Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource that can be converted to electricity. With Tampa’s abundant sunshine, solar energy is an excellent idea for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on utility bills. ConsumerAffairs researched the best solar energy companies in Tampa to help you go solar.
Tampa homeowners can reduce their energy bills and enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle by using the sun to power their homes. Whether you want to add solar panels to construction plans for a new home in a fast-growing neighborhood like Land O’Lakes, or you’re retrofitting a bungalow in Seminole Heights, you will be in good company in Florida. The state, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association:
Has almost 230,000 homes using solar power
Is in the top 10 for total solar capacity
Is home to about 450 companies working in the solar industry
Ranks second in solar growth projection over the next five years
Installing solar panels in Tampa, which go either on a roof or the ground, cost homeowners an average of about $15,000, depending on a number of factors, like how much power the panels can produce. This cost includes installation but not ongoing maintenance or finance charges. Keep in mind that Tampa residents who install solar panels qualify for the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which currently amounts to 30 percent of installation costs. Homes with solar panels also can have higher resale value and sell quicker, and Floridians get a property tax incentive.
Most solar panel installations are done on roofs because it is the easier and less expensive choice. But the roof must be strong and durable enough, so it is best to do any roof replacement or repair work before installation. Panels must slope at the right angle, usually between 15 and 40 degrees, and be facing a direction that will allow maximum exposure to sunlight, usually southward.
When looking for a solar energy company in Tampa, consider whether a business:
Is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
Offers a free in-home consultation to evaluate your property
Includes installation in the price
Has buying, leasing and loan options available
Offers monocrystalline and/or polycrystalline panels and explains the difference
Handles any permits necessary in Tampa and Florida
Includes a warranty and has an available maintenance plan
Before you transition to solar energy in Tampa, check your homeowners insurance to find out what kind of coverage it will provide for your solar panels. Under most policies, solar energy systems are protected.
Over 200,000 customers have used Sunrun to go solar during its 11 years in business. Solar programs include daily monitoring, free maintenance and repairs and guaranteed performance and insurance, all over a 20-year period. Sunrun has options to lease or purchase. Tampa homeowners can count on accessibility and responsiveness, as well as an immediate price quote.
SunPower installs advanced solar panels, provides financing options and values sustainable practices. In addition to solar panels and installation, the company provides energy monitoring software and a 25-year complete system warranty. SunPower serves Tampa homes and residences across the country and is used by businesses around the world. Customers appreciate the time SunPower takes to educate them about its products.
Vivint Solar can help with solar panel installation as well as complete residential energy efficiency. Tampa solar installation is included in the cost, flexible finance agreements are available and the company provides a 25-year warranty on products and service. Vivint Solar has over 130,00 customers, many of whom are fully satisfied.
Tampa Bay Solar
Serving Tampa and all of central Florida, Tampa Bay Solar sells solar panels and does its own installation. The company, founded by a former Navy SEAL, is family-owned and provides a free solar energy audit. Customers can get started with $0 down. Customers of Tampa Bay Solar say the staff is highly professional and the company is easy to work with.
Solar Advantage, based in Lutz, Florida, has installed the largest commercial solar power system in Hillsborough County and has worked with hundreds of homeowners in Florida. Its most common type of home installation produces about $200 worth of electricity per month. Free estimates are available. Customers say they highly recommend Solar Advantage based on their experiences.