If you’ve looked into solar before, you may have noticed ads for so-called “free” solar panels in Florida. If you've seen any of these ads, you’re probably wondering whether they’re true and if you can really get solar panels for free.
Here’s the truth: there’s no such thing as free solar panels from the government, but many homeowners can make the switch to solar for the same or sometimes less than they are currently paying for electricity.
Are Solar Panels Really Free in Florida?
Solar panels are not free in Florida or anywhere else in the country, no matter what you may have seen online. But, installation costs aside, there is no fee for switching over to solar, so in that sense, solar is “free.”
At the same time, when you purchase residential solar panels, you are investing in a system that will provide years of free electricity once it is paid off. Switching to solar will allow you to invest in your own power generation while reducing your reliance on the utility company.
In many other parts of the country, “free solar” refers to leases or power purchase agreements. Under these agreements, solar companies will put solar on your roof for no out-of-pocket cost to you. In exchange, you pay a monthly fee to use the electricity the solar panels generate, but the solar company will own the system. These arrangements sound great, but the bottom line is that you do not own this equipment and the solar energy that you are producing is not free.
The Government WILL Give You a Tax Credit for Solar Installation
Many of the ads you see promising free solar panels in Florida are actually referring to the federal solar tax credit. The solar tax credit is a legitimate solar incentive offered by the federal government. The solar tax credit reduces what you owe when you file your federal tax return by 30% of your solar installation costs for the year you install your system. The tax credit does not have a limit and if it’s worth more than you owe, you can roll the remainder over to the following year.
The solar tax credit will not cover 100% of your solar costs, but it will help you save a significant amount of money on solar panels. Plus, solar battery storage qualifies for the tax credit!
What Are Your Legitimate Solar Financing Options?
Today, there are many options for solar financing so that you have a no or low out-of-pocket cost and pay off the system slowly over time. Many Florida homeowners choose to finance their solar panel installation with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Others choose to take out a solar loan from a bank or another lending institution, like a home improvement credit company.
Solar Impact can help you learn more about your solar financing options and help you choose one that makes the most sense for your budget.
Solar Impact: Your Trusted Solar Installer in North Central Florida
“Free solar” is like many other things in life—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before you sign up for “free solar”, we can help you understand what you’re really being offered so you don’t get scammed. If you have any questions about a solar ad you’ve seen on the internet, just give us a call. We would be happy to look into it for you and let you know whether it’s a legitimate solar offer or something to avoid.
At Solar Impact, you matter. We are committed to helping you make the most informed choice possible when it comes to solar and would love to guide you through the process.