Florida Solar Laws
Florida law forbids any entity- including homeowner associations- from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings. An association may require approval of a system installation, and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance or increasing the cost of a solar system.
In particular, a homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south. Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute: Title XI 163.04
What is Net Metering?
In Florida, net metering rules were adopted in 2008. Net metering allows utility customers who connect approved, renewable generation systems – such as solar photovoltaic system – to the electric grid to sell electricity back to the utility company up to 2MW.
When customers generate electricity from their solar array for their home or business it may reduce the amount of energy they need to purchase from the utility and may lower their monthly electricity bills. If their system produces more energy than they need, the excess power is sold back to the grid. That amount of energy is deducted from their monthly bill or credited toward a future bill in the same calendar year.
To be eligible, a home or business owner needs to apply with the utility company and have their electric meter replaced with one that measures excess power supplied to the grid. For more information: Title XXVII 366.91