Solar energy systems have been exempt from Florida's sales and use tax since July 1, 1997. The term "solar energy system" means the equipment and requisite hardware that provide and are used for collecting, transferring, converting, storing or using incidental solar energy for water heating, space heating and cooling, or other applications that would otherwise require the use of a conventional source of energy such as petroleum products, natural gas, manufactured gas or electricity.
This exemption was originally set to expire July 1, 2002, but it was extended for three more three years. In May 2005, the exemption was made permanent upon the enactment of H.B. 805.
The Florida Solar Energy Center certifies to the Florida Department of Revenue a list of eligible equipment and hardware. Sellers of solar energy systems or components thereof are required to document exempt sales. The Florida Department of Revenue recommends that the purchaser complete this form and present it to the seller.
In addition, the exemption applies to machinery and equipment used at a fixed location for the purpose of producing electrical or steam energy resulting from the burning of boiler fuels other than residual oil. However, such energy must be primarily used for manufacturing, processing, compounding or producing for sale items of tangible personal property in Florida. In facilities where machinery and equipment are necessary to burn both residual and non-residual fuels, the exemption is prorated.