faq wooden blocks

Solar Impact is here to answer all your questions about residential and commercial solar panel installation in Florida. Check out our solar FAQs and reach out to us if you have any additional questions—we are here to help!

How much money will I save on my electric bill?

Your electric bill savings with solar panels depend entirely on the size of your solar energy system and your site efficiency.


Site efficiency is a percentage that represents the amount of total annual sunlight your solar PV (photovoltaic) system can capture. It is determined by looking at how much shade affects your system, what angle the solar panels are mounted at, and what direction they are facing.


It is impossible to know your site efficiency without visiting your site in person. To provide some kind of baseline, however, we can say a typical 5kW system (5,000 watts) will produce approximately 550 kilowatt-hours per month. The average home in Gainesville, Florida uses about 1,000 kilowatt-hours each month, so a 5kW system would reduce your monthly electricity bill by 55%. Our Florida homeowner customers typically want their solar system sized to cover 90-100% of their electricity bill.

Doesn't it take a lot of energy to produce solar system?

It certainly costs energy to produce (and mount) a solar panel. Research has shown that after approximately 2 to 5 years the electricity produced by a solar panel equals the energy that was necessary to produce it. This is called the energy pay-back time. Normally, solar panels have a life of 25 years or more.

Will Solar increase my property value?

According to the Appraisal Institute's “The Appraisal Journal” of October 1998, the substitution of renewable energy systems for purchased utility services will raise the value of your property by a multiple of twenty times a dollar of avoided utility cost per year. In short, if your solar PV system produces $1,000 of electricity per year, your home's value increases by $20,000. To read the report go to http://www.ongrid.net/AppraisalJournalPVValue10.98.pdf

This means that your Florida home would increase in value immediately by about the total net cost of the solar system. If you plan to sell your home, the buyer will be able to afford a higher monthly mortgage payment because of the energy savings produced by solar PV system. In addition, realtors agree that in this challenging real estate environment, any feature that gives your home a competitive advantage over other homes will help your home sell faster. 

What's in it for me?

Increase your home’s value: Nothing adds value to your home like solar. According to industry experts, your system will add $45,000 to $90,000 to the value of your house. Who wouldn’t want to buy a house that comes with a solar cash machine?

Take control of your power bill: After years of stable electricity prices, nobody knows what’s going to happen next. When you own a solar power system, you no longer need to worry about rising prices!

Protect the environment and our county: Your solar electric system will reduce greenhouse gases and our dependence on foreign fuels. You’ll feel good knowing that you’re making a difference.

Will my homeowners association allow me to put solar on my roof?

Florida State Statute 163.04 clearly states that Flordia homeowner associations are expressly prohibited from disallowing a solar electric system to be installed. (Please ask us for a copy of the statute.)

Why Solar Impact?

Solar Impact is Gainesville's #1 solar company with over twice the solar electric designed installed as all other local solar companies combined! Solar Impact's $20 million of commercial, residential, and non-profit solar is enough to power 500 homes and has created over $1 million in local jobs. We service Gainesville, High Springs, Jonesville, Newberry, and Ocala Florida.

Solar Impact clients include McGurn Management Company, Mike Warren/AMJ, Inc. The Florida Museum of Natural History, UF East Campus, UF Hillel, UF Institute of Aging, UF SunSense Project, Alachua County Libraries, Alachua County School District, Oaks Veterinary Clinic, Gainesville Regional Airport, Millhopper Montessori School, Avera & Smith Law Firm, Dell Graham Law Firm, Pinnacle Point Apartments, NanoSonic, Gainesville Job Corps, and over 80 residential clients.

Our installation team is led by our project manager Richie Wilhoit. Richie is a 10 year Army veteran with a Master's Degree from UF in Building Construction. Find out more about the Solar Impact difference

Will the surrounding trees be a problem?

Solar shading issues are hard for us to determine without seeing your property in person. Typically, unless there are tall trees in the SE to SW window of your site's location, tree shading should not be significant enough to prevent you from exploring solar options. A rule of thumb is to have no shading at least from 10AM to 3PM. Since the sun is higher in the horizon during the summer, tree shading usually provides more obstacles during the winter than in the summer. Solar Impact can provide a complete site analysis to determine the exact shading and impact that any trees will have on your solar electric system.

How do I get started with solar panels?

It's easy to get started with solar energy! Just contact Solar Impact to schedule a solar assessment. With a recent utility bill, we can deliver a detailed report that shows how much you can reduce your monthly energy bill and what solar rebates and tax incentives you are eligible for by going solar. Call us today!

What is the best orientation for solar panels?

South is the best orientation for solar. Southeast to Southwest orientations will result in only a slight annual energy reduction of 2% to 4%. We can even install systems due West or East, but you can expect anywhere from 12% to 18% less solar electricity production than a Southern orientation. If you have no shading issues, then adding a couple more solar modules to your system will compensate for these losses.

Does it take a lot of energy to manufacture solar panels?

Manufacturing, shipping, and installing solar panels certainly require energy, but the clean electricity over the lifetime of solar panels generate makes up for the energy it takes to make them. Research has shown that after approximately 2 to 5 years, the electricity produced by a solar panel equals the amount of energy that was necessary to manufacture it. This is called the energy pay-back time.

