Fort Myers is a dream destination that needs no introduction. Its name immediately invokes the sound of emerald and blue waves crashing on warm white sand, the spray of cool saltwater in the air, palm branches swaying in the wind, and that incomparable warm Florida sun blanketing you from above. So it should be no surprise that Fort Myers is home-sweet-home to solar energy!
Before we dive into the ocean of details that make Fort Myers such an outstanding candidate for solar, it’s important that we quickly address one of the most important details, and that is the current Federal Tax Credit. This credit, available to you as a homeowner if you choose to install solar panels, provides you with an unbeatable 26% return on the money you invest into your solar system. We say “current” because while this credit has been extended over the next two years, there is no promise that it’s here to stay. This means now is the perfect opportunity for your switch to solar energy.
Solar energy is a growing wave, with more and more people jumping into the current. We know renewable energy is an important reason people are making the switch. However, you may not know that this option also brings with it incredible financial savings. We will walk through some details to show how a solar energy system can save you big!
Before we can factor in the savings, let’s look at an example of how much installing solar is going to cost you as a resident of Fort Myers. Thankfully, you live in beautiful sunny Florida. This is a great start because you are also home to the fourth cheapest solar prices in the country. Your average price for the installation of your solar system is $2.62 per watt. With that starting information, take a look at this infographic for a complete breakdown:
A solar energy system comes in varying sizes depending on your personal need. The average size across the country, and the example that we will use here, is the 5 kilowatts (kW) system. This energy output will meet the needs of your standard-sized home in Fort Myers. To find our price we simply take the cost per watt ($2.62) and multiply it by the system size (5,000 watts). So for an installation in Fort Myers, you can expect quotes at about $13,100.
As mentioned in the opening, you can reduce this cost drastically by applying for the “Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics”.
Now let’s look at the incentives and credits available to you as a resident of Fort Myers, FL.
Federal Tax Credit
We mentioned the Federal Tax Credit right up front because we know that it’s the largest incentive that you can take advantage of right now. Keeping with our above example cost of $13,100 we can multiply to find that a 26% credit, gives you a return of $3,406. These incredible savings brings your total cost down to $9,953.
Property Tax Incentive
If you’re looking at solar for your home, it’s important to know how this purchase might affect your home value. Many people are often looking for ways to increase their home’s value, however, with that value comes an increase in property taxes. That’s why it’s so special that Florida offers an incentive that keeps all solar panel-related value exempt from additional property taxes. Across the country, we see an average increase of 4% in value to all homes that install solar. This is value that you get to keep without worrying about any extra tax.
Sales Tax Incentive
Speaking of taxes, don’t worry about sales tax. That’s right, as a Florida resident, you aren’t required to pay any sales tax on your solar installation. At the Florida sales tax of 6%, you are looking to save $786 you would otherwise spend on your $13,100 installation.
So not only do you avoid paying any sales tax on your installation you also are saved from any rising property taxes that would come from this added value (we will go into more detail later). Now that we have learned how you can cut over $4,000 off your price from credits and incentives alone, let’s look at the amazing savings available to you as a resident of Fort Myers.
We will now look at how much you can save on your electricity bill. To do this, all you have to do is take the price of electricity you currently pay (this is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh) and then multiply that number by the amount of energy that your 5kW solar panel system will produce.
Currently, the price of electricity in Fort Myers, FL, is approximately 10.4¢/kWh.
Your solar energy system (5kW) in Fort Myers should produce, on average, 6,750 kWh every year.
6750 kWh X $.104 = $702
We can see then, as a resident of Fort Myers, you will be saving $702 every year for the life of your solar panels (which we can conservatively estimate at 30 years). Now, applying these savings towards the cost to make the switch to solar energy we can divide our cost after incentives by the $702 to find our payoff time.
$9,953/$702 = 14.2 years
Therefore, in only 14.2 years your solar energy panels will have paid for themselves. This means every year that follows, is money that can go right back into your pocket.
30 years – 14.2 years = 15.8 years X $702 = $11,091.6 in lifetime savings!
Yes, you have read that right. Throughout your solar panel’s lifetime, you are looking at keeping over $11,000 in your pocket! Keep in mind that all of these numbers don’t even take into consideration the rising costs of electricity.
Saving money on your energy bill is a tremendous benefit. By putting that money back in your pocket, you’re empowering your future financially. But this isn’t the only way you will be benefitting from a switch to solar energy. Let’s take a look at a few of the other powerful benefits that you can count on.
This benefit comes in two parts: freedom from a reliance on the grid and protection from rising electricity prices.
If there is one thing we know about your standard electricity, it’s that it can often be unreliable. There are a variety of reasons we lose power to our homes: from strong winds and falling branches to the scheduled and irritatingly unscheduled maintenance calls that can cut off our power. With traditional energy, you are reliant on some company, but with solar energy you put that power and peace of mind into your own hands.
Then there are the rising prices of electricity. Over the last 10 years the national average of price per kWh has risen by 15%. This power is also reliant on natural resources that we know are being depleted every year. As this trend continues, your electricity prices will continue to rise. While this is bad news for traditional power, it’s great news for you as a solar energy consumer. As those prices rise, so do your savings. This means you’re paying off your solar energy system quicker, and pocketing larger profits over the life of your system.
Probably the most well known perk of switching to solar is its positive impact on our environment. With traditional energy, you’re primarily relying on the burning of natural resources, which can lead to poor air quality. More and more people are making the transition to renewable solar energy, which means you will joining a growing community that reduces pollutants over the next 30 years. This means cleaner air for your and your neighbors.
As mentioned briefly before when we were looking at the property tax incentive, solar energy adds value to your home. Nationally we see an average increase of 4% to the value of homes that decide to install a solar energy system. In Fort Myers where the average home value is $250,000 a 4% increase would give you an added value of $10,000!
This guide covers the amazing benefits of solar energy, but we know that you are going to have even more questions about the specifics when it comes to making the switch. There are many reliable solar companies providing system installs in Fort Myers, and we definitely encourage you to ask questions, compare quotes, and make sure you find the fit that’s perfect for you.
Are you ready to get started? Now is the best time for you to get involved in solar energy. With the incentives and credits available to you right now, you’re looking at low cost and high savings. This investment not only brings an incredible return, but also peace of mind over your homes power security and the impact you’ll leave on the world around you. When you enter you zip code, you’ll receive estimates for solar panel cost, system size, incredible financing options, and some great warranty options too.
Solar Action Alliance is, first and foremost, a resource to help teach potential solar customers (you) about the ins and outs of residential solar, but we also connect customers with reputable, low-priced local solar companies who we have thoroughly vetted. If you’re interested in connecting with a solar contractor who can give you a full quote on a PV System (solar panels) for your home, simply enter your zip code below to get started.
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