Attention, Florida solar shoppers, you’re about to get a 50-percent-off solar sale. A popular solar incentive program in South Florida is being reinstated.
As part of a projected five-year pilot program promoted by the Florida Public Service Commission, utility company Florida Power & Light (FPL) launched a solar rebate program last June, offering $2 per watt of the electrical output of a solar panel system, up to $20,000.
Florida residents raced to sign up for the generous rebates, and the program quickly reached its limit for 525 photovoltaic (PV) systems.
FPL will make another $15.5 million available around the middle of October. The exact date has not been released. Before applying for the program, interested Floridians should have a solar contractor lined up, as well as information about the solar array.
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While the solar panel systems don’t need to be pre-purchased, the products do need to meet national testing and certifications standards. FPL will tentatively approve rebates before homeowners start installation.
Fort Lauderdale resident Tony Abbate was one of the lucky homeowners who applied for the June rebate in time. An architect as well as a professor at Florida Atlantic University, Abbate’s PV system cost $42,000. After he receives the FPL rebate and the federal 30-percent tax incentive, Abbate expects the final cost will fall between $16,000 and $19,000.
Abbate’s system will supply more than all of his home’s electrical needs. He will sell the excess energy back to the grid. Abbate should recoup his initial investment in 8 to 16 years.
While his 60-percent savings is certainly welcomed, Abbate cited a concern for the environment as his reason for going solar. “For me it’s a matter of principle, and I want to set an example,” he said. “I delight in the positive effect it might have on others and that they find it inspiring or motivating.”
FPL will also renew their incentive program for solar water heater systems, offering a flat $1,000 rebate. The program quickly hit its 825-unit limit in June. Solar water heaters typically cut a household water-heating costs up to 85 percent. The rebate applies to replacing either an electric or gas heater. Combining a solar water heater and PV system provides the greatest savings.
The specific number of solar water heaters and PV systems eligible to receive the next round of rebates has not been announced by FPL. The checklist of eligibility criteria, as well as the applications themselves, are on the Florida Power & Light website, so FPL customers can start working on the application, lining up solar contractors and start estimating savings.
Get ready, Florida solar shoppers. The money allocated for the June applications was gone within an hour!
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