Florida is well known as the Sunshine State, seeing more sun and longer, sunnier days than many other parts of the country. While the cost of electricity in Florida is lower than the national average, it is still higher than the average of other southeastern states. These things combined mean that solar panels can be a big benefit to homeowners in this region. You can capture more sun than the average state and help lower your energy bills.
Solar panel costs in Florida can vary depending on your municipality, home size, and energy goals. The state average cost for installing solar panels in Florida is $13,380 to $17,220, with most homeowners paying around $15,500 for a 6 kW system of monocrystalline panels installed on the roof. This project’s low cost is $4,460 for a 2 kW installation of polycrystalline panels. The high cost is $50,000 for an 8 kW system with battery backup designed to go off-grid from the electrical company.
|Average Cost of Solar Panels in Florida|
|National average cost||$15,500|
There are many types of solar panels and installations. This includes monocrystalline panels, which are more costly but better at producing energy, polycrystalline and thin film panels, which are less costly, and other panel systems.
These various panels can be installed in different ways. The most common is a grid-tied installation, which uses your choice of solar panels to help lower your energy bills. You are still tied to the grid, and when the sun goes down or there is a prolonged period of cloudy days, you use traditional electricity. The rest of the time, you can rely on your solar panels. These systems can be many sizes, from small installations offsetting some of your costs to large installations that run your entire home.
The other installation type is off-grid. This means you cut your ties with the electric company and rely solely on your panels. It is legal to do this in Florida, but you cannot go completely off grid in some municipalities because of laws surrounding septic systems and insurance. In those areas, you can disconnect from the power grid but may still rely on your town or city utilities for other things. If you want to consider going off grid and generating your own electricity in Florida, check with your municipality to find out what stipulations you may need to follow.
An off-grid installation is generally larger than a grid-tied installation. It also needs batteries and battery inverters to store excess energy during the day. At night and when the sun is not as strong, you can run your home off the batteries. This can dramatically increase your installation cost because you need more panels and batteries, and inverters can have high costs. It is also recommended to use a backup system like wind power or a backup generator if you have an off-grid system in case there is a prolonged period of low sunlight. This is less of a concern in Florida than in other places, but it is still considered a good idea.
Below are the average costs for grid-tied and off-grid systems for the standard 2,500 sq.ft. Florida home. Your energy needs may be less or more, impacting your final costs.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Grid-Tied||$13,500 - $17,500|
|Off-Grid||$40,000 - $70,000|
Solar energy is typically priced per watt, with most homes needing thousands of watts, or kilowatts, to power the system. The average-sized system in Florida is 6kW, but you can use less or more energy, depending on your home size and needs.
The average cost of solar panels per watt in Florida is $2.23 to $2.87 a watt. Costs can vary by the panel and your location. Each panel can typically have between 250 and 400 watts, so if you need a 6 kW system to run your home, you need between 15 and 24 panels. Some panels produce more watts, and smaller panels produce less, impacting the number of panels you need. Below is the average cost of a grid-tied system by the number of kilowatts and how many panels you need.
|System Size||Panels Needed||Average Cost (Installed)|
|2 kW||5 - 8||$4,460 - $5,740|
|3 kW||8 - 12||$6,690 - $8,610|
|4 kW||10 - 16||$8,920 - $11,480|
|5 kW||13 - 20||$11,150 - $14,350|
|6 kW||15 - 24||$13,380 - $17,220|
|7 kW||18 - 28||$15,610 - $20,090|
|8 kW||20 - 32||$17,840 - $22,960|
|10 kW||25 - 40||$22,300 - $28,700|
|12 kW||30 - 48||$26,760 - $34,440|
|15 kW||38 - 60||$33,450 - $43,050|
|18 kW||45 - 72||$40,140 - $51,660|
Your home size can be loosely tied to the number of solar panels you need and the project’s cost. The exact cost depends on your energy needs. Typically, the larger the home, the higher your overall energy needs. But you may choose a system that can offset some costs and power certain things, such as your HVAC system, while leaving the rest on the grid. You can also choose a system that runs your entire home, even if you have higher-than-average energy needs. This means your home can have a wide range of costs. The average home in Florida typically uses their air conditioning for more hours than the national average, meaning you may need a slightly larger system than homes of a similar size in other parts to see the same benefits. That is why the average installation in Florida is 6 kW, while the average national installation size is around 5 kW. Below are the average cost ranges for homes of varying sizes. There is a big range for each home because your energy needs can be different.
