How to Go Solar in Boca Raton
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!
Solar Permitting Process
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 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 the Palm Beach County Solar Co-Op on Solar United Neighbor’s website and watch for opportunities to participate in 2019.
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 to solar energy up to 30% of the cost of purchase and installation of the system. The full 30% credit is available for systems installed in 2019 and the program will begin to phase out over subsequent years. Installations in 2020 will be eligible for a 26% credit and 22% in 2021. From 2022 commercial properties will be eligible for a 10% tax credit, no tax credit will be available for residential properties after 2021.
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.