Florida/EZ Policies

From Open Energy Information

EZ Policies for Florida

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Download EZ Policies for Florida CSV (rows 1 - 77)

PolicyPlacePolicy TypeActiveImplementing SectorSummary
Broward County Online Solar Permitting (Florida)FloridaSolar/Wind Permitting StandardsYesLocalBroward County now offers Go SOLAR Online Permitting*, for rooftop solar photovoltaic system permitting. This online permitting system may be used for residential or low commercial properties that are governed by a participating municipality.

The online permitting system is designed to provide a one-stop solar permitting process with a single application form, electronic review and approval, and flat fee. Applicants can use this system to choose from pre-approved and pre-engineered solar panel mounting installation designs, and then apply for permits using those designs. Applicants must apply in person to request permits for installations that are NOT typical to one of the listed and pre-approved installation designs.

*The Go SOLAR Online Permitting System was made possible by the Go SOLAR Broward Rooftop Solar Challenge. The Rooftop Solar Challenge supports the goals of the Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Program and the SunShot Initiative, which seek to make solar electricity cost competitive without subsidies by the end of the decade.
Capital Investment Tax Credit (Florida)FloridaCorporate Tax IncentiveYesState/ProvinceThe Capital Investment Tax Credit is an annual credit, provided for up to twenty years, against the corporate income tax. Eligible projects are those in designated high-impact portions of the following sectors: clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, information technology, silicon technology, transportation equipment manufacturing, or be a corporate headquarters facility. Projects must also create a minimum of 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs. Eligible capital costs include all expenses incurred in the acquisition, construction, installation, and equipping of a project from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operations. The level of investment and the project's Florida corporate income tax liability for the 20 years following commencement of operations determines the amount of the annual credit.
City of Lauderhill - Revolving Loan Program (Florida)FloridaLocal Loan ProgramYesLocalThe City of Lauderhill offers insterst free loans for EnergyStar appliances through a municipal revolving loan program. Loans from $400 to $2,000 are available to homeowners purchasing new Energy Star certified appliances from eligible retailers. Tankless water heaters, solar photovoltaic systems and solar water heating systems are also eligible for the loan program. Loan funds must be repaid within a two year period. Eligibility will be determined within 10 business days.

Loan funds are made payable directly to the retailer within a week of the time the final loan documents are signed. A check will be made payable to retailer, must have quote or invoice from retailer with name of retailer and address. For Solar Powered Systems, the check will be made payable to the contractor with a 10% holdback. The holdback check will be released upon submittal of a Completion Certificate signed by both the borrower and the contractor and copies of all required city permits (if applicable). Any costs in excess of the contractors bid/quote will be the customer’s responsibility.

Loan applications are available through the program web site.
City of Longwood - Raising Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Florida)FloridaLocal Rebate ProgramYesLocalThe City of Longwood offers the Raising Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) to owner occupied residences within the City of Longwood for making energy efficiency improvements to their properties while supporting local businesses.

In order to qualify, applicants must utilize contractors, suppliers or other businesses located in the City of Longwood to make their improvements eligible for the rebate program. Rebate amounts vary based upon efficiency upgrade with a maximum rebate amount of $500 a year per household. A full list of eligible improvements and application instructions can be found on the REEP web site.
City of Tallahassee Utilities - Solar Loans (Florida)FloridaUtility Loan ProgramYesUtilityThe City of Tallahassee Utilities offers loans with an interest rate of 5% for a variety of energy-saving measures, including photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water-heating systems. Under this program, customers may borrow up to $20,000 for PV systems and $10,000 for solar water-heating systems (including pool heating). Loan payments are to be made on monthly utility bills. Customers must first get a vendor price or a contractor's proposal and send it to the utility Energy Services. A city energy audit is required for all solar technology installations. Installation work should not begin until after a signed Loan Promissory Note has been received.

Solar water heating systems must be Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) certified indirect or drain-back systems. Loans will not be awarded if the system is replacing a natural gas water heater. PV systems must also be FSEC certified. An energy audit is required for all solar measures.

For detailed information on the loan process, see the loan handbook or call the utility's energy services department at (850) 891-4968.
Clean Energy Investment Program (Florida)FloridaBond ProgramYesState/ProvinceThe Florida Opportunity Fund's Clean Energy Investment Program is a direct investment program created to promote the adoption of energy efficient and renewable energy (EE/RE) products and technologies in Florida. The Fund will increase the availability of capital in Florida through both loan and equity investment instruments, and is designed to help Florida businesses and promote the adoption of commercialized clean energy technology. Fund investments must comport to the State Energy Program statute which requires that funds be used primarily for: (1) facility and equipment improvement with EE/RE products; (2) acquisition or demonstration of renewable energy products; and (3) improvement of existing production, manufacturing, assembly or distribution processes to reduce consumption or increase the efficient use of energy in such processes. The Office of Energy is working with the Grantee – Florida Opportunity Fund (staffed by Enterprise Florida) – and their contracted investment manager Florida First Partners to administer the program.
Climate Action Plan (Florida)FloridaClimate PoliciesYesState/ProvinceOn July 12 and 13, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist hosted “Serve to Preserve: A Florida Summit on Global Climate Change.” The summit brought together leaders of business, government, science and advocacy to examine the risks of global climate change to Florida, and the nation, and to explore the business opportunities that can come from an aggressive response to climate change. At the conclusion of the summit, Governor Crist signed three Executive Orders and two international partnership agreements, adding Florida to the states actively working to address global climate change.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States)United StatesGrant Program
Loan Program
YesFederalCommunity Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
Competitive Grants to Local Governments (Florida)FloridaGrant ProgramYesState/ProvinceThe State of Florida distributes more than 60 percent of the State’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program from the US Department of Energy funds for energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy initiatives to cities and counties that were not eligible for direct formula grants from the Department of Energy. The Office of Energy is distributing these funds based on a competitive basis. Two-thirds of the available grant funds were made available on a competitive basis to all eligible local governments. Requested grant funding from any single applicant does not exceed 10 percent of the available grant funds. The remaining one-third of the available grant funds were dedicated to assist small counties and cities. A “small county” is considered to be a county with an unincorporated population of less than 50,000, while a “small city” is a municipality with a population of 15,000 or less. The maximum award amount in this category does not exceed $250,000.
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Regulation Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceThis Act enacts the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which is a joint state and federal effort to provide for the conservation of the Everglades region. The plan regulates land and water use in and around Everglades National Park, and sets limitations on the development and modification of new and existing structures and facilities in the area.
Contaminating Fresh Waters (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceIt is illegal to discharge any dyestuff, coal tar, oil, sawdust, poison, or deleterious substances into any fresh running waters in Florida in quantities sufficient to injure, stupefy, or kill fish. It is not a violation of this section for any person, firm, or corporation engaged in any mining industry to discharge any water handled or used in any branch of such industry on the surface of land where such industry or branch thereof is being carried on under such precautionary measures as shall be approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Dam Safety Program (Florida)FloridaSafety and Operational Guidelines
Training/Technical Assistance
YesState/ProvinceDam safety in Florida is a shared responsibility among the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the regional water management districts, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the local government and private dam owners.

Dam safety training is provided by the BMMR for state, regional, and local regulatory agency personnel and dam owners, with the assistance of the ASDSO, in accordance with the performance requirements of the dam safety grant provided through the National Dam Safety Program led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Dam inspections in Florida are conducted by agency personnel at the state, regional, and local levels, as related to their respective regulatory programs, as well as by private dam owners. Oversight for phosphate mining and similar industrial impoundments is primarily the responsibility of the FDEP. Other dams generally fall within the purview of the USACE, the State’s five regional water management districts, or local government agencies.
Duke Energy Florida - SunSense Commercial PV Incentive Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramYesUtilityNote: The SunSense Program will resume for 2015 and begin accepting applications on January 14, 2015 at 1:30 PM. On November 25th. 2014 the Florida PSC voted to end a solar pilot program at the end of 2015 that requires independently owned utilities to offer solar rebates. This program will not be offered after 2015.'''

