Solar incentives in Florida
What type of solar incentives are available?
Several types of incentives can help you go solar. This section covers the solar incentives available in the state of Florida, but you can learn more about the national context of solar incentives on our national solar incentives page.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are a solar incentive designed to encourage solar adoption. SRECs are created when a state passes a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). At this time, Florida has no RPS and no solar electricity targets. As a result, Florida does not currently have a viable SREC market.
Property Assessment and Clean Energy lending programs are available for homeowners and commercial business in Florida. http://pacenation.us/pace-in-florida/. PACE allows homeowners to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and windstorm upgrades to their home at fixed interest rates without obtaining a credit score.
There are no upfront costs – it’s attached to your property taxes. Payment to the contractor is made by your local PACE provider and takes place after work is complete. Payments can be stretched out up to 25 years. You can also pay it off in full at any time without any penalty.
If you sell your home, there is the possibility of rolling over the unpaid costs to the next homeowner – this depends on the mortgage lender. PACE requires a homeowner to have 10% equity in their home and three years of property taxes paid off OR the period of ownership – meaning if you just moved into your home and haven’t paid taxes yet you can still qualify.
- Alliance NRG – This PACE program offers both commercial and residential PACE financing. A partner on this project is the Florida PACE Funding Agency. This PACE program is available to any Florida county and has already been approved in more than 20 Florida counties.
- Leon County Commercial PACE program – Leon County established the Leon County Energy Improvement District in 2012. Since then, the county has approved the HERO PACE program so both residential and commercial property owners can take advantage of PACE financing.
- RenewPACE – This program is run by Renew Financial and offers programs to both commercial and residential upgrades.
- Ygrene Works – This PACE fund supports both commercial and residential PACE financing.
Other financing options
Florida Banks offering solar loans
Suncoast Bank: www.suncoastcreditunion.com
Seacoast Bank: www.seacoastbank.com/
Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), offers zero money down, low interest rate loans with flexible terms covering energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and windstorm upgrades. Interest rates range between 5-9.5%. SELF is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution that offers many loan products.
The residential program helps homeowners access affordable unsecured loans. Applicants must have a credit score of 500 or more. Loan amounts beginning at $1,000. Learn more and apply at https://solarenergyloanfund.org/
SELF also offers crowdfunding loan option, KIVA. This is available to female homeowners and veterans. There is no minimum credit score required, however, applicants must provide proof of income and demonstrated need. Applicants have their story and photo posted to the KIVA platform for donors to crowdfund their loan amount. For veterans, some funding is already secured through the Veterans Helping Veterans program under KIVA. These loans can be used toward home improvements related to energy, wind resistance and water conservation.
No sales tax on solar
Since July 1997, solar energy systems have been exempt from Florida’s sales and use tax. In May 2005, the exemption was made permanent upon the enactment of H.B. 805. This exemption applies to solar hot water, solar space heaters, photovoltaic systems, solar pool heating and all associated components. The Florida Solar Energy Center periodically revises the list of equipment and requisite hardware considered to be a solar energy system.
Florida provides a 100 percent property tax exemption for residential renewable energy property and an 80 percent property tax abatement for non-residential renewable energy property. Eligible renewable energy property includes solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar PV plus storage systems, wind energy systems, solar water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps installed on or after January 1, 2013.