Ways to Save on Green Solutions

The Green Living Toolkit offers step-by-step tips on how to live green. In many cases, the solutions are free—you just make a small tweak to the way you do things. There are also many low-cost solutions that only require a quick trip to the home improvement store. Some of the solutions cost a lot up front but deliver significant savings in return. To assist in these investment level improvements, we’ve rounded up incentives, rebates, financing, and grant opportunities that can help reduce up-front costs, so you can enjoy even bigger savings into the future.

Energy Go Solar Give Your Home an Energy Tune-up
Food Reduce Waste, Then Compost Grow A Food Garden
Water Be A Catalyst for Clean Water Cut Water and Curb Pollution Save Water Indoors

Energy

Go Solar

Incentives

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

An income tax credit of 26% of the system installation cost, including labor, for systems installed by the end of 2022, or 22% if installed in 2023.

Sales Tax Exemption

No Florida sales tax is due on your purchase of solar. That’s a 7% savings!

Property Tax Exemption

Normally, when you build an addition or otherwise add value to your home, your property tax bill goes up. Not so with solar. Thanks to Florida’s Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property, your solar system will not result in any tax hikes.

Net Metering

FPL’s Net Metering program allows you to sell any excess solar energy you generate back to the grid. FPL solar customers receive a monthly credit on their electricity bill for unused solar electricity. Once a year, FPL pays homeowners for their net electricity credits, but at a lower rate than it charges for electricity, and credits cannot be carried over year to year. Be sure to read the fine print of their policy.

Increased Property Value

A recent analysis by Zillow found that homes with solar voltaic panels sold for an average of 4% more than comparable homes without solar panels.

Financing

Financing solar can make it more accessible for many homeowners but adds additional costs and risks that affect return on investment and are important to weigh. Just as with contractors, you should research multiple options for financing and make an informed choice. Considerations include interest rates, fees, years of financing, and risks in the event of late payment or default.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a tool for property owners to finance energy and hurricane improvements through assessments levied on their property tax bill. Like any financing, PACE is complicated and comes with risks, including the potential to lose a home due to lack of payment. Be sure to do your research to fully understand the terms, ensure you will be able to pay the full costs, and compare other financing options.

PACE FAQ

PACE FAQ Download

This pre-recorded webinar contains key information about PACE and other financing tools, and can help you make informed decisions about energy financing options.

PACE Webinar – Financing Energy and Hurricane Improvements in Your Home

Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)

SELF is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution that offers solar system loans.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Energy Program

The HomeStyle Energy Program is a mortgage option available when you purchase or refinance your home that allows borrowers to include clean energy upgrades up to 15% of the appraised property value of the home.

Banks and Lenders Offering Solar Loans

Some banks offer solar financing as part of a mortgage or refinancing loan, while others specialize in PACE or equipment loans.

Give Your Home an Energy Tune-up

Incentives & Rebates

Local, state, federal, and utility rebates and incentives may be available to help pay for some home energy improvements.

Financial Assistance and Financing

  • The Weatherization Assistance Program provides free energy assessments and retrofits valued up to $5,000 to residents facing financial hardship (less than 200 percent of poverty level). Funds are limited. For more information, contact Step Up Suncoast at 941-827-2887, ext. 7806.
  • The Office of Housing and Community Development currently offers an owner-occupied rehabilitation program for residents with financial hardship within Sarasota County, the City of Sarasota, and the City of North Port. The maximum assistance provided is $60,000 in the form of a zero percent interest loan that is deferred as long as the home is owner-occupied.
  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides federal money to the Salvation Army to make a payment directly to FPL on the customer’s behalf. Households with a minimum gross income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level may apply up to three times per year for assistance.
  • Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution that offers loans for home improvements such as high-efficiency A/C, hot water heaters, roofing, and weatherization and insulation.

Food

Reduce Waste, Then Compost

Discounts & Incentives

Water

Be A Catalyst for Clean Water

Neighborhood Grants

Cut Water and Curb Pollution

Rain Barrel Discounts

Rain from roofs can be collected via downspouts into rain barrels for watering plants. Rain barrels are made easy with these discounted kits.

Save Water Indoors

Toilet Replacement Rebate