|House Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$4,460 - $22,960|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$5,740 - $26,760|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$8,920 - $28,700|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$13,380 - $34,440|
Solar panels come in different cell types. Polycrystalline and thin film are the least expensive, while monocrystalline is more costly. Polycrystalline panels are made of many small pieces of silicone crystals. The panels are blue, making them stand out more but they are less costly to purchase and install. They do not generate as much energy as a monocrystalline panel.
Thin-film panels are also less costly and available in many subtypes. Thin- film panels have a lower profile but are better in low-light areas than the other types. Due to the amount of sunlight Florida receives, thin-film panels are much less common in this state. You can find them and polycrystalline panels if you like, but they are generally not as common.
Monocrystalline panels are the most common that you will find in Florida. These panels use individual silicone crystals, so they are more efficient at producing energy. They can be thinner than polycrystalline panels and have a sleek black finish. They also come in a few types, which may help achieve your energy goals with fewer panels than the polycrystalline or thin-film types. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system in Florida using the different panels.
|Cell Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Polycrystalline||$12,000 - $15,000|
|Thin-Film||$12,000 - $15,000|
|Monocrystalline||$13,000 - $18,000|
The labor cost to install solar panels in Florida can vary depending on the area, panel type, size, and location. The average cost range for installation is between $0.88 and $1.14 a watt, making the average cost of installation for a 6 kW system between $5,280 and $6,840. The costs include racking and balancing the panels and their installation. Larger panels can require more time to mount 1, while panels installed on a steep roof may cost more than panels installed on an array mounted on the ground. For this reason, you see a wide fluctuation in costs. Below is the average cost of labor based on the solar panel system size.
|System Size||Average Labor Costs|
|2 kW||$1,760 - $2,280|
|3 kW||$2,640 - $3,420|
|4 kW||$3,520 - $4,560|
|5 kW||$4,400 - $5,700|
|6 kW||$5,280 - $6,840|
|7 kW||$6,160 - $7,980|
|8 kW||$7,040 - $9,120|
|10 kW||$8,800 - $11,400|
The angle you place your solar panels on depends on your energy needs, how many panels you have, and your roof’s shape and position. However, if you can capture the ideal angle in Florida, placing your panels at an angle of 28 degrees from the horizontal, facing to the south, you get the most optimal year-round sunlight hitting them.
Keep in mind, however, that not every home can capture that angle. Florida is well known for its year-round strong sunlight. So, if you cannot hit that exact alignment, it does not have a tremendous impact on your system or how it functions.
While the most common place to install solar panels is on the roof, this is not the only place you can install them. For some larger installations, the roof is not large enough. In other installations, the roof’s position is not ideal for capturing the right amount of sunlight. In these cases, you may need a ground-mounted solar system. This is a set of arrays built on a frame installed on the ground. This is much larger than the roof-mounted system and costs more to install, even if you use the same number of panels and watts. This project uses a lot of space on your property. However, for off-grid installations and some larger installations, a ground-mounted system is the only method that works.
Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system on the roof and on a ground-mounted array. All other factors between the two are identical, only the positioning is different.
|System Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Roof||$13,380 - $17,220|
|Ground||$16,550 - $21,220|
Florida does not offer any solar tax incentives. However, anyone installing a solar panel system in Florida is eligible for the federal tax credit, which is roughly 26% of the cost of your solar installation. For a 6 kW installation, this credit equals $3,479 to $4,477 for the average installation. You can claim this amount on your taxes as a credit in the year after installation.
