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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Florida

Solar Power in Florida

Florida is the sunshine state, so it makes sense that it's the perfect place for homeowners to get solar panels and save money, right? Well... mostly right.

You can save money by installing home solar in Florida, and your savings will last at least 25 years thanks to solar panel warranties that guarantee production long into the future, but if you look at the chart, there are states out there where folks can save more for every dollar they spend on solar.

The good news is solar still saves you money in Florida, and thanks to the federal solar tax credit, buying solar is cheaper than it's ever been. Read on to discover how much you can save with solar power in Florida!

Why are some cloudy states better? Good solar policy matters! Lawmakers and regulators in some states have passed laws that support your right to own solar panels and save money! Check out the solar policy section below for more info on your state's solar laws.

Florida Solar Report Card

For 2020, Florida earns a C for its solar incentves and policy. That's not bad, but it's not the best, and we'd like to see the state government do more to support people making the smart decision to add solar panels. Despite the middling grade, homeowners who install solar panels in Florida can see decent returns, with nearly $40,000 in net savings over time. And with the federal solar tax credit continuing to decrease in size next year, 2020 is a great time to choose solar panels for your home.

As the C grade indicates, the Florida government has a history of not really supporting solar for homeowners, even though FPL sure does love to build its giant utility scale solar farms. If you'd like to see more support for solar at the state level, contact a solar advocacy group like Vote Solar and learn how you can get involved in advocating for smart solar policy in the Sunshine State!

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Florida Solar Power Report Card

Every home is unique. Find out how much you can save with solar in Florida

Solar power installation cost, energy production and solar savings change from home to home. Therefore, generic information about solar panel installation cost and solar savings is of little use to homeowners considering solar. This is why we provide the estimator above because it takes all of the characteristics of your roof and location into account to provide you with a very accurate and personalized solar cost an savings estimate that is likely to be 95+% accurate.

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Are Solar Panels Worth it in Florida?

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The cost of NOT installing solar in Florida

The average homeowner in Florida is paying about $130 per month, or $1,560 per year for electricity right now. That money goes straight from your pocket to the utility company.

Just living in Florida for the next 25 years could cost you an estimated $60,762 for electricity. That might sound crazy, but it's true.

Florida actually has some of the least expensive electricity in the country on a per-kilowatt-hour basis. The problem with buying electricity in Florida is you need a lot of it to keep your appliances and especially your air conditioning running in all the heat. All that usage doesn't come for cheap, but solar panels can help you eliminate a lot of it, at a much lower cost over time.

The cost of your electricity over the next 25 years without solar:

*assumes average cost/kWh increase of 3.5% annually. Current cost is $0.12/kWh according to EIA data.


Don't believe us? Here's how it works:

  • $130 per month average bill * 12 months = $1,560
  • With average annual increases of 3.5%, year 2 cost is $1,614, year 3 is $1,670...
  • By 2044, we project your annual electric cost to be $3,561
  • Add up all 25 years' cost and you get $60,762

The savings possible with solar in Florida

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the 'biggest' financial returns. The reason we put 'biggest' in quotes here is because it's technically true. You'll see a net return of around $40,000 in 25 years if you pay up front. But it requires a significant up-front investment.

If you have equity in your home or good credit, you can get a solar loan or HELOC with an interest rate of 5% or less. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof. Read about loans below.

The cost of your electricity over the next 25 years with solar:

*assumes average cost/kWh increase of 3.5% annually. Current cost is $0.12/kWh according to EIA data.


Here's how you save with solar power:

  • The average 10.1-kW system costs about $28,785 to install
  • Then the savings begin. First, you earn a $7,484 Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • Over 25 years, your Florida solar panels will save you an estimated $61,261 on your electric bills
  • The total net savings from solar in Florida (bill savings and incentives minus up-front cost), is $39,960

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Go up to compare costs

Solar Loans in Florida

Should you consider a solar loan in Florida?

Rather than spend $28,785 of your savings to install solar, it might be wise to choose a solar loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Banks now recognize the savings potential of solar and offer favorable terms to help you get solar now and pay over time as you save.

In Florida, a solar loan is a smart decision, because even though the initial loan payment is a bit more than you've been paying for your electric bill, you can install solar for $0 down and take the federal solar tax credit based on the full cost of the system. That first-year windfallis a huge benefit, and your loan payments and bill savings over 15 years will just exceed its value by a little bit.

When you're finished paying off the loan in year 15, the real savings begin, adding up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Solar Loan
25-year energy costs

Before solar loan: $60,762
After solar loan: $31,653
Solar loan savings: $29,109

Here's how you save with a solar loan:

  • The average 10.1-kW system costs about $28,785 to install. That's how big your loan should be.
  • Your monthly electric bill savings will be about $140, but your loan payments will be $220, meaning you'll spend $80 per month on solar.
  • Then at the end of the first year, you earn a $7,484 Federal Solar Tax Credit, leaving you $6,526 ahead!
  • Your solar loan will be paid off after year 15, and then the real savings start! The total net savings after 25 years from an average solar loan in Florida (bill savings and incentives minus loan cost), is $29,109.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

Florida Solar Incentives and Policy

Use the buttons below to learn about the solar incentives available to homeowners in Florida, as well as the laws and regulations your state government has put in place to help you go solar.

Florida Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Florida:

Florida's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

Florida's Renewable Portfolio Standard

None Grade: F

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

An RPS would be critical to strong renewable energy policy in Florida. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities would aid your transition to lower electric bills and offer you incentives to put solar on your roof would be if the state forces them to. Without an RPS, utilities have little incentive to help homeowners go solar.

So what’s going on in Florida? All those people, all that money, and no statewide RPS? We’re not just disappointed; frankly, we’re shocked. Props to JEA (formerly Jacksonville Electric Authority) for voluntarily opting into an agreement with some environmental organizations to produce 7.5% of its power from clean, renewable sources by 2015. Really, we meant that – but 7.5% in one of the state’s smaller cities is just a drop in the bucket.

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards
Florida's Solar Carve-out grade

Florida's Solar carve-out and SRECs

None Grade: F

Along with a strong RPS, some of the best solar states also require a specific percentage of the electricity generated in the state to come from solar panels specifically. It’s been shown to spur immediate and widespread adoption of solar energy, but not here in Florida.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs
Florida's Electricity cost grade

Florida Electricity Prices

$0.12/kWh Grade: C

Florida pays an average of about 12 cents for a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. That’s a little more than a penny cheaper than the national average. Cheap electricity rates mean you’re probably not feeling too much of a strain in your pocketbook... yet. Just don’t forget why electricity is so cheap.

That’s right, fossil fuels. Lots and lots of non-renewable, greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels. When all those fossil fuels really start to bite us in the butt, or start to run low… or both… electricity rates are going to rise, and fast. When that happens you’re going to be really, really happy you switched early to all that efficient, clean solar power that will be in high demand.

In the meantime, solar power will still save you a chunk of change in Florida. We’ll go over just how much in a minute.

Find out why electricity prices matter
Florida's Net Metering grade

Florida Net Metering

Statewide with caveats Grade: B

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus. Florida’s Public Service Commission “PSC” set specific standards for net metering back in 2008. The PSC rules apply only to the state’s investor-owned utilities; the rules do not apply to electric cooperatives or municipal utilities. Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to offer net metering, but specific standards are not set by law.

Assuming you’re a customer of an investor-owned utility (most of us), any net excess generation (NEG), i.e. any surplus energy, is carried forward as a credit at the full retail rate to your next bill for up to 12 months. At the end of a 12-month billing period, the utility pays you for any remaining NEG at an avoided-cost rate.

Florida’s really making a late comeback here, because not only is that just about the perfect net metering law, it looks like you won’t have any problems getting on the grid. Unlike most states, Florida has no set capacity limit, i.e., you won’t get blocked from hooking up to the grid for net metering just because some of your neighbors have already done so. Your small residential system also lacks any of the possible hurdles and red tape that we’ve seen in other states. Now that’s more like it, Florida!

Learn more about net metering
Florida's Interconnection Standards grade

Florida Interconnection Rules

It's complicated Grade: D

Overall we gave Florida a mediocre grade on interconnection standards because of the requirements for a redundant external disconnect switch and the mandatory insurance requirements for larger solar systems. Don’t worry though! These problems shouldn’t apply to you and your single-home system. For all systems under 10kw, it should be smooth sailing to get connected to the grid and start raking in those net metering savings.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Florida Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Florida measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.
Florida's Solar Rebates grade

Florida Solar Rebates

City of Longwood: 10% of costs up to $500 Grade: D

OK. It’s official. This is a trend. Florida has no statewide solar rebate program, and the few patchwork fill-ins from individual utility companies have closed. The statewide rebate program you may have heard of, Florida’s Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program, is sadly no longer taking new applicants.

There is one place that still offers solar rebates in Florida. The city of Longwood. There, you can get up to 10% of the costs of installation back as a rebate from the city. Sounds good, right? Not so fast... the rebate has a maximum of $500, so it's not nothing, but... well... the good news is you can take the $500 each year they offer it, but only if you keep making energy efficiency improvements that meet the city's criteria. Go to the city's site to read more.

Learn more about solar rebates
Florida's Solar Tax Credits grade

Florida Solar Tax Credits

No State Income Tax Grade: C

Since Florida doesn’t have any income tax, there aren’t any solar tax credits to redeem! Fortunately, local organizations like this are forming to help people like you. This group combines the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association, the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; their goal is to highlight the benefits of solar and provide insight as to what can be changed to help this energy type thrive in the state of Florida. And hey, you still get the Federal government’s sweet 26% tax credit.

Learn more about state solar tax credits
Florida's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

Property Tax Exemption

100% Grade: A

Thank goodness Florida at least realizes that homes with solar are worth more than homes without, and the state has been willing to exempt that value from additional property taxes. Your home’s value increases as much as $20 for every 1 dollar of electricity you save in a year. Not paying taxes on that value is a sweet deal.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar
Florida's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Sales Tax Exemption

100% Grade: A

Florida gets another rare “A” here. Home solar panel systems are free from state sales tax, saving you 6% or more, right off the bat. Baby steps, Florida. Baby steps.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

The final word on Florida solar power incentives and policy

While Florida’s government hasn’t done a whole lot to help home solar power take off, there’s so much sunshine here it almost doesn’t matter. If you’re interested for solar panels for home use, Florida is a fine place for it. Just be wary of lease offers and stick with low-interest financing or a cash investment. Your panels will pay back their cost in a little over a decade and provide you with many years of free electricity after.

Meanwhile, you should contact your state representatives and ask them to pass an RPS law with protections for solar owners. If Florida had an RPS and a solar carve-out, we’d have a much more sunny outlook for home solar here.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, begin the process by using our data driven solar panel calculator. You’ll get a custom estimate of solar panel cost and savings based on how many panels can fit on your exact roof.

190 thoughts on “2020 Guide to Solar Panels in Florida | Incentives, Rebates, Tax Credits

  1. Avatar for Pat Pat says:

    I had an hbac system installed and fpl offered rebates . A friend who installs theses systems told me hbac companies just jack up the price because I’m getting the rebate. I’m bettin this is the case here too.

  2. Avatar for Pat Pat says:

    I have a home in Kissimmee and would like to install solar. I can put the panels in myself but need a structural engineer and a electrical contractor. That is what the state told me. Where can I get them. I have checked around and only found contractors who want to do the whole job.

