For the least 2 years I’ve been helping homeowners go solar all over Tampa Bay. One of the questions that I get all the time is:
“We’re in Florida, why don’t we all have solar yet?”
Here are some factors that are holding back solar in this state:
- People still think solar costs an arm and a leg. NOT true. Solar is cheaper than your monthly payment to the electric company. My bill went down $200 per month, the payment on my system (on a 4% loan) is $165 per month. I also got back a $7,000 tax rebate for getting a system on my home.
- Some folks think the ROI on solar is a million years. Again, the ROI (return on investment) for the solar array on my roof is just under 7 years. If you get a quote for a solar array and the payback is longer than 8 or 9 years you are being overcharged!
- What about my roof? Solar has been around since the 1980’s, if panels caused leaky roofs there would be NO solar industry. My company uses Iron Ridge roof brackets. These brackets are rated to 150mph CAT 5 hurricane winds.
- Plain old regressive thinking. Some people still own a flip phone, some folks like to churn their own butter. There is always resistance to new technology, even if using the old technology is more expensive.
- Some folks think the HOA will block solar. Not true, FL state law states that the HOA has NO SAY in whether you can put solar on your roof. This law is easy to find via Google, you do not need any clearance from your HOA to install solar, if they tell you otherwise they are breaking the law.
- We have a ton of renters in Tampa Bay. If the renter pays the electric bill the landlord has zero incentive to invest in solar. Landlords will spend the smallest amount to money to charge the highest amount of rent, so solar does not make sense.
- Credit challenges abound. The main financing option that I use requires clients to have a 700 credit score or higher. Many people are mired in debt, with a credit score below 700, and they have trouble getting financing for a system.
- Last but not least, a lack of long term thinking. Many people look at the monthly cost of solar and never think about the long term costs. If your TECO bill is $150 each month that’s $1800 per year and nearly $20,000 over the next decade when you factor in inflation and rate hikes.
Just as consumers were afraid to buy the Toyota Prius 15 years ago rooftop solar will become common place in the next 5 years. As more homeowners see solar going up in their subdivision they will talk to their neighbors and hopefully call me!
Ben Alexander / Sales Director for Tampa Bay Solar 813-391-3895