Florida, the Sunshine State, is a great state for solar. However, as of 2012 the state still has lackluster state incentives for renewables compared to other states in the sunbelt, like California or Nevada. That being said it does offer some incentives for residential solar electric to homeowners like rebates, tax exemptions and PACE programs, but most incentives are only offered on a local basis. Like some other parts of the U.S. southeast, electricity in Florida has been cheap, largely because of coal-fired power plants north of the state’s border.
Homeowners in Florida wanting to go solar should check with their utility and local installers to learn more about local incentives. Links to utilities’ programs can be found below. Customers in Florida can also net meter their PV systems. Photovoltaics are starting to take off in Florida, but the state’s installers are already familiar with solar thermal, which has been a popular way for residents to heat their water and their pools.
Some parts of Florida also offer low-interest rate loans for renewable energy, like the City of Tallahassee, the Gainesville Regional Utility, the Clay Electric Cooperative and the Orlando Utilities Commission offer low-interest loan programs. Rates for the programs range from 0 percent to 11 percent, depending on the program.
In addition, Florida laws require investor-owned utilities to offer net metering. Under the law they must credit customers for net excess generation in a month, if, over a 12 month period, they generate more power than they they use, the utility must pay them.