  3. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    I like solar and took out a 25 year loan to add 39 solar panels, solar water heater, solar attic fan and pool heater. I’m finding it difficult to sell and transfer the loan. Is anyone interested in the system or the house:

  4. Avatar for Richard Richard says:

    Wow, I got a new solar system 17 panels and a inverter on my roof a 5kw system. We spent over twenty-one thousand dollars for it. We were told our electric bill would almost be nothing since the system would produce electric and we could even sell the excess back to electric co. Well this had this system since june. Guess how much money we saved for the month of Nov 2017 at $10.20 our bill was $181.56 We were LIED to. WE would like to tell every body in FLORIDA, DO NOT BUY A SOLAR SYSTEM to save money on your electric bill, because you will NOT.. What recourse do we have ?? NONE : this is a rip off and your should be come aware this new problem for us electric consumers. WE also had to install a production meter to see how much electric we were producing so they could up our electric bill !!! I thought we were supposed to help and go green. Could you help get to the bottom of this SOLAR SCAM !

    1. Avatar for Sergio Sergio says:

      Where do you live?

    2. That works out to $4.20 a watt. You were not only lied to but you were also ripped off. I’m in the business and I would have installed the same size system for $2.50 a watt ($12,500) before the federal tax credit. I would have also been honest on the offset numbers. The slim balls in the industry ruin it for the honest people.

      1. Avatar for Derrick Derrick says:

        David I think you prolly would have eaten the solar panels then lie about it

  5. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Regarding Rob Devoro’s comments on Peace River’s extreme anti-solar fee structure: is anyone aware of any legal action being taken against Peace River over this ridiculous and blatant attempt to discourage renewable power generation? Without the ability to reverse this policy, the only option I see is to up the ante and move to power storage (a la PowerWall) and eliminate all power consumption from Peace River…

  6. Avatar for Rob Devoro Rob Devoro says:

    In Central Florida——–> Starting November 1st, 2016: Any customer of Peace River Electric Coop who puts up solar panels has to sign a Solar Interconnection Agreement which now includes a penalty of $5.00 per kilowatt — (usually 11 or 14 cents per kW) — for every kilowatt of power that is used during and after 15 minutes of higher than usual power usage. This can easily turn into an additional $100-$150 dollars extra added to your bill per month, just because you put up solar panels or generated your own electricity using a renewable energy source. We are a captive customer base and we are being raked over the coals (literally, as much of the power comes from coal-fired power plants) paying 11 and 14 cents a kW; while FPL customers pay 6 cents a kW. Peace River Electric Coop not only refuses to provide an incentive for going solar…but is actively penalizing it’s customers who do.

  7. Avatar for Ian Ian says:

    Walter. You still looking for that answer? If you’re in South Florida I can explain how.


    Wondering how to get solar power installed. What financial assistance is available for low income families. We have 2 young children at home and I am forever disabled living on SSDI Social Security Disability Insurance. Our single family, one story home gets sunlight all day long with no shade and we really want to do this. Please help us to make this a reality soon

  9. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Florida’s legislation on renewable energy is lacking.

    1. Avatar for richard moore richard moore says:

      We have the best legislators money can buy.

      1. Avatar for richard moore richard moore says:

        Everyone complains about the lawmakers, but nobody comes up with a fix to make the system better. I have one. Every election, DO NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO IS CURRENTLY IN OFFICE. In other words, do not vote for any incumbents. If we elect new blood every election, these crooks will not have time to establish long term agreements with business. NEW MEAT EVERY ELECTION.

  10. Avatar for Andrew Andrew says:

    Jack I can help you with your solar, give me a ring 352 242 8471

  11. Avatar for Jack Jack says:

    Where do I get solar in Naples fl. I still have no idea who to hire.

  12. Avatar for George George says:

    Can we shame home owner insurance companies that are now starting to exclude all solar panels and gear? Ratings are now needed in each state as the Florida Farm Bureau is anti-green, removing all solar coverages at renewal time.

  13. Avatar for George George says:

    This is about our home owner insurance company that is excluding solar panel coverage on renewals? We paid for, permitted, installed and past county inspection on solar panel projects and now, after then fact, the home owner insurance company is showing their anti-green colors. The policy is written by Florida Farm Bureau. A nice goal would be to legislate the definition of the home structure to include roof mounted solar panels. My electric domestic water heater is all excluded now because it has a rooftop solar collector in the plumbing layout. What will they exclude next year — skylights, shingles, etc ! Can’t we inhibit a company from punishing green investment ??? In the overall Farm Bureau marketing they profess to being ‘green’ and care about the environment, and yet this comes down the pike.

  14. Avatar for Florida Solar Design Group Florida Solar Design Group says:

    The property tax exemption is only good for homeowners. Businesses are not exempt, but there is an initiative to get this resolved in 2016. Interconnections are easy in Florida with straightforward rules and accommodating utility companies. I don’t understand the D grade.

  15. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    This is a good analysis. What are the requirements for over 10kW?

  16. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me if building a home totally off-grid in an area that has no restrictions as to home type and size, would exempt one from having to pay the impact fee? From what I understand, one can’t ge electrict service without the fee being paid. But what if one doesn’t want electric service?

  17. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    What do you know about solar that uses refractory prisms in the cell? I posted this article because I couldnt find much on the subject. It’s good, but a little off topic.

  18. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Hi, Florida just updated their solar power rules you may want to investigate and update with the new Laws just signed into effect.

  19. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Or you could look at the date of his post (April of 2007) which would explain his pricing :)

  20. Avatar for D. Bartley D. Bartley says:

    Solar panels are now selling for $1 per watt (Canadian Solar ex. $300/300 watt panel), installation adds another dollar and inverters add another.

    I just received a quote in Ft Myers for $2.79/watt net system installed (FAFCO).

    The $9/watt price hasn’t been around since 2008. Florida Gulf Coast University paid $8.50/watt for 2 mega watts that year. The price has plummeted since then.

    I suspect some of the posts here are at the behest of FP&L since they are shaking in their shoes that their grip on the necks of consumers is slipping. Their business model as the majority supplier of our electricity no longer makes sense.

  21. Avatar for Sandra Kelly Sandra Kelly says:

    Hello Mr. Swanson,
    I would like a copy of your PP presentation as well. Thanks.

    1. Avatar for John A. Swanson John A. Swanson says:

      I have sent copies of the PowerPoint (or PDF if Powerpoint is to big to get through your email) to everyone who has sent me an email address. If I missed you, please send an email to [email protected] and I will attach a copy to my reply.

      I have also put this presentation on Facebook as an album. The Facebook name is “Residential Solar Power” and the address is
      On Facebook I have annotated each slide with additional text, similar to what I might say if I was giving a presentation of the material.
      I would appreciate feedback (“Likes”) if you find the Facebook format useful. Questions and comments are of course welcome.

      I also give suitable portions of this presentation to organizations at no charge. If you are in the central Florida area contact me to arrange a date.

      Rember, I am retired and believe in Solar Energy. I do not charge for my information/presentations.

      John Swanson

  22. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr.Swanson Would you please send me your PowerPoint presentation? Thank you kind Sir :} my e-mail is: [email protected]

  23. Avatar for York York says:

    Dear Mr Swanson,
    I am going to move from Germany to Florida and want to install a PV System on my roof.I would very much like to get your PowerPoint and get your contractor information.
    Thanks a lot
    my email: [email protected]

  24. Avatar for Michael Simon Michael Simon says:

    Interested in more info. I live in a condo development made up of 4 building quads, each with 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs apartments. I own mine. I am interested in pitching the condo board on the idea of going solar here, since the roof is considered their property.
    Thoughts/guides for me?

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Hi Michael,

      Give this form a go and someone will reach out to help you.

  25. Avatar for richard richard says:

    hi mr john swansom please email you power point to [email protected] have a second home in florida and would love to install solar pv as at home in the uk.

  26. Avatar for Ruth Shaw Ruth Shaw says:

    I really appreciate your comments and knowledge, Mr. Swanson. My husband and live in the Villages as well. Would you please email me that PowerPoint to [email protected].

  27. Avatar for John Swanson John Swanson says:

    Joe Ballew
    What you are looking at goes way beyond Net Metering, since you are not using any energy for the Solar to cmmpensate. You are looking to become an IPP (Independent Power Producer).
    The economics will depend entirely on yhat relationship you can establish with the local utility. I believe they would be requied to pay you at their “avoided cost” rate, which is a fraction of the residential rate.
    The utility might be interested in a higher level of support if you help them meet their renewable energy requirements.
    Bottom line: Set up an appointment with the Renewable Energy Coordinator at the local utility.
    John Swanson

    1. Avatar for Lou Lou says:

      Mr Swanson, Could you please send your powerpoint to [email protected]? We are headed back to our home in the Melbourne, FL area next fall (2013). Thank you!

  28. Avatar for joe ballew joe ballew says:

    Hi What i am woundering is if i was to buy a peice of land here in jacksonville fl, and put at least a 10000kwh system on this property. If i had nothing on this property but grid tie back system how much money would i be looking to make on something like this selling back to power company here?

  29. Avatar for Sunshinebound Sunshinebound says:

    I am so glad I found this site. It has a lot to offer for a newbie. Sunshine bound and solar all the way.

  30. Avatar for Tommy Tommy says:

    I received John Swanson’s Powerpoint above, it is Excellent and very detailed. I highly recommend asking John for it. His knowledge of Solar Power is impressive!

  31. Avatar for John Swanson John Swanson says:

    I have installed 10Kw on my house in The Villages, FL(I am now net 0), and installed 38.6KW on Temple Shalom in The Villages. I am getting these systems installed for $3.00 per watt, and the residential system gets the Federal Tax Credit of 30%. (Charitable contribution of 35% for the Temple.) When you crunch the numbers we retirees in the 35% tax bracket can show an after tax return equivalent to a 14% annuity (try getting one of those!).
    With the drastic drop in solar panels (under $1.20 per watt is standard), and I have seen as low at $0.90 (or sale prices as low as $0.72).
    We really do not need the state involved, and the Federal assist is good until the end of 2016. The time for Florida solar power has arrived.
    I also have a solar hot water system with two collectors and an 80 gal tank.
    All this equipment is instrumenteed (I am an engineer), so I have good performance numbers.
    All this information is available in a Powerpoint Presentation available on request. I can also give you contractor information if you want.
    John Swanson, Member: Nation Academy of Engineering [email protected]

  32. Avatar for Jamar Miller Jamar Miller says:

    Cant believe Florida isnt leading the WORLD in Solar panel/energy generation, with all the Sun Florida Gets. I have a house in Japan with Solar panels on it and It pays 100 percent of my electric bill and I am usually up 200 dollars a month after that. My house in Florida doesnt have anything, but I need/want to fix that asap.

  33. Avatar for Ellen Schindler Ellen Schindler says:

    If you want the Florida legislature to offer incentive programs for solar energy installation packages, you must elect representatives and a governor who promise to reinstate the program that nominally sunseted in June 2010.
    You may have noticed the majority of members of our current state legislature and the governor have very little interest in providing those incentives and some even state thay don’t “believe ” in global warming, as though that is a religion that tests a person’s belief system. We have elections coming up up this spring and fall and can vote out those would be representatives who do not understand the need for converting to solar power or are in the pockets of utility companies. It is up to us.

