Solar Rebate Update

Thousands of solar energy customers are in line to receive rebates from the state under a new law (Chapter Law: 2010-282) passed November 16 by the Legislature and immediately signed into law by the governor.

However, it could be a few months before they see those checks, according to the Governor’s Energy Office.

Qualifying applicants who upgraded their air conditioning systems are eligible to receive rebates of $1,500 each. Qualifying solar rebate homeowner applicants were originally in line to receive rebates of $100 for solar swimming pool heaters, $500 for solar water heaters and $4 per watt of energy produced from eligible panel systems, up to $20,000 per homeowner. Businesses were in line to receive up to $5,000 for solar water heaters and up to $100,000 for solar panels.

The Legislature is relying upon $31.4 million in federal stimulus funding to meet the obligations of both the HVAC and solar rebate programs.

The Energy Office will first process applications for the HVAC Rebate Program. Applications are due by November 30, 2010. Here are the guidelines, according to the news release by the Governor’s Office:

The HVAC or geothermal system must have been purchased or contracted for purchase with a Florida licensed contractor between August 30, 2010 and September 14, 2010.
The new HVAC or geothermal system must be fully installed on or before November 30, 2010.
A complete application (with the four required documents included) must be submitted to the rebate administrator on or before November 30, 2010.

To process those applications, the Energy Office is re-activating its toll free hotline (877-521-2140) effective Monday, November 22, 2010. More information is available at www.rebates.com/floridahvac/ .

The Legislature set aside $2,467,244 in federal stimulus monies for HVAC rebates, but is making additional federal stimulus money available if applications exceed that amount. That money will come from a second pot of money, a total of $28.9 million in federal stimulus funds that lawmakers earmarked for the Solar Energy System Incentives Program (solar rebate program).

The remaining dollars will be shared among applicants who purchased solar energy systems for their homes and businesses. The money will be distributed on a pro rata basis. Nearly $52 million in unpaid solar energy rebates have been submitted by some 13,000 people. It is estimated that over 50 percent of the value of each solar rebate will be paid back to customers.

The Energy Office will review applications to make sure they meet state and federal guidelines. It expects to issue rebates well into January 2011 or beyond.