Guide to Going Solar with Tampa Electric (TECO) in Florida

Perched under the sun-soaked skies of Florida, it’s only fitting that West Central Florida not only attracts sunseekers to its pristine beaches but also homeowners looking to take advantage of its seemingly endless solar energy.  

Tampa Electric (TECO)1 provides service across approximately 2,000 square miles in West Central Florida, encompassing Hillsborough County and portions of Polk, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties, serving over 840,000 customers in these areas.

This is everything you need to know about TECO’s solar programs, including Sun Select, net metering, and solar installers in Tampa.

TECO’s Sun Select Program

Did you know that supplying 50% of your electricity use with solar can offset an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide as not driving your car for an entire year? It can also save you money. 

TECO’s Sun Select2 shared solar program offers a straightforward way to gain the advantages of renewable energy, even if installing a rooftop system isn’t feasible for you. Because Tampa Electric is responsible for constructing, owning, and upkeeping the panels, participating in shared solar doesn’t require any initial investment, maintenance concerns, or long-term obligations from the homeowner.

How is shared solar different from rooftop solar? With the Sun Select Program, your monthly Tampa Electric statement will show the solar portion you’ve subscribed to, which will be listed as a separate line item with a corresponding solar charge. Tampa Electric will then deduct the fuel charge for the portion of your bill attributed to solar energy.

It’s also flexible. No matter whether you rent or own, or if you’re planning to move in a few years, shared solar makes renewable energy accessible to all rather than just those who own their homes.  

How does it work? 

Purchase Locally Generated Solar Power

Whether you’re a residential or small business customer, the program allows you to buy solar power generated locally to cover 25%, 50%, or even 100% of your electricity consumption. 

Buy What Only What You Need

For business or commercial customers, the purchase is made in 1,000 kWh increments, allowing you to buy exactly what you need, no more, no less.

A Locked In Solar Rate

Participants in Sun Select benefit from securing a solar rate. Although this rate may be marginally higher, it compensates by eliminating the fuel charge for the portion of your electricity that comes from solar, offering a balanced approach to embracing clean energy.

TECO Net Metering

TECO does host a net metering program that is available to people who own or lease solar panels and have them installed on their rooftops or elsewhere on their property. 

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits homeowners for any surplus electricity produced by their solar systems that is not used by the homeowner.

If, during any month, a customer’s solar panels produce more electricity than what is consumed from the grid, the customer receives a credit on their following bill. Unlike other net metering programs, TECO’s program offers a credit for the full retail price of the surplus electricity generated. 

Net Metering Credit Rollover

In Florida, homeowners are not eligible to receive more credit for an amount of electricity exceeding their grid usage within a given month. However, additional credits can be carried over to the next month’s bill at the full retail price.

At the conclusion of each calendar year, any remaining credits will be compensated to the solar owner at a reduced rate, reflecting the utility’s wholesale energy cost.

Will You Save Money?

This program is meant for those that want to support clean, renewable energy without the commitment of solar panel installations. Unlike installing your own solar PV system, it will not add up to big savings over time. 

Based on usage, the program includes a small Sun Select solar charge that pays for building and maintaining the solar plant. In exchange, fuel charges are waived for the same portion of use. 

For example, a residential customer who participates will no longer incur a fuel charge of about 2.9 cents to 3.9 cents per kWh. Instead, they will be charged a fixed Sun Select solar charge of 6.3 cents per kWh.

This means a customer who opts to replace 100% of their electricity bill with solar from Sun Select will see an increase of about $1 per day. (Based on a 1,000 kWh/month bill.)

Who is Eligible?

TECO provides net metering to all its customers in compliance with the state legislation mandating it. 

Other Utilities Mandated by Florida’s Net Metering Law

TECO is not the only utility that offers a net metering program. Other Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) covered by the 2008 by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) 3 regulations include: 

Who Qualifies for TECO’s Solar Incentives?

Because TECO offers both shared solar and net metering programs, anyone who pays a utility bill with the company is eligible. While you don’t need to own your home or dwelling outright for the Sun Select Program, net metering programs will require you to purchase their solar system outright or own it through a solar loan.

For those interested in TECO’s solar incentives and wondering about the qualification criteria, it’s advisable to consult directly with TECO or refer to a local, qualified solar installer. 

Is Going Solar with TECO Worth It?

Going solar with Tampa Electric (TECO) can be a great opportunity – especially for those who want to support renewable energy efforts without the upfront costs of installation. While the Sun Select Program won’t save you money, over time, it does have the potential to save long-term fuel costs. 

In comparison, for those intending to remain in their current residence over the long haul, the TECO net metering program is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of long-term savings as well as a potential boost in property value (4.1% on average, according to Zillow).

Finding a Tampa Solar Installer

You’ll need a skilled local installer to take full advantage of Florida’s solar incentives. Freedom Solar PowerⓇ will manage the process for you. We are a full-service solar team with in-house experts across sales, design, permitting, installation, and customer care. We put you in control, but you don’t have to lift a finger.

Contact us today for a free consultation.