In March 2011, Progress Energy Florida began offering incentives to commercial customers who install photovoltaic (PV) systems. Incentive rates are based on a tiered structure:

  • $2.00/watt for the first 10 kilowatts (kW)
  • $1.50/watt for 11 kW to 50 kW
  • $1.00/watt for 51 kW to 100 kW

Systems may be larger than 100 kW, but incentives only apply to the first 100 kW of the system, with a maximum total incentive of $130,000 per customer. All systems must be at least 2 kW in capacity and certified by the Florida Solar Energy Center. In addition, all systems must be installed by a licensed contractor and connected to Progress Energy Florida's grid.
Duke Energy Florida - SunSense Solar PV Rebate Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramYesUtility'''Note: The SunSense Program will resume for 2015 and begin accepting applications on January 14, 2015 at 1:30 PM. On November 25th. 2014 the Florida PSC voted to end a solar pilot program at the end of 2015 that requires independently owned utilities to offer solar rebates. This program will not be offered after 2015.''''''

Progress Energy Florida (PEF) has allocated $1.9 million per year towards residential photovoltaic (PV) incentives. PEF will accept applications annually from residential customers both wishing to install a PV system and qualifying for a rebate. Reservations for a rebate will be issued on a first-come basis, however a reservation does not guarantee that a rebate will be awarded, only that funding for a rebate is available should the system be installed, meet all requirements and pass inspection.

To qualify for the residential PV program, an applicant must be a Progress Energy Florida (PEF) customer and a homeowner. The applicant must also be the account holder, use the home as a primary residence and own the solar PV system  installed on the home. Other requirements include:

  • PEF must approve application and conduct an on-site Home Energy Check (HEC) prior to PV system installation
  • The proposed PV system must be certified and approved by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)
  • Systems must be installed by a licensed contractor, meet electric and safety standards
  • Participating customers’ systems must be directly connected to the PEF system by following the DEF interconnection procedures.

Customers with PV systems ranging in size from 2 kW DC to 10 kW DC are eligible to participate and may earn an incentive based on the kW value. Installations of systems system larger than 10 kW are permissible, but the incentive is limited to a maximum of $20,000 per residence. After installation, the PV system must be capable of producing at least 1,000 kWh per kW DC each year.

Once the limit of $1.9 million in rebates is achieved, the application process will be closed. The process will be re-opened again October 1 of each year for systems to be installed the following calendar year.

For an application checklist, further requirements and additional resources regarding the rebate please visit theDEF Solar PV website.
Eminent Domain Rights (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceDevelopers of certain facilities, including dams to be used for hydropower, natural gas companies, wastewater systems, and coal pipelines, may be eligible to exercise eminent domain powers in certain situations.
Energy Economic Zone Pilot Program (Florida)FloridaEnterprise ZoneYesState/ProvinceIn the 2009 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature established the Pilot Program to address economic development and the creation of energy efficient land use patterns. The Energy Economic Zone Pilot Program aims to develop a model to help communities cultivate green economic development, encourage renewable electric energy generation, manufacture products that contribute to energy conservation and green jobs, and further implement building code standards relative to discouraging sprawl and developing energy-efficient land use patterns and greenhouse gas reduction strategies. Two communities, Miami Beach and Sarasota County, have been selected as pilot sites, and aim to implement a variety of sustainability measures, including renewable energy generation projects, over the duration of the program. All incentives and benefits provided for enterprise zones shall be available to the energy economic zones designated on or before July 1, 2010, and exempts any development in an energy economic zone from the Development of Regional Impact process.
Enterprise Zone Incentives (Florida)FloridaEnterprise ZoneYesState/ProvinceEnterprise Zone Incentives encourage business growth within certain geographic areas targeted for economic revitalization. Businesses which create jobs within a designated zone are eligible for several tax incentives, including sales and use tax credit, tax refunds for machinery or equipment, sales tax refund for building materials, and a sales tax exemption for electrical energy.
Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceIt is the policy of the state of Florida to protect, maintain, and improve the quality of the air and waters of the state. This Act authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to enact and implement regulations designed to control and abate activities which may contribute to air and water pollution. Various regulations may be found in chapter 62 of the Florida Administrative Code. This legislation contains information on point-source discharges, mixing zones, and permitting requirements for pollution sources. Sections 403.0872 through 403.0875 of the Florida Statutes contain additional information on operating permits for major sources of air pollution and Florida's air emissions trading program, while section 403.088 contains additional information on water pollution operation permits.
Florida Aquatic Preserve Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThis Act provides for state-owned submerged lands in areas which have exceptional biological, aesthetic, and scientific value, to be set aside as aquatic preserves or sanctuaries for the benefit of future generations. The remainder of this legislation contains additional information on the extent of designated aquatic preserves as well as information on permitted and prohibited activities specific to individual preserves. General provisions for the maintenance of aquatic preserves can be found in section 258.42 of the Florida Statutes.
Florida Capital Access Program (Florida)FloridaLoan ProgramYesState/ProvinceThe Florida Capital Access Program, run by the Florida Department of Economic Development, is a loan portfolio insurance program enabling lenders to make loans to credit-worthy small businesses. Small businesses can contact participating lenders to enroll in CAP.
Florida Coastal Management Act (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThis Act is intended to provide for the development of natural, commercial, recreational, ecological, industrial, and aesthetic resources, including, but not limited to, energy facilities, of immediate potential value to the present and future well-being of the residents of this state. To the extent possible, local governments are encouraged to implement state land and water management policies through existing processes for the guidance of growth and development. Through this Act, the Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to offer financial, technical, and other assistance to entities and projects that further the purposes of the Act. This legislation also contains information on state licensing for activities subject to federal consistency review, including permits for the siting and construction of any new electrical power plants, the licensing and relicensing of hydroelectric power plants, the transportation of hazardous substance materials, the construction and operation of interstate gas pipelines and storage facilities, and mining activities.
Florida Electric Transmission Line Siting Act (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThe Transmission Line Siting Act (TLSA) is the state’s centralized process for licensing electrical transmission lines which; (a) are 230 kV or larger; (b) cross a county line; and, (c) are 15 miles or longer. An applicant can request to use the act for a line less than 15 miles long or if within one county. The Act establishes a centralized and coordinated licensing process for the location of electric transmission line corridors and the construction, operation, and maintenance of electric transmission lines.
Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThe Power Plant Siting Act (PPSA) is the state’s centralized process for licensing large power plants. One license—a certification— replaces local and state permits. Local governments and state agencies within whose jurisdiction the power plant is to be built participate in the process. For the purpose of the Act, an electrical power plant is defined as any steam or solar electrical generating facility using any process or fuel, including nuclear materials, with a generating capacity of 75 MW or greater.
Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThe State Land Planning Agency, established within the Department of Economic Opportunity, has the authority to oversee land planning, zoning, and development activities in the state. The Agency is responsible for establishing land and water management policies to guide and coordinate local decisions relating to growth and development; when possible, such state land and water management policies are implemented by local governments. For the purpose of this act, “development” refers to building activities and mining operations, the reconstruction or modification of an existing structure, a change in the intensity of land use, alteration of a shore or bank, drilling, demolition, land clearing, and the deposit of refuse, solid or liquid waste, or fill on a parcel of land. The Agency may also recommend land areas for designation as Critical Areas of State Concern. Development in such areas is restricted. This legislation contains additional information on the powers and duties of the Agency, as well as procedures for the designation of land. The legislation also contains additional provisions for land management in the Florida Keys, Big Cypress, Green Swamp, and Apalachicola Bay Areas, and regional developments.
Florida Growth Fund (Florida)FloridaPublic Benefits FundYesState/ProvinceThe Florida Growth Fund can provide investments in technology and growth-related companies through co-investments with other institutional investors. The Fund awards preference to companies headquartered in, or conducting a significant portion of their business in Florida. In addition, companies must demonstrate a clear path to profitability and have experienced management teams.
Florida Power and Light - Solar Rebate Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramYesUtilityNote: On November 25th. 2014 the Florida PSC voted to end a solar pilot program at the end of 2015 that requires independently owned utilities to offer solar rebates. This program will not be offered after 2015. More information is available on FPL's''''' solar rebate web site.

