In the sunny state of Florida, solar power is rapidly gaining traction as an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective energy solution. The state's abundant sunshine makes it an ideal location for harnessing solar energy. As more homes and businesses switch to solar installations, the need for reliable insurance coverage becomes paramount. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the significance of Tier 2 Personal Liability Policy (PLP) for Florida residents and businesses with solar systems. We'll explore the ins and outs of this insurance type and provide guidance on finding the right provider. So, buckle up as we shed light on the importance of solar insurance in the Sunshine State! The Crucial Role of A PLP for Homes and Businesses As solar energy systems become a prevalent choice for powering homes and businesses, the significance of insurance coverage cannot be overstated. Solar installations are an investment, and like any other investment, they come with associated risks. From unexpected malfunctions to accidents caused by system failures, the potential for damage and liability exists. This is where Tier 2 PLP steps in to safeguard your interests. Understanding Tier 2 PLP: What You Need to Know Tier 2 PLP is designed to offer additional coverage for both residential and commercial solar installations. It goes beyond basic coverage. Unlike Tier 1 systems, Tier 2 systems are required by Florida to have proof of a PLP. Differentiating Between Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Solar Systems Tier 1: Systems of 10kW or less Tier 2: Systems over 10kW up to 100kW Tier 3: Systems over 100kW Protection Against Third-Party Injuries One of the advantages of a PLP is its coverage for injuries sustained by third parties due to solar system malfunctions. Whether it's a faulty wiring issue or a malfunctioning component, accidents can happen. This coverage ensures that medical expenses and potential legal fees are taken care of in the unfortunate event of an accident. A Must-Have for Residential and Commercial Installations For homeowners and businesses alike, coverage is crucial. In the event that your solar system causes damage to neighboring properties or injuries to individuals, PLP coverage steps in to handle legal expenses and compensation costs. This protection can prove to be a financial lifeline during unexpected accidents. Minimum $1 Million in Coverage The state of Florida requires a minimum of $1 million in coverage for all Tier 2 solar systems. This ensures that you have ample protection in case of accidents, injuries, or damage caused by your solar system. Despite its comprehensive coverage, a PLP can remain affordable. On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $14 per month for this level of protection. Considering the potential financial implications of accidents, this investment is well worth it. Florida's Solar Landscape: The Dominance of Tier 1 Systems While Tier 2 systems are being required of this coverage, it's worth noting that the majority of homes in Florida are equipped with Tier 1 systems. For those considering solar installations, understanding system sizes is crucial. The average solar system size for a Tampa Bay home is around 8 kilowatts (kW). Additional solar battery storage can be installed to support your home while remaining at a Tier 1 system size. Finding the Right Provider: Research and Recommendations Your insurance agent may not be familiar with this Personal Liability Policy requirement by Florida state law. However, your skilled local solar installers will be able to provide you with additional information and the necessary guidance to find the right plan for you. If this whole process seems daunting, contact Semper Solaris! Our team of expert installers are available to assist you in your journey to going solar.
The guide to go solar in Florida
Claim the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit The Florida Solar Energy Center says that “the Federal Government offers substantial incentives for consumers to take advantage of purchasing photovoltaic (PV) systems” The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit is the biggest financial incentive available for solar panel systems in Florida Another term for it is the Residential Clean Energy Credit The tax credit is available to all homeowners and is offered by the federal government The credit is for 30% of the total cost of your solar panel system According to EcoWatch, “With just one tax credit, the average effective cost of solar panels can drop from $29,095 to a much more reasonable $20,367” Your credit gets applied to your income taxes for the year you have your system installed You can roll over any remaining credit if you don’t take the full credit that year Batteries that aren’t connected to your solar panels will also qualify for the tax credit if they have a capacity over 3 kWh The credits can roll over for up to five years after the panels are installed Claim the credit by filling out form 5695 from the IRS’s website Gather relevant information, like the solar panel installation company you used and what type of equipment you have File the form when you file your taxes for that year Save Money With Net Metering Florida has a net metering policy that puts money back in your pocket When your solar panels produce more electricity than you consume, you’ll send energy back to the electrical grid The Florida Public Utilities Commission (PUC) states that your net metering payment needs to be equal to the full retail rate Every energy company in the state abides by the PUC’s rule These credits can get applied to future electrical bills Reduce or eliminate your monthly energy costs with net metering Make payments toward your solar panel system instead of paying your electric company You don’t have to do any extra work to qualify for net metering in Florida Contact your utility company to ensure your meter can support net metering Watch your electric bill to ensure you’re getting credits back Explore Florida’s Battery and Solar Incentives Florida has sales and property solar tax exemptions You can claim sales tax exemptions for controls and pumps, solar panels, photovoltaic powerconditioning equipment, and solar batteries You don’t have to do anything extra to claim the sales tax exemption Due to the property tax exemption in Florida, you won’t have to pay more taxes as your home’s valueincreases due to your solar panels A tax assessor will re-evaluate your property as part of the installation process They’ll exclude the value of your system from your property assessment You don’t have to take any extra steps to claim the property tax exemption for your solar panels Apply for Florida Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing PACE solar financing is a loan program designed for solar panel systems offered by the state of Florida You only need to make a small down payment Take advantage of low-interest rates Your monthly payment will get tacked onto your tax bill PACE makes solar panel systems affordable for homeowners that might’ve previously been ineligible While it’s geared toward lower-income households, all Florida homeowners can apply You can apply for PACE funding directly on their website Homeowners will need to be current on their mortgage and property tax payments You also can’t have involuntary liens or notices of default to qualify for PACE funding Check Out Local Solar Incentives Florida utility companies offer their own incentives for homeowners to take advantage of Boynton Beach residents and business owners can get up to $1,500 in solar rebates People living in Jacksonville can receive around $2,000 in solar energy incentives Dunedin homeowners can apply for a solar grant for no more than $2,500 Solar panel owners in Orlando can qualify for up to $2,000 for installing a solar battery The City of Lauderhill offers low-interest loans for photovoltaic systems Apply for a no-down-payment and low-interest loan for your solar panels in Tallahassee Lakeland Electric customers can get up to a $1,000 rebate for installing a solar panel batter Which Tax Credits for Solar Panels Are Best for Florida Homeowners? The federal solar tax credit is the best program to apply for to maximize your tax deductions It can reduce the average cost of solar panels by up to 30% Applying for the federal tax credit for solar panels takes very little time and effort Don’t forget that this credit isn’t a rebate – you won’t receive a check for the amount you’re owed Net metering is another big perk of exploring renewable energy in Florida Act on net metering immediately so you don’t miss out on potential savings in the future if the policy changes Local rebates can make your energy conversation methods worth it Cash-back incentives offered by cities and utility companies will put money back in your pocket Save yourself money by exploring what your city can offer you FAQS Are there any Florida tax credits planned for solar panel systems in the future?Right now, there are no current plans for new tax deductions for solar panel owners in the state of Florida. You’ll want to act quickly on installing solar panels on your home as some of the current policies, like net metering, could change in the future.
