FPL offering $9 million in solar energy rebates – Sun

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

It’s that time of year when Florida Power Light Co. accepts applications for rebates on solar water heaters and panels, and customers have to act fast before the money runs out.

FPL this year is offering about $9 million in solar rebates. It will accept applications starting Oct. 15 at 8:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year, reservations for its roughly $9 million in rebates ran out in about three hours. About 300 customers received the rebates during the year, the company said.

FPL is offering the rebates to help customers defray the upfront expense of solar systems. That cost last year ran about $20,000 to $25,000 for a typical 5-kilowatt home solar system, based on customer data. At $2,000 per kilowatt, FPL’s rebate would offset $10,000 for that installation, the company said.

Customers are increasingly installing solar systems as the cost of solar water heaters and panels drops. The price for solar panels is less than half what it was in 2011, according to the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.

Using solar energy helps customers reduce the amount of electricity they buy from FPL and cuts the utility’s need to build power plants to meet rising demand for energy.

To qualify for rebates, customers must apply online at FPL.com/solarrebates. Applicants must provide some documentation that must be gathered in advance. That includes specific information about the proposed solar installation from a contractor. Application checklists and updated program details are available at the website.

The rebates are part of a larger program by the Juno Beach-based company to promote solar energy in its 35-county service area.

The company also is installing solar panels at dozens of schools, including nine in Broward County, to raise solar energy awareness and provide educational opportunities for students. FPL provides teachers with training and educational materials as part of the program.

This year, FPL plans to complete solar installations at five Broward schools: Panther Run Elementary School, Blanche Ely High School, Tropical Elementary School, Attucks Middle School and New Renaissance Middle School. Next year, it plans to install panels at Stranahan High School, McNab Elementary School, Parkway Middle School and Welleby Elementary School.

dhemlock@sunsentinel.com, 305-810-5009

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