Florida Power and Light (FPL) offers several incentives to encourage residential and business customers to install solar water heating and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on eligible property. The program is open to all business and residential customers, however incentives are not guaranteed. Schools, non-profit organizations, and low-income housing providers are also eligible to participate in separate tailored offerings which are detailed on the program web site. Rebates are provided based on nameplate rating and only apply to systems which are properly certified according to program rules.

Residential rebates are provided on a flat rate of $2 per DC watt nameplate rating for PV systems and $1,000 per system for solar water heating. Business customers who utilize eligible solar water heating systems are eligible for a rebate of $30 per 1,000 BTUh per day. The business rebate for PV systems provides $2 per DC watt nameplate rating for systems up to 10kW, a rebate of $1.50 per DC watt nameplate rating for systems 10kW - 25kW, and $1 per DC watt nameplate rating for all systems larger than 25 kW. Business customers may accrue rebates in a cumulative fashion, whereby a customer with a 30 kW system can receive $2 per DC watt for the first 10 kW of capacity, $1.50 per DC watt rebate for the next 15 kW and $1 per DC watt rebate for the final 5 kW.

All collectors must be approved and certified by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and have an FSEC system certification number. There is no minimum or maximum size limit, other than the dollar limit on the rebate. Customers can go to the program web site listed above to reserve funds. There is no paper application and all communications for the program will be conducted via email. See the details of these targeted programs on the FAQ section of the program web site. To find out more about these incentives, as well as renewable energy programs such as net metering, please visit the program web site.
Florida Radiation Protection Act (Florida)FloridaSafety and Operational GuidelinesYesState/ProvinceThe Department of Public Health is responsible for administering a statewide radiation protection program. The program is designed to permit development and utilization of sources of radiation for purposes consistent with the health and safety of the public, and to prevent any associated harmful effects of radiation upon the public through the regulation of all radiation sources. The Department is authorized to adopt, promulgate, amend, and repeal rules and standards which may provide for licensure, registration, or regulation relating to the manufacture, production, transportation, use, possession, handling, treatment, storage, disposal, sale, lease, or other disposition of radioactive material, including naturally occurring radioactive material and low-level radioactive waste, and radiation machines. The Department is also authorized to require the submission of plans, specifications, and reports for new construction and material alterations on the design and protective shielding of installations for radioactive material and radiation machines, excluding X-ray machines of less than 200,000 volts potential, and on systems for the disposal of radioactive wastes, for the determination of any ionizing radiation hazard; and it may render opinions and approve or disapprove such plans and specifications.
Florida Venture Capital Program (Florida)FloridaEquity Investment
Grant Program
YesState/ProvinceThe Florida Venture Capital Program provides equity investments and convertible debt instruments to emerging Florida companies and companies locating in Florida with long-term growth potential. Equity investments require a matching private capital investment or other credit assistance. Equity investments and debt instruments ranging from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 are available, though larger transactions are permitted in exceptional cases.
Florida Water Resources Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceIt is the policy of the state of Florida: (a) To provide for the management of water and related land resources; (b) To promote the conservation, replenishment, recapture, enhancement, development, and proper utilization of surface and groundwater; (c) To develop and regulate dams, impoundments, reservoirs, and other works and to provide water storage for beneficial purposes; (d) To promote the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and natural systems; (e) To prevent damage from floods, soil erosion, and excessive drainage; (f) To minimize degradation of water resources caused by the discharge of stormwater; (g) To preserve natural resources, fish, and wildlife; (h) To promote recreational development, protect public lands, and assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors; and (j) Otherwise to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.

Florida waters are managed on a state and regional basis, and the Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for coordinating water resource management activities. Development may be restricted inland of a saltwater barrier line established by the Department off of Florida's coast. The Department is responsible for developing a statewide water management plan in cooperation with water management districts and regional water supply authorities. Governing boards of the state's water management districts are also required to develop district water management plans, to address water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems. Additional water use restrictions (section 373.0363) apply to the Central Florida Coordination Area, which includes Polk, Osceola, Orange, and Seminole Counties, and southern Lake County, as designated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management District, and the St. Johns River Water Management District. The Act contains additional information on the establishment of minimum water flows and levels, the cooperation of state agencies and water management districts, water management districts and basin boards, and required permits and permitting procedures for water use.

The boundaries of water management districts in Florida coincide with the boundaries of environmental districts, although multiple environmental districts may be established within one water management district. Environmental districts have the authority to issue permits, certificates, licenses, and exemptions, and may set rules for activities within their jurisdictions. Water management districts may also be designated as “water control” districts, as described in section 298 of the Florida Statutes. Such districts have additional oversight powers pertaining to land development and construction in their jurisdiction.
Forestry Policies (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceFlorida's Forest Service completed in 2010 its study "Economic Impact Analysis of Woody Biomass Utilization for Bioenergy in Florida". The study summarizes the estimated economic benefits of utilizing forest residues for energy generation and includes economic analysis of several existing and potential state and federal incentives related to forest biomass utilization.


Florida has been considering a Renewable Portfolio Standard for the state for several years but as of yet no legislation has been developed. It is expected that such a policy would rely in large part on the state's woody biomass resources. The University of Florida conducted a study summarized in the 2010 report "Woody Biomass for Electricity Generation in Florida: Bioeconomic Impacts Under a Proposed Renewable Portfolio Standard Mandate":


The study summarizes potential impacts of an RPS policy for the state with regard to the forestry sector.

The Florida Rural Development Program, through the State Forest Service, provides technical assistance for rural forest-based projects, and provides communication between organizations that provide financial support for such projects:

Fuel Mix Disclosure (Florida)FloridaGeneration DisclosureYesState/TerritoryIn March 1999, the Florida Public Service Commission issued an order requiring the state's investor-owned electric utilities, which serve about 80% to 85% of the state's electric customers, to provide information on their fuel mix to customers on a quarterly basis, effective April 18, 1999. This information must be included as a bill insert or on the bill itself, and must be based on data available for the most recent 12-month period. A standard label is not required. Florida was the first state to institute an environmental-disclosure requirement without restructuring its electricity market.
Gainesville Regional Utilities - Solar Feed-In Tariff (Florida)FloridaPerformance-Based IncentiveNoUtilityNOTE: This program has been suspended for the 2014 calendar year.

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), a municipal utility owned by the City of Gainesville, offers a solar feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Modeled on Germany's FIT, GRU purchases energy from qualified PV systems via a standard offer contract at predetermined rates for a period of 20 years, plus the remaining balance of the calendar year in which the contract is executed. Both residential and commercial generators are eligible. Commercial generators can either enter into a FIT agreement or net meter. Residential customers with PV systems less than 10 kilowatts (kW) have the option to enter into a FIT agreement and sell 100% of their electricity to GRU, or to net meter and only send the excess electricity to GRU under the terms established for that program. For those residential customers who choose to net meter, GRU offers a rebate to those who qualify. Any system that has previously received a solar PV rebate, entered into a net metering agreement or been financed with a Low Interest Energy Efficiency Loan from GRU is not eligible.