  34. Avatar for Carlton Myers Carlton Myers says:

    We are now in process of installing a solar panel array on our barn to provide power for the business and home. We just completed our solar hot water system. Now, we find the state has discontinued all incentive programs! My question is,”Why?” Do we no longer need to be conserving energy? Is Florida now saturated with home and small business solar installations and we no longer have a need for some assistance? I don’t think so. This is expensive stuff, and we could sure use some help!!
    THANKS FOR LISTENING [email protected]

  35. Avatar for Carlton Myers Carlton Myers says:

    We are now in process of installing a solar panel array on our barn to provide power for the business and home. We just completed our solar hot water system. Now, we find the state has discontinued all incentive programs! My question is,”Why?” Do we no longer need to be conserving energy? Is Florida now saturated with home and small business solar installations and we no longer have a need for some assistance? I don’t think so. This is expensive stuff, and we could sure use some help!!

  36. Avatar for stephen mcewen stephen mcewen says:

    i have posted before i am looking to form a group to file for our remaining rebates due by the state of florida in feel they have misapropriated federal money. contact [email protected]

  37. Avatar for Dave Dave says:

    I am waiting to hear about a class action lawsuit against the state. If anyone hears of anything, I hope you post it. 52% of the agreed upon rebate is not the aggreement I agreed too when I spent $39000 for a 5kw system. But what so they care, they don’t live in our world an if it is not money in their pockets, the state goverent does not care.

  38. Avatar for stephen mcewen stephen mcewen says:

    I just recieved about 52% of what i actually was sold by the state for 20,000.00. why my forms were the first few recieved by the state i feel the state still owes me the balance and interest on the funds paid and not paid. I would like to form a group to bring legal action against the state for misrepresentation and misapprpriation of federal funds.

  39. Avatar for Victoria Dieterle Victoria Dieterle says:

    I just got a check today for half the amount I was suppose to get. I am owed another $5000.00. I am concerned that if I cash this check I am accepting that this will be my only payment. Is anyone filing a class action lawsuit??

    1. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

      So the state doesn’t get paid by you the taxpayer? So, the “rebate” or more accurately, welfare check you pay to recieve wasn’t enough, so you will pay for a lawyer, then pay the state to hire a lawyer, so that you can force the state to force you to pay more to fund your own welfare? Have some pride welfare recipient. Pay for your own goods.

  40. Avatar for Mary Mary says:

    Check arrived today, October 11, 2011. Should I cash the check or hold out for rest of rebate. There is nothing in the letter or on the check that says “if cashed you are no longer entitled to remainder of rebate.”

  41. Avatar for P P says:

    The media is following this story. Just saw this on the nightly news the other night.

  42. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    I spoke with someone in authority at the Dept of Agriculture & this is the latest story; The State finally processed the money and they are saying the checks will equal about 52% of what you applied for. State approval means that the money can be obligated and released to the “printer” who physically prints the check. They said it’ll be about a week before you get it in the mail, i presume by certified mail. I almost believe them since the timing of the check release corresponds with the end of the fiscal year and that’s usually when extraordinary government money flows. We’ll see. Notice the media isn’t following this story.

  43. Avatar for Rick Rick says:


    Some Floridians who applied for solar energy rebates will get checks from the state this week.

    Each of the 8,800 approved applicants will get a check for 52 percent of their request.

  44. Avatar for Sherrie Slaboda Sherrie Slaboda says:

    I, too, applied for the rebate 12/2009 for a 5 Kw system. In april 2011 I received a letter requesting confirmation of my system. This had already been sent but I had it resent by FAX & by certified mail. As of today 10/1/11 I have heard nothing. Waiting, waiting. Oh, they gave me a number to call 850 487 3800. I’ll try the # Monday.

  45. Avatar for Colin Colin says:

    FPL just sent me a rebate check for the 2.76Kw I added. What a great deal – $2 a watt when solar panel prices are dropping to just over a $1.50 a watt. With Enphase micro inverters the price is finally getting “doable”.
    I also put 3.22Kw on before the Florida state rebate program sunset. I have to be honest and say that I did not expect to get any Florida rebate. Judging by the quick depletion of funds – and the wording of the offer :
    “the Governor’s Energy Office, will continue to accept and process applications until June 30, 2010, placing them on a waiting list in the event there are funding opportunities in the future.”
    So for me I am happy to get the percentage; may even use some of it to squeeze a few more panels up there. I am adding solar (I put thermal hot water on first) with the thought that I am paying for it all. The arguments for and against incentives, tax rebates, and the argument that any technology that is worthwhile should not require help from the government (although Oil, Coal, mining, and agriculture ALL get tax money in one form or another) is moot as far as I am concerned. In a few years the cost should be within reach of big box stores (I saw Solar hot water at Home Depot today), and I do not mind being an early adopter – this technology is what I like. My initial ROI was decades – as I get tax returns, FPL rebates, and now a percentage of Florida rebate, it goes down – I should be under 5 years when all the dust settles.
    My biggest return now is still watching the meter go backwards (it is digital – but the dashes switch direction) with the AC on! And I just ordered the Volt (lease – it is way too expensive, and way too early to buy it); so now I truly feel like I am sticking my finger in Hugo Chavez’s eye, and any other foreign country, greedy business men, or short sighted politician that keeps the US in a continuous deficit with imported oil.
    And I am not against domestic oil, gas, coal, pig poop – bring it all on because there is no reason we should not be taking advantage of every source available to create jobs and increase productivity. The more domestic resources we have, and the more of us that put solar up, drive EV – the more gas will fall in price. You may not see it for awhile, but watch the Saudi’s, Iran, Iraq, etc – scramble to lower the price when it does start. It will be like everyone got a weekly raise – better than a stimulus any day!
    If Florida ever gets into REC or SREC, or any similar plan I would add more, try to fit 10KW up there. Then ROI would be nothing, and you are looking at an investment. As it is though – I am not too worried about ROI, I truly do not feel like anyone owes me anything.

  46. Avatar for carol carol says:

    I have been waiting for a rebate for my 8-09 installed solar hot water heater too long. Money ran out. Then I called the wk. it was approved by state officials. Not yet, they say early spring. I call every 2-3 months and get the runaround. Oh, you are on the list and we have your account. You’ll receive it in the spring 11, then early summer, then fall. I am tired and have been too patient. I call 800-490-2659 or 474-9504. They answered last time. Governor Scott’s energy office. GAG! I am ready to act with whomever else is feeling more aggressive about retrieving a refund.
    Carol James

  47. Avatar for Sarah Sarah says:

    Anybody in the forum or reading this have any experience with teco (tampa electric) ?

  48. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    Wake up people. You’ve been scammed by the State. The a/c program that was paid off before all those who are still waiting was done to cover the misappropriated funds that were taken from us by the Christ Administration to fund a rebate program to help his re-election campaign. He was caught but many of those who were part of it are still in power. The news media neglected to cover this, those who are still in power still control it and want it to go away. My rebate has gone from 3 months to 6 months to next year, Spring, summer, Christmas, to 85%, 65%, 50% and now 45%. Are you noticing a pattern here? Senator Nelson is an empty shell. He makes an empty speech, an empty policy statement, with an empty smile. If he gave a damn about the federal funds that are being used to cover state employee butts he’d hold their feet to the fire, demand accountability and get us our money. He won’t, he’s no better than the thieves in the State House who stole our money. When you get a chance, take a look at the new programs being offered by the utility companies. They are identical to the one we were tricked into believing in. Same program, different address, same results…a huge bureaucracy that stays in business by finding reasons to under fund the program, encourage people to join and withhold funds from the public who qualify. Don’t support Florida solar it is loaded with untrustworthy people who do not act in the public interest.
    From one who learned the hard way.

  49. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    Wake up people. You’ve been scammed by the State. The a/c program that was paid off before all those who are still waiting was done to cover the misappropriated funds that were taken from us by the Christ Administration to fund a rebate program to help his re-election campaign. He was caught but many of those who were part of it are still in power. The news media neglected to cover this, those who are still in power still control it and want it to go away. My rebate has gone from 3 months to 6 months to next year, to 85%, 65%, 50% and now 45%. Are you noticing a pattern here? Senator Nelson is an empty shell. He makes an empty speech, an empty policy statement, with an empty smile. If he gave a damn about the federal funds that are being used to cover state employee butts he’d hold their feet to the fire, demand accountability and get us our money. He won’t, he’s no better than the thieves in the State House who stole our money. When you get a chance, take a look at the new programs being offered by the utility companies. They are identical to the one we were tricked into believing in. Same program, different address, same results…a huge bureaucracy that stays in business by finding reasons to under fund the program, encourage people to join and withhold funds from the public who qualify. Don’t support Florida solar it is loaded with untrustworthy people who do not act in the public interest.
    From one who learned the hard way.

  50. Avatar for JAMES T MARIANI JAMES T MARIANI says:

    All of us on the solar waiting list somehow became “orphans” of the state’s energy programs. All of the other solar rebates were processed as promised and all applicants previous to us received their rebate in full. While we waited on the list, the state offered a new appliance rebate program. 17 million dollars went out to those who bought new energy star appliances. All of them were paid in full. The HVAC rebate program started soon after that, ended abruplty, but those who were on the list received their rebate as promised. Now some still sit on this solar waiting list expecting 1/2 of the original amount promised.

  51. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    As a side note Senator Nelson has been very supportive of our case and has written me twice stating his position. I’m sure without his nudging the Energy Office would have ignored my calls.

    I have just emailed his office with details of the lasted fiasco

  52. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    I’m in. That HVAC payout was really annoying. Their last little scam of saying we needed to submit interconnect statements by the 15th of Aug or we don’t qualify is also an attempt to defraud us. It didn’t work as Progress energy re-sent the forms the next day! They apparently already had sent the form when the State first requested them back in April.

    Now they are saying, after Bill Nelson contacted them and made them call me, I should only expect 45% of what they owe. I’m pissed!

  53. Avatar for Mary Mary says:

    Got a call from Florida Energy office that my rebate had been approved. They were going to pay 50% of rebate and I should have the check by Christmas 2011. I applied late August 2009.

  54. Avatar for Bill D. Bill D. says:

    I am one of 13,000 consumers in Florida who HAS NOT BEEN PAID the Solar rebate of $20,000 by the FEC, YES they infact commited FRAUD! Florida received $126 Million from the recovery act April 2010, to be used for GREEN ENERGY, THAT gave them the FUNDS to pay the $54 Million they owed for Rebates. The Federal Government Audited the state and found MIS-USE, MIS- ALLOCATION of funds.(OAS-RA-10-12 Audit) They have since allocated $31Million for Energy rebates at emergency session NOVEMBER 16/17th 2010. That left a short fall of $23 Million. They CHANGED the florida statute at that session to read ,they would pay all HVAC rebates FIRST, and pay the LEFTOVERS (SOLAR) the remainder (ABOUT HALF)of the $20,000 rebates and (THE REST WILL DISAPPEAR)They have paid the HVAC rebates $1500)in full 100%! The original statute (377.806) said FIRST COME FIRST SERVE! I would like to start a class action suit against the state, if you feel the same ,please Email me at [email protected]! There are 13,000 of us, that should be enough to get it done! Thank You!