Take advantage of the strength of the sun and take charge of your energy requirements like never before! Tampa residents, now is the time to accept genuine energy autonomy with solar energy. Exploring the big trend of solar power in Florida and how it can become advantageous for you. This article will lead you through the process of locating reliable solar installers in Tampa Bay to guarantee you pick the perfect solar company that fulfills your requirements for a frictionless transition to renewable energy. The potential to create energy awaits! Highly rated solar installation businesses in Tampa For those looking to transition to solar energy in Tampa, Florida, there are a plethora of highly-rated installation companies to consider when making an essential decision. Not only have these businesses become trailblazers in the sector, they have also secured the faith and contentment of their patrons. Semper Solaris is a top rated solar plus battery installation company in Tampa. They offer a wide range of solar panel installation services to help their customers in Tampa, Orlando & Central Florida, maximize their energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint. When selecting a solar company in Tampa, it is necessary to take into account more than just ratings and contemplate elements such as popularity and customer opinions. The standing of the company and reviews given by its patrons When looking into solar companies in Tampa, take note of their reputation among customers and the record they've established. Do they have a reputation for excellence? Are there positive testimonials from content users? Examining consumer appraisals can give detailed knowledge on individuals' encounters with a certain photovoltaic business. Seek out feedback based on the setup procedure, customer service, and complete contentment. Favorable feedback can provide assurance that you have selected a dependable business that meets its expectations. It's similar to obtaining suggestions from people you know well when attempting to find a competent contractor for your home. You would have faith in their advice since they have experienced it themselves and can guarantee the work done is of high quality. Bear in mind that no solar business is flawless, so it's essential to take the general attitude into account instead of becoming demoralized by an unfavorable review. Observe how the solar company reacts to its customers' worries and if they make attempts to tackle and address problems. This highlights their dedication to contentment and demonstrates their eagerness to go beyond what is expected. Despite Semper Solaris’ average rating of 4.5, they have earned commendations for their fast response to customer queries and commitment to providing exemplary service. Even though their score is slightly lower than other top-rated businesses, their willingness to address issues reveals their dedication to meeting customer satisfaction. Weighing the reviews and standing of a solar company in Tampa, in conjunction with factors such as cost and system warranties, will aid in making an educated choice. Response rates and client care When looking to employ a solar contractor in Tampa, it is essential to gauge their response speed and client support. A dependable solar installer should present not only excellent installations but also fast and proficient communication during the whole journey. Ultimately, taking the plunge into solar energy is a huge monetary commitment and you need the assurance that all worries or inquiries will be handled promptly. Picture this situation: You have determined to utilize solar energy and reached out to a solar installer in Tampa to ask about their services. However, no response is given to you after some time, leaving you feeling disappointed and uncertain if they recognize your business. This deficiency in communication can provoke suspicions with regards to their dependability and proficiency. It is essential to investigate the reaction times and commentaries of diverse businesses before settling on a choice. Search for organizations that have a history of speedy answers and satisfactory relations with customers. Monitor customer opinion of their promptness, willingness to address issues, and overall pleasure with their encounter. Furthermore, contact the solar companies you are curious about and observe their reply speed first-hand. A respectable business should be prompt in responding to you, completely addressing your queries, and giving data that aids you in making an educated choice. Investing in solar energy requires more than just buying the product; it demands finding a company that values your happiness as their client. A firm that puts first-rate customer service ensures that your transition into renewable, clean energy is seamless.” Taking quality customer care into account as an imperative factor when deciding on a Tampa solar installation specialist, let's now analyze the types of solar solutions available from these corporations. Various Solar Alternatives Available to Tampa Homeowners to Address Their Needs Residents of Tampa looking for sunlight-based alternatives have multiple options available that are designed to satisfy particular desires and objectives. Being aware of diverse choices is essential in order to decide the option that corresponds to your criteria, like optimizing energy conservation or minimizing carbon footprint. For example, if you have restricted roof area or want suppleness, you might contemplate solar panels combined with battery storage. This system allows you to save surplus sunlight generated during the day and use it at night or on overcast days. It gives autonomy in energy as well as assurance when electricity from the grid fails. Utilizing the sun to create electricity on residential roofs, storing extra solar power, and making use of the sun's warmth are solar solutions that are available. Selecting an appropriate solar system is similar to choosing the ideal tool for a given job. It is essential to identify one that corresponds to your individual situation and ambitions, like utilizing a wrench rather than a hammer when fastening a screw. Having analyzed the solar solutions offered in Tampa, we will now turn to a similarly crucial element: pricing and financing alternatives. Financial Alternatives for Solar in Tampa When it comes to harnessing the sun's rays in Tampa, the principal thought for homeowners is the financial cost. Investigating the diverse financing choices can help you to make an educated decision about putting in solar panels. It is estimated that in Tampa, FL the solar panel cost for 2023 is $2.60 per watt, with an average of $11,050 to $14,950 for a 5 kW system. Nonetheless, it should be taken into consideration that this value reflects only the initial expenditure before considering potential credits and discounts. Let's analyze the various components that result in the total expenditure of putting in solar panels:” System Dimensions: The dimensions of the solar device you go for will influence the cost. Usually, bigger systems will be pricier but can also have higher energy output. The /solar-panels/solar-manufacturers/ used can also influence the cost. Premium panels may come with a bigger beginning price tag but could be more efficient and long-lasting in the future. There is an assortment of solar panel models out there, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, each with varying advantages and costs. Now that we’ve possessed the different contributing financial factors, let's explore the money sources accessible for solar in Tampa. There are different funding possibilities to bear in mind when investing in solar panels. Paying for the solar system up front eliminates additional fees, leading to more savings in the long run. This approach grants possession of the system instantly and provides access to government tax deductions. Many banks offer dedicated solar finance packages that enable homeowners to install solar systems with reasonable terms and interest rates. These loans split the cost of installation over a number of years which allows people to take advantage of decreased power bills. In a lease or PPA arrangement, an outside corporation installs and maintains the solar energy system on your property. Each month you either rent out the program or buy the electricity it produces for a set rate. Even if certain subsidizations cannot be accessed, this approach can still provide cost savings on energy payments. Having examined the expenditure and funding prospects, let's analyze the potential tax credits and solar incentives that is available in Tampa Solar Incentives and Savings When considering going solar in Tampa, it's important to recognize the various incentives and savings opportunities that can make your investment even more worthwhile. Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit allows homeowners to claim a significant portion of their solar installation costs as a tax credit on their federal taxes. As of 2023, this credit amounts to 30% of eligible costs. For instance, if your total solar installation cost is $20,000, the ITC would allow you to deduct $6,000 from your federal taxes, reducing your overall tax liability. Local Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates: Apart from the federal ITC, there may be additional incentives available at the local level. These can vary by location and utility company, so it's essential to research what programs are available in Tampa. Examples of potential local incentives include property tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions on solar equipment purchases, and cash rebates for installing solar panels. Net Metering: Florida has a net metering program that allows homeowners to receive credits on their utility bills for the excess electricity their solar panels generate. This means that if your system produces more energy than you consume, you can effectively sell the surplus back to the grid. Florida's net metering program has no capacity limit for selling surplus electricity back to the grid. By taking advantage of these solar incentives and savings opportunities paired with a thorough understanding of costs and financing options, Tampa homeowners can maximize the benefits of going solar. Weighing the Pros and Cons: Taking a Look at the Options Those living in Tampa can cut their energy costs up to $1,500 annually by transitioning to solar power. When searching for reputable solar companies in Tampa, it is vital to take into account the quality of the product and the customer service they provide. Tampa residents usually see a 5-7 year return on investment of their solar panel systems, which is nothing compared to a dependable and effective solar panel average lifespan of 25-30 years.Investing in a solar power system has the potential to drastically lower electricity expenses over an extended timeline, as the setup can create renewable energy for up to 25-30 years, eliminating the cost of buying energy from other sources and potentially reducing energy bills.Homeowners are more often selecting solar energy systems to reduce expenses, since it allows them to access electrical power from the sun; thus avoiding the pricey cost of utility grid electricity and diminishing their energy bills.The use of solar panels is widely growing in popularity, due to their economical and sustainable energy production that eliminates the requirement for costly power from utility companies and reduces energy expenses, as well as supplying a dependable source of renewable energy for both residential and business customers. This makes it a preferable choice for those wanting to save money on their energy costs and shrink their carbon impact. In order to select the most suitable solar installation company in Tampa, it's essential to take into account multiple elements to make an education decision. While cost undoubtedly is an important factor, there are many other essential components to consider to guarantee a satisfactory and successful solar installation process. Gauging customer satisfaction is very important. Examining feedback and star ratings of solar companies in the Tampa area can provide useful information about their services. Focus on businesses that have maintained a strong reputation, as this is usually a sign of quality work and customer satisfaction. It is essential to have an understanding of a corporation's standing through customer ratings and output timeframe, but it is also vital to gauge their skills and background in solar installations. Research the length of time the business has been functional and the amount of setups they have completed correctly. Bear in mind that pinpointing the most ideal solar installer is not just a matter of looking at one single element but instead analyzing the combination of several aspects. Additionally, keep in mind any solar rewards offered by the company or in Tampa specifically. These incentives can lower the price of solar installment and make it more affordable. Investigate the assorted incentives obtainable and choose which corporations present further advantages that correspond to your objectives and finances. By selecting a trustworthy solar company, you can enjoy the benefits of decreased costs over time and ensure your system runs at its highest capacity for many years. Similarly to buying an automobile, it would be foolish to only focus on the cost. Factors such as dependability, output, and user feedback need to be examined to make certain you are obtaining the highest price for your investment. Taking into account these elements - customer ratings, reaction time, knowledge and skill, critique ratio, solar motivators, and cost - you will be equipped with enough information to make a well-thought-out pick when deciding on the most suitable solar installer in Tampa. Contacting a trusted solar and battery installer, like Semper Solaris, is a great place to start getting your questions answered and find the solar solution that is best for you. Go solar today to start saving now!
