Solar is cheaper now than it has ever been before. However, it still requires a considerable upfront investment for the average homeowner in Florida. Luckily, many companies offer solar financing, which ensures residents of the Sunshine State can afford the transition to solar and begin enjoying savings on their energy bills. In this guide, we’ll offer an in-depth look at the solar financing options in Florida so that you can join the energy revolution.
Solar Financing in Florida
When it comes to solar financing in Florida, there are two main options—solar loans and leases. Each financing option has its own benefits and drawbacks.
A solar loan is just like a personal home improvement loan. Once you take the loan from the lender, you purchase the solar system and then begin making the monthly payments after a set period. Many solar loans come with zero-down financing and no payments for 60 days after installation is completed.
One of the benefits of using a solar loan is that you can qualify for the federal solar tax credit. This incentive is available only to homeowners who pay for their solar systems in cash or with a loan. With the federal solar tax credit, you can claim 30 percent of the total cost of your solar system as a tax credit.
Solar Leases & PPAs
With solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs), you do not incur any upfront costs. The developer will own the system on your roof, and you will submit a monthly payment to the owner in order to use the energy supplied by the solar panels. These monthly payments are usually lower than what your energy bill would be without solar.
With a solar lease, you’ll typically pay a flat fee every month to lease the solar system. In contrast, a PPA is more akin to an electricity bill. With a PPA, your monthly payment is based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy you consume. Although PPAs are popular in many states, they are currently prohibited in Florida.
The downside of using a solar lease or PPA is that you won’t own the solar system and won’t qualify for the federal solar tax credit or other solar incentives. So, if your goal is to get the highest return on investment for your residential solar system, paying in cash or with a solar loan might be the best options.
Best Solar Financing Companies in Florida
Now that you know about the financing options available, let’s take a look at some of the top solar financing companies in Florida.
Mosaic is one of the largest direct solar loan lenders in the United States. As of 2020, the company has provided solar loans for more than 100,000 homes. Mosaic offers loans via a network of solar contractors and installers.
Homeowners can get a loan of $10,000 to $100,000. The terms of the loan are typically 10 and 20 years. The interest rates vary, but in some cases, homeowners have access to rates as low as 2.49 percent. Mosaic has been known to approve loans for people with credit scores as low as 640.
Ygrene is a solar financing company that offers zero-down PACE loans with 100 percent financing for homeowners in Florida. Homeowners can qualify for grace periods of one year or longer depending on underwriting guidelines and approval.
Floridians will enjoy the benefits of a new solar system before they ever make the first payment. Thus far, the company has shelled out over $439 million in solar financing. They work with contractors in Florida to help homeowners in the state access solar financing.
GoodLeap offers solar loans to all 50 US states. The lender, formerly known as LoanPal, is a finance technology company that offers fixed interest loans for solar installations, including batteries. Besides solar, the company also covers other energy-efficient home upgrades such as smart thermostats.
With GoodLeap, solar loans are offered with terms of 7 to 25 years. APR rate can go as low as 1.99 percent, and the loan qualification is tied to one’s credit score. Homeowners with FICO scores of 600 to 649 can be approved for loans of up to $45,000, while those with a score of 650 to 699 can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing. Anyone with a credit score above 700 can qualify for a loan of up to $100,000.
LightStream is another solar financing company serving all 50 states. Although this lender won’t help you find a solar installer or provide any warranties, it does offer attractive solar loans with no fees, home equity loan requirements, or prepayment penalties. LightStream also provides a variety of other loans, including auto, boat, aircraft, and more.
Homeowners must have a credit score of 660 or higher to qualify for a solar home improvement loan at LightStream Financial. Loans range from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates range from 4.99% to 16.99%.
Property Assessment and Clean Energy lending programs are available to homeowners seeking to finance a solar system in Florida. Via PACE, homeowners can finance energy-efficient, clean energy, and windstorm upgrades regardless of their credit score.
The program comes with zero upfront costs, and the loan is attached to the property rather than the property owner. Payments are made via a special tax assessment that is added to your property tax bill each year. The term of this loan is based on the expected lifespan of the solar system; however, there is also the option to pay it in full at any time without penalty.
If a homeowner sells their home, the remaining balance of the assessment will stay with the property, and repayment obligations will be transferred to the new owner. This makes selling the home easy; however, be aware that some mortgage lenders may refuse to finance or refinance properties that have a PACE assessment.
Solar Panel Financing Options in Florida: Conclusion
When financing a solar system, many options are available to Florida homeowners. Although the terms and interest rates vary, any of the financing companies listed in this article will make it easy and affordable to invest in solar power.
At Lake Mary Solar, our experienced solar installer can help you choose a financing method that’s right for you. Get a quote today and schedule a home visit to find out how much money you could save with solar power.Get an Instant Quote