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olar energy has been a shining example of sustainability and clean power in recent times. With the sun generously offering its potential for us to take advantage of, harnessing this power source has become not only a possibility but also a popular and affordable choice. Orlando, being in the Sunshine State, naturally has an edge in this arena. In this article, we will explore Orlando solar panels, their costs, benefits, financing, and much more. Buckle up; it's time to let the sun shine!

Current Solar State in Florida

Florida ranks third in the country with a whopping 12 GW of solar power installed, putting Orlando in an excellent position to benefit from solar energy. Enjoying around 4.5 peak sun hours daily, the region's climate is highly conducive for solar power generation.

Price Breakdown of Solar Orlando FL

When considering solar energy for your home or business, it's important to understand where the money goes, so here’s a breakdown of costs associated with solar panel installation:

  1. Photovoltaic (PV) Modules: PV modules are the heart of the system. They gather sunlight and convert it into energy.
  2. Inverters: These devices transform the direct current (DC) the panels produce into alternating current (AC) that is compatible with your home.
  3. Mounting Systems: This one is pretty straightforward – such units are needed to secure the panels. Their type and complexity can affect the cost.
  4. Monitoring Systems: These help you keep track of your energy production. Nowadays, they are often included in the system, but they can be purchased and installed separately.
  5. Permits and Fees: Local regulations may require permits, and there may be other fees associated with the installation.

Average System Prices

Orlando solar panels costs are a bit lower than the national average. The average price is $2.60 per watt, translating to around $15,600 for a 6kW system. This price includes everything you need. If you're considering adding a battery for energy storage during darker hours, that will come as a separate expense.

Financing and Incentives

The best news is, the price mentioned above is usually not the final price. There are various ways to lower it:

  • Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): This substantial credit lowers your federal tax liability by 30% in 2023. If we go back to the 6kW system mentioned earlier, the ITC could reduce the cost by nearly $4,680 and bring it down to less than $11,000.
  • Net Metering: This allows you to sell excess energy back to the grid. The prices and benefits vary depending on your utility company, but usually, it’s a set amount you can then apply towards your bills if needed.

Is Solar Worth It in Orlando?

Now that we've talked prices, let's talk savings. A solar panel system is not just an environmentally responsible choice; it's financially savvy too!

Long-term Savings: Taking the 6 kW system as an example, the savings will be around $40,000 over its lifespan of 25 years. These savings are based on the average electricity rate of about 18 cents per kWh and an average annual consumption of about 10,000 kWh in the U.S. However, it's essential to recognize that these figures vary, and personal circumstances should always be taken into consideration.

Payback Period: The payback period is the time it takes for your system to pay for itself. After that, it’s pure savings in your pocket. In Orlando, the average payback period is around 9 years.

Understanding the orientation of solar panels maximizes energy absorption and efficiency, crucial for sustainable power generation.

Top Orlando Solar Panels Installers

While solar systems are not that difficult to deal with, installing a system requires vast experience and a good solar company will take you from A to Z seamlessly. Let’s take a look at some notable local solar installers.

Switch Solar

Founded in 2014, Switch Solar has carved a niche for itself in the PV installation industry for both residential and commercial systems. Their diverse portfolio of services extends beyond solar, including EV charger installation, HVAC services, and home improvements. Working with top brands like LG, Panasonic, and Tesla, they ensure quality in every installation. While they offer a shorter 20-year warranty, the company does provide options to extend it, reflecting their confidence in the long-term reliability of their products.

Affordable Solar, Roof, & Air

As a one-stop-shop for solar and roofing, Affordable Solar, Roof, & Air sets itself apart by having in-house installers and holding all three major licenses in the state of Florida: Solar electrical, Roofing, and HVAC licenses. Their emphasis on no subcontractors underscores their commitment to quality control and customer satisfaction. Repeated customer reviews praise their affordable prices and excellent customer service, reflecting a trustworthy reputation in the city’s solar industry.

Efficient Home Services

Efficient Home Services offers something quite remarkable: a 25-year Workmanship/Labor Warranty and a lifetime Roof Penetration Warranty. Besides photovoltaic installations and roofing services, they stand out by evaluating your home's energy consumption and offering solutions to make it more energy efficient. Their comprehensive approach to solar power isn't just about the installation; it's about integrating solar into your home in a way that maximizes efficiency and savings.

Everything Solar

Everything Solar brings over two decades of experience to the greater Orlando area, including Volusia, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, and Polk counties. As one of the smaller installers on the list, they emphasize their local ownership and operation. This much local experience ensures the installers' deep understanding of the local climate and regulations, contributing to smooth and efficient installations tailored to the region's specific needs.

Solaria Energy Solutions

Solaria Energy Solutions may be a young family-owned business founded in 2020, but they have already garnered positive reviews praising their customer service and transparent communication. Offering solar installation, roofing, financing, and other services, they are emerging as a promising player in Orlando's solar market. The cherry on top is their 30-year warranty—a relatively rare find, reflecting their belief in the quality and durability of their solar solutions.

Choosing the Right Solar Panel Installer in Orlando

Investing in solar energy can be a game-changer for your household. Selecting the appropriate PV panel installation company is paramount to your success. Let's delve into what you need to consider:

  1. Understanding Your Needs: Before approaching any Orlando solar panels provider, you must identify your energy consumption, needs, and preferences. This clarity assists in aligning your goals with the solar installer's offerings.
  2. Certifications and Experience: Look for a company with the necessary licenses and a solid history in the solar industry. Experience in solar installation reflects a company's expertise and reliability.
  3. Warranty and Support: Assess the warranty and ongoing support provided. An installer that stands behind its products and offers extended support, such as Solaria Energy Solutions, will ease long-term maintenance concerns.
  4. Budget and Financing Options: Your budget plays a significant role in the selection process. Many solar installers provide financing options, so be sure to explore them. Opting for a company that offers affordability without compromising quality, like Affordable Solar, Roof, & Air, can be a wise decision.
  5. Customer Reviews and Reputation: Researching customer reviews and seeking recommendations can offer insights into the installer's reputation. A local company like Everything Solar, being an integral part of the Orlando community, can often provide personalized services.
  6. Compliance with Local Regulations: As Florida has a risk of hurricanes and has specific building codes, ensure the installer complies with local regulations.
  7. Innovative and Quality Products: Choose a provider offering innovative and high-quality panels. Companies like Switch Solar, working with top brands like Tesla and Panasonic, signify their commitment to quality.

By considering these factors, you can find the ideal solar installation company tailored to your needs.

Bonus Tips on How to Make the Most of It

Solar is more than just panels; it's a lifestyle shift. To make the most of your investment in solar Orlando FL, consider these tips:

  1. Right Size Matters: Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Make sure your solar system is sized to match your consumption. An oversized system can lead to unnecessary expenses and wasted energy.
  2. Maximize Savings with Energy-Efficient Appliances: Pair your solar system with energy-efficient appliances. The synergy between solar and energy-saving devices amplifies your savings.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Solar panels need regular check-ups. A quick rain shower can clean the panels, but professional maintenance ensures optimal performance for a long time.
  4. Utilize Net Metering: Familiarize yourself with the local net metering policies. By feeding excess energy back into the grid, you can further cut down your bills. Otherwise, the energy will either be fed into the grid for free or simply lost.
  5. Monitor and Analyze: Keep an eye on your system's performance. Regular monitoring helps in identifying any issues promptly.

Do You Need Storage?

One of the more difficult decisions in the solar installation process is whether or not to include a battery storage system. This decision is especially tricky in Orlando, where sunshine is abundant but also fluctuates. Here's what you need to know.

