Solar Panels, Ocala Fl: Is it worth it?
How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Ocala?
Solar panels cost between $2.28 and $2.48 per watt in Ocala, which is below the national average. A 250 watt solar panel will cost around $570 to $620, and depending on the size of your home system, you’ll need between 20 and 30 panels to be self-sufficient. This means your cost for solar panels will be around $11,400 on the low end, or as high as $18,600. Now, I know this sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but there’s two things you have to understand- #1, the state of Florida has a ton of incentives in place that could reduce your initial cost by thousands of dollars, and #2, your solar panels will pay for themselves faster in Florida than in many other places.
What are the benefits of going solar?
Solar panel installation in Ocala, FL is one of the best investments I can think of. The state has *LOTS* of incentives available for residents wanting to go solar and your solar panels will pay for themselves much faster than they would in some states. Here’s just a few of the bonuses to going solar in Florida:
- State Net Metering Laws- Net metering is what allows your solar panels to feed electricity back into the grid, thereby earning you credits on future bills, and Florida has statewide net metering laws, which helps ensure the accuracy of your measurements.
- Statewide Interconnection Standards- These standards make it faster, easier and cheaper to connect your solar energy system to the grid, which is the way your system feeds electricity back into it. Obviously these standards are important to anyone who wants to set up a solar power system.
- Performance Based Incentives- This is the way the energy you produce will be credited to your future electric bills. Most utilities will credit you for kilowatt hours you feed back into the grid with credits on your future bills when you don’t produce more electricity than you use.
- Florida Property Tax Exemption- The value of your property cannot be reassessed due to the addition of solar panels- meaning your property taxes can’t go up because of your solar panels!
- Florida Sales Tax Exemption- Florida state sales taxes do not apply to your purchase of a solar power system and its installation, which can save you hundreds of dollars if not more.
- 26% Federal Tax Credit- You can claim 26% of the total cost of your system and it’s installation as a deduction to your federal taxes, which is a possible savings of thousands of dollars.
How much will the addition of solar panels increase my home’s value?
So while there are a number of schools of thought on how much solar panels increase a home’s value, let me start by saying that solar panels are like swimming pools in this regard- If a potential buyer is not interested in owning a home with solar panels, then they won’t be willing to pay more for it than they would without them.
That being said, most homeowners tack on ten to twenty thousand dollars to the value of their home when listing it for sale after the addition of solar panels, which is generally acceptable on the market.
What are the Effects of Net Metering on a Solar System?
Net metering is the process by which a utility company measures the amount of energy produced by a solar energy system and how much of that energy is actually used compared to how much is fed back into the grid. Florida has strong net metering laws, which makes the measurement of your energy production more accurate as well as more accurately measuring how much energy you put into the grid.
How much solar power do I need to power my home?
The average home requires between 6 and 8 kilowatts of solar powers to be self-sufficient. This number varies wildly, however, based on a number of factors such as home size, number of residents, etc. Your solar company should be able to give you a better idea of exactly how much you need based on your past electric bills.
What is the “Payback” period for Solar Panels in Ocala?
Solar panels in Ocala will pay for themselves through savings on energy bills, performance based incentives, rebates, tax breaks, etc in around 12-14 years. Again, a lot of this depends on your own personal situation in terms of home size, energy usage, residents in your home, etc. Now 12-14 years seems like a long time, but consider this- once your panels have “paid for themselves”, they will now be “paying” you simply by existing. Most solar panels are warrantied for 20-25 years, and most solar companies offer service warranties of similar length, meaning that after your panels have paid for themselves, you’ll have another 10+ years of “free” electricity to look forward to.
Things to look for in a solar company:
Time in industry: One of the first and most important factors in evaluating any company in any industry is their time in the business. By no means is every start-up company untrustworthy, but when you see a company that has been at it for a long time, it lets you know a few things, primarily that they’ve been at it long enough that if they did bad work or had bad customer service, the word would be out about it by now.
Types of panels: There are several types of solar panels available out there. We’re not going to go into depth in this article about the different kinds that are out there, but just know that not every company offers every kind of panel- some will only use certain kinds of panels, or panels from certain companies, etc.
Payment options: The majority of us aren’t going to have enough money to just write a check for a solar power installation outright, so we’re going to need some financing options. Some companies are more than willing to help you out with that, with in-house financing or other possibilities available. Make sure you know what’s going to be possible or expected of you before making a final decision on which company to buy from.
Warranties: A lot of companies offer warranties, but not all warranties are the same. Some companies will be more than happy to work on your equipment for 20 years or more with only a small service charge, while others will do it completely for free. Still others won’t do it at all unless there was an issue with the original installation. Then the panels, coming from a 3rd party manufacturer, are another issue altogether. So make sure you understand the warranty, if one is offered at all, before deciding.