Imagine the radiant Florida sun not just powering your tan, but also lighting up your home, charging your car, and slashing your electricity bills. Welcome to the world of solar energy – clean, sustainable, and abundantly available. Today, more than ever before, Floridians are harnessing this unlimited power source and enjoying tremendous benefits. If you haven't yet made the switch from traditional power sources to photovoltaic technology, here are seven compelling reasons why now is the perfect time for you to join the solar revolution in Florida. There are many reasons to consider going solar in Florida, including the state's high amount of sunshine, reduced need for panels compared to other states, cost savings compared to grid electricity, and protection against power outages. Additionally, solar energy can increase the value of your home and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while transitioning the state towards renewable energy sources. Semper Solaris is a top solar company in Florida that can provide free quotes for homeowners interested in making the switch. Solar Power: A Smart Move in Florida If you're a resident of the sunshine state, going solar can be a smart and sustainable choice. Florida boasts abundant solar resources and is one of the sunniest states in the USA, making it an ideal environment for harnessing the power of the sun. With over 250 sunny days and more than 2,900 sunny hours each year, it's no wonder that solar power is gaining popularity among homeowners and businesses alike. In a report by SEIA, Florida is ranked as the third state with the best capacity for solar power, harnessing an average of 4.75 peak sun hours per day. According to EnergySage, homes with solar panels installed in Florida saw an average increase of 4.1% in their home's value during 2019. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that as of 2023, solar energy accounts for just over 4% of Florida's electricity production, indicating a significant potential for growth and adoption. Solar power offers several benefits beyond just cost savings. By generating your own electricity from renewable resources, you become less reliant on traditional fossil fuel-based power grids. This not only reduces your environmental impact but also insulates you from rising energy costs in the long run. Moreover, investing in solar panels can increase your property value. According to studies, homes equipped with solar systems tend to sell faster and at higher prices compared to non-solar homes. So, going solar doesn't just benefit you financially; it also enhances the overall value of your property. In addition to these advantages, state and federal incentives are available to further offset the cost of installing solar systems in Florida. The Federal Solar Tax Credit allows you to claim a percentage of your solar system's cost as a tax credit on your federal income taxes. Furthermore, Florida has its own solar incentives such as the Solar System Property Tax Exemption and Home Solar System Sales Tax Exemption. Now that we understand why going solar is a smart move in Florida, let's go more in depth and explore how net metering policies play a crucial role in maximizing the benefits of solar power. Feeding the Grid: Net Metering Policies in Florida When it comes to solar energy, one of the key advantages is the ability to generate more electricity than you consume. This excess energy can be "fed back" into the grid, allowing you to earn credits for later use. In Florida, this process is facilitated by net metering policies. Net metering is a policy that enables homeowners with solar panels to offset their electricity consumption by exporting excess electricity back to the grid. Essentially, when your solar system produces more electricity than you use, the surplus energy is fed into the grid, and you receive credits from your utility company. The great thing about net metering in Florida is that it allows homeowners to offset up to 100% of their electricity consumption. This means that if your solar system generates more electricity than you use over time, your electricity bills can become virtually nonexistent. It's like watching your electric meter run backward as you accrue credits for future use. Now, it's important to note that net metering policies in Florida differ across utilities and are subject to certain limitations and regulations. Different tiers exist based on the size of your solar system, each with its own insurance requirements and fees. It's essential to understand these nuances and ensure compliance with all regulations to fully benefit from net metering. As we can see, net metering policies play an integral role in maximizing the advantages of solar power in Florida. However, it's important to stay informed about any potential changes or limitations that may impact homeowners' ability to receive the full benefits of net metering. Financial Incentives: Solar Tax Crediting When considering the switch to solar power in Florida, one of the most enticing aspects is the availability of financial incentives, specifically the solar tax credit. This federal incentive allows homeowners to claim a deduction on their taxes equivalent to 30% of their total solar system costs. That means substantial savings for those investing in solar energy. To put this into perspective, let's say you decide to install a solar energy system at your home in Florida, with a total cost of $20,000. With the 30% federal tax credit, you would be eligible for a tax deduction of $6,000. This can significantly reduce your tax liability and provide a welcome return on your investment. It's important to note that the federal tax credit dropped to 26% in 2020 but was restored to the original 30% rate in 2022. However, it's set to phase out entirely by 2035. Therefore, taking advantage of this incentive sooner rather than later can maximize your savings. In addition to the federal tax credit, Florida also offers other financial benefits such as sales tax exemptions and property tax abatements. The sales tax exemption means that homeowners save 6% on their solar system costs, further reducing upfront expenses. Meanwhile, the property tax abatement allows homeowners to exclude their solar system from property tax assessments, providing ongoing savings. By combining these various financial incentives, going solar in Florida becomes an even more attractive option. Not only can you enjoy substantial reductions in your overall system costs through the federal tax credit and sales tax exemption, but you also benefit from ongoing savings through lower property taxes. Having discussed the financial perks of going solar in Florida, let's now explore another reason to go solar: the environmental advantages. Environmental Advantages of Going Solar Solar power isn't just beneficial for your finances; it also has a positive impact on the environment. Making the switch to solar energy helps to reduce Florida's carbon footprint and promote a cleaner, greener future. Consider this scenario: On a hot Florida day, you turn on your air conditioning to escape the sweltering heat. Normally, this would require electricity generated from burning fossil fuels, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. However, if your home was powered by solar energy, the electricity needed to cool your home would come from the sun's renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions. Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy that doesn't rely on finite resources like coal or natural gas. By harnessing the power of the sun, we can significantly decrease our dependence on non-renewable energy sources and help combat climate change. