7 Florida Solar Pros & Cons

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Florida solar pros and cons

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ProsCons
Added Property ValueHard to Resale Leased Solar Panels
Several Ways Solar PaysNot Everyone is A Good Fit
Protects the RoofSolar Panels and Florida Pests
Long-term Environmental ImpactManufacturing Process
Solar and Battery Backup SecurityWeather-dependent Without Battery Backup
Extra Insurance Isn’t NecessarySolar Could Void Roof Warranty
Solar Panels Can Withstand Hail and HurricanesFlorida Solar Panel Recycling

Pro: Added Property Value

Purchased residential solar adds value to your home. This added value comes from people valuing the savings and environmental benefits residential solar offers homeowners. In 2019, a Zillow study showed that homes with residential solar on average sold for 4.1 percent more. Solar homes in Orlando, Florida, sold for 4.6 percent more. 

Con: Hard to Resale Leased Solar Panels

On the flip side, homeowners that decide to enter into a solar lease do not own their solar array. Their lease locks them into a rate over a certain number of years. If you have to move before the lease ends, it can be costly and difficult for the homeowner. Most buyers won’t take on your solar lease, which means the homeowner will have to buy out the lease or pay to cancel early and have it removed.


Pro: Several Ways Solar Pays

While helping the environment is a great benefit, most people want residential solar because of the different ways to save and earn through Florida solar ROI. Energy Sage states that, on average, Floridians see a 10.69-year payback period and a 20-year savings of $22,519. Two ways Floridians save with solar is net metering and tax credits, such as the Federal Solar Tax Credit. Floridians also have property and sales tax exemptions for residential solar. 

Con: Not Everyone is A Good Fit

Unfortunately, solar isn’t a good fit for all Floridians. Several factors go into the solar evaluation process. Some factors include not having enough unshaded space for the system size necessary to meet the customer’s average energy consumption, low credit scores and no taxable income.


Pro: Solar Panels Protect Roofs From the Elements

Solar arrays take up real estate. Homeowners with systems large enough to offset most of their energy consumption often cover large portions of their roofs with solar panels. These solar panels create a layer between your roof and the elements. The solar panels take most of the beating from the sun, debris, rain and hail, which extends the life of your roof.

Con: Solar Panels and Florida Pests

Solar panels on their own can become an inviting home to some common pests like pigeons and squirrels. These unwelcomed guests can ruin wiring, which will decrease system efficiency. To help deter these animals from making your solar array their home, homeowners can add solar panel critter guards. 


Pro: Long-term Environmental Impact

When it comes to solar panel warranties, solar panels generally have 10-25 year product warranties and 25-year production warranties with 80 -90 percent guarantees. However, solar panels don’t become completely useless after 25 years. They can easily continue producing electricity for 40 plus years. Solar panels’ long life span makes them great for the earth because it doesn’t negatively impact the environment while producing electricity. 

Con: Manufacturing Process

While solar power is clean, the process used to produce solar panels isn’t. Solar manufacturers use and gather toxic chemicals and materials to create solar panels. These manufacturing processes lead to an average solar carbon footprint between 14–73 g CO2-eq/kWh. The carbon footprint of solar is 10 to 53 orders of magnitude lower than the emissions from burning oil which ranges between 742 g CO2-eq/kWh. However, they are still worth noting. 


Pro: Solar and Battery Backup Security

Solar panels create security for homeowners because they don’t need to rely on the utility for electricity. When these homeowners also have battery backup, they have an added layer of security because utilities won’t allow grid-connected solar arrays to run during an outage, and solar arrays can’t produce electricity at night. Together these two technologies create power continuity, which helps homeowners become self-sufficient.

Con: Weather Dependent Without Battery Backup

When solar arrays don’t have battery backup, they can only produce power during the day. While solar panels can still produce electricity during poor weather, the production isn’t as high as a bright sunny day. Some homeowners have found a band-aid solution for this problem by relying on Florida’s net metering. However, some potential 2022 anti-solar legislation could make net metering less favorable.


Pro: Extra Insurance Isn’t Necessary

Often homeowners insurance policies will cover residential solar, making additional solar panel coverage plans unnecessary. However, Floridians considering solar should ensure their homeowner’s insurance policy will cover solar damages. If it will, determine how much and what type of potential solar damages it will cover. If your homeowner’s insurance charges more for this coverage, do your homework to see if this is the best route for you.

Con: Solar Could Void Roof Warranty

If your solar installer doesn’t install your array correctly, it could cause damage to the roof, voiding the roof warranty. However, the solar installer’s warranty should cover the solar installation. Additionally, solar installers go out of their way to ensure solar won’t compromise the roof’s integrity. If you want to make sure there won’t be any issues, you can check with the roofing company that installed your roof to see what will void their warranty.


Pro: Solar Panels can Withstand Hail and Hurricanes

Solar panels go through rigorous testing processes to make sure that they can withstand harsh elements. Forty percent of the hurricanes in the United States hit Florida, which makes ensuring your home can withstand these storms necessary. Solar panels go through rigorous testing processes to make sure that they can withstand harsh elements. Most manufacturers test their modules to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter, hurtling at 50 mi/hr. Additionally, solar panels receive testing against 2,400 pascals of wind, equivalent to 140 MPH. Typically hurricanes have winds speeds of at least 74 MPH.  

Con: Florida Solar Panel Recycling

While Europe has a recycling program, the United States doesn’t. As a result, solar companies aren’t required to recycle old and damaged solar panels. Instead, customers have to find solar companies that work with recycling organizations. 

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