“From every way you look at it, it’s a great idea,” said Jonathan Sheintal, owner of The Downtowner, of his solar panels.
Sheintal helps provide affordable housing for residents at The Downtowner in the Rosemary District. He charges tenants about $100 a week and installed solar panels two years ago to save on electricity costs.
“My bill used to be $1,000 per month,” explained Sheintal. “Now its about $500 a month. I know $200 is roughly attributed to the solar panels.”
Businesses like The Downtowner would receive tax breaks over the next 20 years under a measure passed by the Florida legislature on Thursday. If signed into law, businesses that install solar panels would not have to pay additional property taxes from the increased value of adding the devices.
Damon Egglefield with Mirasol Fafco Solar has seen his business grow more than 30% since Floridians voted to approve Amendment Four in August 2016. In some cases, installing solar panels could completely wipe out a person’s electric bill.
“We’ve taken people completely down to zero,” explained Egglefield, President of Mirasol Fafco Solar. “It depends on their roof space and their budget really.”
Egglefield said business owners can receive a 30% tax credit by purchasing the solar panels. Sheintal experienced some of those savings in his tax returns, but in total, only a 10-percent return on his investment since installing those panels, metal roofing and a new air conditioning system.
“Maybe part of the reason i’m only seeing 10% is because I got the total package; I didn’t just get the solar,” explained Sheintal.
He may see a larger return in the future if he sells the rooming house, but for now, he’s more than satisfied with his investment.
“I’m happy. If i could do it again, I’d do it again.”
The bill heads to Governor Rick Scott for approval.