For contracts executed in 2013, the fixed rate for the life of the contract are $0.21/kWh, $0.18/kWh or $0.15/kWh (depending on size and application). There are separate rates for rooftop- or pavement-mounted systems or ground-mounted systems. A total capacity of 2.53 MW is available for 2013 contracts, of which 200 kW is reserved for residential solar projects.

For contracts executed in 2013, the rates are as follows:

  • All systems 10 kW or less: $0.21/kWh
  • Building- or pavement-mounted systems between 10 and 300 kW: $0.18/kWh
  • Ground-mounted systems between 10 and 25 kW: $0.18/kWh
  • Ground-mounted systems between 25 and 1,000 kW: $0.15/kWh

If the amount of capacity requested during current application period exceeds the amount of available capacity, a third party will select projects by a random drawing. If the full capacity is not requested during the specified application period, then applications will be accepted until capacity is met. All renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with customer generation belong to the utility.

Application information and required documentation can be found on the GRU solar feed-in-tariff website.

*For contracts executed in 2012, the fixed rate for the life of the contract started at $0.24/kWh, $0.22/kWh or $0.19/kWh (depending on size and application) and decreased over time.
Gainesville Regional Utilities - Solar-Electric (PV) System Rebate Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramNoUtilityNOTE: '''''Application targets for fiscal year 2013 have been met for the GRU Solar PV Rebate Program. The next round of applications are scheduled to open on October 1, 2013 pending approval of the GRU budget by the Gainesville City Commission.

Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) offers its customers a rebate to install photovoltaic (PV) systems. Systems with solar windows of 80% or more receive a $1.00/watt rebate. The GRU PV rebate is not available for solar windows lower than 79%. The current maximum rebate is $5,000 for residential customers. GRU must perform a pre-inspection of the applicant's site; results of the pre-inspection will determine rebate eligibility. The final rebate level will be determined following verification of the installed system by a GRU solar field inspector. The rebate only applies to locations within the GRU electric service territory. The rebate offer may not exceed the purchase price of the PV system.

PV modules must be UL-listed or ETL-listed to qualify for the rebate. All PV systems installed must carry at least a five-year warranty from the manufacturer and installer. The contractor must be currently certified to install PV systems by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Construction Industry Licensing Board. Licensed electrical contractors must obtain all necessary permits and perform all electrical interconnections. The customer must carry and maintain $100,000 in liability insurance.

All PV systems connected to GRU's electrical grid must comply with current City of Gainesville guidelines governing interconnection with GRU's electric system, and any subsequent revisions to these guidelines. Deed restrictions must not prohibit the installation of a PV system on property per Florida's solar-access law. Customers receiving rebates from GRU must transfer all renewable-energy credits (RECs) and other environmental attributes from power generated by PV systems to GRU.

Unless otherwise specified by GRU, PV systems receiving rebates will be dual metered. Under this arrangement, customers will be paid for the electricity they generate that is not used onsite at the time of production.

GRU retains the right to deny rebates based on inadequate solar window or poor orientation of the solar array.
Gainesville Regional Utilities- Low-Interest Energy Efficiency Loan Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Loan ProgramYesUtilityGainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) offers a six percent annual interest loan for pre-approved items including the ENERGY STAR refrigerators, high efficiency central air conditioning systems, and solar electric photovoltaic systems. This loan is being offered to encourage the installation of energy efficient products and equipment that will reduce energy use and save customers money. The program allows homeowners who are residential electric customers to borrow money through 1st Credit Union of Gainesville to make energy efficient improvements.

The loan is fixed at six percent annual interest rate for qualified applicants and subject to approval. In order to be eligible the customer must be a GRU electric customer. Improvements are only available for existing owner occupied residential dwellings including single family residences, mobile homes, duplexes, triplexes, and quadruplexes.

Loans are valid only for pre-approved energy saving measures as detailed in the GRU Energy Efficient Product List. An Estimate Form must be approved prior to issuance of loan. This loan may not be used in conjunction with a GRU rebate. Installation of energy improvements or purchases must be complete prior to the release of final loan payment and energy efficiency improvement must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Central A/C systems and duct leak repair must be performed by a GRU Partnering Contractor. On-site verification of installation may be required. Additional restrictions may apply, see program web site for full details and further equipment requirements.
Gas Safety Law (Florida)FloridaSafety and Operational GuidelinesYesState/ProvinceThis law authorizes the establishment of rules and regulations covering the design, fabrication, installation, inspection, testing and safety standards for installation, operation and maintenance of gas transmission and distribution systems.
Gulf Power - Solar PV Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramYesUtilityNote: All funding has currently been reserved for 2014 and new applications are no longer being accepted. See Gulf Power's Solar PV web site for more information.

On November 25th. 2014 the Florida PSC voted to end a solar pilot program at the end of 2015 that requires independently owned utilities to offer solar rebates. This program will not be offered after December 31st, 2015.

Gulf Power offers a Solar PV rebate to residential and commercial customers. Gulf Power will provide a $2/watt rebate with a $10,000 per system maximum.

In addition, Gulf Power has a Solar for Schools program, providing capital funding for PV systems. Gulf Power has worked with the Florida Solar Energy Center to install several 4-kW systems at Florida schools. The program is funded with voluntary contributions and includes educational programs to teach students about solar energy.
High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (Florida)FloridaGrant ProgramYesState/ProvinceThe High Impact Performance Incentive Grant (HIPI) is a negotiated grant used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors such as clean energy. Projects must create at least 50 new full-time jobs in a three-year period, and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million in a three year period. The business can be granted 50% of the eligible grant upon commencement of operations.
Inland Navigation Districts and Florida Inland Navigation District Law (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThe first part of this legislation establishes Inland Navigation Districts, which are authorized to plan for and manage the development of inland waterways, and to maintain public navigation channels within the state. Districts may also elect to implement and administer other programs and regulations pertaining to navigation and waterway development and conservation, and may restrict certain kinds of development on or adjacent to the waterway. Two main districts exist: the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), which has jurisdiction over the eastern portion of the state, and the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND), which has jurisdiction over four counties in the western portion of the state. The second part of this legislation pertains exclusively to FIND.
Interconnection Standards (Florida)FloridaInterconnectionYesState/TerritoryIn March 2008, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted interconnection rules for renewable-energy systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity. The PSC rules apply only to the state's investor-owned utilities; the rules do not apply to electric cooperatives or municipal utilities.

Florida's interconnection rules include provisions for three tiers of renewable-energy systems:

  • Tier 1: 10 kilowatts (kW) or less
  • Tier 2: Larger than 10 kW, but not larger than 100 kW
  • Tier 3: Larger than 100 kW, but not larger than 2 MW

To qualify for expedited interconnection under the PSC rules, the customer-owned renewable generation must have a gross power rating that does not exceed 90% of the customer’s utility distribution service rating. Tier 1 applicants are not subject to application fees, interconnection studies or liability insurance. Utilities may require that applicants have proof of general liability insurance of $1 million for Tier 2 and $2 million for Tier 3 customers.

An external disconnect switch is not required for inverter-based Tier 1 systems, but a utility may choose to install a disconnect switch for a Tier 1 system at the utility's expense. Utilities are authorized to require customers with Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems to install a disconnect switch at the customer's expense. The PSC rules also require mutual indemnification.

Utilities must offer customers a standard interconnection agreement for the expedited interconnection of renewable generation systems. All systems must meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the National Electric Code (NEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), including the IEEE 1547, IEEE 1547.1 and UL 1741 standards. In addition, systems must be inspected and approved by local code officials prior to interconnection to ensure compliance with applicable local codes.