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, solar power also helps conserve water. Traditional electricity generation often requires large amounts of water for cooling purposes. In contrast, solar panels generate electricity without consuming water, making it a more sustainable choice. From Natural Gas to Green Energy: Reducing Florida’s Carbon Footprint Florida, known for its sunny weather and beautiful beaches, has a unique opportunity to harness the power of the sun and transition from traditional fossil fuel sources to cleaner, renewable energy. By embracing solar power, the state can significantly reduce its carbon footprint and make strides towards a more sustainable future. The combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas results in the release of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to climate change, air pollution, and a host of environmental challenges. However, by shifting towards green energy sources like solar power, we can greatly diminish our reliance on carbon-intensive fuels and make a positive impact on the environment. Consider this: for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from solar energy instead of natural gas, approximately 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions is avoided. This reduction in carbon emissions is equivalent to planting around 50 trees or taking nearly 15 cars off the road for an entire year. By transitioning to solar power in Florida, we have the potential to make a significant difference in mitigating climate change and protecting our planet for future generations. Not only does solar power offer substantial environmental benefits, but it also provides numerous economic advantages specific to Florida. Economic Benefits of Solar in Florida Switching to solar power offers not just environmental gains but also attractive cost savings and increased home value for residents of Florida. The region's abundant sunshine makes it an ideal location for harnessing solar energy efficiently. One of the most compelling economic advantages is reducing or eliminating monthly electricity bills. With rooftop solar panels, homeowners can produce their electricity and potentially offset their entire energy consumption needs. By generating clean energy at home, individuals can reduce their reliance on electric utilities and lower their monthly expenses significantly. Economic Benefits Of Solar In Florida1. Reduced or Eliminated Monthly Electricity Bills2. Renewable Energy Incentives and Tax Credits3. Increased Home Value4. Job Creation and Local Economic Growth Apart from direct cost savings, homeowners who invest in solar power can also enjoy increased home value. Studies have shown that properties equipped with solar panels tend to have higher resale values compared to those without such installations. In addition to financial benefits for homeowners, the widespread adoption of solar power in Florida has the potential to stimulate job creation and local economic growth. The installation and maintenance of solar systems require skilled workers, creating employment opportunities within the state's renewable energy sector. This development not only benefits individuals by providing new jobs but also enhances Florida's overall economic landscape. Embracing solar energy supports local job creation within the growing renewable energy industry. As more homeowners and businesses adopt solar power systems, there is an increased demand for installation professionals and system maintenance experts. This serves as an economic boom for communities while contributing to a cleaner environment. Cost Savings and Increased Home Value When considering the switch to solar power in Florida, one of the most enticing factors is undoubtedly the potential for cost savings and increased home value. Solar panels offer a way to significantly reduce or even eliminate your monthly electricity bills, allowing you to allocate those funds towards other essential needs or savings. As Florida is known for its abundant sunshine, harnessing this renewable energy source can prove to be highly rewarding financially. Let's take a moment to consider the long-term financial benefits of going solar in Florida. First and foremost, by generating your own clean energy, you become less reliant on traditional utility companies and their ever-increasing rates. Instead of being subject to unpredictable price hikes, you have better control over your energy costs. For instance, imagine saving $150 each month on your electricity bill after installing solar panels. Over the course of a year, that adds up to $1,800 back in your pocket. Multiply that by several years of owning solar panels, and the savings become even more substantial. In addition to these immediate cost savings, solar installations can also increase the value of your home. Various studies have shown that homes equipped with solar panels tend to sell for higher prices compared to similar properties without solar. This premium can range anywhere from 4-5% on average, depending on various factors such as location and system size. So not only are you saving money each month on utility bills, but you are also potentially increasing the value of your property. Now that we've explored how going solar can lead to significant cost savings and increased home value, let's dive into another reason to go solar: overcoming power outages with solar battery storage. Overcoming Power Outages with Solar Batteries In a state like Florida that experiences frequent and sometimes lengthy power outages due to severe weather conditions, having a reliable backup power source becomes paramount. This is where solar batteries come into play, offering a solution to keep your electricity running even when the grid goes down. By integrating battery storage with your solar panel system, you can ensure continuous power supply and greater peace of mind during blackouts. Picture this scenario: A powerful hurricane makes landfall, knocking out electricity in your neighborhood for days or even weeks. Without a backup power source, you're left to rely on candles, flashlights, and the spoiling food in your fridge. However, homeowners with solar batteries can have a completely different experience. During normal operation, excess solar energy generated by your panels can be stored in the battery for later use. When the power grid fails, the battery kicks in, providing you with a reliable source of electricity to keep essential appliances and devices running. This means you can maintain critical functions like refrigeration, lighting, and even support medical equipment if necessary. Moreover, solar batteries provide an additional layer of energy independence, allowing you to further reduce your reliance on the grid and increasing self-sufficiency during emergencies. With a well-designed battery system, you're not only protected from power outages but also shielded from potential future rate increases imposed by utilities. Imagine having the confidence that regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you, whether it's hurricanes or severe storms, you are prepared and resilient with your solar panels and battery storage system. It's like having your own personal fortress against power disruptions. As we've seen, the combination of solar power and battery storage is a game-changer when it comes to overcoming power outages in Florida. But these are just a few of many reasons to consider going solar in the Sunshine State. Make the change to solar today by scheduling an appointment with your local solar panel installation company, Semper Solaris!
