Florida Rebates to Solar Builders

December 09, 2004

Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled a program on December 9 to expand solar energy technology in communities throughout Florida. Called SunBuilt, the program provides rebate checks to homebuilders who install solar hot water heaters in newly constructed homes. It is a partnership between DEP, the Florida Home Builders Association and the Florida Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation. Under the program, builders are eligible for a $400 rebate for each home constructed with solar water heater.

To become a SunBuilt Builder, a builder must be a current member of the Florida Home Builders Association, sign the SunBuilt pledge, use approved solar water heaters and contractors and participate in a home energy efficiency program. Builders who pledge to install solar water heaters on all new homes are classified as Gold Level builders and are eligible to receive a free solar water heater for use in a model home. Silver Level builders pledge to offer solar heaters as an option in their new construction.

America's Homes became the first builder to be certified at the Gold Level. "For me, conservation means more than the requisite energy saving efforts," said company president Luis Diaz. "It means providing clients with a quality home and a community designed for livability."

That company already builds homes meeting ENERGY STAR® standards, said Diaz. "With SunBuilt we've taken it to the next level by including solar water heating in each home. I believe that makes a statement beyond economic savings, beyond upgrading one electric appliance for another. It says I'm concerned, I'm economically smart, and I'm doing my part. What could be better?"

For more information, visit DEP online where its news releases are organized by date under "Energy Office News."