Jessica Lewis is the program manager for the Solar and Energy Loan Fund in St. Petersburg.
“So the solar co-op info session is this Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It’s going to be held at the Campbell Park Rec Center, which is at 601 14th Street S. Anyone who is interested in solar, anyone who is interested in energy efficiency should come to this session. Anyone from Pinellas County is welcome and even beyond Pinellas County, but the focus is Pinellas residents. If you want to learn about solar energy and if it might be right for your home. If you want to learn about what the options are, the technologies, what you can do to move toward solar energy, you should definitely come to this info session. It’s free. It’s for everybody. It’s just to come and learn about solar.”
For years the cost of solar had been going down. Have [President Donald] Trump’s tariffs affected the cost at all?
“They probably have — this is less my expertise. But from what I understand, the cost of solar panels is really only a relatively smaller portion of the total cost of a solar project. So, even if the cost of solar panels does go up some, it’s not going to significantly affect the overall cost of the project. It certainly will affect it. And of course any barrier to affordable solar is not great. But we do still think it is super affordable and it’s getting more affordable all the time here in Florida.”
The tax rebates might be going away, but for now there are some tax incentives for people who install solar.
“There are, yeah. There’s actually a 30% tax credit that’s available for solar.”