Reviews: Maybe the most important thing of all in our modern age is the reviews you might be able to find about a company on the internet. Not only can reviews tell you a lot about the quality of work and customer service a company offers but they can also point out a lot of things that you might have otherwise not even considered.
How do I get solar panels installed in Ocala?
As the 54th most populated city in Florida as of the 2020 US Census, I’m not trying to say Ocala is small, but it’s definitely no bustling metropolis. As a result, your options for solar installation in the actual city of Ocala are going to be a little limited. That’s cool though, because most solar installers are more than willing to travel a couple of hours to get your business. As a result, we’re going to take a look at a couple of solar installers from Ocala as well as a couple from the surrounding region just to give you a broader idea of what your options are.
Company: Solar Trek
Address: 3347 SW 7th St, Ocala, FL 34474
Years in Business: 23
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (19 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp ( 5 reviews), 5 / 5 Angi (6 reviews), 4 / 5 Birdseye (64 reviews)
Business Quote: Rely on Solar Trek, for all of your Solar needs. We’ll guide you on your way to positively influencing the environment and lowering your monthly expenditures.
The Good: 23 years in business! Almost universally positive reviews & lots of them
The Bad: Handful of complaints with the BBB; Outdated website
Summary: Overall looks like a super solid company; Appears to have a few little complaints which are a minor concern but still something to be aware of if considering doing business with a company. 23 years in business is a very long time in this industry, so that’s a definite plus on their behalf. I see no reason not to look into using Solar Trek to install your solar panels in the Ocala area.
Company: Solar Lights & More
Address: 5640 SW 6th Pl, Ocala, FL 34474
Years in Business: 26 according to their website, 24 according to the BBB
Reviews: 4 / 5 Facebook (23 reviews), 1 / 5 Yelp (4 reviews), 4.4 / 5 BestImprovers (14 reviews), 1/ 5 BBB (1 review)
Business Quote: “As a leading Ocala provider of solar system solutions, our goal is to provide area homeowners the best and latest selection of solar energy sources. We believe every Florida homeowner deserves nothing less than the highest-quality, brand-name home solar power system, one delivered by proven green energy experts they know they can trust.”
The Good: Nice looking website, a long time in the business
The Bad: Some questionable reviews out there; 4 complaints against them on the BBB website
Summary: So it’s hard to tell about this company- With 24-26 years in the business, depending on which website you ask, they’ve obviously been in business long enough to know what they’re doing and to have established themselves as a well known local company. They’re got a number of really bad reviews however, which is concerning. Couple that with their BBB complaints and I’m not sure exactly what we’re dealing with here. Of course it could simply be sour grapes, so I’m not writing this company off entirely. I just would advise caution.
Company: Solar Impact
Address: 4509 NW 23rd Ave Ste 20, Gainesville, FL 32606
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (23 reviews), 4.7 / 5 Birdseye
Business Quote: Solar Impact is Gainesville, Florida’s #1 solar energy company, having installed over twice the amount of solar electricity as all other local solar contractors combined!
The Good: Almost all good reviews; No complaints with the BBB
The Bad: Smallish web presence
Summary: Nice looking company; One of my favorite logos I’ve seen in the business. They have a handy map on their website showing all the places they’ve done installations, including 2 in Ocala, which is always reassuring when looking at an out-of-town company. Although they don’t have a ton of info out there about them, I see no reason to let that hinder you. I say give them a shot.
Company: Pure Energy Solar
Address: 2121 NW 2nd St, Gainesville, FL 32609
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook ( 8 reviews), 5 / 5 Angi (4 reviews), 4.9 / 5 Birdseye
Business Quote: The mission of Pure Energy Solar is to protect the environment by promoting solar energy as a clean, safe and reliable alternative energy source.
The Good: Great reviews, good looking website
The Bad: The nature of this company is a little unclear (more below), not a ton of web presence
Summary: Nice looking company, just am a little unclear about them- There appear to be a number of companies named “Pure Energy Solar” listed with the BBB and possibly even another one in Orlando, though that could just be an office of this same company. Either way, despite the lack of clarity, they seem to be a good company without a lot of negatives to say about them. I say give em a try.
So in the end, remember that Florida is one of the premier states in the union in terms of promoting solar power within their borders, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. So all the positives you see won’t be disappearing and there may be more goodies to come. Ocala has a handful of very nice looking solar companies, and Gainesville has more than a few of their own just right up the road. So let’s make it happen Ocala! Let’s put all that sunshine to work!