The number of homes in the U.S. with solar energy systems continues to grow. Florida is third in the nation for solar energy growth projection and fifth when it comes to the total number of sunshine hours. Installing solar panels in Tallahassee is an excellent investment for many residents.
Neighborhoods in Tallahassee like Griffin Heights, Midtown and Frenchtown have many houses whose rooftops receive plenty of unobstructed sunshine. Homes with south-facing back roofs that receive heavy sun exposure can discreetly hide solar panels from street view. For those with minimal roof space, panels can also be installed on the ground.
For an idea of what savings could be for your home, Google's Project Sunroof is a free tool that estimates your net savings over 20 years.
The cost of residential solar power systems in Tallahassee
Most solar energy companies in Tallahassee give free estimates for the cost of installing a residential solar power system. Many also offer a choice between leasing or purchasing solar equipment. Benefits of leasing include:
- Little or no money down
- Solar power system company is responsible for maintenance and repairs
- Savings of 10 to 30 percent on electricity bills
- Can usually purchase panels at the end of a 20- or 25-year lease term
Those in Tallahassee who want to purchase their solar panels outright can count on federal tax credits and bigger savings on electricity bills, although buyers pay more upfront. Homeowners in Tallahassee can expect to pay between $15,000 to $20,000 for solar panels and installation.
Current tax breaks significantly reduce the ticket cost of buying a new solar system. In 2019, solar panel purchasers can expect to receive a 30 percent federal tax credit on qualified expenditures for a solar power system.
Florida also offers state incentives to encourage the use of residential solar, including not charging sales tax for solar energy purchases and exempting homeowners from paying increased property taxes on value added to their home from installing a solar power system.
Solar loans assist in making alternative energy systems more affordable through 10- to 20-year repayment terms with as little as 3 percent interest for those with high credit scores. Many solar power companies offer financing, but consumers can also arrange to pay for equipment and installation through a personal loan from a bank, credit union or an online lender.
Types of residential solar power systems available in Tallahassee
The type of panels installed on your home also influences your overall savings. Most residential solar power systems use monocrystalline silicon or polycrystalline silicon solar panels.
Monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels
|Type of material
||13% - 16% average
||Darker, high-quality crystals
||Square-cut, bluer in color
||High efficiency, requires less roof space
||Lower cost, good for budget-minded consumers
||Does not work as well in low light conditions, requires more roof space
Tallahassee residents may also be able to choose thin film solar panels, but these materials are not ideal for residential use. Although cheaper than monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, they’re generally far less efficient and require lots of roof space. Thin film solar panels are more popular for commercial use because businesses often have more space to install panels.
Many solar power systems available in Tallahassee come with a battery that allows you to store excess produced energy and use it at night or in poor weather conditions. If you choose to not opt for a battery system, you may be able to sell excess produced energy back to your utility under a net metering agreement.
Installing and maintaining solar power systems in Tallahassee
Solar panel arrays can be installed on your roof or the ground. If your roof is small, heavily slanted or has poor sun exposure because of trees or other obstructions, using a ground array is a better option. Your chosen solar energy system installer will schedule a visit to your home to see which system is best for you. The company also installs the system you end up choosing and helps with any necessary permits.
Solar panels are designed to withstand the elements and do not require much maintenance. You can clean the panels every few months to maintain maximum efficiency or hire a professional solar panel cleaning services for an average cost of $15 per panel.
Most solar panels come with a 10- or 25-year warranty. If you lease your system, the provider performs any necessary repairs or maintenance, but if you purchase your system, you’re responsible for its upkeep.
Your homeowners insurance may cover your solar power system in case of weather or other damage. Check with your provider to see if your solar energy system is covered or if it can be added onto your policy.