Going solar is significantly easier on the wallet for residents who take advantage of sought-after FPL rebates.
The popular rebates, which potentially reduce the price of a residential solar panel project by half to a third, are typically snapped up quickly.
A fresh allotment of rebates is available, and applications are accepted online as of 8:30 a.m. Oct. 16.
The money set aside for solar photovoltaic (PV) rebates — $6.8 million of a $9 million pot — likely would accommodate about 200 to 300 residential customers and about 50 to 100 businesses, said FPL spokesman Erik Hofmeyer. The program also offers rebates for solar water heaters.
Online applications are evaluated in a first-come, first-served basis. Residents interested in applying need to do preliminary work to provide the required information about their proposed project and contractor. A checklist is available at fpl.com/solarrebates/.
If approved, the applicant receives what’s basically a reservation for a rebate. The rebate money, up to $20,000 for residential PV projects, is sent when a solar project is finished and deemed to meet the requirements.
Installing solar panels is becoming more affordable, according to Danny Parker, scientist at the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida. PV panel manufacturing costs are dropping and installers are more proficient, he said.
As a hypothetical example, Parker said installing 5 kilowatts of (PV) panels on a typical South Florida home may be a $25,000 project. The FPL rebate could knock about $10,000 off that price, and the federal tax credit, if applicable, would reduce the expense even more. Homeowners would pay a net amount of about $10,000 and the savings on utilities costs would be about $830 a year.
“That’s a great deal,” Parker said. “You’d start saving money right away.”