Florida Solar Incentives. By my friend, Neal Collier

John’s recent blog post about taxing (or not taxing) solar led me to think how fortunate we are here in Florida, at least tax-wise. The state has a pretty dismal record on solar promotion and subsidies.  I didn’t even know there was a program until I read about it in a California magazine!  The first couple of years, it appeared that most of the program’s budget was spent on office furniture and administration, leaving only a few slots for participants.  Then the rules were a bit too burdensome to make it worth the bother, in my opinion.  Maybe this has changed, in later times, but I went my own way.

The good news, though, is that there are some pretty good tax provisions to help out a Florida homeowner with solar power!

First, there is no sales tax on your solar hardware.  To enjoy this benefit, though, you need to deal with a solar dealer, like Sun Electronics, because other outlets may not know about or comply with the provision.  Case in point, you need a set of batteries.  If you go to your local Walmart or Sam’s Club, it sure is convenient to buy their heavy duty EGC2 batteries.  BUT, you can argue until you are blue in the face and they will charge you a core charge, disposal fee and sales tax, in addition to a higher unit cost.  You’ll end up spending at least 50 bucks more for each battery.  At that rate, you can order the Sun 230 batteries from Sun Electronics and have them trucked to your town and still save money.  The batteries are rated a little higher than the EGC2, as well.

Second, if you spend 10 grand to add a nice solar system to your house, the property appraiser, by law, cannot add 10 grand to your taxable property value.  Sweet.

For those of you in the other 49 states and various territories, you can check with your state’s official website for tax breaks and solar promotion programs.  You may find it easier to find the info by doing an internet search for websites that have listings of such things for all states.

Don’t forget to save your receipts and go for the Federal tax rebates, too!  The forms are pretty simple.

Neal

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