In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation (H.B. 7135) confirming that the PSC had the authority to adopt the March 2008 rules related to interconnection and net metering for investor-owned utilities.* In addition, H.B. 7135 required municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to "develop a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation" by July 1, 2009. However, the law does not provide specific guidance for municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to file an annual report with the PSC detailing customer participation, although the PSC does not have direct authority over these utilities.

*While the PSC regulates investor-owned utilities, individual utilities have different forms for net metering and interconnection applications. Customers should visit their utility web site for more information and for appropriate net metering and interconnection application forms.
Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Compact (Multiple States)Alabama
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia
Environmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission assists member states efficiently maximize oil and natural gas resources through sound regulatory practices while protecting the nation's health, safety and the environment.

The Commission serves as the collective voice of member governors on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern petroleum resources within their borders.

The Commission formed the Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force, which examines the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to safe and effective storage of CO2 in the subsurface (depleted oil and natural gas fields, saline formations and coal beds).

The Commission also funds research on hydraulic fracking, reusing water used in extracting oil and gas, and makes recommendations on national energy policies and statutes for individual states.

The Commission also has several associate states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In addition, it has international affiliations with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.
JEA - Clean Power Program (Florida)FloridaRenewables Portfolio StandardYesUtilityIn November 1999, JEA, a municipal utility, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Club and the American Lung Association of Florida to formalize the municipal utility's commitment to generate at least 7.5% of its electric capacity from green energy sources by 2015. Eligible renewable-energy resources include solar, biomass, biogas (methane from landfills and sewage treatment plants), and wind, as well as specific efficiency projects (which are located at JEA facilities where improvements made result in additional power output with no additional fuel input). In addition, under the Solar Incentive Program, JEA offers a rebate for residential and commercial solar water heating systems. JEA also provides training and curricula to high school teachers to educate students about solar energy.
Land Reclamation and the Resource Extraction Reclamation Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Department of Environmental Protection's Mining Program is responsible for enacting and implementing regulations pertaining to land reclamation. The program primarily focuses on the reclamation of lands mined for phosphate, but some regulations (mostly found in Part III, sections 387.401 et seq.) also pertain more generally to mined land. This legislation contains information on mining inspections and certifications, owner liability, exemptions and permits, and regulations which pertain specifically to heavy metal mining.
Local Option - Special Districts (Florida)FloridaPACE FinancingYesState/TerritoryNote: '''''In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, '''''directed''''' these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing, and for a comprehensive list of all PACE programs across the country.

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Florida statutes authorize municipalities and counties to establish dependent special districts with the authority to collect revenue via a special assessment. (Not all local governments in Florida offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)

Florida PACE Programs

To be eligible for PACE financing, a local program at the city or county level must be available in your area. Jurisdictional eligibility rules vary by county and municipality; municipalities in an eligible county are not automatically eligible for PACE financing. Counties with PACE programs as of August 2014 included Flagler, Gadsden, Gulf, Indian River, Jefferson, Loean, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and St. Lucie.

Examples of active local PACE programs in Florida include:

Program Provisions

Specific qualifying improvements are locally determined. The loans made to property owners are secured with a lien that is equal to county taxes and assessments. To participate in this program, property owners must have paid property taxes and not been delinquent for the previous three years. Additionally, the total assessment cannot be for an amount greater than 20% of the assessed value of the property. Local governments may pool together with other local governments to finance and administer programs.

Program Creation

Local governments were granted clear authority to create PACE financing programs with the passage of HB 7179 in May 2010. This legislation authorizes local governments - including counties, municipalities and dependent special districts - to levy non-ad valorem assessments to fund energy efficiency and conservation improvements, renewable energy improvements, and wind resistance improvements.

In addition to authority granted by HB 7179, existing Florida law authorizes municipalities and counties to create special districts for financing a variety of projects that serve the public purpose and benefit the municipality or county. Many special districts currently exist to finance public infrastructure and administer various programs that serve the public purpose and benefit property owners and the municipality or county. A municipality or county can create a dependent special district to administer a PACE program. The Special District Information Program of the Florida Department of Community Affairs has a handbook that summarizes how counties and municipalities may create a dependent special district.
Management and Storage of Surface Waters (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Department of Environmental Protection regulates the use and storage of surface waters in the state. A permit from either the Department or the local Water Management District is required for the construction or alteration of any stormwater management system, dam, impoundment, reservoir, appurtenant work, or works. Specific regulations for such permits may be implemented by the Department or the relevant District. However, notwithstanding any local rules, the Department is authorized to implement and enforce statewide environmental resource permitting rules governing the construction, alteration, operation, maintenance, repair, abandonment, and removal of any stormwater management system, dam, impoundment, reservoir, appurtenant work, works, or any combination thereof. Permits are also required for certain proposed activities in or adjacent to surface waters or wetlands, and applicants must demonstrate that state water quality standards will not be violated and provide reasonable assurance that such activity in, on, or over surface waters or wetlands is not contrary to the public interest. This legislation contains additional water planning information specific to individual water management districts.
Miami-Dade County - Expedited Green Buildings Process (Florida)FloridaGreen Building IncentiveYesLocalIn an effort to promote environmentally sensitive design and construction, the Miami-Dade County Commissioners passed an ordinance in June 2005 to expedite the permitting process for “green” buildings certified by a recognized environmental rating agency. Commercial, industrial, and residential projects are all eligible as long as they are located in unincorporated Miami-Dade County and the City of West Miami. Additionally, solar water heating and solar photovoltaic projects are included in the "fast track" for permitting review.

See the Miami-Dade County Building Department web site for additional information. Certain repairs and replacements may be exempt from permitting.
Miami-Dade County - Voluntary Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program (Florida)FloridaPACE FinancingYesLocalIn November 2010, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 10-78, creating the Voluntary Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program. The program provides financing assistance for residential and commercial property owners of property located in Miami-Dade County. In order to participate in the program, the applicant must be the legal owner of the property on which the improvements will be made. In addition, the applicant must be current on any mortgage and cannot be in bankruptcy. The property may not be an asset in any bankruptcy proceeding and cannot have any federal income tax lien, judgment lien, construction lien, or similar. All property taxes must be paid and not have been delinquent for the previous three years (or the property owner's period of ownership, if less than three years).

Applications must be submitted to the county and must include a cost estimate for the installations completed by a certified contractor. The property owner must agree to a non-ad valorem assessment in order to secure a loan as part of the program. Loans are limited to 10% of the just value of the property unless the mortgage holder agrees to a higher financing amount, or the energy audit shows that the annual energy savings from the improvements would equal or exceed the annual repayment of loan. The repayment term may not exceed 20 years.
Myakka River Wild and Scenic Designation and Preservation Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Myakka was designated as the state's only "Florida Wild and Scenic River" by the Florida State Legislature in 1985. The act provides for preservation and management of the 34-mile portion of the river within Sarasota County, and limits development and construction on the river and adjacent lands. The Act also created the Myakka River Management Coordinating Council to oversee the Myakka. The Council has the authority to recommend amendments to the Act.
Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Intrastate Regulatory Act (Florida)FloridaSafety and Operational GuidelinesYesState/ProvinceThe regulation of natural gas intrastate transportation and sale is deemed to be an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the public welfare. The Public Service Commission is empowered to fix and regulate rates and services of natural gas transmission companies, including, without limitation, rules and regulations for determining the classification of customers and services, for determining the applicability of rates, and for ensuring that the provision (including access to transmission) or abandonment of service by a natural gas transmission company is not unreasonably preferential, prejudicial, or unduly discriminatory.
Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Siting Act (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceThis Act establishes a centralized and coordinated permitting process for the location of natural gas transmission pipeline corridors and the construction and maintenance of natural gas transmission pipelines. The Act intends to achieve a reasonable balance between the need for the natural gas transmission pipeline as a means of providing abundant natural gas and the impact on the public and the environment resulting from the location of the natural gas transmission pipeline corridor and the construction and maintenance of the natural gas transmission pipelines. As part of the Act, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) handles in-state environmental regulatory matters for wetlands crossings, discharge of hydrostatic test waters and other applicable areas. No projects have yet been certified under the Natural Gas Pipeline Siting Act.
Net Metering (Florida)FloridaNet MeteringYesState/TerritoryIn March 2008, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted rules for net metering and interconnection for renewable-energy systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity. The PSC rules apply only to the state's investor-owned utilities; the rules do not apply to electric cooperatives or municipal utilities. Net metering is available to customers who generate electricity using solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, biomass energy, ocean energy, hydrogen, waste heat or hydroelectric power.