  55. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    To Pstreicher,
    The issue of shade savings from roof mounted solar panels is negligible. Almost all roof venting in Florida homes is grossly inefficient to relieve the 160-180 degree heat build up of a typical Florida attic in summer. Thus, even if you shade 1/2 of the roof area, the heat build up from other areas will quickly fill the space until it vents…ineffectively to the outside. The only exception is if your home is completely shaded by a tree. I put reflective shingles on my roof(a 30% heat reduction) prior to the panel installation and increased the ventilation by 1500%(an estimated 20-25% heat reduction) and I added a 25 watt solar powered roof vent(another supposed 30% heat reduction) that turns on at 85 degrees. I must admit the garage is much cooler in the summer. Adding the caulking, LED lighting, smart switches, double pane vinyl replacement windows, 18.5 seer heat pump, high efficiency pool pump & solar hot water heater…my last bill was $43, half of which was fees. My average bill was $275/mth. I saved $232 and paid the Bank $334 in interest on the home equity line of credit I used to fiance all the improvements. Net cost(not savings) of converting to solar was $102 for the month of April. A low consumption month. I feel like in order to save the whales I have to kill the seals. The country is going broke, our various levels of government are moving to austerity meaning bare essentials not rebate programs and the Florida government likes the feel of money they haven’t had to distribute to a select group of people who have been vilified by the Legislature through the media as “greedy rich people”. Apparently this includes me. Makes me want to give back my next disability check and go on welfare so I can get a raise. My advise is if you don’t have the cash in hand, don’t buy it. The ROI is not what the salesmen promise and the State of Florida’s agenda does not include your best interest. Good luck.

  56. Avatar for William McNeely William McNeely says:

    I installed a 4kw solar pv system on my home in Ft. Pierce Florida last summer after signing a net metering agreement with FPUA but 4 days later they pulled my meter – installed a digital and now pay 4 cents per kw & charge me 12 cents for night electric consumpsion. I have spoken up at meetings and recieved some good press but nothing is changing. Any ideas??? [email protected]

  57. Avatar for Solman17 Solman17 says:

    Billy, I feel your pain. Some of the cooperatives that are part of the Touchstone group in Alabama do not have net metering or have something they claim is net metering which is not. Why do they drag their feet when solar helps all members of the cooperative. They give a lot of excuses. None of them are well thought out or rationale. Start calling and writing them to protest. Write the public service commission. Cut your electricity usage to the bone and install all gas appliances and go solar with a battery backup system. The coops use your money to lobby against the Clean Air Act and pro nuclear. Who needs them?

  58. Avatar for Joe Joe says:

    I think a flood of e-mails to all the Senators, reprenentatives and committee chairman would be in order. Is there a complete listing of all email addresses for all these people – the interest level with our government on the solar rebate program has to be revived.

  59. Avatar for Billy Fuller Billy Fuller says:

    well I have Read all of the post on here about florida,s Rebate money comeing late, But Folks cheer up it could Be worse, you could be like us up here in south alabama we dont have anything we dont pay for and it dont seem like we are going to get anything ,But we are trying to get something going ,these co-op,s Realy suck ,s But solar Realy works ,——-Bill

  60. Avatar for Solman17 Solman17 says:

    Latest I got from Governor’s office was that it would be late fall or winter before payments due to problems encountered with a few of the applications. Since the remaining proceeds are to be fairly prorated to all applicants the application approval must be complete before making the final calculations. I now understand the rebate will be closer to 50-60%. That is still enough to make the ROI favorable. If it is not a windfall profit we can be content to get a small return and still have our solar panels saving us money. Last month I sold 465 kwh excess to the utility company. My bill was $0.75. Not bad.

  61. Avatar for Pstreicher Pstreicher says:

    I’m glad to have found this forum on solar energy. I am so interested in doing this but I have some serious calculations to look at. Yes, we’ve seen all the calulations no what 25 years can do. But, what about the added benefit of the solar panels shielding the house from the sun and thus saving on electric for air conditioning here in Florida? Has anyone figured that in? I’ve not seen it anywhere. I would think that this would move more people to make the investment if proof were given to show the ROI would be years less. Anyone care to give it a try?

  62. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    That they have changed their story again is very worrying… the explanation given me was that they had to deal with the HVAC rebates first so the correct amounts could be calculated. The lady insisted they had to have it all done by the end of the financial year which is rapidly approaching.

    I will call again this week.


  63. Avatar for Richard Richard says:

    Thanks for the post Gary. I just called the energy office yesterday and got a different response. I missed the payout by 8 weeks since my application was approved in august 2009. They told me that checks would be cut in late summer or early fall and would be about half of what is owed. I am owed about $40K for two 5KW PV solar systems. Here is my concern.

    The statue of limitation on a lawsuit is 2 years. If they wait until august 2011 and pay me half then I may not be able to sue for the other half. Since rebates are to be paid in the order received if funds are available then I should get the full amount. Since approximately $30 million was available at the time of my approved application then myself along with everyone from about June 2009 to January 2010 would deplete the remaining funds. The rest of the applications from about Feb 2010 to June 2010 would then be out of money.

    What I did not understand is why they held on to the money that the federal gov gave them. They got about $78 million but kept $30 million of it. Why the delay. Then I got some hope when a decision was to be made in nov 2010. The word out was rebates would be paid in jan 2011 at beginning of year but spread out across all waiting with only half the payout. Then after calling again in january 2011 the story changed to march or april 2011. Now another call and the date has moved to late summer or early fall and only after they looked up my approved application date.

    So beware. The state may be waiting for the 2 year statue so lawsuits can not be accepted. I hope I am wrong but I can not see how the state could win if they clearly made the statement “refunds would be paid in the order received if funds are available”. No one would have installed a solar PV system without a rebate coming. The state of Florida is rapidly lossing trust to it’s residences. How can we believe anything they offer in the future.

  64. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    So I called the Governors office today and seems like fairly good news. The lady told me that many of the HVAC rebates were denied and that money goes back in the pot to pay the outstanding solar rebates. I was expecting about half of the $20500 they owe me, but I was told I would get a total of $19,200 as my prorated amount ( $18700 for PV and $500 for water … very happy about that) She also said checks must be sent before the end of the financial year June 30th or there would be a tonne of paperwork for them.

    Of course I don’t actually have a check yet, but the best news so far.

    It seems they might want to do a new program of some sort, which would be difficult to premote if they don’t make good on the last one.


  65. Avatar for Solman17 Solman17 says:


    Please share what you find out about the ETA of the checks. The rebate program has been part of an evolutionary process to give our country a large portion of our energy portfolio from clean, renewable energy. If you follow the development of solar around the world you will see that other countries have worked through similar problems, but the results have been very good. In Europe now there is more energy coming from solar than from dirty coal. Over there, solar provides almost 20% of electrical energy, and solar has been so successful in meeting their energy needs and creating jobs that they are now pushing for nearly 100% by 2050. China also has huge growth in solar. Some of us in Florida have had to be patient and make sacrifices. Yet, most of us did not go into solar strictly to make a dollar. Yes, the rebate program was made hastily and did not incorporate things learned from the European experience which was certainly not perfect either. Those of us who have the privilege to be watching our meters turning backwards will not begrudge the lucky ones that got the full rebate. As a cautious buyer I was fully aware the state program could run out of money and made my plans accordingly. As it turns out we all are getting a generous 30% federal tax credit for our purchases. Our energy costs are fixed while others will soon be facing higher costs as expensive nuclear plants are built and natural gas prices recover their higher price. I never expected a windfall profit out of the state rebate even if I did get one, but if we keep in mind that our ROI investment over the 25-30 year life of the system is still better than most CDs available now then we should be content that we could help lead the way for renewable energy in our state and still get a modest return. For those complaining that the taxpayers should not be paying for solar tax credits and rebates we should remember that if all energy sources have subsidies dropped and have to pay for the environmental damages they cause for us, our children and future generations then solar, the clean energy direct from the sun is always the best deal.

  66. Avatar for JP JP says:

    @SolarSanity – Agree. Government should subsidized the manufactures like it does coal, gas, and utilities. In this manner the subsidies would be hidden (like in the mentioned industries) and idiots like you would be quiet.

  67. Avatar for Gary Gary says:

    my application was recieved by the state on 10/22/2009…. i’ve seen nada!

    I talked to them in January 2011 and was told the HVAC rebates had to be paid first, PV rebates(partial payment) would go out by March… I’m going to call again this week as March is here but the check isn’t

  68. Avatar for Dinkar B. Koppikar Dinkar B. Koppikar says:

    I should say that Florida Solar power rebate program is a fraud. I put 8.6 kw system on my roof in January 2010 and put in my application for rebate on March 16, 2010. I am still waiting for rebate check. I believe these programs are manipulated in such a way that only certain favored persons get fat rebate checks and the rest only false assurances. Don’t tell me lies. I am not going to be fooled.

  69. Avatar for SolarSanity SolarSanity says:

    When the cost of a solar system gets affordable without government rebates, then it makes sense. Florida and the Feds should cut it out! That money is coming from the pockets of the taxpayers, not from some “daddy” in the government. These types of programs are why governments all across the country are fiscally unsound.

  70. Avatar for P P says:

    In response to “Brian”, I wouldn’t say the state is blameless. IMO, they could have done more to warn people. I was just trying to clear up that they never guaranteed it and they were up front about it. I wasn’t “condemning” people either. I just didn’t think it was right for some people to condemn the state for rebates it never guaranteed. T

    It’s not the state’s fault that over zealous sale people oversold the rebate on high hopes.

    I would blame the state for a poorly implemented rebate system though. IMO, either you guarantee all the rebates no matter how many, or you make sure that you can process the rebates as they come in ASAP and if necesary terminate the program early, or you have a pre rebate signup to get your funds allocated.

    As for politicians, since when can anybody ever trust what a politician says? Making a financial decision based on something a politician promises is again, just a gamble they’ll keep their word. As for corruption, etc, well, not going to go there. Times change. The economy changed. Politicians flip flop all the time and I’m sure they’d argue that the ecomony just forced the hand and they had to make different decisions.

  71. Avatar for patrick patrick says:

    Well, I may be able to share a ray of hope and say that is my understanding that new funds have been approved as of November 2010 to fund the solar rebate program! Yea! Checks are due to be written between ‘spring and late fall.’ lol We will see, lets keep our fingers crossed. I got this information from the office of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos. Not everybody on the list will be able to be paid. I filed my rebate January 2009 and so, i’m fairly high on the list. I don’t know how much money has been allocated, i’m glad for any information that anybody has.
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information, contact
    Nov. 16, 2010 Bruce Kershner 407-339-2010

    Solar industries group praises rebate program funding

    Lawmakers acted swiftly in reducing consumer backlog

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s leading solar energy industry group today praised lawmakers for
    reinstating payments to consumers who purchased solar energy equipment under a popular statewide
    rebate program.

    In these difficult economic times, lawmakers voted to use federal stimulus funding to provide rebates to
    commercial and residential consumers who purchased energy-efficient air conditioning units and solar
    panels under Florida energy incentive programs. For more than a year, thousands of hard-working
    Floridians have been waiting for solar rebates promised to them before the popular program ran out of

    The Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) applauded leaders of the House and Senate for
    including the rebates on their list of priority items during Tuesday’s special session. Lawmakers voted to
    reinstate funding just hours after they were sworn into office.

    “We applaud Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon for recognizing the
    importance of these rebates to thousands of Florida consumers,’’ said Bruce Kershner, executive
    director of FlaSEIA.

    “The approach taken by the Legislature spreads limited resources across a wider number of consumers,”
    Kershner said.

    FlaSEIA is the leading voice for contractors, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that provide solar
    water heating and solar electric systems for tens of thousands of consumers across the state.