For your home to use the electricity produced by your panels, you also need a solar inverter. Inverters take the energy produced by the panels, which is DC (direct current), and convert it to the electricity your home uses, which is AC (alternating current).
The cost of solar inverters is worked into the total cost per watt to install solar panels and averages out to around $0.20 to $0.32 a watt in total costs. There are several inverter types to choose from.
String inverters are one of the more common types. Groups of solar panels are connected to one another in strings, and these strings are all connected to a single inverter. This inverter is usually located in the basement or in another accessible area. While the string inverter is more expensive than the other types, you typically only need one.
Microinverters are a newer type that do not connect up the panels. Each panel has its own inverter, located near the panel. While the inverters themselves are less money, you need one inverter per panel, so you will need more of them, which increases the total cost so it will be higher than with a string inverter. They eliminate issues with string inverters that can occur if a panel or group of panels in a string stop working, which can affect the entire system.
Another option is to use a power optimizer with your string inverter. These will connect to your panels nearby like the microinverters, and you will need one per panel. They optimize the power output for the whole string. This is helpful if you have a complex roof that may put some of the panels in shade at times during the day.
If you have batteries with your solar panel system, you need battery inverters. These are the most expensive type, and they help your batteries store the extra energy your home is not using for later. This is necessary when installing an off-grid system.
Below are the average costs per inverter. Installation costs are generally rolled into the total per watt cost, including the panels and inverters.
|Inverter Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Power Optimizer||$125 - $150|
|Micro Inverter||$150 - $215|
|String Inverter||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Battery-Based||$2,000 - $3,000|
To help your solar panels reach their longest lifespan and continue generating the most amount of electricity, maintain them properly. In Florida, it is recommended to clean your panels at least twice a year to ensure they are working properly. During this cleaning, the system should also be given a quick inspection, with a more thorough inspection every few years to ensure everything is working well and no repairs are needed. The cost of solar panel cleaning with a quick inspection in Florida ranges from $150 to $350 per visit, depending on the number of panels.
This makes a yearly cost of $300 to $700 to help maintain your panels and keep them running optimally. You may have additional costs for repairs or to replace parts like inverters as the system ages.
An alternative to installing solar panels on your existing roof is to replace your roof with a Tesla solar roof. This is a blend of solar and inactive tiles that cover your entire home. It has a more subtle appearance with more curb appeal than the installation of solar panels on the roof. You cover the areas where the sun is more likely to hit with the solar tiles, and the areas of your roof that are in the shade in the inactive tiles. Since the tiles cover the entire roof, it has a more cohesive appearance than panels mounted on another material, which can be attractive.
Costs to install this roof type fluctuate tremendously, with new updates to the cost of the inactive tiles meaning their cost depends on your roof’s complexity. The more complex your roof, the higher the cost. It is estimated that the average homeowner in Florida can spend between $35,000 and $70,000 on a 2,000 sq.ft. Tesla Solar roof. The variation in cost is because of the different layouts and difference in the solar versus inactive tiles and their positioning on the roof.
In addition to solar panels, which can provide energy to your home, another appliance you may want to install is a solar water heater. With the high levels of sunshine in Florida, a solar water heater is an efficient way to heat the water in your home with less energy. The cost to install a solar water heater averages $8,000 to $10,000.
No, solar power is legal in Florida. Some power companies have tried to disrupt the industry in recent years, but they have not succeeded.
Yes, Florida buys back electricity if you generate more than your home can use. You can use this as a credit toward future bills.
The average solar panel lasts around 25 years in Florida, while the average inverter lasts between 15 and 20 years. This is with proper maintenance, cleaning, and inspections.
Solar panels add roughly 4% to the value of your home. This number fluctuates across Florida, with some areas like Orlando having a slightly higher value.
Solar panels increase the value of your home, and property taxes are based on that value. Therefore, installing solar panels may raise your property taxes with your next assessment. However, this varies by municipality.