30% Federal Tax Credit
Under this legislation, commercial entities are entitled to receive a federal tax credit worth 30% for a qualified solar energy system. This applies to the installation of Solar Electric and/or Solar Hot Water systems. A commercial entity who installs a solar energy system can qualify for a federal tax credit worth 30% of the installed cost. If for example, you have a $40,000 system installed, your credit would be 30% of the system cost, or $12,000.
A tax credit offers significantly more financial savings to buyers than a tax deduction. A tax deduction is subtracted from the income before tax liability is computed. The tax credit is subtracted directly from the total tax liability. This means a tax credit offers more savings to the consumer than a tax deduction.
Net metering allows you to draw on utility power when it is needed and to sell power to the utility company when your solar electric system produces a surplus. Net metering legislation states that the utility company must credit you at retail rates (the same rate they would have charged you). Therefore, you will be credited for power fed back to the utility company from your solar power / photovoltaic system at the same kilowatt hour rate that the power company charges you. At the end of a twelve-month period your utility company will true up (reconcile) your power bill as to the amount of power you used vs. the amount of power you produced during this timeframe. If you used more power than you produced, you will owe a payment for the difference. If you produced more electricity than you used the utility will pay you for the excess amount.
Solar Energy System Sales Tax Exemption
Florida Law exempts solar energy systems and all components of such systems from sales and use tax. The term "solar energy system" means the equipment and requisite hardware that provide and are used for collecting, transferring, converting, storing, or using incidental solar energy for water heating, space heating and cooling, or other applications that would otherwise require the use of a conventional source of energy such as petroleum products, natural gas, manufactured gas, or electricity. This includes solar power / photovoltaic systems, solar water heaters, solar pool heaters and solar lighting.
A Solar Power System can usually qualify for accelerated depreciation tax advantages which can greatly reduce the overall system cost and increase your return on investment.