Solar Incentives & Financing 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.
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.
Dunedin Solar Energy Grant Program: Rebate for installing solar. The grant offers $0.25 per watt of solar power installed for a maximum grant of $2,500. Applicants must be a City of Dunedin resident or business (unincorporated addresses are not eligible). Solar permits must be applied for, issued, inspected and completed on or after October 1st, 2018. This grant will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis – as funds are available. Annual total funding determined in each fiscal year’s budget.
St. Petersburg Affordable Residential Property Improvement Grant (Rebates for Residential Rehab Plus (RRR+): An applicant may receive a reimbursable grant equaling up to 40 percent of the pre-construction value of exterior and/or interior improvements on affordable residential housing in the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (housing meeting the needs of households whose income is 120 percent and below the area median household income). Requires a minimum investment of $10,000 eligible improvements.
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Solar Loan: Approved members may receive a loan, less any available qualified rebates, up to $35,000 for the purchase and installation of a grid-tied Distributed Energy Resource (DER) system. This includes distributed renewable solar photovoltaic systems and grid-tied battery storage systems – All of which must be installed by a qualified solar installer.
Boynton Beach Energy Edge rebate program: An applicant may receive a $1,500 rebate for a 5kW or larger. Reside in the building as your primary place of residence OR have a business that is the principal occupant of the building. Not offer the building for sale or lease within (1) year of completing the work. For more information and eligibility visit: https://www.Boynton-beach.org/energy-edge
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.
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.