Harnessing the power of the sun through solar panels has revolutionized the energy industry, enhancing sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. However, to keep your solar system running at peak condition, it requires some level of routine maintenance. In today's blog post, we'll delve into how you can effectively ensure that your solar panel system is well-maintained and functioning smoothly to maximize your energy savings. Whether you are a veteran of solar power or new to the realm of renewable energy, you'll definitely find some beneficial tips here! Tune in for an engaging read that could boost your solar output and save you more money on energy costs. Regular maintenance of your solar panel system is important to ensure it continues to operate effectively. Some tips include keeping the panels clean from debris and dirt, monitoring energy production regularly, checking for damage or wear and tear, and scheduling periodic professional inspections and cleanings. Following these tips can help to extend the lifespan of a solar system and maximize its energy output. Semper Solaris is proud to offer tune ups & diagnosis for existing systems. Steps for Solar Panel Maintenance Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your solar panel system. By following these steps, you can keep your system running smoothly for years to come. The first step in solar panel maintenance is regular cleaning. Dust, dirt, leaves, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of the panels, reducing their efficiency. Using a hose or a soft cloth, gently wash away any dirt or grime that has accumulated. Be sure to avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that could damage the panels. Imagine living in an area with dusty surroundings or trees nearby that shed leaves frequently. These environmental factors can contribute to faster accumulation of debris on the solar panels. Regular cleaning becomes crucial in such cases, as it ensures maximum sunlight absorption and optimal energy production. Once you've cleaned the surface of the panels, it's important to inspect them for any signs of damage. Look for cracks, chips, or other physical damage that may require professional repair. Additionally, check the wiring and connections to ensure they are secure and intact. Any loose wires or damaged connections should be addressed promptly to prevent further issues. Next, monitor the performance of your system regularly. Keep track of the energy production levels and compare them to previous records. Significant decreases in energy output may indicate an underlying problem that needs attention. It's also advisable to consult with a professional if you notice any unusual noises, smells, or other indicators of malfunctioning components. In addition to these proactive measures, it's crucial to have your solar panel system inspected by a professional at least once a year. Certified technicians can identify potential issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. They will assess the overall health of your system, perform necessary repairs or replacements, and provide valuable guidance on how to optimize its performance. Now that we understand the importance of regular maintenance for solar panels, let's explore how to effectively remove debris and reduce water damage to ensure the longevity of your system. According to Green Journal, dust and debris can contribute to 0.5% - 3% energy loss. Based on figures from Energy Sage, it is suggested that a well-maintained solar panel system can last more than 25-30 years, significantly longer than systems that don't receive regular maintenance. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that solar panel output decreases by an average of 0.5% per year due to degradation; however, thorough ongoing maintenance can mitigate much of this decline. Removing Debris and Reducing Water Damage One of the primary threats to the performance and durability of solar panels is the accumulation of debris on their surface. Fallen leaves, dust, bird droppings, and other debris can create a barrier, hindering sunlight absorption and compromising energy production. To maintain the efficiency of your solar panel system and prevent any potential damage, it is important to regularly remove debris from the panels. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the environmental conditions in your area. If you live in an area with high levels of dust or surrounded by trees that shed leaves, more frequent cleaning may be necessary. Think of caring for your solar panels like tending to a garden. Just as you would remove weeds and dead leaves to allow your plants to thrive, keeping your solar panels free from debris ensures they can harness sunlight effectively and produce maximum energy output. To remove debris from your solar panels safely, start by turning off the system and using a soft brush or sponge with mild soap and water and gently scrub the surface. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward to remove any soap residue. If there are difficult-to-reach areas or persistent stubborn debris, consider hiring professionals experienced in solar panel cleaning. Some argue that rainwater alone is sufficient to clean solar panels. While rain can naturally wash away some dust or light debris, it's not always enough to maintain optimal efficiency. Factors such as the frequency and intensity of rain, along with the type of debris present, can determine if additional cleaning is necessary. With these steps in mind, you're well on your way to keeping your solar panel system in excellent condition. By removing debris and reducing water damage regularly, you can ensure the best possible performance and maximize the benefits of your investment. Regular cleaning and maintenance of solar panels is essential to maintain their efficiency and prevent potential damage. Debris accumulation on the surface can significantly reduce energy production, with a clean system operating at efficiency ratings close to 90% compared to a covered one that may operate at as low as 50%. It is crucial to remove debris regularly according to the environmental conditions in your area to ensure maximum energy output. Cleaning using mild soap, water, and a soft brush or sponge should be done with caution not to damage the glass surface. Rainwater alone may not be sufficient to keep the panels clean. By following these steps, you can maintain your solar panel system's optimal performance, maximize its benefits and investment. Checking System Components Regularly checking the components of your solar panel system is crucial for ensuring its smooth operation and longevity. By inspecting these components, you can identify any potential issues early on and take appropriate action. Let's explore the key components that should be checked as part of your solar panel maintenance routine. First and foremost, it's important to examine the solar panels themselves. Inspect them for any signs of damage, such as cracks or physical deformities, which may affect their performance. Keep an eye out for dirt, debris, or shading that could obstruct sunlight absorption. Cleaning the panels periodically with a soft brush or cloth can help maintain their efficiency. Additionally, check the mounting hardware and frame of each panel to ensure they are secure and in good condition. Next, focus on the wiring and electrical connections within the system. Examine these components for any loose connections or visible damage like frayed wires. Faulty wiring can impair the system's functionality and pose safety risks. If you observe any issues, it's recommended to contact a professional to handle repairs or replacements. Inverter inspection is another critical aspect of maintaining your solar panel system. The inverter is responsible for converting the DC electricity generated by your panels into usable AC electricity for your home appliances. Check the inverter regularly for error messages or warning lights that indicate malfunctions. Additionally, monitor its performance through the monitoring system provided by your installer, paying attention to any significant deviations from normal output levels. It's also essential to verify that the electrical disconnect switches are operable. These switches allow you to easily turn off power to your solar panel system during maintenance or emergencies. Ensure they are accessible and functioning correctly, providing you with peace of mind knowing you have control over your system's power supply when needed. Lastly, don't forget about shading from nearby trees or structures that might hinder sunlight exposure to your panels. Trim any overhanging branches or adjust nearby structures to prevent shadows from compromising the system's efficiency. Properly maintaining the surrounding area enhances the overall performance of your solar panel system. With an understanding of the crucial components to check, let's now shift our focus to the safety precautions necessary for solar panel upkeep. Safety Precautions for Solar Panel Upkeep Maintaining safety while conducting maintenance on your solar panel system is paramount. It ensures not only your well-being but also the proper functioning of the system. Being aware of and following these safety precautions will help create a secure environment during solar panel upkeep. First and foremost, it's vital to prioritize personal safety by wearing appropriate protective gear. This includes gloves, safety glasses, and non-slip footwear. These items safeguard against potential electrical hazards, especially when inspecting or working near live electrical components. When performing any maintenance tasks on your solar panels, never forget about the risk of electrical shock. Before starting any work, shut off the power supply to your solar panel system at both the disconnect switch and main service panel. By doing so, you eliminate the risk of electric shock from live wires or equipment. Furthermore, avoid cleaning or maintaining your solar panels during inclement weather conditions such as rain or snow. Wet surfaces can increase the chance of slipping and make electrical components more dangerous due to their conductivity when they come into contact with water. Imagine you're planning to clean your solar panels after a heavy rainstorm. The ground beneath your feet is wet and slippery. In this scenario, it would be unsafe to climb onto the roof or handle