Florida is ranked third in the country for rooftop solar potential, yet we haven’t even broken the top 10 for solar capacity installed. Only 122 residential permits were issued for solar installations in unincorporated Miami-Dade County since 2014, where more than 1.3 million people reside. We can debate the many reasons for Florida’s lack of rooftop solar. But one reason that’s not debatable: A 9 kW system can run up to $27,000.
Enter FL SUN and the relentless energy of the League of Women Voters of Florida and Miami-Dade County. Together with other local organizations, like Earth Ethics Institute of Miami Dade College, the League is expanding access to solar by forming cooperatives (co-ops) which help homeowners learn about solar and save money on solar installation. Savings can be as much as 20 percent.
Add a 30 percent Federal Tax Credit and the savings are more like 50 percent. Drive an EV? Join a co-op and you’ll be charging your car for a penny a mile. Want return-on-investment? The Florida Solar Energy Center ran the numbers: it’s 14 percent. Add financing tools like the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, and the upfront costs for going solar could be zero.
Co-ops have been successfully implemented in Broward, Sarasota, Orange, Seminole, Space Coast and Alachua counties. In Miami-Dade, the goal is to facilitate the installation of at least 350 residential solar systems through the six cooperatives, for an estimated 3.2 MW of capacity. This translates into $8 million in local investments. That means in addition to the savings on your utility bill, new jobs are being created in Miami in the growing solar industry!
Want to go solar? Visit www.flsun.org to get information on a workshop. Join a co-op and save money on your electricity bill.
League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade