Solar panels (PV) may be new to many property owners; it is very important for property owners considering solar technology to do due diligence to determine if solar is the best choice for them. The information below can help towards making an informed solar PV purchasing decision.

Florida Solar Laws 
Florida law forbids any entity- including homeowner associations- from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings. An association may require approval of a system installation, and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance or increasing the cost of a solar system.

A homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south. Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute: Title XI 163.04

Can Homeowners with Solar Panels Still Have Electricity When There is a Power Outage?
If you have Solar panels installed on your roof or property they will continue to generate electricity during power outages as they do every day because the panels still absorb sunlight and solar energy. However, you will not be able to use that energy to run your home during a power outage unless you also have a battery back-up system.

Should you look into roof replacement prior to going solar?
Before you install solar panels, consider having your roof evaluated to make sure it can withstand installation, especially if the roof is towards the end of its life. If your roof is between five and 10 years from needing replacement, it’s a good idea to get an expert out there to assess.

How much does solar panel removal cost if you need to replace your roof?
If you run into a roofing issue, and need to replace the roof post-installation, there will be labor costs associated with taking the panels off your roof and putting them back on.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to give specifics on the costs associated with this labor, as it can vary greatly. Installers will have different rates for their labor, and the cost can also vary based on the size of the system, how many panels will need to be removed, and whether you need a place to store the equipment.
If mounting hardware also needs to be removed in order to replace your roof, this will add onto the cost.

What is Net Metering?
In Florida, net metering rules were adopted in 2008. Net metering allows utility customers who connect approved, renewable generation systems – such as solar photovoltaic system – to the electric grid to sell electricity back to the utility company up to 2MW.
When customers generate electricity from their solar array for their home or business it may reduce the amount of energy they need to purchase from the utility and may lower their monthly electricity bills. If their system produces more energy than they need, the excess power is sold back to the grid. That amount of energy is deducted from their monthly bill or credited toward a future bill in the same calendar year.
To be eligible, a home or business owner needs to apply with the utility company and have their electric meter replaced with one that measures excess power supplied to the grid. Title XXVII 366.91