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Florida Solar Rights Act

What Is the Florida Solar Rights Act?

The Florida Solar Rights Act was designed to ensure that each Florida resident has equal access to solar technology, regardless of the type of residence he or she inhabits. This Act also provides a basic set of rights and protections that allow solar technology users to access, use, and enjoy the benefits provided by solar energy.

These rights include the ability to install, maintain, and operate solar equipment on their property without any unreasonable restrictions imposed by local governments or other entities. Additionally, homeowners’ associations are prohibited from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting the installation of solar technology.

The Solar Rights Act also prevents electrical utilities from discriminating against customers who have installed solar systems on those premises.

Finally, the law allows for dispute resolution between citizens and electric utility providers if necessary.

This legislation ensures that Florida residents can take full advantage of the benefits offered by renewable energy sources such as solar power.

The Florida Solar Rights Act empowers citizens and businesses to make the most of their solar energy resources, while providing a safe and secure environment in which solar technology can be used. It is a testament to the commitment of Florida legislators to protect the rights and interests of its citizens and promote clean energy sources for the future.

Florida Solar Sunset
Lady Justice

Original Legislation…

You can read the Florida Solar Rights Act for yourself, word for word, in the following paragraphs.

Florida Statute, Section 163.04

163.04  Energy devices based on renewable resources.— (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or other provision of general or special law, the adoption of an ordinance by a governing body, as those terms are defined in this chapter, which prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources is expressly prohibited.

(2) 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.

(3) In any litigation arising under the provisions of this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(4) The legislative intent in enacting these provisions is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of renewable resources in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of driving the costs of owning and operating commercial or residential property beyond the capacity of private owners to maintain. This section shall not apply to patio railings in condominiums, cooperatives, or apartments.

History.—s. 8, ch. 80-163; s. 1, ch. 92-89; s. 14, ch. 93-249; s. 1, ch. 2008-191; s. 3, ch. 2008-227.