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2006.07.11

Florida's Energy Act —
Applications for Solar Incentives Are Now Available

The Department of Environmental Protection has announced the availability of applications for rebates and tax credits for purchase and installation of new solar equipment. For homeowners who have watched their rising electricity bills in recent months, this is good news.

Floridians who have been considering installation of a solar water heating system can now receive a rebate of up to $500 after purchase and installation of the system on a residence ($100 for pool heating system).

Rebates on water heating systems on commercial properties will be calculated at $15 per 1000 Btu per day with a maximum $5000 rebate.

Also available are rebates for purchase and installation of photovoltaic systems for solar-generated electricity (Calculated at $4.00 per rated Watt). Rebates will be allowed at a maximum of $20,000 for residential installations, while systems on commercial property may qualify for up to $100,000 rebate.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has begun the process to develop the rules for Florida’s Energy Act and has published draft applications for the rebates; see below.

Draft application forms for incentives:

  • Solar Energy Systems Incentives Program Rebate Application*,
    DEP Form 62-16.900(3). pdf | doc
    FAQ - Solar [doc]

*Please note: The draft Solar Energy System Incentives Program Rebate Application Form will be accepted until the rule is adopted.

Rebate Applicants: Florida law (F.S. 377.705) requires that all solar energy systems sold in Florida are to be approved by the Florida Solar Energy Center. A rebate will not be provided for a solar energy system that lacks a Florida Solar Energy Center approval number.

Ask your contractor if the system you are buying has a Florida Solar Energy Center approval number. Include the number on your application with the system specifications.

  • Click here for approved solar hot water and pool heating systems.
  • Click here for approved photovoltaic systems.

The following applications may be used by qualifying Florida businesses for tax credits:

  • Renewable Energy Technologies Investment Tax Credit Program Application,
    DEP Form 62-16.900(4). pdf | doc
  • Renewable Energy Technologies Sales Tax Program Application,
    DEP Form 62-16.900(5). pdf | doc

Also available are application forms for grants to businesses and academic institutions conducting research and development in Renewable Energy Technologies:

  • Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program Application,
    DEP Form 62-16.900(1). pdf | doc
  • Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program Application for Bioenergy,
    DEP Form 62-16.900(2). pdf | doc

In order to ensure orderly and consistent implementation of new laws, the Florida Legislature has provided for state agencies to establish rules for implementation. The Legislature designated the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Revenue) to develop the rules for the implementation of Florida’s Energy Act.

The rule development for implementation of the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act (Florida’s Energy Act), passed during the 2006 Legislative Session, will create the new rule Chapter 62-16, Florida Administrative Code, relating to Florida’s Energy Act, Sections 377.801-377.806, Florida Statutes.

The proposed rule will provide for application requirements, provide for ranking of applications and administer the awarding of grants under the Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program. The proposed rule will also develop rebate applications and administer the issuance of rebates for the Solar Energy Systems Incentives Program. Additionally, it will implement the provisions of the corporate tax incentives provided for renewable energy technologies pursuant to Section 220.192, F.S.

Draft of Proposed Rule 62-16:
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/fla_energy/files/EnergyAct/DRAFT-PROPOSED-RULE-62-
16_06.29.06.pdf

The draft rule will provide effective guidelines until the final rule is adopted, following public input.

There will be two rule development workshops, open to the public:

First Workshop
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 9:00 a.m.
Place: Department of Environmental Protection, Bob Martinez Building, Room 609, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400.

Second Workshop
Date and Time: Friday, July 21, 2006 - 10:00 a.m.
Place: Herndon Library, Room #2, 4324 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803.

Pursuant to Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in either workshop is asked to advise the agency at least 48 hours before the workshop by calling Ms. Landa Korokous at (850) 245-8002. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Service by calling (800) 955-8771 (TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (Voice)

Contact:
Mr. Alexander Mack
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Energy Office
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 19
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
alexander.mack@dep.state.fl.us
(850) 245-8002

Additional Information:
Florida Energy Office
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/fla_energy/energyact.htm

Background:
The 2006 Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 888, creating the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act, and on June 19, 2006, Governor Jeb Bush signed it into law.

This comprehensive energy bill, known as Florida’s Energy Act, provides matching grants to stimulate economic development, designates Energy Efficient Week with a sales tax holiday on energy-efficient appliances and other products, and provides for rebates for purchase and installation of photovoltaic systems and solar thermal systems. It also establishes the Renewable Energy Technologies Grants program to provide matching grants for research, development, demonstration and commercialization projects relating to renewable energy technologies.

The bill also provides tax exemptions for equipment, machinery, and other materials for alternative energy technologies, creates a renewable energy technologies investment tax credit, and establishes tax credits to encourage development and expansion of facilities that produce renewable energy in Florida.

Further, Florida’s Energy Act establishes the nine-member Florida Energy Commission, directs the Public Service Commission to conduct a study on electrical power plant siting and adopt goals for increasing the use of Florida renewable energy resources. The sweeping Energy Act is a four-year, $100 million plan to diversify the state’s fuel supply and promote energy conservation and efficiency.