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Florida Solar Incentives
Updated September 20, 2012

Although Floridians rely heavily on their air conditioners, their average energy consumption per person is relatively low. They rank 45th out of 50 states in total energy consumption. Still, the Sunshine State is the 4th most populated state, and its population is expected to double by 2030. More people means more energy consumption, and with only 4% of the state’s energy being drawn from renewable energy, it’s high time for Florida to “go solar".

What types of solar incentives are available to Floridians?
While Florida does not have a state-run solar rebate program, major utility companies offer rebates, loans, net metering and performance-based programs that make up for it. Hopefully you're lucky enough to have a power company that offers solar incentives. And, there is always the 30% Federal Tax Credit that can be applied to equipment and installation costs of grid-tied and off-grid systems.

How does a utility rebate program work?
There are many types of solar rebates available, but the most common is an up front incentive. A utility company usually offers a "per watt" rebate rate. This rebate amount is multiplied by the wattage of the system in order to determine the total rebate.

Which utility companies and cities offer incentive programs in Florida and what are they?

Florida Power and Light - Solar Rebate Program
  • Residential solar power system owners can qualify for $2.00 per system watt.
  • Commercial solar power system owners qualify for $1.00 to 2.00 per DC watt for systems depending on the size.
  • Applications for 2013 have been reserved. Applications for 2014 will be made available October 2013. Look for updated information here.
  • Residential customers for 2013 will receive up to $20,000 in rebates, while Commercial customers will receive a maximum of $50,000.
  • Read more.
Gainesville Regional Utilities
Customers with solar power grid-tied systems will be reimbursed a rate per watt based on the amount of direct or diffused sunlight available at the PV system's location. :
  • Customers can apply for $1.50 per watt for a solar window of 85% or greater, or$1.15 per watt for a solar window of 70-84%.
  • Rebates are not available for solar windows lower than 70%.
  • A maximum amount of $7,500 will be awarded.
  • Rate per watt will be based on the Solar Pathfinder evaluation performed by a contractor.
  • GRU's also offers a Feed-in Tariff program. See right column.
  • The next round of applications is being accepted October 1, 2012.
  • Read more.

Gulf Power - Solar PV Program

  • Customers of Gulf Power can receive a $2 per watt incentive up to $10,000.
  • The application period for 2013 funding will begin on October 1, 2012.
  • Read more.

Progress Energy

  • Customers of Progress Energy can receive a $2 per watt rebate up to $20,000 to residential customers.
  • Systems should be between 2kW and 10kW in size.
  • Will begin accepting applications at 10 a.m. Oct. 1, 2012, for customers to apply for the 2013 rebates.
  • Read more.

Tampa Electric
  • Customers who install photovoltaic (PV) systems may receive a rebate of $2 per watt, with a maximum rebate of $20,000.
  • Commercial, Industrial and residential systems are eligible.
  • Rebates for 2012 have been exhausted. Applications for 2013 rebates are due at 10 am on October 1, 2012.
  • Read more.

Local Incentives

Net Metering
Investor-owned utilities are required to offer a net metering program for their customers. Net metering allows a customer to receive a credit on their bill for any power their solar power grid-tied systems generate. Call your power company to find out if you're eligible.


Solar Feed-in Tariffs
With Solar Feed-in Tariffs, a utility company will pay you a rate based on your solar power system's power output over a contracted amount of time -- from five to twenty years. There are two utility companies that offer solar feed-in tariffs in Florida:

Gainesville Regional Utilities
Their 2012 contracts are fully subscribed but will re-open for 2013. If their 2013 matches their 2012 program, GRU will:

  • Pay customers between $0.19 to $0.24 for each kwH your system generates. 2013 rates will be posted on this website.
  • Offer a twenty-year contract
  • Limit ground mounted solar power systems to 1000 kW in size and rooftop or pavement mounted systems to 300 kW.
  • Allow commercial or residential.
  • Inform you via their website when 2013 program details become available.
  • Read more.

Orlando Utilities Commission
OUC combines a Feed-in Tariff with a net metering program. OUC will:

  • Pay you $0.03 per kWh for the total amount of power generated by your system.
  • Offer a 5-year contract, which will automatically be renewed unless there is a written notice from either party.
  • Also credit you for any power your system generates but do not use at their full retail rate, also called net-metering. (Most net-metering program offer a lower rate.)
  • Read more.

Solar Loans and Leasing
We don't normally recommend loans because you'll end up paying more in the end. If you do decide to take one out, consider one with a low interest rate from your local bank or credit union. If you take out a 10-year loan at a 5 percent fixed interest rate on a $20,000 system, for example, you would be paying $8,500 more than if you bought it out right. If you bought that same system at 8 percent, you would be paying an additional $6,000 more for a total of $34,400. That's more than $14,000 over and above the cost of the system!

Solar specific loans in Florida are offered to residents of the City of Lauderhill and St. Lucie County. As far as utility companies, the City of Tallahassee Utilities and the Orland Utilities Commission offer low interest loans to their customers.

Leasing options are enticing because they offer you no money down with a monthly payment lower than your electric bill. Those monthly rates often go up, however, and leasing contracts are hard to break. Solar leasing companies often also take over any incentives that could be yours, including rebates and the 30% Federal Tax Credit.

State tax Incentives
Sales Tax: Floridians' purchases of solar power systems are exempt from sales tax. They just need to be sure the equipment they purchase is on the approved list for equipment.

Commercial tax credit: Commercial enterprises are eligible for a tax credit based on their energy production. Read more.

30% Federal Tax Credit
The 30% Federal Tax Credit will allow you to get a 30 percent tax credit on the installed cost of your off-grid or grid-tie solar power systems. If you combine this with additional rebates from your utility company and net- metering, you could be paying a lot less than you'd think.

Solar for Schools
Florida Progress offers 11 schools in their service area per year with fully installed solar photovoltaic systems annually. Read more. The application process is very competitive.

View our Gridtie and Offgrid Solar Power Systems, or contact one of our experienced sales technicians to find out more at 800 / 472-1142 or .

Resources

DSIRE Florida Listing of Incentives

30% Residential Federal Tax Credit

30% Corporate Tax Credit

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