Orlando Solar Power Communities

Save on your Electric Bill


Orlando is right in the middle of sunny Florida. Orlando has about 250 days of sun per year! That’s why Orlando’s population is booming. It’s the perfect place to find Orlando solar power communities.



Solar power has been slow to take off due to the political agenda of the electric companies and the high cost of installation.



As a buyers agent, it my job to know where buyers can get solar power without breaking the bank. Buyers have options if they want to have small to close to $0 electric bill. Builders are building energy efficient homes with better, insulation, high engergy efficient AC, hot water, and windows, but adding solar takes it to another level of saving money from your electric bill.


Orlando Solar Power Communities



The best time to install solar panels is at the same time as building the home. It offers easier integration of wiring and roof panel placement. Orlando solar power communities are growing with two builders coming to the market just in 2016.



Meritage Homes is one of the most energy efficient builders in Central Florida, in 2016 they were offering solar panels as a standard feature. However, in 2017 they are no longer including it as a standard option, but buyers can elect it at design studio. It’s approximately, $13,000 for 6 Kilowatts (KW). Essentially, the more KW you have, the smaller your electrical bill will be. To get to “Net Zero Homes”, you may have to add more KW.



Innovation Homes, by Lennar, offer solar panels as standard part of every home, but it is leased. Buyers do have an option to purchase with different KW options. Storey Park in Lake Nona is the first community to offer this option, but they will be expanding to all their communities in Central Florida.



Shea homes has a few communities in Central Florida and was really one of the pioneers to build solar panels along with home. This is optional at Trilogy of Orlando, 55+ community, and most home owners opt to install the solar panel product called “SolarShea”.


How to analyze Solar Power in home purchase


You need to understand the basics as each builder offers a variation when electing to purchase in Orlando solar power communities.


  • Is the solar panels standard or they an upgrade? Standard means its included in the base price and upgrade means it additional expense to the base price.


  • Home many KW are are offered in the standard or upgrade? Most builders offer 2-6 KW, however, depending on the size of the home and energy usage you could add more.


  • Is the solar panel leased or purchased? This is important, because a straight out purchase could be 3x the cost of a lease. Whether its leased or purchased you will have a separate agreement with the solar company. Each builder has a different company they use Solar City, Sunstreet Solar, Sunpower, for example.


  • If financing, will the property appraise? The extra cost for solar panels, when not included in the home, could be anywhere from $10,000-15,000. There could be instances when an appraiser does not provide dollar for dollar value for this feature and the property appraises below purchase price. In those instances, you will need extra cash for closing.


  • Who takes the tax credit? There is 30% federal tax credit offered through 2021 for primary and second homes that own their solar panels.


  • Is it transferable? Whether leased or purchase, the solar panel agreement may or may not be transferrable.


Cost Benefit Analysis



If the solar panels, are not included in the base price of the home and you have to pay extra for it, it would be wise to do cost benefit analysis. For example, most leases are a 20 year term. So if you paid $10,000 for your KW. How long would it take to break even?



Let’s say the home is 2,000 square feet and normally the electric bill would be estimated at $2,400 per year (without solar). It would take just over 4 years to break even. So you would need to determine how long you will owning this home?



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