    FlaSEIA remains concerned that consumers are properly informed of the savings and benefits of
    purchasing and installing solar energy equipment. FlaSEIA encourages consumers to check its website
    ( to obtain a list of properly licensed contractors, manufacturers, distributors, and
    retailers who meet the high ethical standards required of its members.

  72. Avatar for patrick patrick says:

    Well, I may be able to share a ray of hope and say that is my understanding that new funds have been approved as of November 2010 to fund the solar rebate program! Yea! Checks are due to be written between ‘spring and late fall.’ lol We will see, lets keep our fingers crossed. I got this information from the office of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos. Not everybody on the list will be able to be paid. I filed my rebate January 2009 and so, i’m fairly high on the list. I don’t know how much money has been allocated, i’m glad for any information that anybody has.

  73. Avatar for Derek Derek says:

    ^ I am with allthatwhichis. I was searching and found the Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program that has no more available funding, which is very misleading.

    I am starting up a photovoltaic system for running live sound reinforcement system for festivals, parades. Looking for local/government incentives in Tallahassee/FL area. Speaker system runs 2-5kW, looking to spend $20-40k (provided sufficient funding)

    Any suggestions on available resources? Thanks to all for compiling this helpful information


  74. Avatar for allthatwhichis allthatwhichis says:


    Should the information on the big rebates available in Florida be removed since there is no more money available? Or at lest updated so those of us a bit behind on things don’t have to read every comment from 2007 to 2009 to find this out. Got my hopes up for a good hour…

    Have a sunny day!


  75. Avatar for Brian Brian says:

    In response to “P” who finds the state blameless in the rebate debacle, you are correct that there was no “guarantee” of a rebate. But those of us who expected honesty and integrity from our elected officials were hoodwinked. The salesmen weren’t the only ones giving us (false) assurances. They were confidant of the rebate because there were representatives elected based on this very topic. It was to be a top priority with several members of congress who then voted NOT to fund the program. Instead, they diverted what funds were available to fund projects by huge energy companies like FP&L. That is, in my book corruption.
    Before you condemn those of us who put our faith in the system, do a little background research on the topic.

  76. Avatar for christine christine says:

    I am an American living in a third world country. I have been an expat for several years, helping others. All of you people who are worried about air conditioning and pool heaters- it is really quite sickening especially since the USA greedily consumes more than half of the entire earth’s resources while there are poor people here starving with no where to live. INSTALL SOLAR ENERGY NOW- fossil fuel will not be available. Trust me on this because I have been to many countries without the “First World American Blinders” on…I know the reality outside the USA. We are PAST the time for clean energy. Don’t you think the USA has exploited enough people in order to have their luxury lifestyle??? Believe it or not, there are people who have never had air conditioning, or a heated pool- or electricity for that matter. You people have the responsibility to just suck it up and pay whatever the cost is to get clean energy and stop exploitation of other nations! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  77. Avatar for Pat Pat says:

    For a 2 4×8 panel, 120 gallon hot water system, a solar telemarketting firm initially wanted $10k!!!! Another local installer wanted to install a closed loop german system for $12k!!! Telemarketting firm finally came down to $7.5k.

    Finally found somebody that would install a 2 panel 120 gallon hot water system for $6k. The parts alone run just under $4k.

    Depending on how far you mount your panels from your tank, you might also need a few hundred in copper (mine were far away). Then there are different quality controllers, goldline (no display), or what I got, stecca (with a display). Two people “should” be able to install in about a day. Beware solar hot water installers that try to sell you plastic panels built for heating pools. The ones for heating home water are much heavier and made of copper.

    One note for florida residents south of ocala with open loop systems in mild freeze zones, beware freeze damage!!! Lots of systems are installed very poorly, no freeze valves, freeze recirculation feature off (or they’re using a solar pv pump), copper lines not insulated, temp probe installed poorly or on wrong side etc. Watch out!!! Everybody says these systems can withstand mild freezes but that’s only when PROPERLY installed. And even then, watch out!!! These panels can freeze and burst!!!

    I almost went solar pv. I was quoted 25k for a 5kw system. But I decided to wait since I didn’t think the FL money was going to come through.

  78. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    Oh, to answer some previous posts, I live in Florida, 10 people installed my system in 1 day, 4 watched including the electrician & a potential buyer, Solar hot water is set high and loses its heat at a rate just less than 2 degrees per hour, thus 160 at 7 pm is about 140-146 by 7 am the next day and you will definitely know if it was cloudy the day before. Hospital heating pads are set at 105 to prevent skin damage, Scalding occurs at 140. It takes the back-up about an hour to reheat a tank instead of 10-15 minutes. Why? 40-60 gallon tank with 2 4500watt elements are now 80 gallons with 1 4500watt element. Hope this is helpful.

  79. Avatar for Tim Blodgett Tim Blodgett says:

    Well, I’ve had my 5K system for a year. Here’s a summary. 5K PV system, solar world 230 panels & solaris inverter($43K), solar hot water($5K) set to 160 back-up 120, Dual pane vinyl low-e replacement windows($5k), 1800 sq ft house, reflective life-time shingles to roof($13k), 18.5 SEER heat pump ($5K),Capacitor box(doesn’t really appear to do anything but act as a surge suppressor)($300.00) Add zone heating ($1.8K), 25watt roof vent +additional venting($650.00), converting all lighting to LED. Home equity loan $68K @ 6.25%. After rebates I’m paying $333/month in interest. FL State owes $20.5K not paid as of 1/19/11. Previous usage 2000-2100kw/month avg, $275/mth progress energy average. Now: PV generates 8100kw/year. 2000kw goes back to progress energy annually in Febuary under net metering, I expect a check or credit for less than $275. Monthly bills from $10-110/month. $30-50 in summer, $60-127 in winter, less in fall. My lowest energy bill cost less than the fees and taxes. If you add it all together I’m paying more for interest than I was for energy per year. About a couple hundred bucks. I doubt I will break even in 9 years as I was sold on by the sales people. My effort is the envy of the neighborhood, but being on a fixed income I’d trade it all for an honest politician. You want to help the solar industry? Write your politicians and tell them to allow home owners to fund a system with their 401k or IRA without a tax penalty. Then things will happen. And regulate the price guaging installers. A 5k PV system should cost about $23K not 43k like I paid. A hot water system about $4.5-6k for 1-2 panels or 1-2 80 gallon tanks.

  80. Avatar for Robert Brill Robert Brill says:

    They say misery loves company but I believe its time to up the game. I put out almost 39,000.00 for my solar panels and water heater panel. I would not have done this if not for the State of Florida’s written contractual agreement to pay back what they promised. I want to find a high profile lawyer who would handle a class action suit against the State of Florida ,Ex-govenor Crist and whoever else is responsible for making promises they can’t keep and getting thousands of people to go out on a limb in good faith. Its time for the state to be responsible like they expect us to be.

  81. Avatar for JP JP says:

    Thank you P; I have read that new water tanks are much better insulated; but I could not believe thay would keep the water hot for over 10 hours.

    With regards to the installation. This is really a deal breaker; the systems are really coming down in price; but the installation is really high. And to qualify for rebates/credits, it needs to be done by a certified installer. Something is out of whack.

  82. Avatar for P P says:

    I can’t help explain solar pv installation costs. $140/hr seems way high though. IMO, Solar PV is the last option. I’d foam my attic before going PV.

    As for the solar hot water question, the answer is that the water is still hot in the tank. You’d be amazed how well insulated those tanks are and how long they store heat. I have a solar hot water heater and believe me, that water is still hot the next morning. AND with the electric breaker off to the backup element! Now in the winter months, I have turned the backup element back on as cloudy/rainy days don’t allow the panels to heat up that much. I’m in central FL, today it’s sunny, it’s 50 out right now, and the controller is telling me the panels are already up to 100. In the summer, even on cloudy days, I was still getting a lot of heat out of the panels.

  83. Avatar for JP JP says:

    For the past 3 days, I have thrown myself into learning as much as I could about solar with the hopes of making the jump.

    Here are what I’ve learned and I am confused:

    I found a website that analyzed a 4KW grid-tied installation in NY. It used equipment (complete kits) from claiming $2-$3 per Watt (total of $14,063). Installation was assumed at 35 man hours at $140/hr; or $4900. All these numbers are BEFORE any rebate and tax credit.

    I visited, and sizing a system for my home (5KW – 5.5KW), it came up with two systems (kits) in the $3-$3.36 per Watt range, totaling between $16,900 to $18,000. Now imagine my excitement when I found out FL was refunding $4 per Watt!! I had to breathe in a paper bag. That made the system FREE!!!! (of course, then I read about the program being dead and/or not funded)

    Now, to the installation cost. What I read in this site, does not match what I posted in my previous paragraph. IF the installation takes 35 hours; and the going rate in NY is ~$140/hr (what a specialist in the medical field makes); how in the world could be the same or more in FL? Can someone explain?

    Finally, I have natural gas water heating in my home. But out of curiosity; how can solar water heating work (in FL or anywhere else for that matter) when the sun goes down at 8PM, and I take a shower 10 hours later at 6AM? Don’t solar water heaters work when most homes are not using hot water?

    Thank you, and great site

  84. Avatar for deepsea driller deepsea driller says:

    Hello All, great site!…Next week I am installing a 4.6 Kw monocrystaline panel grid tie-in system. Total cost for all components is juat at $16,000 for a DYI as myself in Rhode Island. with Fed rebate the price drops 30%…As one of the contributors wrote..”I don’t ask about the payback of my flat panel TV” I am of the same mind set. I say it’s a nice high being energy effiecient!
    FYI;I own a small subsea wellcontrol oilfield engineering firm I am of teh opinion that oil and gas will not get cheaper in the future.

  85. Avatar for P P says:

    Abner – Does your current water heater have an energy usage chart on it about the estimated yearly cost? If so, look at that, adjust for your current electric rate, divide by 12, and that’s a good starting point.

    But ultimately it depends on how many people are showering and when they shower, morning or evening. If most shower in the evening, then the backup element will be working away at night to heat the water back up and you might not see the most in savings. That’s how we are. So I just turned off the backup heater breaker. I’m in Central FL, and the electric heater element has been off for the past 8 months and we’ve had super hot water (hotter than before). Only in the past few weeks have I had to turn the backup element on.

    I’m thinking of putting a 220v timer on the backup element circuit so that it only runs in the afternoon if the water isn’t hot enough by then.

  86. Avatar for Abner Abner says:

    This may be to late. I hope not. I am having a solar hot water heater system put in today (11/23/2010).
    The cost is $6500 installed. I was told on a $170 monthly bill I would see a drop of $70 a month. Yet I keep on reading that this may not be real.
    Pls help

  87. Avatar for manny manny says:

    watch out for scams in sarasota solar business!

  88. Avatar for Mark Mark says:

    I live in Orlando. I’m now just starting my research on Solar Power for my home. does anyone have a site that can give me information for someone local to install a system on my house that won’t rip me off?

  89. Avatar for Mary Mary says:

    I live in Pensacola and the costs for a complete turn key system here is around $5$6 per watt depending on size. Thats the complete cost installed by a solar contractor. No hidden costs. If your paying $9 8 or $7 you are being ripped.

  90. Avatar for Asenath Asenath says:

    Are you for real? “Wanna”? I thought this was a legitimate site!

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Yes, we are a legitimate site Asenath, why you wanna hate on us just for using language which actually comes out of people’s mouths?