Customer net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward at the utility's retail rate (i.e., as a kilowatt-hour credit) to a customer's next bill for up to 12 months. At the end of a 12-month billing period, the utility pays the customer for any remaining NEG at the utility's avoided-cost rate. Renewable energy credits (RECs) are the property of the system owner, and customers may sell RECs back to the utility. There is no stated aggregate capacity limit for net-metered systems.

Utilities must file annual reports with the Florida PSC indicating the number of customer-generators and the size, type and location of their renewable energy systems, the aggregate capacity of net-metered generation, the amount of energy delivered to and generated from interconnected customers, and the total energy payments made to interconnected customers.

In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation (H.B. 7135) confirming that the PSC had the authority to adopt the March 2008 rules related to interconnection and net metering for investor-owned utilities.* In addition, H.B. 7135 required municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to "develop a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation" by July 1, 2009.** However, the law does not provide clear standards or define net metering for municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to file an annual report with the PSC detailing customer participation, although the PSC does not have direct authority over these utilities.

* While the PSC regulates investor-owned utilities, individual utilities have different forms for net metering and interconnection applications. Customers should visit their utility web site for more information and for appropriate net metering and interconnection application forms.

** Prior to the enactment of H.B. 7135, several municipal and cooperative utilities -- including Lakeland Electric, JEA and Orlando Utilities Commission -- voluntarily offered net metering to their customers. For information on the current net metering programs offered by these utilities, see their web sites: JEA Net Metering, Orlando Utilities Commission Net Metering
Orlando Utilities Commission - Residential Solar Loan Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Loan ProgramYesUtilityOrlando Utilities Commission (OUC), in cooperation with the Orlando Federal Credit Union (OFCU), provides its customers with low-interest loans for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar water heating (SWH) systems. Customers may borrow up to $7,500 for a SWH system or up to $20,000 for a PV system, and loans are repaid over time as fixed payments on customers' monthly utility bills. Interest rates for SWH systems vary from 0% to 4% over a term ranging from three years to seven years. Interest rates for PV systems vary from 2% to 5.5% over a term ranging from three years to 10 years. Customer does not have to be a member of OFCU to qualify.
Orlando Utilities Commission - Solar Programs (Florida)FloridaPerformance-Based IncentiveYesUtilityThe Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), through its Solar Program, offers to purchase the environmental attributes or renewable energy credits (RECs) from customers who install a photovoltaic (PV) and/or solar thermal energy system on their property. Incentive payments are equal to $0.05 per killowatt-hour (kWh) for commercial and residential PV systems and $0.03/kWh for commercial solar water heating (SWH) systems and appear in the form of a credit on customer monthly utility bills.* Residential customers can receive a $1,000 rebate for a solar hot water system.

Under this program, the electricity output of the PV system is used on-site and REC payments are based on the system's total output. Any net excess generation produced by PV systems is credited to the system owner at the utility's full retail rate.

Production agreements have an initial term of five years and automatically renew for five-year terms unless terminated by written notice by either party. For installation financing options, OUC customers may apply for a low-interest Residential Solar Loan.

*Solar space heating systems and solar pool heating systems are not eligible. Solar water heating systems are metered in British Thermal Units (BTUs) and then converted to kWh to determine incentive credits.
Permitting of Consumptive Uses of Water (Florida)FloridaSiting and PermittingYesState/ProvinceLocal water management districts are required to establish programs and regulations to provide for the permitting of consumptive uses of water. Such permitting programs are subject to the authorization and oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department is currently leading an effort to make consumptive use permitting more consistent throughout the state. To obtain a permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the applicant must establish that the proposed use of water: (a) Is a reasonable-beneficial use as defined in this chapter; (b) Will not interfere with any presently existing legal use of water; and (c) Is consistent with the public interest. Water management districts may establish additional conditions. This legislation contains additional information on consumptive use permitting procedures, as well as information on existing permits and water uses, artesian wells, land acquisition, and water conservation requirements.
Pollutant Discharge Prevention and Control Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for enacting regulations to prevent and mitigate the release of pollutants into the land and waters of the state. This legislation authorizes the Department to enact relevant regulations and describes prohibited acts, the liability of parties responsible for polluting acts, and cleanup and removal procedures for pollutants.
Progress Energy Florida - SunSense Schools Program (Florida)FloridaOther IncentiveYesUtilityProgress Energy Florida (PEF) offers the SunSense Schools Program which provides up to 11 public schools with fully installed solar photovoltaic systems annually. The application process is competitive with priority statues given to schools which have already been designated by Progress as Enhanced Hurricane Protection Areas (EHPA).

Each year, up to ten K-12 public schools can receive a system of up to 10 kW with battery backup option. The selection process will favor schools that demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy education. Additionally, each year at least one public post-secondary schools can receive a system of up to 100 kW. The selection process will be based on attendance, energy consumption, energy education plans and other criteria.

Minimum requirement for the SunSense School Program include:

  • Schools must be a public education facility
  • Schools must be current PEF customers
  • Schools must have an appropriate site available for a ground-mounted PV system
  • Schools must have facilities that meet Interconnection requirements for PEF
More information on the SunSense program, application process and deadlines can be found on the SunSense Schools web site.
Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property (Florida)FloridaProperty Tax IncentiveYesState/TerritoryFlorida provides a property tax exemption for residential photovoltaic systems, wind energy systems, solar water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps installed on or after January 1, 2013. For the purpose of assessing property taxes for a home, an increase in the just value of the property attributable to the installation of this equipment should be ignored. The exemption applies to the following types of equipment used as part of a solar, wind or geothermal system:

