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Learn the hidden costs of solar panels in Florida and how to calculate project costs.

Hidden Costs Of Solar Panels In Florida

contractor explaining the hidden costs of solar panels in Florida during inspection

There’s a lot of hype around home solar panels, especially here in Florida, where utility rates are constantly on the rise. While many know solar panels can provide significant long-term savings, many homeowners wonder if there’s a catch and if making the switch is too good to be true. 

Are there hidden costs of solar panels in Florida? 

The short answer is yes; just like a car, there are additional costs to maintain home solar panels. Are the hidden costs of solar panels so high it outweighs the benefits of adding rooftop solar panels? Absolutely not!

Read on to learn about the hidden costs of solar panels in Florida and how it factors into your return on investment. 

Permits, Application Fees, And Solar Installation Costs 

There are several fees Florida homeowners might have to pay before installing home solar panels, but it depends on the city you live in, your utility company, and the solar company you choose. 

Switching to solar power requires several city permits and a possible application fee should you choose to remain connected to the energy grid. For example, Florida Power and Light charges a one-time fee of $400 to submit a net-metering agreement. City and/or county permits vary based on where you live and project size. 

For homeowners thinking about going solar, it’s important to choose a licensed solar energy company that will manage the permit and application process for them. At Raze Solar, we not only have a dedicated team to manage this for our customers, but we also pay all associated fees. This can save you more money in the long run. 

Solar Panel Insurance

Florida has specific insurance rules for homeowners adding rooftop solar panels, which are based on the size of the system. Currently, there are three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Systems less than or equal to 10 kW (or 11.7 kW DC)*
  • Tier 2: Larger than 10 kW up to 100 kW
  • Tier 3: Larger 100kW

Systems that fall in Tier 2 and 3 will require proof of a ‘Personal Liability Policy’ (PLP) that provides at least $1 million coverage. For homeowners, this can be done by calling your existing homeowner’s insurance company and updating your coverage. Keep in mind adding a new policy or expanding the limits of an existing policy is not free. Prices vary by company, but homeowners should expect to pay between $10-$100 per month.

Homeowners who opt to go with a Tier 1-sized system won’t have to add coverage, but they may also not have a system large enough to cover 100% of their energy bill. Getting a comprehensive solar panel quote and cost/savings breakdown can help you make an informed decision. 

Hidden Costs Of Solar Panels – Maintenance 

Solar panels are designed to be low-maintenance, but they still require some regular upkeep to ensure optimal performance. This may include cleaning the panels, replacing any damaged or worn-out parts, and monitoring the system’s performance to ensure it is generating the expected amount of energy.

Solar panel performance can easily be monitored through an app or website. In most cases, any problem with energy production will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, typically lasting around 25 years. 

Out-of-pocket costs for homeowners would include hiring a solar panel cleaning company (if needed) and any extra products to prevent birds/animals from nesting under the solar panels themselves. 

Roof Repair Or Replacement Costs

Before installing solar panels, it’s important to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can support the weight of the panels. If your roof needs a large number of repairs or has reached the end of its useful life, it will likely need to be replaced before you can switch to solar. 

Before getting a solar panel quote, it’s usually a good idea to get a professional roof inspection to determine how long your existing roof will last. As licensed solar installers and roofing contractors, our team can help you with both! 

Hidden Costs Of Solar Panels – Batteries & Storage

Solar batteries can easily double or triple the cost of switching to solar energy. A single solar battery can cost anywhere from $7,000 – $15,000. Adding home energy storage can also increase project costs as additional solar panels will be required to maintain and fill battery storage levels.

Outside of increased project costs, solar battery maintenance is another hidden cost of solar panels. In addition, solar batteries will need to be replaced, often after 10 or 12 years. 

In most cases, homeowners who choose to install solar batteries will not see a return on investment. Renaming connected to the energy grid through net metering is an option for those who are concerned about ROI. 

Key Takeaways About The Hidden Costs Of Solar Panels 

While you can expect long-term savings on your energy bills, it’s important to consider the hidden costs of solar panels associated with installing and maintaining a solar panel system in Florida. Upfront installation costs, maintenance costs, roof repair or replacement costs, and battery storage costs are all factors to consider when deciding whether to invest in solar panels for your home.

Working with a licensed solar energy company like Raze Solar and carefully evaluating your energy needs can help you make an informed decision about whether solar panels are right for you.

Get Help From A Licensed Florida Solar Installer

Have questions or need more information? The experts at Raze Solar are here to help! Call or text (904) 595-6835, schedule a free solar panel quote online, or view our services areas and learn how to make the switch.

Still worried about the hidden costs of solar panels? View our case studies and see how Florida homeowners are saving money with home energy systems designed to meet their needs.

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