any electrical connections as you risk falling or experiencing an electric shock. It's worth noting that with larger-scale systems or complex maintenance tasks, seeking professional assistance is highly recommended. Professional installers have the expertise and experience necessary to safely handle more intricate repairs or inspections. Just like how a mountain climber relies on proper safety gear and thorough training to navigate treacherous terrains, ensuring your own safety during solar panel upkeep is essential for successfully maintaining your system. We've covered the crucial safety measures you should undertake when maintaining your solar panel system. Now, let's move on to exploring the benefits of conducting regular inspections to optimize its performance. Regular Inspections for Optimal Performance To keep your solar panel system running smoothly and to maximize its performance, regular inspections are crucial. Just like any other investment or equipment in your home, solar panels require proper care and maintenance to ensure that they continue to generate clean energy efficiently. Regular inspections should be conducted at least once a year, although it's beneficial to perform them more frequently, especially after severe weather events or if you notice a decline in performance. These inspections can help identify any issues or potential problems before they escalate into more significant and costly repairs. During an inspection, a trained professional will examine various components of your solar panel system. They will check the condition of the solar panels themselves, looking for any signs of damage, such as cracks, scratches, or discoloration. They will also evaluate the integrity of the mounting structure and ensure that it is securely fastened to your roof. The electrical connections between the panels, inverters, and your home's electrical system will also be inspected to ensure they are functioning correctly and not experiencing any loose connections or corrosion. Additionally, a comprehensive inspection includes checking the wiring and conduit systems for any wear and tear that may compromise the system's overall performance. Let's say you live in an area prone to high winds or heavy snowfall. During an inspection following a storm with strong winds, a technician may discover that some of your solar panels have shifted or become loose due to the intensity of the weather. Identifying this issue during an inspection allows for timely repairs before further damage occurs or panels become detached from your roof. By conducting regular inspections, you can address minor issues promptly and prevent them from developing into more significant problems. Timely maintenance can ultimately increase the lifespan of your solar panel system and save you both time and money over the long term. It is worth noting that while some basic maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners themselves, such as cleaning the panels to remove dust and debris, more complex inspections and repairs should be left to qualified professionals. They have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to assess your system thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments or repairs safely. Now that we understand the importance of regular inspections for optimal solar panel performance, let's explore how environmental factors and weather conditions can impact the efficiency and longevity of your solar panels. Environmental and Weather Impact on Solar Panels Solar panels are designed to withstand various environmental conditions, but it's essential to acknowledge that specific factors can affect their overall performance. Understanding these impacts can help you make informed decisions about maintenance and take necessary precautions to minimize potential issues. One significant environmental factor is the amount of sunlight your panels receive throughout the year. Factors such as shading from surrounding trees or structures can decrease the amount of sunlight reaching your panels, consequently reducing their energy output. Regularly trim back any overhanging branches or consider potential obstructions when installing solar panels to maximize their exposure to sunlight. Imagine you installed solar panels on your roof in an area where neighboring buildings cast shadows across your roof during certain times of the day. This shading significantly reduces your system's overall efficiency. By recognizing this environmental impact, you could take steps to either adjust the angle or position of your panels or invest in shade-tolerant solar technologies to mitigate this issue. Climate and weather conditions also play a role in solar panel performance. Extreme temperatures, whether excessively hot or bitterly cold, can affect the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. High heat can cause temporary decreases in output, known as thermal derating, while freezing temperatures may create additional stress on the system if not properly protected against ice formation. Additionally, excessive dirt, dust, pollen, bird droppings, or other debris accumulated on the surface of solar panels can reduce their ability to absorb sunlight efficiently. Regular cleaning will help maintain optimal performance and ensure that your panels can generate the maximum amount of electricity. With an understanding of how environmental factors and weather conditions impact solar panels, you are better equipped to take appropriate measures for maintaining their efficiency and longevity. It's crucial to stay proactive in addressing potential issues to maximize the benefits of your investment in solar energy. How often should solar panels be inspected or maintained? Solar panels should be inspected and maintained at least once a year. Regular inspections help identify any issues with the system, such as loose connections or dirt accumulation, which can impact its efficiency. Additionally, annual maintenance can extend the lifespan of solar panels by ensuring they are clean and in optimal condition. Studies show that proper maintenance can increase a solar panel's energy output by up to 20%. What are the common maintenance tasks required for solar panels? Regular maintenance tasks for solar panels include cleaning the surface to remove dust and debris, inspecting for any damages or loose connections, and ensuring proper alignment for maximum sunlight absorption. In a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it was found that dirty solar panels can result in a 20% decrease in electricity production, highlighting the importance of regular cleaning. Additionally, monitoring energy output and checking for any abnormal performance can help detect issues early on. How can weather conditions affect the maintenance of solar panels? Weather conditions can greatly impact the maintenance of solar panels. Extreme heat or cold can cause damage to the panels, deteriorating their performance and efficiency over time. Hailstorms, strong winds, and heavy snowfall can also lead to physical damage or dislodgement of panels, requiring repairs or replacements. Additionally, excessive rain or high humidity can lead to corrosion or electrical issues in the system. Therefore, it is crucial to consider weather conditions when maintaining solar panels and take necessary precautions to ensure their longevity and peak performance. What are the consequences of neglecting solar panel maintenance? Neglecting solar panel maintenance can lead to a decrease in energy production and efficiency, reducing the overall performance and lifespan of the system. Accumulated dust, dirt, or debris on the panels can block sunlight absorption and hinder their ability to generate electricity effectively. In fact, studies have shown that dirty solar panels can experience up to a 20% decrease in energy output. Additionally, failing to address potential issues such as loose connections or damaged components can result in more significant and expensive repairs down the line. Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal solar panel performance and long-term cost savings. Are there any specialized tools or equipment needed for solar panel maintenance? Yes, there are specialized tools and equipment needed for solar panel maintenance. Some common tools include a soft brush or sponge for cleaning the panels, a non-abrasive cleaning solution, and a soft cloth for drying. Additionally, a multimeter is often used to measure the output voltage and current of the panels to ensure they are functioning properly. According to industry statistics, regular cleaning and maintenance can improve solar panel performance by up to 20%, emphasizing the importance of using the right tools for maintenance. In order to ensure your solar panels are performing at their maximum efficiency, contact your local solar company and schedule annual inspections.