  91. Avatar for J J says:

    For those wondering about a solar water heater vrs a on-demand water heater (tankless is a misnomer here), there’s no reason you can’t pair the two. Have a solar water heater tank feed into the on-demand system, and it will reduce the cost of the on-demand system, because it will not have to work as hard to heat already warmed water.

    This is why I prefer to use on-demand instead of tankless for naming such systems; tankless makes you think you can’t have a tank feeding it!

  92. Avatar for Greg Parker Greg Parker says:

    Hi i do not know why solar cost so much the material cost about $4 bucks a watt they want $9 bucks a watt installed. 4x 5000 watts = 20.000 9x5000watts= 45.000 thats 25.000 to install sounds like too much to me

  93. Avatar for Colin B Mckinney Colin B Mckinney says:

    Colin. If you scroll all the way to the top you will see my post after I put in Thermal water heater. Prices have dropped A LOT since then. I know I have paid for the water heater by now. I just put in 3.22 Kw voltaic, the website I put together ( was to share anything I could to help others do the same.

    Installed prices seem to be around $8 per watt; I performed the installation myself – except for the Master electrician – for $3.9 per watt. Still will take some time to recoup, but that is not why I put in solar (or the thermal water heater 3 years ago for that matter). Almost 100% of the people that ask about my solar install ask how long the payback is. I ask them how many years before the income from their flat screen TV, in-ground swimming pool, or boat pays for it!

    The permit was probably the hardest – as there was not a lot of information on what was needed, and some confusion that the FSEC needed to approve my design. I put all the documents I eventually turned in on my site. Permit is important – as utility will not put a meter in without it.

    Frankly, I did this myself because I could not afford to do it otherwise. If cost is the only thing holding you up, look into doing it yourself – you then become the contractor, and you sub-contract out any parts you are not comfortable with. Master electrician is a requirement, but a roofer may be needed as well.

    Remember – components are tax free, tax refund is 30% of total cost, power generated EVERY month will add up. And, we do not know if REC, feed-in-tariffs, or state funding may come in the future. If you are on this site – you want to do it – it WILL pay for itself eventually anyway, and when you drive around in your Leaf, Volt, or other EV and you are asked how much it cost to run – say “nothing, I have a filling station on my roof!”

  94. Avatar for P P says:

    To those of you waiting on your FL rebate, I do hope you get it. But at the same time, you should have been more careful in your decision making. I too “almost” took the plunge and got an expensive solar pv package. BUT, I read the fine print. The state was being upfront in that the rebate was NOT guaranteed. They never promised the rebate or guaranteed it. They’ve never promised or guaranteed refunding. It was on their website for all to see. I did my research. By last September, it was already evident that the program was very popular and running out of money. Personally, I think the pv rebate was a bit “too” generous. I could easily tell back then, I would be gambling on the rebate. I based my decision making and pay back period on no rebate getting fulfilled and just 30% off the total amount. I wonder how many people that are still on the hook for the rebate never bothered to check with the state and simply took their solar “salesman” for their word. Every single solar company I called regarding the rebate was not completely honest regarding the rebate. Only when I pressed hard, did they admit that the rebate was not guaranteed. But none offered that info upfront. Some even did terrible tax math. The federal tax credit is on the amount AFTER you discount the florida rebate. ALL OF THEM, every single one, was confident in their belief that more funding would be supplied and to not worry. Who knows, maybe more funding will be supplied. But will enough funding be supplied to take care of every single last person on the list?

    For those of you that truly understood and knew the rebate was not guaranteed and went ahead anyways, you knowingly gambled. Only time will tell if you win or loose. You didn’t do anything. The state has NOT done anything wrong either.

    For those of you that did NOT know, you need to learn that unfortunately you can never trust salespeople and you need to research stuff yourself.

    I wish the best to all of you, and good luck!

  95. Avatar for Burkhard Klein Burkhard Klein says:

    In regards to the Florida Solar Rebate I would like to express my disappointment in the lack of funding at this time. These Rebates were heavily advertised in the state by the state and companies that install renewable energy systems. In the name of job growth, future investment in renewable energy sources, independence from oil, be it from the President, or Governor, this program was intended to do good and to entice to the inhabitants of the Sunshine State to use their sunshine for a better environment.

    Lack of attention and quick action of the legislature will halt any movement in the preservation, kill the jobs that were created and unfairly disadvantage individuals and entities that were invited to invest in renewable energy and are waiting now for rebate funding since the end of 2009. Realizing that the State and Country are fighting a debt crisis (as well as all its citizens), a promise is a promise and it is unfair to reap the benefit by starting something and then let it die senselessly.

    My family has invested $45,000 in renewable energy in 2009 and beginning of 2010, has applied for rebates, and been placed on a long waiting list that is lacking any evidence that funding will be made available in the future. Maybe it’s time to move out of Florida and find a place where people do what they say. I will be contacting the legislature to get feedback on this issue and guarantee that many Floridians that are trying to do the right thing are with me on this. LETS ORGANIZE AND CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN THIS MATTER

  96. Avatar for Jonathan Lee Jonathan Lee says:

    Glen and the rest, I am in the same boat. I have a $20,000 rebate that I am waiting on. We need to write to our legislators to get them to act. Floridians need to be able to trust their government, especially when we are making large investments to protect our future. If you go to there is a group that has broken down the state rebate by Senator/Representative. They have mailed out letters to each congressman on our behalf. check it out and sign up, there’s strength in numbers! If Floridians lose trust in our government with this rebate program, and all the solar contractors leave the state or find other jobs, there is little hope for solar for Florida in the near future. We need to act now and call for a special session (there is talk of this already) or some other form of action to fund the backlog and move the program forward.

  97. Avatar for Glen Parker Glen Parker says:

    I’m another Floridian who installed a system in May 2009 on the belief that a rebate was available. I’m on the hook for almost $40,000. My rebate is Approved, but with no funds in 2010, and nothing apparent on the horizon, I’m not sure what to do. Write your representatives and let them know of the lurch you are in.

    For now, DO NOT buy solar in Florida expecting a rebate. If anyone tells you about a Florida rebate in 2010, they are wrong.

  98. Avatar for Ken Ken says:

    FLORIDA IS NOT PAYING THE $500 REBATE. I put may solar Hot Water system in last November. I just call the Governers office and they said the program ran out of money and it is not a “garrunteed rebate”. I had to pry it of of him that I wasn’t going to get paid. I will never trust the State again

  99. Avatar for Larry Larry says:

    I put solar panels on my roof last year only to find that when I filed with the state the rebate fund was empty and has not been funded in the 2010 budget. If the state does not put funds back into the program I am on the hook for over $34k instead of the $6k I was told to plan on. I understand I have company, about 7,000 other Floridians who went green, believed what they were told, filed within the stated time frame for the rebate and now are in the same boat I am. Now what?

  100. Avatar for Kathy Hersh Kathy Hersh says:

    I heard recently of a program in California which rents the solar panels and maintains them and the customers pay the rent as part of their monthly bill. Even with the rent added, the payments are lower because of the energy savings. How can we make this happen in Florida?

  101. Avatar for Alvie Alvie says:

    I live here in Fl and i would love to have solar in my home. But my problem is that i’m a 100% disabled vet. I dont have any taxes to pay so the 30% tax credit dose not help me.Why dont they come up with something that will help the disabled. It sure would help.. thsnks

  102. Avatar for Carl Carl says:

    What additional alternative energy activities is the state of Florida considering besides solar energy? I sent some time at an Atlatic Ocean beach recently and was amazed at the amount of energy being provided by the winds and the tides. Needless to say, none of the energy was being used except by a few para surfers using the winds to give them entertainment and exercise. I really feel that we need to be proactive and use these super natural resources that are currently not being used. Only an opinion, I am not an engineer, but I am sure the amount of wind and tidal energy lost at Ormond Beach could provide energy could provide electricty for many of the homes and businesses in the area. Please write, call, email, text city and state officials representing coastal Florida cities and towns to utilize theses unused natural resources.

  103. Avatar for Tom Tom says:

    Will Florida ever get a similar program to the state of New Jersey from the federal government called SREC’s. They are Solar Renewable Energy Certificates.

  104. Avatar for Mr Mrs Mr Mrs says:

    What BS this program was. Thanks for nothing.

  105. Avatar for Rachel Rachel says:

    We were told that it is highly unlikely tht we’ll get our rebate at this time. Where are all the lawyers who got PV? I challenge all you lawyers to take on Tallahassee and the monopolized utility companies that are paying lobbyists to influence Florida legislature. Florida could thrive with solar power as well as a state-based solar manufacturing industry. Of course this would cut into utility company profits. Someone with legal know-how needs to step up to the plate and organize a good campaign.

  106. Avatar for shellie shellie says:

    brain, how long have you been waiting? my rebate was approved in jun 2009

  107. Avatar for Brian Brian says:

    To all concerned, I just now spoke with Hannah in the Governor’s office. She informed me that there would be NO FURTHER rebates granted unless more funding became available. No further funding is anticipated at this time. Anyone whose application has been waiting (as has mine)in the queue for funding are out of luck! Write your legislators NOW!

  108. Avatar for don don says:

    dear paul, how do you know? don

  109. Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    Please update this page to reflect the current situation in Florida, as of 4/30/2010. Not only are there no funds available moving forward in the current program, the State Rebate program altogether will cease to exist on 7/1/2010. People who were expecting to receive PV rebate money from the State of Florida totaling over $25 million will not receive the promised funding.

  110. Avatar for Vicky Vicky says:

    How do I apply for the $500 rebate from the State of Florida for the installation of a solar hot water heater? Please advise.

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Vicky, signup for a free quote and you will get a buzz. Their quote will incorporate any available rebates and they will apply for them for you or help you apply for them.

  111. Avatar for M M says:

    Florida House Senate passed a bill called PACE

    It allows each city to pass bonds to support solar energy. As much as I want to see incentives for solar energy I’m afraid that this economy will stifle funding for future rebate incentives. I really don’t want to see Florida bankrupt by giving away money we don’t have!
    Think about it, if your friends, sons or daughters asks for money you don’t have except using your credit cards to finance whatever, and you don’t have enough revenue from your job to replenish the bank, you go bankrupt.
    Our State legislators need to pass RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) this will bring in investors to build solar farming and REC’s would be worth lots of mullah! Florida then could tax the REC’s thus having additional revenue. Municipalities could install solar farms and benefit from PPA’s and REC’s thus saving and making money. But we have the Energy logiest who don’t want revenue taken away from their constituents. Greed!

  112. Avatar for Zubin Zubin says:

    How do we handle the tax basis of the system cost if we finance the project in partnership with the local utility?

    35% was payable by customer to the contractor upon installation.

    65% was financed through a partnership offered by the local utility wtih loan repayment over 48 months.

    we installed mid year and made 6 loan payments, totaling about 8% of the total cost.

    Should our system cost per tax return be the full 100%, or just the cash basis of 43% as what was paid during 2009?

    If the latter then do we treat the residual payments as if it was a carryover or a subsequent investment in years 2 and 3?

    Thank you,
    A confused Residential Customer

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      This is a unique situation, Zubin. I really think the only way to get an answer is to ask guidance from your utility. You shouldn’t be the only one asking this question.

  113. Avatar for Tom Atwood Tom Atwood says:

    Seven Months to get this answer!!!

    Dear Mr. Atwood:

    Thank you for contacting Governor Charlie Crist. The Governor appreciates your thoughts regarding the Solar Energy System Incentives Program and asked that the Governor’s Energy Office respond.