  • Solar energy collectors, photovoltaic modules, and inverters.
  • Storage tanks and other storage systems, excluding swimming pools used as storage tanks.
  • Rockbeds.
  • Thermostats and other control devices.
  • Heat exchange devices.
  • Pumps and fans.
  • Roof ponds.
  • Freestanding thermal containers.
  • Pipes, ducts, refrigerant handling systems, and other equipment used to interconnect such systems; however, such equipment does not include conventional backup systems of any type
  • Windmills and wind turbines.
  • Wind-driven generators.
  • Power conditioning and storage devices that use wind energy to generate electricity or mechanical forms of energy.
  • Pipes and other equipment used to transmit hot geothermal water to a dwelling or structure from a geothermal deposit.
This exemption applies to assessments beginning January 1, 2014, and for equipment installed on or after January 1, 2013.
Public Utilities (Florida)FloridaGenerating Facility Rate-MakingYesState/ProvinceChapter 366 of the Florida Statutes governs the operation of public utilities, and includes a section pertaining to cogeneration and small power production (366.051). This section establishes the state's support for incorporating cogenerators and small power producers into the grid, and directs the Public Service Commission to establish regulations and guidelines pertaining to the sale of electricity from these generators to electric utilities. Public utility power purchasing rates must be equal to the purchasing utility's full avoided costs.
Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (Florida)FloridaCorporate Tax Incentive
Sales Tax Incentive
YesState/ProvinceThe Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund incentive is available for companies that create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. The incentive refunds up to $3,000 per new full-time employee, $6000 in an Enterprise Zone. More tax refunds are available if companies reach certain wage levels. This incentive also includes refunds on corporate income, sales, ad valorem, intangible personal property, insurance premium, and others. The incentive is capped at $5 million per applicant.
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (Florida)FloridaRenewables Portfolio Standards and GoalsYesState/ProvinceThis entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in Florida as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (North Dakota, South Dakota) may be lower.
Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources (Florida)FloridaSafety and Operational GuidelinesYesState/ProvinceIt is the public policy of the state to conserve and control the natural resources of oil and gas, and their products; to prevent waste of oil and gas; to provide for the protection and adjustment of the rights of landowners, producers, and interested parties; and to safeguard the health, property and public welfare of the citizens of said state and other interested persons. The Division of Resource Management within the Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for regulating the production and conservation of oil and gas resources. This legislation contains more information on the scope of the Division's powers; permitting procedures for exploration, development, and production permits; and well spacing and pooling. Additional regulations can be found in chapter 62C of the Florida Administrative Code.
Regulations of Wells (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceThe Department of Environmental Protection regulates the construction, repair, and abandonment of wells, as well as the persons and businesses undertaking such practices. Governing boards of water management districts are authorized to implement programs for the issuance of permits for the location, construction, repair, and abandonment of water wells. However, the Department may prescribe minimum standards for the location, construction, repair, and abandonment of water wells throughout all or parts of the state, as may be determined by the Department.
Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Florida)FloridaCorporate Tax CreditYesState/TerritoryIn June 2006, S.B. 888 established a renewable energy production tax credit to encourage the development and expansion of renewable energy facilities in Florida. The credit was allowed to expire in 2010. In April 2012, H.B. 7117 re-established and updated the renewable energy production tax credit. This summary describes the current version of the credit.

This annual corporate tax credit is equal to $0.01 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity produced and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated party during a given tax year. For new facilities (placed in service after May 1, 2012) the credit is based on the sale of the facility's entire electrical production. For an expanded facility,* the credit is based on the increases in the facility's electrical production that are achieved after May 1, 2012.

For the purposes of this credit, renewable energy is defined as “electrical, mechanical, or thermal energy produced from a method that uses one or more of the following fuels or energy sources: hydrogen, biomass, solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, ocean energy, waste heat, or hydroelectric power.”

The credit may be claimed for electricity produced and sold on or after January 1, 2013, and June 30, 2016. Beginning in 2014 and continuing until 2017, each taxpayer claiming a credit under this section must apply to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services each year for an allocation of available credit. If the credit granted is not fully used in one year because of insufficient tax liability, the unused amount may be carried forward for up to 5 years.

The combined total amount of tax credits which may be granted for all taxpayers under this program is limited to $5 million for fiscal year 2012/2013, and $10 million per year for the remaining fiscal years. If the amount of credits applied for each year exceeds the cap established for that year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will award credits to qualified applicants based on the following priority:

  1. New facilities placed in operation post May 1, 2012 (up to $250,000 maximum)
  2. Facilities not able to claim credits under Priority 1 and which claim a credit of $50,000 or less
  3. Facilities not able to claim credits under Priority 1 or Priority 2

For all Priority levels, credits allocated will be prorated based upon applicants unallocated claims for qualified production and sales.

A taxpayer cannot claim both this production tax credit and Florida’s Renewable Energy Technologies Investment Tax Credit. In June 2008, Florida enacted H.B. 7135 which specified that a taxpayer's use of the credit does not reduce the amount of the Florida alternative minimum tax available to the taxpayer.

Tax credits may be transferable to to an eligible entity after a merger or acquisition. Credits must be used in the same manner and with the same limitations and can only be transferred to a surviving or acquiring entity once.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for ensuring that the corporate income tax credit granted does not exceed limitations outlined in H.B. 7117 and is charged with making available on its web site tax credit balances. The Florida Department of Revenue is authorized to audit and investigate tax credit paperwork and claims.

* An "expanded facility" is a Florida renewable energy facility that increases its electrical production and sale by more than 5% above the facility's electrical production and sale during the 2011 calendar year.
Resource Recovery and Management Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Department of Environmental Protection administers the state solid and hazardous waste management programs. The programs aim to:

(a) Plan for and regulate in the most economically feasible, cost-effective, and environmentally safe manner the storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste in order to protect the public safety, health, and welfare; enhance the environment for the people of this state; and recover resources which have the potential for further usefulness. (b) Offer planning and technical and financial assistance for solid waste management. (c) Provide the authority and require counties and municipalities to adequately plan and provide efficient, environmentally acceptable solid waste management and require counties to plan for proper hazardous waste management. (d) Require review of the design, and issue permits for the construction, operation, and closure of solid waste management facilities. (e) Promote the application of resource recovery systems which preserve and enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources. (f) Ensure that hazardous waste is transported, disposed of, stored, and treated in a manner adequate to protect human health, safety, and welfare and the environment. (g) Promote the reduction, recycling, reuse, or treatment of solid waste, specifically including hazardous waste, in lieu of disposal of such wastes. (h) Promote the application of methods and technology for the treatment, disposal, and transportation of hazardous wastes which are practical, cost-effective, and economically feasible. (i) Encourage counties and municipalities to promote efficient and proper methods of managing solid waste and to promote the economical recovery of material and energy resources from solid waste. (j) Promote the education of the general public and the training of solid waste professionals to reduce the production of solid waste, to ensure proper disposal of solid waste, and to encourage recycling. (k) Encourage the development of waste reduction and recycling as a means of managing solid waste, conserving resources, and supplying energy through planning, grants, technical assistance, and other incentives. (l) Encourage the development of the state’s recycling industry by promoting the successful development of markets for recycled items and by promoting the acceleration and advancement of the technology used in manufacturing processes that use recycled items. (m) Require all state agencies to aid and promote the development of recycling through their procurement policies for the general welfare and economy of the state. (n) Require counties to develop and implement recycling programs within their jurisdictions. (o) Ensure that biomedical waste is treated and disposed of in a manner adequate to protect human health, safety, and welfare and the environment.