Do solar panels increase home value?

In many cases, solar does increase home value in Florida! According to a national study conducted by Zillow in 2019, homes with residential solar panels sell for 4.1% more than comparable homes without solar panels. This translates to about $9,274 in added value for the median-valued home. Realtors also agree that any feature that gives your home a competitive advantage over other homes, like a solar array, can help it sell faster.

Can you put solar panels on any roof?

Solar panels can be installed on all roof types, but there is a sliding scale of difficulty (and cost). Metal and shingle roofs are the easiest to install solar, while flat and clay tile roofs are more challenging. It is worth noting that we do not have to penetrate a Standing Seam Metal Roof because our solar racking attaches directly to the metal seams of the roof.

Different roofing materials require different methodologies which can impact the installation costs of solar. We recommend never allowing amateurs or inexperienced solar contractors to penetrate a membrane or flat roof. Only experienced solar professionals should ever work with these difficult roofs.

What are the benefits of solar panels?

There are many solar benefits that come with a Florida solar panel installation, including:

  • Electric bill savings
  • Stabilized electricity costs
  • Reliable energy production for 25+ years
  • Protection against power outages (with battery storage)
  • Tax credits and other solar incentives
  • Increased home value
  • Less fossil fuel consumption

The financial and environmental benefits of solar make solar panels worth it for Florida homeowners and businesses. Don't miss out on solar savings—schedule a free consultation today.

What size solar electric system do I need?

The recommended size of your system depends on your power consumption. If you want to completely offset your current electrical usage from the utility with a solar electric system, the first step is to review your annual energy consumption (which can be obtained from your utility bill). Solar Impact specifically looks for how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume in a 12-month period.

Can your HOA prevent you from installing rooftop solar panels in Florida?

Florida State Statute 163.04 clearly states that Flordia homeowner associations are expressly prohibited from disallowing a solar electric system to be installed. An HOA may restrict where you place your solar panels, but not if the system's performance suffers as a result. Please ask us for a copy of the statute if you need one to share with your HOA.

How much does a solar installation cost?

Solar installation costs in Florida can vary significantly depending on how much electricity you use and where you live. The more power you consume, the more solar panels you will need, which can increase the cost of your home solar installation. If you live in an area that receives a lot of sunlight throughout the year (like most Florida communities) you will need fewer panels than someone living in a darker part of the country. This decreases the cost of your system. A 5kW grid-tied system costs approximately $12,225 to install after the 30% Federal Investment Solar Tax Credit in 2023. To get a solar estimate for your home or business, contact Solar Impact today!

Why choose Solar Impact as your solar installer in Florida?

Solar Impact is Gainesville's #1 solar company with over twice the solar electric systems designed and installed as all other local solar companies combined! Solar Impact's $20 million of commercial, residential, and non-profit solar is enough to power 500 homes and has created over $1 million in local jobs.


As a full-service solar installation company, we will handle every aspect of the project for you, from the solar energy system design, filing of the permit paperwork, working with the utility company, the solar installation, and the final inspections. Solar Impact is proud to offer a comprehensive turn-key package to every customer to ensure that installing a solar power system is an easy, pleasant experience for you.


We service Gainesville, High Springs, Jonesville, Newberry, and Ocala Florida. Solar Impact clients include McGurn Management Company, Mike Warren/AMJ, Inc., The Florida Museum of Natural History, UF East Campus, UF Hillel, UF Institute of Aging, UF SunSense Project, Alachua County Libraries, Alachua County School District, Oaks Veterinary Clinic, Gainesville Regional Airport, Millhopper Montessori School, Avera & Smith Law Firm, Dell Graham Law Firm, Pinnacle Point Apartments, NanoSonic, Gainesville Job Corps, and over 80 residential solar clients.

Our installation team is led by our project manager Richie Wilhoit. Richie is a 10-year Army veteran with a Master's Degree from UF in Building Construction. Find out more about the Solar Impact difference.

How long does it take for a solar system to pay for itself?

The amount of time it takes to break even on a solar installation depends on a number of factors: (1) your current cost of electricity (2) the rate structure of your electrical service (3) the solar incentives available to you (4) and the cost of money on your solar investment.


When paying cash, a typical residential solar energy system may see a simple solar payback in 8-12 years. If you are financing the purchase of your solar system, you may see immediate positive cash flow, or you may initially see a slight negative impact on monthly cash flow when factoring the cost of the loan against the initial savings. As electrical rates increase, and with your loan payment staying fixed, you will eventually see positive cash flow, a break-even point, and then a positive rate of return.


Financed systems typically either see immediate positive cash flow or will attain positive cash flow within three years or so.

Are surrounding trees a problem for solar panels?

Solar shading issues are hard for us to determine without seeing your property in person. However, solar panels don't need direct sunlight to work. Typically, unless there are tall trees in the SE to SW window of your site's location, tree shading should not be significant enough to prevent you from exploring solar options. A rule of thumb for making solar panels viable is to have no shading on your panels at least from 10 AM to 3 PM. Since the sun is higher on the horizon during the summer, tree shading usually provides more obstacles during the winter than in the summer. Solar Impact can provide a complete site analysis to determine the exact shading and impact that any trees will have on your solar electric system.

