Clearwater Electrician Explains Solar Benefits for Residential Homes

Since Florida is known as the Sunshine state, you would expect its solar power situation to be one of the best in the nation. Unfortunately, the big electric companies have worked hard to suppress the rights of the citizens of Florida by limiting the laws and benefits of solar power installation. Florida has the third best conditions in the country for solar power, but it is ranked 17th for installed solar capacity due to its policies. This is extremely shameful and a huge waste of potential. Be sure to get informed and make your voice heard to improve the solar situation in Florida and seek out expertise from a Clearwater electrician.

Current Limitations for Solar Power

There is no renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) in the state of Florida. An RPS is a state-mandated regulation that requires a certain amount of renewable energy to be produced. While this may sound like it infringes on the rights of the people, it only applies to electricity supply companies and requires them to get a small portion of their energy from renewable sources. This drives investments from utility companies into renewable energy. Florida also prohibits third-party owned systems, meaning solar leasing is not available and people can’t just buy power from solar power businesses. This limits the people that are able to get solar energy as not everyone can afford the startup costs. Many other states who do not have this limitation (legal ban, essentially) have seen booms in solar energy economies since more people can contribute to the alternative energy industry.

While Florida is letting itself be ruled by the electrical supply companies, there are some state-supported benefits and rebates for individuals using solar power. This article aims to outline the current benefits of installing solar panels in your home as the laws stand currently. If you’re considering moving to solar, contact a Clearwater electrician today.

Sales Tax Exemption

Floridians who install solar energy systems to use in place of conventional energy systems do not have to pay Florida state sales or use tax on any of the components used in the system. While an application is required to take advantage of this exemption, luckily for the consumer it is the seller that must go through the paperwork. This exemption applies to commercial, residential, and general public purchases for solar hot water, solar space heating or cooling, photovoltaic systems (electricity), and even solar pool heating technologies.

Initially, this exemption was intended to expire in 2002, but after an extension it was made permanent by the enactment of HB 805.

Net Metering Laws

In the state of Florida, the net-metering law allows residents to get credit for generating more power than they use when this power is returned to the energy grid system. Utility companies must credit customers for the difference between what is consumed and what is generated. Essentially, when a home is providing energy instead of consuming it (overall, or in net), then that home should be credited just as it would be charged if it was consuming more than it provided (which is the case in most homes). When solar panels are installed, the home is still hooked up to electricity, but in many months the home generates more solar power than the residents can even use! During these months, the excess energy that the solar system generates can be fed back into the power grid. Since electricity companies then sell that excess energy to other people, they are mandated to give the home providing said energy a cut in the form of energy credit, which may be used in the months when solar energy doesn’t cover the home’s energy needs. If these credits are not not used within a year, the utility company must provide the credit in the form of actual money.

The requirements to take advantage of this credit are systems up to 2 megawatts. A Clearwater electrician can explain in further detail if you have any additional questions. Systems between 10 kilowatts and 100 kilowatts must pay a $400 application fee and must have $1 million in liability insurance. The fees and required insurance increase with the size of the system and systems under 10 kilowatts are exempt (probably because they won’t create enough energy for the utility company to see much difference).

Personal Benefit of Installing Solar Power

Besides the benefits provided by the state, there are plenty of personal reasons to use solar power. It makes you less dependent on the state for the energy you need. Not only does this give you more independence from the overreaching government, there is always the possibility that the electricity grid will collapse. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, this can happen due to solar flares that are completely out of our control. Additionally, making your own energy can save you hundreds of dollars! Since you’re feeding off the sun, there’s no one to pay. As mentioned above, utility companies could end up paying you! Not only does it increase the money in your pocket during use, it increases the value of your home should you ever decide to sell it. Be sure to contact a qualified solar panel Clearwater electrician as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Speak to a Clearwater Electrician for Your Solar Panel Needs

East-West Electric Inc has over 30 years of experience delivering exceptional service at affordable price. We have experience handling all types of construction and electrical work. Give us a call at (727) 771-9403 to speak to a Clearwater electrician about your electrical project. If you want more information about the benefits of solar power read our article on The Top 7 Questions When it Comes to Solar Power.

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