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Is It Illegal to Power Your Home With Solar Panels in Your State?

by Alex B. on Jan 29, 2021

Contrary to rumor, it is not illegal to power your home with solar panels in Florida and other states in the US! There are actually many solar incentives available to many homeowners and commercial property owners, making solar an excellent investment for anyone.

However, local state and county codes do some requirements regarding solar power installations, and these can affect your plans and overall savings. Even with these requirements and restrictions, however, solar power is still an excellent investment for any Florida homeowner and commercial property owner! If you’re thinking of “going solar”, check out some vital information about current regulations and benefits of solar in the state, and then discuss your options with a solar panel installer near you.

Powering Your Home With Solar Panels

Solar panels are not illegal; current laws even state that no one, such as a homeowner’s association, can make it illegal to put solar panels on a private residence! Homeowners associations and other entities can set out requirements for solar panels, but even those requirements cannot be overly prohibitive. 

However, current laws also state that it’s illegal to sell solar power directly to a consumer unless that seller is a utility company. What does this mean? In simple terms, someone with solar panels must sell that power to their utility company, with the utility company crediting them for the solar produced by their property. This process is called net metering.

In other words, solar panels don’t actually power homes and businesses. Instead, Florida properties with solar panels remain connected to a local utility company. Any solar power produced by those panels is sent back to the utility company, and the homeowner or business owner is then credited for that power while still using electricity from their local utility provider.

These laws can obviously change over time, but the increased popularity of solar power is sure to help keep favorable laws on the books when it comes to solar panels. If you’re curious about current laws and requirements and how they affect your property, and any local restrictions or requirements for residential solar power, in particular, check with a solar panel installer near you.

Does Have a Tax Credit?

If you’re looking to invest in solar panels, now is the time! According to Go Solar Florida State, which provides consumers with up-to-date solar information and solar panel installation services, federal tax credits are in place through 2024 but are set to disappear after that. Again, laws can change at any time but note that the current tax credit allows homeowners and commercial property owners to deduct 26% of the cost of their system through 2022.

In 2023, homeowners and commercial property owners can deduct 22% of their costs. In 2024, commercial property owners can deduct 10% of their cost while there is no deduction in place for residential property owners at that time.

This tax credit is limited to those who own their solar panel system; if you sign a lease for your solar panels, you are not eligible for this credit. To ensure you know exactly the amount for which you’re eligible and claim it on your taxes properly, save your receipts and consult with an accountant during tax time!

Is Solar Power Worth It?

Some places like Florida enjoy over 230 sunny days per year on average, which is why it’s called “The Sunshine State”! As the state is a peninsula, most property owners in Florida also enjoy lots of direct sun exposure throughout the year, making solar power well worth the investment!

Consider that most homeowners spend about $10,000 on a solar panel installation for a 2000 square foot home. Those panels should continue to operate at 75% efficiency and above for at least 20 years or longer, allowing you to recoup your costs well within the first decade. On average, you might then expect to save about $3000 on your energy bills for the first 20 years of solar panel usage.

In addition to these savings, consider that solar power usage means reducing fumes and emissions generated by power plants that produce electricity. A solar installation is also very labor-intensive and not a job you can outsource! When you invest in solar, you are creating local jobs that support your neighbors.

Investing in solar is also an excellent choice for business owners wanting to offset carbon emissions created by their production equipment, forklifts, delivery vehicles, and the like. In some cases, solar panel installation can also increase your property values. To find out more about solar panels and ensure you’re up-to-date on tax credits and other financial incentives, contact a solar installer near you.

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