The federal government offers two major tax-based incentives to encourage homeowners and businesses to adopt solar energy.
Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
The ITC allows taxpayers to deduct 26% of solar installation costs from their federal taxes for systems installed in 2022-2023. This credit will step down to 22% in 2024 before phasing out completely in 2025 for residential projects (SEIA, 2022).
There is no cap on the amount that can be claimed under the ITC. It applies to both residential and commercial solar systems (EnergySage, 2022).
To claim the ITC, taxpayers must own the solar system. Third-party owned systems leased or under power purchase agreements (PPAs) are not eligible (NREL, 2021).
Solar equipment used for business purposes can be depreciated to allow deductions on federal income taxes. Accelerated depreciation allows claiming deductions faster (SEIA, 2022).
Commercial solar installations can utilize the MACRS depreciation schedule to recover investments in 5 years for systems over 2 megawatts (NREL, 2021).
Depreciation deductions are based on solar equipment costs minus the amount of ITC claimed (EnergySage, 2022).
Florida offers several incentives to promote solar energy adoption across the state.
Florida has statewide net metering which allows solar customers to get credit for excess energy fed back into the grid. This credit offsets electricity costs during non-production hours (FDACS, 2022).
Solar Choice Program
Under this initiative by Florida utilities, community solar and solar rebates are offered to residential customers. Program funding comes from utilities (DSIRE, 2023).
Solar Energy System Incentives Program
Provides rebates to homeowners, businesses, and farmers who install new solar systems. The program has $20 million in annual funding through 2023 (FDACS, 2022).
Sales Tax Exemption
Solar equipment purchases in Florida are exempt from paying the state's sales tax which is 6% (DSIRE, 2023).
Property Tax Exemption
Solar systems in Florida add no property tax increase for 20 years from installation date (FDACS, 2022).
Solar Loan Program
Low-interest loans are offered through participating local governments for solar installations (DSIRE, 2023).
Size Your System Correctly
Work with a sizing tool to determine the optimal system size to meet your energy needs without overproducing. Overproduction can lead to wasted energy.
Leverage Incentives + Tax Credits
Take advantage of federal, state, and local incentives like the investment tax credit to reduce installation costs. Many utilities also offer rebates.
Monitor Your Production
Use monitoring software to keep track of your actual production versus consumption. This allows you to optimize your usage.
Adjust Your Usage Behaviors
Use large appliances like dishwashers and laundry when solar production is high. Avoid using them at night when you draw from the grid.
Make Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Enhance energy efficiency further with upgrades like installing programmable thermostats or adding insulation.
Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the panels, blocking sunlight. Clean panels every 3-6 months using soft brushes and water or specialized PV cleaning solutions.
Inspect components annually for damage, wear and tear. Check electrical connections for corrosion. Replace defective parts like cracked panels immediately
Trim back overhanging tree branches and remove weeds/plants that may shade or obstruct panels.
Check that mounting equipment, racks and tracker motors are properly secured and functioning. Tighten any loosened bolts or connections.
Monitor system productivity weekly. Abnormal drops in output could indicate equipment faults needing correction.
Adjust tilt angles seasonally for optimal orientation and to remove buildup of dirt or snow on panels.
Keep inverters free of dust and debris. Have a technician undertake biennial inverter servicing to check connections and operation.
Maintain detailed records of all maintenance activities, issues encountered and corresponding solutions.