How long do solar panels last?

The main component of a solar system, the solar panels, are typically warranted for 25 years but have a design life of over 40 years. Solar inverters typically have a shorter lifespan; string inverters last about 10-15 years while microinverters can last 20-25 years. Solar batteries have a lifespan of 5-15 years depending on the type of solar battery storage system you install.

Should you replace your roof before going solar?

If your roof will need to be replaced in the next ten years then we recommend that you replace it before having your solar PV system installed. Solar Impact is happy to provide recommendations for roofing contractors we have worked with and trust.

Do solar panels come with a warranty?

Yes, solar panels come with warranty protection. Solar Impact provides a 5-year workmanship warranty, the inverter manufacturer has a 10-year warranty, and the modules carry a 25-year solar warranty.

How many solar panels do you need?

The recommended size of your system depends on your power consumption. If you want to completely offset your current electrical usage from the utility with a solar electric system, the first step is to review your annual energy consumption (which can be obtained from your utility bill). Solar Impact specifically looks for how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume in a 12-month period to determine how many solar panels you need. We also consider factors like roof size and shading to determine the optimal number of solar panels for your home.

What does Solar Impact mean by "turn-key"?

Solar Impact, as a full-service solar installation company, will handle every aspect of the project for you, from the solar energy system design, filing of the permit paperwork, working with the utility company, the solar installation, and the final inspections. Solar Impact is proud to offer a comprehensive turn-key package to every customer to ensure that installing a solar power system is an easy, pleasant experience for you.

Is there net metering in Florida?

Yes, there is net metering in Florida and it is one of the best Florida solar incentives available. Net metering is a solar incentive system that allows solar customers to trade power with their utility. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use, you can export the excess to the grid. In return, you'll receive a credit to your account. You can use that credit to help pay for the electricity you need to buy from the grid when your solar panels are not producing enough power to meet your needs. Net metering is like spinning your electric meter backward.

Florida's net metering policy is one of the best in the country because it requires solar customers to be compensated at the full retail rate of electricity.

Do solar panels need maintenance?

Because solar panels have no moving parts, they are virtually maintenance-free. The only solar panel maintenance you will need to do is keep your solar panels clean. We recommend cleaning them once or twice a year, after the pollen season has ended. All they require is water and a mop or rag—no power washing, soap, or abrasive sponges. Solar Impact does not recommend cleaning solar panels when they're hot, since uneven thermal shock could theoretically break the glass. Wash them in the morning or evening. If you do not have the ability or desire to safely get on your roof and clean your panels, we can recommend a local solar panel cleaning business to help you.

What Is the federal solar tax credit?

The solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is a solar incentive that can reduce what you own in federal taxes by 30% of your solar installation costs. Residential and commercial solar installations are eligible for the solar tax credit and it covers almost all costs associated with a solar installation, including materials and installation costs.

Can the homeowner sell power back to their utility?

Yes, through "net metering" any excess electricity generated will spin your meter backwards, which has the effect of selling your excess power to the utility at a full retail rate. On a monthly basis, you pay only the "net" of what power you used. If you generate more power than you used in a month, your utility company will forward your excess solar energy credits to be used during the next month. This allows any excess energy generated in the summer to be used during the winter when there is less solar energy and usually higher energy usage.

What are Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)s?

As a solar power generator you are producing power from a renewable energy source -- the sun - which benefits the nation by reducing our reliance on non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels. State governments quantify those benefits in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)s with one megawatt hour of energy from a renewable source generator being worth one REC.

Currently in Florida, there is no Renewable Portfolio Standard but we believe that will change in the near future. The RECs are part of an incentive program enacted by many states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, to encourage the development of renewable source energy suppliers. You can learn more about the Portfolio Standard and RECs in your state by clicking on the link to your state above and looking under "Rules, Regulations, and Policies". Under this program, each state enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)s which set the minimum percentage of a utility company's power that must be produced from renewable sources. Because there is not enough renewable source suppliers from which the utility companies can buy power directly, they are allowed to buy RECs on the wholesale electricity market to make up the difference needed to satisfy state requirements.

Although there is a ready market for RECs, in reality it is difficult for small producers to sell their RECs outright on the open market because generation can't be registered in units less than 1 REC. Therefore, most small producers sell their RECs through aggregators who combine the kilowatts hours of many small producers and register and sell these as RECs for a commission on the wholesale market.

Do solar panels work during a power outage?

Most grid-tied solar electric systems do not provide power during electrical power outages. As a requirement of a grid-tied inverter's safety listing, it must shut down in the event of grid power loss. Backup power systems can be designed into a grid-tied solar system with the addition of a solar battery bank and a battery-powered inverter. This option adds complexity and expense that should be weighed against the benefit of having backup power with solar.

Get answers to all your questions about solar installation in Florida. 

Schedule Service - Primary CTA

TALK TO AN EXPERT