power plant.

2. Reduced Energy Costs

While saving the planet is all well and good, the primary reason that home and business owners are going solar in the United States is financial savings. By replacing ongoing expenses associated with grid-supplied electricity, solar power systems can reduce both short and long-term energy costs on residential and commercial properties. 

As there are many different ways to “go solar” in Orlando, it is important to know that you can maximize your savings by owning your solar energy system through either a cash payment or a financing program. While solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) may immediately reduce your electricity bills, we’ll explore more in-depth information on how owning your solar panels is worth it below.

3. Increased Energy Resilience

Finally, solar power enables home and property owners to increase their energy independence and resilience with the right technology in place. By adding battery storage to solar power for home system, properties can pivot off of the grid to run as independent, renewable energy “islands.”

While operating as a battery-backed “microgrid,” your solar panels can remain online to power your home despite local electricity blackouts or outages. Even further, adding battery storage can help you increase the amount of solar power consumed on your property both overnight and throughout periods of peak utility electricity demand. As such, batteries can continue to control and decrease your ongoing utility power expenses and your property’s net carbon emissions.

The Cost of Solar in the City of Orlando, FL (2023)

As a solar company in Florida based a hundred miles north in Gainesville, PPM solar has done its fair share of installations in sunny Orlando. While we always try to save our customers the most on their electricity bills, the reality is that owning your own solar energy system is a pricey endeavor.

Statewide, the cost of a residential solar energy installation typically falls anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000, with most homeowners spending between $20,000 and $25,000 on their systems. This wide range of project costs reflects various system sizes, as the requirements of any given solar energy project are highly dependent on the property’s electricity consumption, features, and sunlight exposure.  When financed for the lift of the solar panels, this amounts to approximately $150-$300 per month, which is typically lower than the electric bill cost. In most cases, solar can produce positive cash flow from day one, and not increase the cost of home ownership, and even reduce it!

Breaking Down the Cost of Solar in Orlando

When you go solar in Orlando, there are many more expenses than the panels alone. In the realm of hardware, photovoltaic (PV) installations require solar panels, inverters, wiring, mounting materials, and more to complete a safe, working system. 
While most homeowners opt for a rooftop installation, ground-mounted solar panels can also be utilized when adequate, sunny, and obstruction-free roof space is unavailable. When installing a solar array out in the yard, ground-mounted systems typically incur additional project expenses for the equipment and trenching necessary to run the wires safely to the home.

In addition to physical hardware, soft costs make up roughly half of the total project expenses for most residential solar installations. While total costs vary depending on where you live, additional expenses may include design, permitting, inspection, transportation, labor, and other project overhead.   

Orlando Solar Tax Credits & Rebates in 2023

To help alleviate the total costs of a photovoltaic (PV) energy system, homeowners may be eligible for several credits, programs, and incentives that make going solar even more worth it in Orlando. 

The solar ITC: The most important solar tax credit in Florida to know about is the federal investment tax credit (ITC). Available nationally, the ITC can equate to an income tax credit of up to 30% of a solar project’s total costs. So to put it plainly, if you purchase an $18,000 solar energy system, you could be eligible for a $5,400 reduction against your federal income tax owed. 

Rotating local programs: In addition to the solar ITC, incentives to reduce the total project costs for a PV installation may also be available locally. For instance, until recently, the Orlando Utilities Commission offered a $2,000 rebate when customers installed a solar battery. While the program is no longer open to new homeowners, anyone going solar should always explore any possible tax credits, rebates, or incentives available to them.

Tax exemptions: While technically not “credits,” there are also two great ways in which going solar exempts buyers from unexpected tax payments. Whenever you purchase a solar energy system in Orlando, the project is completely exempt from state sales taxes. Likewise, when your home is assessed to determine your property taxes, the value of your solar energy system will not be included in the total property value.

Average Payback Period for Solar in Orlando

Ultimately, when deciding whether or not solar energy is “worth it,” knowing that your investment will eventually be recouped is very important to offset the time and effort that are designing, financing, and installing your system requires. Critically, solar panels can “pay for themselves” when considering their investment costs against the alternative of grid-supplied electricity. 

Once your system produces enough power to completely offset the utility energy costs you’ve avoided, then you will have essentially broken even on your investment. By replacing grid energy expenses with the costs of a PV system, most Floridians can expect to break even on a solar energy investment in about 10 years

Best of all, after your break-even point, your solar panels will continue to generate emission-free electricity. With solar panels warrantied for 25 years and more, most systems can even pay for themselves two or three times throughout their multi-decade lifespan.  When financed, the ROI is often immediate, where the solar makes the solar payment and leaves the money in your pocket.

Conclusion: Is solar worth it in Orlando?

In summary, yes, installing solar panels is worth it for most homeowners in Orlando. By saving money on utility-supplied electricity, lowering local carbon emissions, and increasing energy resilience with battery storage, there are many ways in which a solar energy system is very valuable in and around Orlando. 
If you want to see how much you can save by switching to solar in Orlando, contact PPM Solar today to get started on your free consultation.

Solar FAQ

Is solar worth it in Orlando?

Yes, for homeowners considering solar energy in Orlando, purchasing or financing a system is worth it to simultaneously reduce long-term electricity expenses and your carbon footprint. With local net metering policies and plenty of sunlight available, solar is worth it for most home and property owners in Orlando that consume at least 500 kWh of electricity per month.

Is there a downside to having solar in Orlando, FL?

Although some people will say that the panels are “ugly,” when considering all of the benefits, there are no real downsides to having solar in Orlando. When you utilize the services of a good solar contractor, the aesthetics will remain an important part of your solar installation. We believe that solar systems look good – and with their sleek black appearance, they don’t hinder the curb appeal. While you may be hesitant to finance an installation, going solar allows you to secure 25 years or more of green electricity production right on your roof.

Do I need a permit to install solar panels in Orlando, Florida?

Yes, permitting is one of the most important parts of the solar installation process that keeps systems up and running safely. Depending on where you live in or around Orlando, a building permit and inspection will be required either through the city or the county. In addition to approval from the local building authority, permits to interconnect the solar energy system to the grid will also be necessary through your local electric utility.

Solar installations in Orange County require a structural and electrical permit and several inspections. Duke Energy or Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) has to provide solar interconnection services at the completion of installation and requires an Interconnection Agreement to be executed prior to setting a bidirectional meter. Typically, a solar project will have 3 inspections: structural, electrical, and utility.

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