    Recently, Governor Crist recommended that $10 million be appropriated to the Solar Energy System Incentives Program, in his proposal for Florida’s budget for 2010-2011 fiscal year. Solar energy will play a critical role in the State’s increasingly diverse energy portfolio and Governor Crist remains committed to growing Florida’s market for renewable energy.

    By way of background, the Solar Rebate Program is very popular and successful. Due to the large volume of rebate applications, the state has exhausted the available funding. Solar energy system rebates are issued by the Commission pursuant to Sections 377-801-377.806, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 27N-1, Florida Administrative Code, contingent upon an annual appropriation by the Legislature of the State of Florida for the specific purpose of funding solar rebates. The Commission, in accordance with direction from the Governor and/or Legislature, shall be the final determiner of the availability of any funds. Rebates can only be issued if funding is available, and the requirements of Sections 377-801-377.806, Florida Statutes and Chapter 27N-1, Florida Administrative Code, are met. The Solar Energy Systems Incentives Program is slated to sunset in FY2010 (See, Section 377.806, Florida Statute). The State will continue to accept applications until June 30, 2010 and place them on a waiting list in the event that additional funding becomes available.

    Additionally as a concerned citizen, you have the opportunity to influence legislation by contacting your local legislative delegation. If you do not know who your senator or representative is, you can access that information at

    Thank you again for contacting Governor Crist. The people of Florida play an integral and vital role in achieving the state’s energy goals. For more information on Florida’s energy programs please visit


    Governor’s Energy Office
    From: Tom Atwood [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:46 AM
    To: Energy
    Subject: Solar Rebates
    Importance: High

    With all the new green incentives in place and the climate as it is in Florida which is perfect for Solar!.
    We have started a Solar Business,, Solar Independence LLC.

    We only use Master Electricians with years of experience and a wealth of information on installs.

    But we have ran into a snag with customers and all the publicity about the state being out of
    money to fund the rebate program for residential customers. Potential customers have become
    just that “Potential Customers” because they are worried that if they install a system they will
    never get the rebates.

    Should this be a concern and how do we approach this? Will the rebate program be funded for
    the future?

    Here is an excerpt from your page.

    Current Backlog of Processed Solar Rebate Applications, as of January 29, 2009: $7.3 million

    The State of Florida submitted an application for the SEP on May 12, 2009, to the U.S. Department of Energy.
    This application included an appropriation of $5 million for the Solar Rebate Program and has been approved.
    In addition, the State submitted an application on June 25, 2009 for the EECBG.
    This application included an appropriation of $9.4 million for the Solar Rebate Program.”

    If customers do install a system and present an application before the end date of the program will they
    get their rebate?

    We appreciate your time and effort for a response that we can give to our customer.

    Thank You,

    Solar Independence LLC
    Free Power For Your Future!

  114. Avatar for Margaret Margaret says:

    I am wanting to install solar power to my private home. I’ve been told that there are so many grants out there. Where are they?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hey, Margaret,

      There is a Federal 30% tax credit available. In Florida, there are also rebates, but these run out of funding… and then get refunded. You need to check with a local installer whether there is funding again. You can also check this website, as they keep track of it more consistently than we do. Don’t know about any grants, but if there are any, that same website will tell you about it.

      Hope that helps.

  115. Avatar for Dale Dale says:

    I am trying to determine the official Florida state regulations for net metering. Most of our customers are located in the Central Florida Electric COOP serving area. CFEC buys electricity from solar producers at their wholesale rates and sells to all customers at the higher retail rates. I have recently read that the state required ALL electric companies to buy and sell from PV Solar customers/producers at the same rate (effective in July, 2009.) Can you help me clear this up for our customers (including my own home)?

  116. Avatar for Alan Alan says:

    I have installed solar water system and a 4.8kw system here in Florida with the plans of the rebate from the state. Who would we get in contact to see when the money is approved?

  117. Avatar for norm Grajek norm Grajek says:

    when will florida funds be available for solar residence use ! ????

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Norm, if we were political sages, we would be much more respected. Alas, we are simply solar geeks, and we cannot predict when the Florida legislator will gather its golden solar incentive eggs and lay them down for residents again. They are apparently focusing more on large scale utilities. Please yell at your legislator and governor. The greasy wheel…

      Sorry we can’t be more help.

  118. Avatar for kim cox kim cox says:

    I have been trying to find our about my rebate for my solar water but am not able to find it…could you please send me the site

    1. Avatar for Dave Llorens Dave Llorens says:

      Kim, if it’s not here check it may be there, more clunky… but thorough

  119. Avatar for Cristine Cristine says:

    I just checked the FL site. No rebate money is left as of today 1/25/10. Maybe I should put this on the backburner!! Really too bad!

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Cristine, you’re right. Thanks for the update. We hope the program will be refunded again either through a federal program or through Florida. Keep in mind that each utility may also offer a unique program as well, separate from the state. There are many solar hot water programs being offered from each utility. If you’ve got electric hot water, you’ll save huge. Check here or on this site to see if your utility has a solar or energy efficiency program for you.

      Thanks again for the update.

  120. Avatar for Mike Mitchell Mike Mitchell says:

    What a great resource! Now I have a place to send a lot of my visitors who keep asking me the same questions about state and federal level incentive programs. As you can imagine, the question comes up quite a lot during tax season. Thanks for again!

  121. Avatar for Vaughn Vaughn says:

    My neighbor had a solar hot water system installed during the Carter administration and it still works! All of his hot water has been free for decades, thanks to the government’s help. We need to expand governments involvement in helping cut costs rather than making investing into Florida’s power companies more lucrative to the stockholder. Yea Federal government, boo Republican legislature and their lobbiest handlers.

  122. Avatar for lindsey lindsey says:

    I am interested in solar energy. However even with the incentives it is still cost prohibitive for me. Are there good web sights that inform one on how to build and enstall there own systems?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:


      Honestly, these DIY (Do It Yourself) kits that you see on the Internet for a couple of hundred bucks are not worth the time and money. Plus, there’s a lot of electrical code problems and they look like Frankenstien on your roof, you don’t qualify for any rebates, it’ll take you a long time to find the material and to make them… I could go on about the challenges. Honestly, though it pains me to say this, I’d rather you wait until you can afford solar and not go solar than to waste your time and money on these solar/wind kits. Solar rebates will come down in Florida there may be some low income programs. Check with your utility.

  123. Avatar for Pat Pat says:

    As of Nov 9th, there is now only $12,464.50 left and they’re still only in June applications.

    They’re essentially burning through $600,000 a week or $2.5 million a month.

  124. Avatar for Eric Eric says:

    As of Oct. 30th there is only $640,252.50 left in Florida’s Solar Rebate Program for FY 09-10
    Here is the link to verify:

  125. Avatar for Steve Dale Steve Dale says:

    Great Information, you guys rock! Thanks for the updated information. I posted your State by State Solar Report here:
    If any of you three guys want to be moderators under our “Renewable Energy Category” please email us we are always looking for informed individuals to get the word out about renewable energy.

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Thanks for spreading the love Steve!

  126. Avatar for CB CB says:

    You Do Not calculate the 30% FTC after you minus the Rebate. Case in point. Our company was the first to install a commercial customer who just received their FTC from the (DOE) Dept. of Energy for 30% of the total price. The cost of the 25kW PV Solar System was $167,500. The check was sent 2 and 1/2 months after the DOE application was received on September 21, 2009, for the exact amount of $50,250.00 . (Which is 30% of the contract price.) Do you honestly believe the Depart of Treasury issued a check on behalf of the DOE, for the wrong amount?

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:


      You’re absolutely right…for commercial installations. For residents, that formula is not so clear, and guidance we’ve given for residential installs (which are the majority of our readers) is that the 30% is deducted after any state rebate. This comes from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).

      Also, residents are NOT eligible for a tax grant (cash!), which is what your company received. Residents are only eligible for a tax CREDIT, which they can use like cash towards paying whatever they owe the IRS on April 15th. Now, let me hedge a little here, because the actual tax form that gives all official rules for applying that tax credit for residence has not been been written, but again, this is our understanding from the ASES advice. The good news is the IRS will eventually be clearing this up and people will know one way or another. If you do get to take it off the top, tax dudes that I’ve talked to say then it’s going to be INCOME, which is taxable, and then it kind of works out to to the be the same amount.

      But for simplicity’s sake, residents should take the 30% after any rebates. Commercial people, you lucky solar people, can take it off the top, but it may be taxed as income.

  127. Avatar for Brad Brad says:

    Hi there! Thank you so much for this. As an employee of Brite Sky Solar in Jacksonville, we appreciate all you do in spreading the word on solar. One question though. In your example you show the ‘tax credits’ as being multiplied off the ‘after rebate’ price of 15k. My understanding is that the Federal Tax credit of 30% is on the amount paid, before rebates. From

    If this is not true, please let me know as I want to make sure our customers receive the most accurate answers to their FAQ!

    Thanks again :)

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Brad, there is a document linked to that link your comment. It’s this FAQ from the solar energy society.

      In that document, it states–for home owners–

      A rebate received by a homeowner in a residential context usually does not have to be reported as
      income when the rebate is received from the local utility. A homeowner who does not report the
      rebate as income takes a “tax basis” in solar equipment equal to the net amount he paid. In other
      words, if the solar equipment has a gross cost of $20,000, but a rebate from the local utility pays
      $2,000, then his tax basis in the equipment for purposes of calculating the residential tax credit is

      This is what we’re going by. HOWEVER, we are not tax people and there may be other interpretations with the law. That said, most of the solar software estimation calculators that I work with….agree with the above for home owners. Commercial/businesses, I believe you are right …or can be right, depending on the advice of your tax dude/attorney. :)

  128. Avatar for RH RH says:

    Fossil Fuels will only increase in price. 10 years from now you will be kicking yourself for not installing PV / solar water heaters. Have vision, nothing in life is free.

  129. Avatar for Amy Amy says:

    Love all the info here. I want to get a good idea about what a solar hot water system should cost, installed. We have about 1,200 sq ft, 3 adults, and want a system that is self-sufficient. That is, with PV to run the pump and electric for backup only.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hey, Amy.

      Solar Hot water’s great!…from what we’ve heard! Right now, we’re trying just to keep up with all of the solar PV/electricity technology and financing and rebates. But of these days, we hope to get to hot water too. :)

  130. Avatar for Steve Louis Steve Louis says:

    Net-Metering has got to be in place for wide residential and commercial use, and to keep power companies honest. The German system that makes it financially advantageous to invest now rather than later by using a declining rate of return year by year should also get potential alternative energy customers off the fence and into the game. Investors like to have a baseline rate of return and guaranteed buyback rates and fixed installation costs get that done.

  131. Avatar for Giselle Giselle says:

    Is there a reputable, knowledgeable installer in the Miami-Dade county area that I could contact?

  132. Avatar for MIKE MIKE says:

    I just think a more appropriate stimulus package would have been once that concentrated on renewable energy. Creation of jobs, protection of our environment and get the economy going again. Instead of giving billions to financial institutions we should have given every household a PV system free of charge.

  133. Avatar for Lisa Lisa says:

    State of Florida rebate should not be considered taxable income, per DEP. See

    Note that this is an old document and that the comment that the Federal tax credit would be reduced by the FL rebate is no longer valid. This was repealed in the Feb. 2009 Recovery Act legislation.

