How to Go Solar in Boca Raton
Join the Palm Beach County 2021 Solar Co-Op
Palm Beach County, Fl –Nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors announced the launch of the Palm Beach County Solar Co-op on January 14, 2021 to help Palm Beach County residents go solar. The co-op is free to join and open to homeowners and business owners in Palm Beach County. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage bulk purchasing to ensure competitive pricing and quality solar installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar.
Join a virtual information session to learn more:
Wednesday, January 27 at 6pm
Tuesday, March 16 at 6pm (Register on ZOOM)
Wednesday, April 7 at 6pm (Register on ZOOM)
Boca Raton is a SolSmart Community!
SolSmart communities have taken steps to reduce barriers to going solar in cities and communities around the country. Taking actions such as reducing solar permitting turn around time, providing checklists and online permitting options, participating in financing programs such as PACE, and providing consumer information about solar energy helps to make going solar easier and reduces costs. Learn more about the SolSmart program at SolSmart.org.
Why Go Solar?
A solar photovoltaic system turns your roof into a clean energy generating machine! Solar electricity is beneficial for many reasons:
- Generating electricity with solar PV reduces monthly electric bills.
- Solar + Storage allows solar panels to provide electricity after a storm when the grid is down.
- Solar energy reduces your greenhouse gas emissions!
How to Go Solar in Boca Raton?
Are solar energy systems allowed on my property?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: In the City of Boca Raton, solar PV systems are considered mechanical equipment and are therefore allowable subject to the same requirements as other mechanical equipment, including but not limited to air conditioning units, electrical power generators and such similar equipment. Depending upon location, zoning district and other factors, such mechanical equipment (including solar PV) may be subject to additional design review by the Historic Preservation Board and/or the Community Appearance Board. Solar systems are allowed in all zoning districts while also complying with requirements outlined in the Florida Building Code, and the Florida Fire Prevention Code.
What is the permitting process for solar energy systems?
To receive a permit for your solar project, follow the steps on the building department’s Solar Checklist for both thermal and photovoltaic systems.
The turnaround time for solar permit approval is three days or less!
Solar permit applications can be submitted online. You can also schedule inspections and see inspection results online. For more information visit the building department page here;
The Interactive Permit Checklist has been temporarily removed. Please call Development Services Code Compliance Division at 561-393-7930 for questions.
Does my roof get enough sun?
Google’s Project Sunroof is a great starting point to find out if your home is suitable for solar photovoltaic panels. The interactive map uses local climate information and details of your property based on satellite images to provide advice on the size of your solar PV system, the savings, and the estimated return on investment.
Finding a Solar Installer
The City of Boca Raton does not endorse any specific solar installer. Consult the Florida Solar Energies Association to find one near you.
Financing for Solar
Palm Beach County Solar Co-Op
In 2018 The City of Boca Raton partnered with the 501c3 United Solar Neighbors who organized a solar co-op in Palm Beach County. Joining the co-op is an opportunity to learn more about solar panels, speak to homeowners who have installed systems, and get help through the process of purchasing and installing. Joining to co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Learn more about Solar Co-Ops on Solar United Neighbor’s website and keep and eye out for future opportunities.
Join the 2021 Palm Beach County Solar Co-op!
Residents of Boca Raton can participate in the county’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a financing option which covers the upfront costs of the installation of solar panels, paid back as a non-ad valorem fee on the property tax bill. For more information, visit the PACE page on the City’s Sustainability site.
Solar Investment Tax Credit
A Federal tax credit is available for investments in solar energy. Solar energy systems purchased in 2021 or 2022 are eligible for a 26% tax credit. Systems purchased in 2023 will be eligible for a 22% credit. The tax credit is scheduled to expire after 2023. Consult your tax professional for more information.
Florida Solar Laws
Title XI Section 163.04: Energy devices based on renewable resources
Florida state laws expressly forbid the prohibition of solar panels by local entities, including homeowners associations. Some rules regarding design and appearance may be allowed, for example, in historic districts. The law states “A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or binding agreement. A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit. Such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south if such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.”
Read the whole section here.
Title XXVII 366.91: Renewable energy
Title XXVII 366.91 of Florida state law expressly allows for net metering. Net metering means that owners of solar panels which are connected to the electricity grid can sell any excess generation to their electric utility and have the value deducted from their monthly utility bill.
Read the whole section here.
Solar Energy is still a relatively new technology and, for many of our residents, any installation will be their first. Below are resources available to learn more about solar purchasing.
The United States Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.