(p) Require counties, municipalities, and state agencies to determine the full cost for providing, in an environmentally safe manner, storage, collection, transport, separation, processing, recycling, and disposal of solid waste material, and encourage counties, municipalities, and state agencies affected to contract with private persons for any or all such services in order to assure that such services are provided on the most cost-effective basis.
Rural Job Tax Credit Program (Florida)FloridaCorporate Tax Incentive
Sales Tax Incentive
YesState/ProvinceThe Rural Job Tax Credit Program is an incentive for businesses located within one of the 36-designated Qualified Rural Areas to create new jobs. The tax credit ranges from $1000 to $1500 per qualified employee and can be taken against either the Florida Corporate Income Tax or the Florida Sales and Use Tax.
Shovel Ready Energy Project Grants (Florida)FloridaGrant ProgramYesState/ProvinceThis program leverages Florida’s state energy grant initiatives to identify “shovel-ready” projects that can be expeditiously implemented through available SEP funding. The goal is to provide grants for competitively-selected renewable energy and energy efficiency technology projects. The grant program is designed to stimulate capital investment in the state and promote and enhance the statewide utilization of renewable energy technologies. The top ten ranked (but unfunded) projects from FY 2008-09 grant applications from the Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technology category as well as the Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technology for Bioenergy category have been selected to receive funding. Before funding is awarded, the applicant must undergo eligibility and environmental review by the U.S. Department of Energy and agree to the requirements applicable under the ARRA. Only 3 of the 20 grants received funding after DOE review.
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (Florida)FloridaTraining/Technical AssistanceYesState/ProvinceThrough the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP), the Department of Environmental Protection provides technical and regulatory assistance to small businesses. Although SBEAP is primarily focused on helping small businesses reduce air pollution emissions, staff either provide direct assistance on air, water, and waste questions or refer them to other Florida Department of Environmental Protection divisions.
Small Business Loan Support Program (Florida)FloridaLoan ProgramYesState/ProvinceThe Small Business Loan Support Program provides small businesses with loan guarantees and loan participations. Businesses must contribute match investment or other credit assistance. A business’s lending institution must pre-qualify with Enterprise Florida.
Soil and Water Conservation (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceFlorida’s 62 Soil and Water Conservation Districts were established in 1937 under Chapter 582 Florida Statutes. The law was based on federal model legislation to establish Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) nationwide. Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) were originally organized, for the most part, within county boundaries by landowner petition based on a need for soil and water conservation and in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. A Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) so organized constitutes a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has the authority to enact rules and regulations pertaining to soil and water conservation, but individual districts are primarily responsible for developing and enacting comprehensive soil and water conservation plans for their jurisdiction. Such plans may include the adoption of regulations pertaining to soil, water, and land use as well as to construction and development activities in the region.
Solar Equipment Certification (Florida)FloridaEquipment CertificationYesState/TerritoryUnder the Solar Energy Standards Act of 1976, the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is responsible for certifying all solar equipment sold in Florida. A manufacturer who wishes to have their solar equipment certified first contacts FSEC for an application and requests that FSEC test samples of the product at random. Equipment is then subjected to a series of tests in order to be approved or denied certification. Standards and applications procedures for specific technologies are available on the FSEC web site. Periodically, FSEC will retest solar equipment to maintain quality control, and FSEC will make facility inspections every two to four years, where feasible. For more details about the testing methodology for both PV collectors and thermal equipment, see the program web site above.
Solar for Schools and Shelters (Florida)FloridaGrant ProgramYesState/ProvinceThis program will support the installation of photovoltaic systems with battery back-up on strategically located schools and emergency shelters throughout the state. The Office of Energy will coordinate with the Florida Solar Energy Center to select 90 co-located schools and emergency shelters in Florida and install 10 kW and larger solar systems with data loggers on each site. The program will include operation and maintenance workshops for energy and facilities managers and administer education orientation workshops for teachers. There are four primary objectives to this program:

(1) creating or saving green collar jobs by hiring solar contractors to install solar systems; (2) providing power for critical needs during power outages and times of disaster; (3) educating future generations about solar energy technologies; and (4) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, it will update the http://www.energywhiz.com Web site to include new system information for each of the 90 schools/shelters.
Southeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact (Multiple States)Alabama
Environmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThe Southeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Compact is administered by the Compact Commission. The Compact provides for rotating responsibility for the region's low-level radioactive waste, and the Commission can set rules for waste disposal in the region.
Southern States Energy Compact (Multiple States)Alabama
North Carolina
Puerto Rico
South Carolina
United States Virgin Islands
West Virginia
Environmental Regulations
Industry Recruitment/Support
YesState/ProvinceThe Southern States Energy Compact provides for the proper employment and conservation of energy, and for the employment of energy-related facilities, materials, and products, within the context of a responsible regard for the environment, among the Southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southern States Energy Board is responsible for administering the Compact and may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations in conjunction with state agencies. The Board also encourages the development, conservation, and responsible use of energy and energy-related facilities, installations, and products as part of a balanced economy and a healthy environment.
St. Lucie County - Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) (Florida)FloridaLocal Loan ProgramYesLocalSt. Lucie County has partnered with local financial institutions and community leaders to establish the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), which will administer a low-interest loan program. SELF will use grant funding and private investments to offer interest rates lower than those associated with similar programs.

In June 2010, St. Lucie County received a grant award through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Block Grant Program (EECBG). The $2.9 million award is being used to kick-start the SELF pilot loan program, which began taking applications and making loans in early 2011.

SELF will give qualifying residents and business owners the ability to secure financing for:

  • Weatherization (insulation, caulking, window and door replacement)
  • Replacement of inefficient air-conditioning systems
  • Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

Solar thermal is an eligible improvement if it meets the guidelines described in EECBG Program Notice 10-021 relative to the reduction of electricity consumption. However, solar thermal will not be considered an eligible improvement for use with swimming pools. PV systems can be added only after energy efficiency upgrades in a building are installed, or if the building is already substantially deemed energy efficient.

SELF will offer loans up to $50,000 for eligible energy enhancements with extended repayment periods. Loan rates vary based for energy efficient and renewable energy project, while the term will be fixed for terms up to 15 years and provide a minimum loan amount of $1,000 and maximum loan amount of $50,000. The total loan-to-value (LTV) cannot exceed 115% of the property appraiser’s market value, the total debt-to-income ratio of up to forty-five per cent (45%) will be used for initial qualification, and a credit report score of at least 650 will be considered.*

*Note: The term of the loan, LTV, total debt-to-income ratio, and credit report score can be non-compliant with policy when compensating factors exist.

SELF has begun the process to transform itself from a revolving loan fund to a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Tampa Electric - Solar Rebate Program (Florida)FloridaUtility Rebate ProgramYesUtilityNote: Rebates will be availabile on January 6th, 2015 at 10 A.M. and are expected to be claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis within minutes.

On November 25th. 2014 the Florida PSC voted to end a solar pilot program at the end of 2015 that requires independently owned utilities to offer solar rebates. This program will not be offered after December 31st, 2015.

Tampa Electric provides financial incentives to customers who install solar-energy systems on their homes and businesses. Customers who install eligible solar water heating systems may receive a rebate of $1,000. Customers who install photovoltaic (PV) systems may receive a rebate of $2 per watt, with a maximum rebate of $20,000. Prior to system installation, program participants must allow Tampa Electric to perform an energy audit on the home or building.

Tampa Electric has budgeted $1.5 million per year for this program from 2011 through 2015. The utility will approve applications every year on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. See program web site for more information.
Water Resources Restoration and Preservation Act (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental RegulationsYesState/ProvinceThis Act assigns water monitoring duties to the Department of Environmental Protection, and requires the Department to establish Total Daily Maximum Load (TDML) levels for water bodies throughout the state. TDMLs are published in section 62-304 of the Florida Administrative Code. This legislation also establishes a water quality credit trading program, and authorizes the Department to set best management practices for select bodies of water. However, permitting duties related to water quality are typically under the purview of local water management districts in Florida.
Wekiva River and Wekiva Parkway Protection Acts (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceThe Wekiva River Protection Act directs the Orange, Lake, and Seminole Counties to emphasize the Wekiva River Protection Area in their planning efforts and regulations. Each county’s local comprehensive plan must contain goals, policies, and objectives that result in the protection of the: (1) Water quantity, water quality, and hydrology of the Wekiva River System; (2) Wetlands associated with the Wekiva River System; (3) Aquatic and wetland-dependent wildlife species associated with the Wekiva River System; and (4) Habitat within the Wekiva River Protection Area of species designated pursuant to rules. The Act contains further information on the types of development that may be restricted from the Wekiva River watershed. The Wekiva Parkway Protection Act calls for prudent planning and zoning practices, development strategies, and stormwater management plans to restore damaged natural springs and groundwater resources. It implements the planning recommendations made by the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee in 2004. These can be found here: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/central/Home/Admin/WekivaReportDecember2004.pdf
Wildlife Management Areas (Florida)FloridaEnvironmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
YesState/ProvinceCertain sites in Florida are designated as wildlife management areas, and construction and development is heavily restricted in these areas.