  134. Avatar for JDub JDub says:

    Can you give updated cost benifit analysis? These numbers apear to be at least 2 years old.

  135. Avatar for Bob Bob says:

    Are the state rebates for solar power generation treated as taxable income? If so, this seems to be overlooked on most webpages devoted to solar incentives. Can anyone give me an authoritative answer? I learned this at:

  136. Avatar for Ron Ron says:

    I am a x-fossil fuel project manager and sales rep. I am seeking manufacturing principals to represent in FL and GA.

    Thanks, Ron
    Southeast Energy Services, LLC

  137. Avatar for Charles Hinricksen Charles Hinricksen says:

    Solar does rock, I have played with solar for several years and have now powered my entire outside with soft mood lighting plus run 1500 gallons of water thru 3 turtle ponds 24-7. I am really thinking of giving up my job of over 20 years to work in solar but do not really know were to start. any hints would be a great help

  138. Avatar for Dale Dale says:

    i think that pv panels are the way to go, but the expense is still to large. but i have been working on cutting my electric bill to its bare minimum. At the moment i have it down to 46.00 dollars for the month. between a timer on my hot water heater, and not using my A/C. Thank God for a great breeze. People look at cutting your usage and then re figure your needs in a system. plus look into having a spray foam roof installed. r7 per inch on your roof means that your attic won’t heat up. Just an idea… Thxs

  139. Avatar for Uwe Uwe says:

    Hello over there.I live in germany and was looking for some infos about what is going on now with alternative energy in the us.
    I and alot of people here own a solarwater heating system here and it works good.My system is just for the hot water storage but lot of people have it combined with the heating system.
    Last dec i decided to invest in a solar energy system.That works too but we get a high support from the energy supplier.
    the energy suppliers are forced by law to buy your solar energy for 0.48 cents per kw for systems set up in 2008.2009 is it 0.43 cent now.To compare for the energy i take from the grid i pay around 18 cent.
    If i would live in florida i would definately check if i my roof would be a good location for a system.But heat is not good for modules because with rising heat the power production lowers.
    If anybody is looking in further info feel free to mail me.:[email protected]

  140. Avatar for Sharon Sharon says:

    I want to be in the manufacturing process. Live in Florida. What kind of education do I need to land a job in Alternative Energy which I am wanting to do a career change to?

  141. Avatar for tom koether tom koether says:

    nice presentation, seeking full system in stages or on one shot

  142. Avatar for Bob Bob says:

    I am using propane to heat water and to heat a pool spa. I am investigating replacing propane with solar for either or both applications. House is new (2008) and super insulated. Large south facing roof area (20×50. Should I look at all photovolactic or hybrid using water filled panels?

  143. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:


    For sure, the Fed rebate is now 30% with no cap. The cap was removed at the end of 2008. I’m not sure about timing on the Florida state rebate. We’ll try to dig something up for you in the next week.


    – Dan

  144. Avatar for Kel Kel says:

    I’m so close to putting a 3.12 kW system on my home in South Fl but I’m worried about the rebate from the state and the Fed incentive. Two questions:
    1-Does anyone know if they are going to replenish the State Rebate money?
    2-Is the Fed rebate 30% with no cap, or is $2000?
    Both of these will factor in on my decsion. I’m looking at either $10,000 or $22,000 depending on the rebates!!!! BIG DIFFERENCE.

  145. Avatar for David David says:

    Taxing a commodity to force consumers to another product?, a little regressive thinking for a progressive business owner. I want the gov’t to tax all of my competition too.

  146. Avatar for Vito Buonomano III Vito Buonomano III says:

    Energy Reality in RI:
    I have recently started a solar company in RI ( and I am shocked at the lack of action of people in the North East when it comes to energy conservation. There are still many thousands of homes and business in the North East that have not taken advantage of low cost quick pay back energy efficiency improvements. When you add them all up they have a far greater impact on our environment, local econemy and road to energy independence than alternative energy. Some of us that have lived through the energy conservation years of the 70’s and early 80’s have made the necessary efficiency improvements to our homes and businesses and are ready for alternative energy. We in the Northeast seem to only react when energy prices reaches deep into our pocket. The new President should ASAP consider taxing oil to keep the energy conservation and the alternative energy ball rolling.

  147. Avatar for Jim Jim says:

    If they want to save POWER than where are the 25 watt electric bulbs, I can’t find them. Remember that they save and you PAY !!


  148. Avatar for Robert Robert says:

    Hey Beth, that’s why California is bankrupt and Florida isn’t. When the government gets involved in free enterprise, it wrecks the industries. Just look at the auto industry that was forced to finance all the development of all the hybrid cars that no one wants.

  149. Avatar for Matthew Matthew says:

    What an absolute great way to start and continue the enviroment! The solar water heaters are extremely benefitial financially and enviromentally. I have recently joined a company that speciallizes in solar water heaters as well as panels to heat pools during the cooler months….much more interested in the water heaters. I’m in the central Florida area, if anyone would like some feedback or information e-mail me @ [email protected]

  150. Avatar for sunshngurl sunshngurl says:

    I’m embarrassed that my state of Florida does not have a more progressive solar program. There should be a solar panel on every roof in the state. Why is this so difficult??? When logic fails, follow the money trail…..

  151. Avatar for Ben Ben says:

    The federal incentive is now 1/3 the cost with no cap.

  152. Avatar for Beth Beth says:

    There is a program in California to help senior citizens on fixed incomes install solar in their homes. There is an urgent, urgent need for this in Florida now. Progress Energy has been granted, by the Republican appointed PSC, a huge rate increase. Think about summer in Florida without air conditioning. Think about 95 degrees and the humidity of summer for seniors and those with heart and other health problems not being able to run the air conditioning. This is a health emergency in the making and the governor and legislator don’t give a damn.

  153. Avatar for sister plop sister plop says:

    hi people

  154. Avatar for karin karin says:

    I have heard about plans to build your own solar panels at a reduced cost. What are the caveats for that? Thanks.

  155. Avatar for lin lin says:

    From the FPL web site
    The solar rebate program is very popular and successful. Due to the large volume of rebate applications received the budget approved for FY2008-2009,$5 million, was exhausted. When all of the funding was exhausted for FY2007-2008, the state continued to accept applications, placing the applicants on a waiting list. This list of approved applications has now reached the $5 million mark and will absorb all of the FY2008-2009 funding upon appropriation. The solar rebate checks will begin to be delivered in mid-July.

  156. Avatar for Susan Susan says:

    In the State of Florida I would think it would be more beneficial if we could run the air conditioners instead of just the water heaters. It should be made more cost effective to the average home owner and for once consider the people not the “profit margin”

  157. Avatar for Fixizin Fixizin says:

    Pretty LAME when the gov’t of a State (FL) with a whopping population of 19,000,000(!), and so much solar exposure, allocates a measly $5MIL for incentives! Of course it’s already gone, since that’ only 250 homes @ $20K each! And every participating business is eligible for up to $100K, which comes from the same pool, and knocks 5 homes out of contention.

    Am I the only one who smells the stench of UTILITY LOBBYIST opposition all over this? GRRRrrr…

  158. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Regarding Mary’s question about the comparison between tankless and solar water heaters, I did a little searching. A lot of people ask about them as an alternative.

    Tom Lane, author of Solar Hot Water Systems says: “Tankless water heaters do save space, but not much energy. Numerous tests by independent third parties, have shown only 10% savings versus conventional electric water heaters and 15% to 20% savings versus energy efficient conventional gas water heaters over a 24 hour period. Most manufacturers of these expensive water heater systems exaggerate the savings. Daily savings quotes of 25% or higher versus modern electric or gas water heaters are simply not true. In 2004, hot water manufacturers were required to add additional insulation to all water heaters, making instantaneous water heater savings more insignificant. Tankless water heaters have serious problems with scaling in hard water areas.”

    1. Avatar for Robert Robert says:

      Reading this in 2013- !
      Good point- but another angle- is the ability to put small ones- at point of use-
      A central- water heaters can be on one side of the house- and when the hot water tap is turned on – at the far side of the house- the tap has to run for sometime until the hot water reaches the tap (or shower)- Not only a waste of water- but- the pipes are then full of unused hot water when the tap is turned off. This results in a lot of heat loss- each time the shower or tap is used. d not take this into account.
      A horrible solution offered by contractors- is to have circulating pumps – hooked to the hot water heater- so hot water is circulating all the time – from tap to heater and back! Saves water- but wow what an energy – loss if the pipes are not insulated
      I am going- for solar water heaters- but won’t solve the long pipe run problem.

  159. Avatar for Cirag Cirag says:

    I really want to do this (I live in sunny Fort Lauderdale), but the state rebate of $20,000 has been exhausted, and it doesn’t look to be renewed. Take away the $20,000 and it’s pretty tough to make the business case for equipping a PV system. Depressing! I would love to hear other thoughts on this.

  160. Avatar for DOUG B DOUG B says:


  161. Avatar for charles longieliere charles longieliere says:

    how can i find the status of my rebate for solar water heater

  162. Avatar for Joseph LaRocca Joseph LaRocca says:

    i would like to know if the power that be.Have thought of any type of incentive. That would give a real incentiv for the Sr.population. They could realy use the savings it would give but it would take to long to realize the help. We have the need. the place and the give it a try we could be the test group to show how well it works. And the time to record the the way it works. I would be glad to be a test paintent.

  163. Avatar for Mary Guler Mary Guler says:

    I’d be interested in knowing the cost benefit comparison of solar hot water to tankless hot water, which is also reported to generate great savings.

  164. Avatar for jim c jim c says:

    I would break even to cut the power company out. They are at an endless increase….

  165. Avatar for Colin Colin says:

    Put in a solar water heater first – it saves about a third of your electrical usage, whets your appetite for PV, lowers the amout of PV you need, and almost half is covered with rebates.

  166. Avatar for Colin Colin says:

    An investment in PV can be an expensive proposition. To completely power a 42KWH / day electrical habit (my house) you require a 6KW system and a generous 7 hours of sunshine (bank on 6 at best). At $9 / watt installed – $54K (minus $2K fed, $18K state) that still leaves $34K to finance. A better idea is to tackle the hungriest appliance first – the water heater. This device uses up to a third of electrical usage – 14KWH / day in my case. A solar water heater cost me $3900 installed – I should get back $500 state incentive and $1170 FED (30%) – leaving $2230 to recoup. At 10 cents a KWH thats $42 / mth savings – or 5 years ROI give or take. Heated water is kept hot in a tank – so the benefits span cloudy days – and water is hot at night. Solar water heating generates further benefits – the home user sees the savings – and can see the light at the end of the ROI tunnel, the leap to PV may make more sense. Also, the 42KWH / per day appetite is now 28KWH – a 3KW system along with the conservative nature that comes with PV ownership will just about delete an electric bill. Also, you do something now – a year of the sun heating your water may see lower $/watt install prices, bigger incentives, etc.

    1. Avatar for D. Bartley D. Bartley says:

      Solar panels are now selling for $1 per watt (Canadian Solar ex. $300/300 watt panel), installation adds another dollar and inverters add another.

      I just received a quote in Ft Myers for $2.79/watt net system installed.

      The $9/watt price hasn’t been around since 2008. Florida Gulf Coast University paid $8.50/watt for 2 mega watts that year. The price has plummeted since then.

      I suspect your post is at the behest of FP&L since they are shaking in their shoes that their grip on the necks of consumers is slipping. Their business model as the majority supplier of our electricity no longer makes sense.

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