JUNO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company's Office of Clean Energy today announced its plans for funding a range of solar-power installations and educating customers about solar energy.
This fall, FPL will offer approximately $9 million in rebates for residential and business customers who wish to install solar water heater or solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. In addition, FPL plans to install solar arrays at nearly 100 public schools and other educational facilities throughout its territory while also helping more than 400 families in need by installing solar water heater systems in homes being built or refurbished by Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit organizations. All of these projects are part of a pilot program approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.
"FPL has long been an advocate for solar power and new technologies, and we recognize we're in a unique position to help educate the public, and especially young people, about energy, which is such a critical issue for our future," said Buck Martinez, senior director of FPL's Office of Clean Energy. "We're excited to bring dynamic, hands-on educational tools to more and more Floridians than ever before over the course of the next year."
Solar rebate application period opens Oct. 15
FPL residential and business customers who plan to install solar water heating or solar PV systems can apply for rebate funding beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2013.
Rebate reservations for the available funding will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding for the solar rebates is limited to a total of approximately $9 million.
An individual solar installation requires a significant upfront investment from the customer. Based on data provided by customers who received FPL solar rebates during the past year, the upfront cost of a typical, 5-kW residential solar system is currently in the range of $20,000 to $25,000. At $2,000 per kW, FPL's solar rebate would offset $10,000 for this size installation.
"The cost of solar PV and solar water heating systems vary significantly, depending on the contractor, so it's important to do your research before making a purchase," Martinez said.
Interested customers must apply online at www.FPL.com/solarrebates and then complete the required process to receive a rebate reservation. Applications for approximately $9 million in rebate funds will be accepted for: residential PV, business PV, residential solar water heating and business solar water heating. FPL recommends that customers who are interested in applying for a rebate prepare in advance and have all the necessary components of the application ready because funds are expected to be reserved quickly. Application checklists and updated program details are available on www.FPL.com/solarrebates.
After the available funding has been fully reserved, a limited number of customers who do not receive a reservation will be placed on a standby waiting list in the order in which their applications were received. Should funds become available due to cancelled reservations, customers on the standby list will be notified.
FPL installing solar-power systems at educational facilities in 23 Florida counties
FPL will continue to install solar-power systems with real-time energy monitoring at nearly 100 educational facilities during the next year to provide dynamic educational opportunities for students across Florida. The electricity generated will be credited back on the school's electric meter to help reduce electric bills, and students get to learn about clean energy.
As of Oct. 1, 2013, a total of about 90 schools and five science centers in 23 counties have been confirmed to participate in the program and are currently in various stages of approval, permitting and construction completion. FPL will announce completed installations in the coming months.
In addition to the solar panels, each school participating in the program receives teacher training and educational materials at no cost to the school district. Over the past three years, FPL has provided clean energy instructional courses for more than 250 science teachers and provided them with a clean energy curriculum.
Installations are slated for facilities in the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Putnam, St. Johns and St. Lucie.
FPL partnering with affordable-housing non-profits to install solar
FPL is partnering with local Habitat for Humanity chapters, the Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation and the Boynton Beach Community Development Corporation to install solar water heater systems, free of charge, for more than 400 homes being built or refurbished for families in need in 14 Florida counties.
"Through FPL's programs, our homeowners become more successful in the homeownership program due to reduced electric costs on an ongoing basis. Without FPL, we would not be able to provide the high level of home energy sustainability that we have achieved in the past two years," said Mike Campbell, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County, one of the non-profit organizations participating in the solar water heater program.
"Twenty-five Habitat families will see a decrease in their energy consumption because of FPL's help. This translates into savings each and every month, and for a low-income family, that is a big deal," said Andrew R. Bowler, president & CEO of the Indian River Habitat for Humanity, which is also participating in the solar water heater program.
Over the next year, FPL is partnering with affordable-housing non-profit organizations in the following counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hendry, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Johns, and Volusia.
NOTE: FPL does not endorse or recommend any individual installers for any of its programs, nor does FPL bear any responsibility for the quality or performance of any products or contractors chosen or hired by the customer. Customers should choose products and contractors carefully, given the many variables involved. The decision to select, hire and the management of the contractor that will install the eligible products is the customer's sole responsibility. There are many installers with varying levels of capability and experience. Customers should check to make sure the work performed by a contractor meets all applicable licensing and building code requirements.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees as of year-end 2012. During the five-year period ended December 31, 2012, the company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned utilities. As of year-end 2012, its typical residential customer bills are the lowest in Florida, and based on data available in July 2012, are about 26 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company