WHAT IS SOLAR ENERGY In Florida, the sunlight that reaches Earth is a valuable source of renewable energy. This sunlight is comprised of 50% visible light, 45% infrared radiation, ultraviolet rays, and electromagnetic radiation. Through the use of solar technology, this energy can be captured in the form of thermal or electric power. Flat plate collectors are commonly used in solar heating to capture the sun's energy and convert it to thermal energy. For electric energy, photovoltaic cells are used to directly convert the sun's radiation into electricity. This allows for a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way to power homes and businesses in Florida. The use of solar energy in Florida has the potential to provide significant long-term financial and environmental benefits. By capturing and utilizing the abundant sunlight in the state, Florida residents can reduce their reliance on nonrenewable energy sources and take a step towards a more sustainable future. Learn more about solar energy WHAT ARE SOLAR PANELS MADE OF The most common solar panels are made from crystalline silicon(c-Si) that have conductive properties. They have smaller squares with blue or black rectangular grids. These little squares are the silicon solar cells that are linked together to form a circuit. There are other thin-film solar panels designed with a semiconductor deposited on either glass or plastic. HOW LONG DO SOLAR PANELS LAST You might be wondering how long solar panels last if you have considered investing in them. Well, a P.V. solar module can last for up to 25 or 30 years. That means that the panels can produce at least 80% of rated power in 25-30 years! HOW LARGE ARE SOLAR PANELS Traditional P.V. solar panels have a 60 and 72 cell configuration with the following dimensions: 60 cell PV panels: 39″ x 65″ equivalent to 3.25 x 5.5 feet 72 cell PV panel: 39″ x 77″ equivalent to 3.25 x 6.42 feet WHAT IS THE RIGHT SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM SIZE FOR ME In Florida, the size of your solar energy system depends on your monthly energy usage. This information can be found on your monthly utility bill, and it's important to size your system accordingly to ensure that you generate enough energy to meet your needs. However, there are several other factors to consider when determining the optimal size for your solar energy system. These include the amount of available sunlight in your area, the orientation and angle of your roof, and any shading or obstructions that may impact the efficiency of your panels. To determine the optimal size for your solar energy system in Florida, it's recommended to consult with a specialist who can provide a free estimate and help you navigate the complex decision-making process. Whether you're considering a grid-tie or off-grid solar system, working with a specialist can help ensure that you're getting the most out of your investment in renewable energy. IS INVESTING IN SOLAR WORTH IT Going solar is often the most cost-effective choice for homeowners in Florida. In many cases, the cost of generating your own solar power is cheaper than relying on the grid supply. By investing in solar energy, you can break free from the endless cycle of monthly power bills and enjoy significant savings over the long term. While the initial cost of installing a solar energy system can be high, the investment typically pays off within a few years. After that, your only ongoing charges will be for taxation, maintenance, and repairs, which are typically much less than what you would pay for traditional utility bills. WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED To install a solar panel system, you will need several key components. Firstly, you will need solar panels that are sized appropriately for your energy needs and the available space. Secondly, you will need a mounting system to secure the panels to your roof or another suitable location. Thirdly, you will need an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) energy produced by the panels into alternating current (AC) energy that can be used in your home. Additionally, you may also need batteries to store excess energy and a monitoring system to track your energy production and usage. A great place to start is to hire a licensed and experienced solar panel installer to ensure the system is properly installed and meets all safety and building code requirements. HOW DO I CALCULATE SOLAR PANEL EFFICIENCY Solar panel efficiency is a widely misunderstood concept. People assume that the 15-25% efficiency of P.V. solar panels means that the panel produces only a fraction of the rated power. In reality, the efficiency represents how much of the sun’s energy is converted to electricity. You should go for high-efficiency panels if you have limited mounting space as they produce more power per unit area. Smaller R.V./mobile use panels are available. Some companies are also experimenting with 96-cell solar panels, but they are not very common. WHAT DOES NET METERING MEAN Net metering, also known as net energy metering, is a utility resource usage and remuneration scheme whereby a consumer who harnesses their own solar power is compensated in monetary terms. If your home enjoys net metering and produces more energy than you need, you can send the extra power to the grid, so you use it when required. ARE BATTERIES NECESSARY FOR SOLAR SYSTEMS The inclusion of batteries depends on the type of solar system that you have installed. If the system is grid-tied, you do not have to include the batteries, unlike the off-grid systems. However, backup batteries are useful in storing excess power generated by your solar panels during peak times and using it in times of rolling blackouts. WHAT’S THE BEST TYPE OF BATTERY FOR SOLAR There are essentially three types of solar batteries; flooded lead-acid accumulators (FLA), sealed lead-acid accumulators (SLA), and lithium-ion batteries. FLA are the cheapest and the oldest but require regular maintenance for best operation. You just need to top up the battery with distilled water to account for the evaporation. SLAs are advanced FLAs, where the battery is sealed to prevent evaporation. They are a little bit more expensive than the FLAs but do not need as much maintenance. Lithium-ion batteries represent the best tech in batteries. These are known to charge much faster than the other two types. They also withstand deep discharge cycles and last the longest, in addition to being maintenance-free. WHAT ARE AVAILABLE SOLAR INCENTIVES AND TAX CREDITS If you're considering going solar in Florida, you'll be glad to know that the Federal Tax Credit can help make the transition more affordable. This incentive provides a 30% discount on your total solar energy system project cost after filing with the IRS. There may also be other state credits available, depending on the state's regulations. To take advantage of these incentives, it's important to research and understand the requirements and application process. Check with your local authorities to see what incentives may be available to you and how to apply for them. With these incentives, going solar in Florida can be an even more financially smart decision. WHAT ARE AVAILABLE SOLAR FINANCING OPTIONS There are three popular approaches to financing a solar panel project. These are personal loans, solar leases, and solar power purchasing agreements. A personal loan would enable you to own the system, so you can claim the federal tax incentive. The incentive would then allow you to repay the loan before the due period elapses. On the other hand, a solar lease is owned by the installer to claim the Federal Tax credit, reducing your revenue on investment. HOW DO GRID-TIE AND OFF-GRID SOLAR COMPARE A grid-tied solar system is ideal for homeowners as it offers some security and it is cheaper than electricity from utility companies. Grid-tied can save you money through net metering, low installation, improved efficacy rates, and equipment costs. On the other hand, an off-grid is very suitable for cabins and isolated localities but these systems cost more as they need additional batteries. You might also need to consult with installation professionals to avoid any vulnerabilities that may hinder it from performing efficiently. DOES THE LOCAL CLIMATE EFFECT SYSTEM SIZE P.V. solar modules convert sunlight into electricity. This means the more sunlight, the more power produced. Different areas experience different exposure times during the day. Regions near the equator experience the most extended exposure hours while Polar Regions may go without sunlight for days. In the U.S., for example, the exposure varies between 3-6 hours. If you receive only three hours of sunlight, your system’s size would need to be twice that of a region receiving six hours of exposure to sunlight. DOES SOLAR AFFECT THE VALUE OF MY HOME If you're a homeowner in Florida, installing a solar energy system can not only save you money on energy bills but also increase the value of your home. Recent studies have shown that homes equipped with solar panels sell at a higher price than homes without them, with an average increase of 3.74%. This percentage can make a significant difference in the value of your property, depending on the overall worth of your home. It's important to note that this increase in value applies only to solar systems that are owned by the seller, not for solar lease systems. So, if you're planning to sell your home in the future, investing in a solar energy system in Florida could be a smart financial move that pays off both in the short and long term. CAN YOU RUN AN ENTIRE HOUSE ON SOLAR ALONE It's possible to power your entire home with solar in Florida, but it can be challenging to achieve. Solar panels generate electricity during the day, but they can't provide power 24/7 as they don't produce energy at night or during cloudy weather. Therefore, a battery backup system is often necessary to store excess energy generated during the day for use at night or during low sunlight conditions. A battery backup system also provides a reliable source of electricity during power outages or other emergencies. Without a battery backup system, homeowners would still need to rely on the grid for electricity during periods of low solar production, negating the benefits of solar energy in Florida. DO SOLAR PANELS AFFECT HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE Solar panels can have an impact on homeowners insurance, as they can increase the value of a property and its potential replacement cost. As a result, homeowners may need to adjust their insurance coverage to ensure adequate protection. Additionally, some insurance providers may offer discounts or incentives for homes with solar panels, as they may be viewed as less risky due to the potential for reduced electricity usage. Homeowners should consult with their insurance provider to discuss any potential impacts on their policy and ensure they have the appropriate coverage in place. WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF A PHOTOVOLTAIC (P.V.) SOLAR PANEL Converting solar radiation to electric energy is a complex process. Photovoltaic solar panels are the root of the successful energy conversion process. But on their own, they are incapable of producing a reliable electric current. The panels require a channel of more components to make safe and usable energy: Photovoltaic module This, as stated earlier, is the core element that houses solar cells. Every cell acts as a conversion unit that produces D.C. voltage when light from the sun hits it. Note that the P.V. modules can generate a voltage from any source of light, not just sunlight. D.C. & A.C. wiring The Direct Current (D.C.) and Alternating Current (A.C). are responsible for switching on/off power to and from the inverter. Inverters The solar inverter is responsible for taking D.C. from batteries and turning them to A.C. Batteries These store electric energy chemically in renewable energy entities, also known as solar battery storage. Solar controllers As its name suggests, the solar controller’s work is to regulate the current fed into the battery tank. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND SETBACKS OF USING PV PANELS Solar panels are what comes into our minds when solar energy is mentioned. Here are some of their upside and downsides: Advantages of PV Solar Panels They provide cheap, clean, and renewable energy. The maintenance costs for P.V. panels are relatively low compared to other energy sources. Photovoltaic systems are quiet, thus reducing the effect of environmental noise. Solar energy can be harnessed locally, thus reducing environmental disruptions associated with transportation. Solar power reduces the electricity bill as it costs you only a fraction of what you pay to the utility companies monthly. Solar power plants have fewer safety risks compared to fossil and coal plants. Disadvantages of PV Solar Panels Photovoltaic modules produce variable energy. They cannot absorb energy during the night, and the amount of energy collected during the day also varies with weather seasons and time of the day. Though not significant, there’s the production of toxic chemicals like arsenic and cadmium during the production process. These pollutants cause slight environmental impacts that can be tamed through responsible disposal. HOW DO SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS WORK The solar P.V. unit houses 60 or 72 solar cells. When the cells are hit by light, electrons are scattered from the cell’s silicon atoms. The electrons then flow through the cell triggering direct currency (D.C.) electricity. The D.C. electricity is then sent to an inverter, which then converts it to alternating current (A.C.) electricity. The A.C. electricity is the kind mostly used in offices and homes. In the case of solar power, the electricity can be used TO: Meet the electricity needs of a home Charging a battery storage unit Saved to the power grid for future use WHAT TYPES OF PV PANELS CAN YOU FIND The most available P.V. solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Each has its own unique properties, and they vary in appearance, performance, and costs. For instance, monocrystalline is highly efficient, unlike Polycrystalline and thin-film, which perform inefficiently. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE MICRO INVERTERS Micro inverters are devices used in Photovoltaic panels to convert direct current to alternating current. They are designed with one inverter per P.V. panel, and they harness maximum power. Their design can also withstand extreme weather conditions. If any inverter goes out, the others will generate the electricity to their full capacity. It is much easier to monitor any underperforming micro inverters panel and determine the exact problem. WHAT IS A POWER OPTIMIZER Power optimizers are gadgets installed in a solar system to control individual panel’s output independently from the rest of the mini-grid. Unlike others like micro inverters, this gadget doesn’t convert any electricity but maximizes the power before sending it to the string inverter. This way, should one of the P.V. solar panels become shaded during a given time of day, the energy produced by the rest of the solar panels can be maximized. WHAT DO STRING INVERTERS DO String inverters simply convert D.C. to A.C. power for the high voltage D.C. inputs. With a string inverter, the solar array is wired in series rather than in parallel. STRING SIZING When several P.V. solar panels are wired to a single output through an inverter, it is called a panel string. Inverters are usually rated for a specific maximum voltage. To safeguard against overloading the inverter, you must get the ideal string size that doesn’t waste any resources. When doing a string sizing, consider local temperature conditions and the ratings of the P.V. modules to be used. WHERE SHOULD YOU MOUNT YOUR SOLAR PANELS You can mount your solar panels either on the ground or on the roof. Roof mount is usually the cheaper option, especially if you do not have much ground space for such a project. Roof mount utilizes the rooftop as the support structure, so you do not have to build a foundation for mounting. You can consult your roofing company if you intend to mount an array of P.V. panels on the roof. They can then decide the best type of roofing for you. As the term suggests, a ground mount is built on the ground as a separate metal structure to hold the solar panels. These structures are preferably aluminum, which makes such a project costlier. The advantage is easier accessibility during repairs and maintenance. ARE POLE MOUNTS VIABLE OPTIONS Pole mounts are still a viable option in countries experiencing icy winters. A pole mount is a tall-standing pole that raises the solar panel above the ground. The high height ensures the winter ground snow doesn’t bury the solar panels array. The poles also allow the solar panels company to tilt the panels so that snow can easily slide off. The poles may be of variable height depending on proximity to obstructions. SOLAR TRACKERS: WHAT ARE THEY You might have observed some solar panels tilting towards the changing position of the sun in the sky. This is done by a solar tracker to maximize exposure of the solar cells to sunlight. But is this investment worth it? It depends on your needs. Typically, the tracking hardware costs much more than the solar panels. If space is not of much concern to you, simply investing in more solar panels is recommended. HOW MUCH DO SOLAR INSTALLERS CHARGE In Florida, it is important to choose a reputable and experienced solar installer to ensure that your system is installed properly and efficiently. Additionally, there may be state-specific incentives or rebates available to further reduce the cost of your solar installation. Be sure to research and inquire about any potential savings or incentives before committing to a solar system. Get a FREE QUOTE from our Semper Solaris installers. CAN YOU INSTALL SOLAR BY YOURSELF Definitely yes, even if you do not have any experience in it. This is because most of the components are designed to plug into dedicated ports. You should only expect to lift slightly heavy objects and tighten screws. You can perform the above by yourself and then hire an experienced electrician to hook up to the panel for you. This way, you’ll significantly bring down the overall cost of installation. However, if you want things right from the bat, hiring an experienced solar panel installation company is the way to go! DOES MY SOLAR REQUIRE MAINTENANCE Sure, in Florida, it's important to keep your solar panels clean and free from any debris, especially during hurricane season. Routine maintenance is crucial to ensure optimal performance, including checking the electrolyte levels of FLA batteries if you have them. Professional check-ups can help identify and fix any issues with your solar system.
Learn more about how to save on energy at the bottom of this article. Tampa's utility provider to increase bills in April: After January's record rate hike TECO is once again raising electricity rates. This time Tampa's residents can expect their energy bills to increase by 10%. This brings electricity cost to an all-time high for Tampa's residents. Florida approves utility rate hikes The Florida Public Service Commission approved Tampa Electric company's proposal of charges that includes fuel and $131 million dollars that Tampa Resident's will have to pay for. 800,000 TECO customers will financially suffer from another price hike in 2023. It's not just Tampa residents who will be affected by rate increases. The PSC also approved charges for Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power and Light. PSC Approves Fuel Charge and Interim Storm Recovery for DEF, FPL, and TECO https://t.co/UxgmEiAEzR— Florida PSC (@floridapsc) March 7, 2023 Here is a breakdown of Florida's energy charges approval: Duke Energy Florida: approved new charges for fuel factor and $442.1 million in interim restoration costs (increase of about 15.1%). Florida Power and Light: approved new charges for fuel factor and $1.5 billion in interim restoration costs (increase of 8-10.3%). Tampa Electric (TECO): new charges for fuel factor and $131 million in interim restoration costs (increase of about 10%). Floridians will have to deal with rising rates and pay significantly more to keep the lights on When will electricity bills stop rising? Since 2019 the average TECO customer's energy bill will have risen by 62%! Tampa's residents and businesses continue to pay more and more in electricity and utility costs. It seems like every month we see news about electricity costs rising. This concerns Tampa's residents as the rise in cost to keep the lights on is eating into families monthly budgets and adding financial stress to all Floridians. So when will utility costs go down? The truth is, there is no guarantee they will ever go down. With Inflation rates through the roof the cost of everyday activities and goods keep rising. In a recent report the Tampa Bay area was found to have the highest inflation rate in the country. How to save on rising energy cost? Below you will find links to electricity providers payment assistance pages: Duke Energy Tampa Electric Florida Power & Light Although the above links may not help you directly to save on energy costs, it may help you properly manage and pay your electricity bills. The truth: Save by going solar! Beautiful solar panels Look if you are a homeowner in Florida, then the easiest and best way to save is by getting a high quality solar system! Take advantage of the current solar tax credits and improve your home's value. Solar panels work by absorbing energy from the sun and then converting it into electrical energy. By installing a solar system, not only will you become less reliant and dependent on your electrical provider but you will also reduce your energy cost significantly and possibly eliminate them entirely. With Florida's volatile blackouts and power outages many are pairing solar energy with a home battery storage (a home battery storage will store electricity locally that can kick in almost instantly in an event of a blackout or can be used when electricity is at its highest cost). Would you like to learn more about solar? Click here to schedule a free consultation today.