SOLAR ENERGY STANDARDS ACT (Section 377.705, Florida Statute)

377.705 Solar Energy Center; development of solar energy standards.--

(1) SHORT TITLE.--This act shall be known and may be cited as the Solar Energy Standards Act of 1976.

(2) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.--

(a) The Legislature recognizes that if present trends continue, Florida will increase present energy consumption sixfold by the year 2000. Because of this dramatic increase and because existing domestic conventional energy resources will not provide sufficient energy to meet the nation's future needs, new sources of energy must be developed and applied. One such source, solar energy, has been in limited use in Florida for 30 years. Applications of incident solar energy, the use of solar radiation to provide energy for water heating, space heating, space cooling, and other uses, through suitable absorbing equipment on or near a residence or commercial structure, must be extensively expanded. Unfortunately, the initial costs with regard to the production of solar energy have been prohibitively expensive. However, because of increases in the cost of conventional fuel, certain applications of solar energy are becoming competitive, particularly when life-cycle costs are considered. It is the intent of the Legislature in formulating a sound and balanced energy policy for the state to encourage the development of an alternative energy capability in the form of incident solar energy.

(b) Toward this purpose, the Legislature intends to provide incentives for the production and sale of, and to set standards for, solar energy systems. Such standards shall ensure that solar energy systems manufactured or sold within the state are effective and represent a high level of quality of materials, workmanship, and design.

(3) DEFINITIONS.--

(a) "Center" is defined as the Florida Solar Energy Center of the Board of Regents.

(b) "Solar energy systems" is defined as equipment which provides for the collection and use of incident solar energy for water heating, space heating or cooling, or other applications which normally require or would require a conventional source of energy such as petroleum products, natural gas, or electricity and which performs primarily with solar energy. In such other systems in which solar energy is used in a supplemental way, only those components which collect and transfer solar energy shall be included in this definition.

(4) FLORIDA SOLAR ENERGY CENTER TO SET STANDARDS, REQUIRE DISCLOSURE, SET TESTING FEES.--

(a) The center shall develop and promulgate standards for solar energy systems manufactured or sold in this state based on the best currently available information and shall consult with scientists, engineers, or persons in research centers who are engaged in the construction of, experimentation with, and research of solar energy systems to properly identify the most reliable designs and types of solar energy systems.

(b) The center shall establish criteria for testing performance of solar energy systems and shall maintain the necessary capability for testing or evaluating performance of solar energy systems. The center may accept results of tests on solar energy systems made by other organizations, companies, or persons when such tests are conducted according to the criteria established by the center and when the testing entity has no vested interest in the manufacture, distribution or sale of solar energy systems.

(c) The center shall be entitled to receive a testing fee sufficient to cover the costs of such testing. All testing fees shall be transmitted by the center to the Chief Financial Officer to be deposited in the Solar Energy Center Testing Trust Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury, and disbursed for the payment of expenses incurred in testing solar energy systems.

(d) All solar energy systems manufactured or sold in the state must meet the standards established by the center and shall display accepted results of approved performance tests in a manner prescribed by the center.



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