How Battery Storage Works

Solar battery storage systems store excess energy generated by solar panels during the day. When the sun goes down or during cloudy periods, this stored energy can be drawn from the battery to power your home and avoid using electricity from the grid. Essentially, the battery acts as a backup, ensuring that energy is available whenever you need it, regardless of whether the sun is shining.

Advantages of Having Battery Storage in Orlando

  1. Energy Independence: With a storage system, you are less reliant on the grid. This can reduce or completely remove electricity costs and provide power during outages.
  2. Maximize Energy Usage: Any excess energy your panels generate can be stored for later use, ensuring that you utilize all the solar energy you produce and nothing is wasted.
  3. Demand Shifting: You can draw energy from the battery during peak utility rates, further reducing energy costs.
  4. Compatibility with Net Metering: The combination of battery storage with net metering could provide additional financial benefits by using stored energy during high-demand hours.

Disadvantages of Having Battery Storage

  1. Initial Costs: Adding a battery to your solar system can be expensive. It increases the overall installation cost and may not be within everyone's budget.
  2. Maintenance and Lifespan: Batteries require periodic maintenance and may have a shorter lifespan compared to solar panels. The efficiency may degrade over time depending on the model.
  3. Complexity: Integrating a battery requires proper sizing, installation, and understanding of how to use it optimally, which can be complex for some homeowners.
  4. Space Requirements: Battery systems may require additional space, which might be a concern for properties with limited area.

The decision is up to you. Analyze your budget and power usage time. While battery storage is not necessary, it might be a nice addition to your solar installation if you frequently use electricity during peak hours or at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is solar taxed in Orlando?

A: Solar system owners in the state benefit from various incentives and policies aimed at encouraging clean energy adoption. One of them is an exemption from property taxes for the added value that a PV installation brings to your home.

Q: How long do solar panels last?

A: PV panels typically last between 20 and 30 years, however, they are still able to produce power even after that. Their output will be lower and that depends on the model you choose. Some companies explicitly state what percentage of the module’s original output you can expect after a certain period of time, so be sure to take a look at the product specifications.

Q: Can you install solar panels DIY?

A: While possible, you are generally advised against it and there are reasons for that. First of all, professional installation will ensure the best PV module position, safe connections and optimal system performance. If you have the necessary skills and knowledge to take care of all of that by yourself then there is a different issue. Many companies void their warranties if the product was not installed by a licensed institution. It also spreads to some incentives – several of them require the system to be installed by an expert.

Q: How many panels do you need for an average house?

A: An average house consumes around 800kWh each month. To fully offset the electricity bill, you might need around 15 more powerful units or 25 units with a lower power output like some 250W modules. The energy output is not the only thing that influences that number – PV module efficiency, climate, energy consumption and other factors could help you estimate a more precise number of units.

Q: What can solar panels run?

A: Anything and everything. A PV system can provide electricity for a wide range of applications within your household. This includes heating, air conditioning, gadgets, kitchen appliances, lighting and more. However, the ability to fully cover these needs depends on the system size, module efficiency, local sun exposure and your overall electricity consumption.

Q: How long will a battery run a house?

A: The duration a battery can power a house depends on the battery’s capacity and energy consumption. If you plan on running more energy-demanding devices at night then you might need a bigger power bank. In general, PV storage is supposed to provide enough energy to run essential systems overnight during a power outage or a different emergency. Finally, PV storage is highly customizable so the answer is ultimately dictated by your choices.

Final Thoughts

Orlando's abundant sun offers a golden opportunity to shift towards solar energy. From selecting the right Orlando solar panels installer to utilizing energy-efficient appliances, the road to solar transformation can be smooth and rewarding if done right. Let the sun power your journey towards a sustainable and cost-efficient future. After all, why just use the sun for a tan, when you can supercharge your entire house, too?

Sources:

https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/florida-solar

https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-panel-cost/fl/orange-county/orlando/#:~:text=As%20of%20August%202023%2C%20the,FL%20coming%20in%20at%20%2413%2C000

Posted 
Aug 22, 2023
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